Oppenheimers donate another R1 billion to South Africa’s fight against coronavirus

The Oppenheimer family has made a second R1 billion donation to South Africa’s fight against the Covid-19 coronavirus, with Mary Oppenheimer and Daughters offering the money to the country’s Solidarity Fund.

This is a separate donation to the R1 billion offered by brothers Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer to small businesses in South Africa through the South African Future Trust (SAFT).

Mary Oppenheimer said she and her daughters “thought long and hard” about where they could make the greatest difference in the fight against the coronavirus, and decided it would support the humanitarian needs of everyone living in the country.

“We think that it is the Solidarity Fund which is most aligned to our concerns about the basic needs, food, medicine, general care and gender abuse,” she said.

“We are grateful for all the other efforts, small and large, that South Africans are making to help our country through this difficult time.”

Other billionaires such as Johann Rupert, Koos Bekker and Patrice Motsepe have also made R1 billion donations to fighting the coronavirus – either in a personal capacity or through their various companies.

SAFT loans

The South African Future Trust, set up by the Oppenheimer brothers, will assists small and medium businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis in South Africa.

The R1 billion put forward is a straight donation,in that the loans to small businesses will not yield any interest or profit for the trust or the Oppenheimers. Employees are not liable for any of the money, and the trust will work with business owners on payment plans.

SAFT loans will be:

  • Interest-free for a five-year period.
  • Subordinated to other pre-existing debt.

If businesses are unable to repay the loan, SAFT will work closely with SMMEs to ensure that repayment plans are in place which are sustainable for the business concerned.

Four of South Africa’s leading banks – including Nedbank, Standard Bank, FNB and Absa – will administer the scheme at no cost to the fund. The banks have also waived their normal credit fees for all loans approved under the SAFT scheme to maximise the funds available to recipients.

SMMEs need to apply through their main bank. Once approved, the funds will be paid directly to the nominated employees, however liability for the loan remains with the business. You can find out more about the application criteria here.

Read: The Oppenheimers’ R1 billion fund for businesses will be available this week – here’s how it works

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Oppenheimers donate another R1 billion to South Africa’s fight against coronavirus