By TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG- ABSA Bank has sets aside R10,5 million (over US$800 000) to uplift the South African township economy.
On Tuesday, it extended a R3,5 million facility to eSpaza Sum Holdings to help the company in its endevour to uplift and modernise 22 spaza shops in Mamelodi and Pretoria West, both in Gauteng.
A further R7 million will be extended to help uplift Mpumalanga and Limpopo spaza shops as the financial year progresses.
eSpaza Sum Managing Director and founder, Tshepo Seeta, said Absa’s support would not only see the sustainable establishment of spaza shops but it was envisaged to create jobs and help these spaza shop’s net triple times more profit as they have in the past.
“The project has already seen transformed spaza’s record a 300 percent increase in airtime sales,” he said.
eSpaza Sum aims to accelerate the transformation of 100 percent black-owned spaza shops into sustainable businesses that can compete with major retailers in the mainstream economy. The company secures greater access to markets, procurement, distribution channels and a variety of stock and merchandise at competitive pricing in partnership with Big Save, one of South Africa’s largest wholesalers.
It also holds monthly store promotions on behalf of spaza shops and restores their images into well-structured, recognisable, brand backed and established businesses.
Absa aims to provide spaza shops identified through this project with the required banking solutions to run a formal business and fast track skills development with financial literacy training for spaza shop owners so that they can get better at reading a balance sheet, understand income statements and sharpen their knowledge on how to grow a business through social media.
Oscar Siziba, Absa Managing Executive in Pretoria, Limpopo, Mpumalanga said the investment in eSpaza Sum was how Absa was contributing to the growth and formalisation of township businesses and economies in line with its Shared Growth commitment to improve the employability or self-employability prospects of young people and entrepreneurs.
“This also forms part of our Mandela month celebrations,” Siziba added.