When South Africa went into a national lockdown on 27 March 2020, no one fully comprehended the deep, complex and devastatingly profound consequences it would hold for individuals, businesses and entire industry sectors.
South African banks rapidly responded to the imminent crisis facing their account holders, and as at 7 July, 2020 had approved more than R30,6 billion in relief to individuals and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown¹.
According to Managing Director of the Banking Association South Africa (BASA), Bongiwe Kunene: “Cash flow relief for eligible individuals and businesses is critical to the preservation of jobs and businesses and to maintain a functioning economy. Banks hold in trust the salaries and savings of South Africa’s workers, professionals and businesses. It is therefore essential that we continue to extend credit responsibly and avoid blanket debt write-offs or any other actions that might place depositors’ funds at risk or otherwise undermine the integrity of the financial sector.”²