Ithala at forefront of reviving township economies

2019-04-24 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

PHOTO: supplied

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ITHALA SOC Limited’s market strategy to revitalise township and rural economies will be bolstered after the launch of KwaZulu-Natal’s first Bulk Buying and Warehousing Programme by the MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, recently.

The objective of the programme is to lower the cost of goods for small and emerging retailers to enable them to be competitive, thus expanding their market share and participation in the retail value chain.

Traders will be able to place their orders using paperless technology from a state-of-the-art warehouse in Mandeni, north of Durban, and have their goods delivered to their shops.

Complementing the initiative is a rural banking programme spearheaded by Ithala SOC Limited which will see automatic teller machines being rolled out across KZN in the form of a cashless self-service device ATM.

Uniquely designed for a rural-based store, the ATM will enable the following functions:

• Customers from any bank, including Sassa clients, will be able to withdraw cash;

• The rural store will serve as a revenue collection point for municipal bill payments; and the benefits of the programme are far reaching:

• Customers can transact, purchase airtime and pay their municipal bills closer to their place of residence and not have to travel long distances to town, thus contributing to economic transformation and ensuring revenue flow within local communities.

• Additional bill payment channels allow for increased collection of revenue by KZN Municipalities; and

• The uniquely-designed ATM enables the store owner to build up his financial history and deposit the cash generated from sales at the store directly into the machine without having to travel to a bank that would otherwise have levied a fee for transacting on the account.

The move is in line with Ithala’s mandate to serve ordinary people and bring basic financial services closer to communities to ensure inclusivity.

Shane Moodley, head of retail and business banking at Ithala SOC Limited, said: “As a pioneer in banking the unbanked in KZN, we are serious about ensuring the participation of the masses of historically disadvantaged individuals in the economy.

Providing them with access to basic and affordable financial services is a step in the right direction.

“Under the prevailing tough economic conditions, we are proud to be associated with a programme that proactively assists emerging black traders to thrive in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.”

He said Ithala, as a development finance institution, was proud to help the cause of promoting viable commercial businesses, thus alleviating the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

A distribution network of 39 Ithala branches in KZN provides convenient transacting facilities. Ithala offers a comprehensive portfolio of corporate and personal banking solutions.

For more information visit, call 031 366 2500 or follow #MoveToIthala.

— Supplied.


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