Wednesday, 09 September 2020

Ithala SOC Limited making great strides in pursuit of the banking license and helping communities

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Ithala SOC Limited making great strides in pursuit of the banking license and helping communities

Ordinary South Africans are the biggest beneficiaries of Ithala SOC Limited initiatives aimed at driving financial inclusion, money management, and wealth creation.

Ithala SOC Limited, whose mandate is to serve ordinary South Africans and help them to manage their money and create wealth, is making great strides in its efforts of getting the organization ready to apply for a permanent banking license.Part of the South African Reserve Banks (SARB) conditions for the application for the banking license is for Ithala SOC Limited to fill critical regulatory positions.

With the recent appointments of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Audit Executive, and Compliance Officer, Ithala is making great strides to fully comply with this condition. The appointment of the Chief Audit Executive and Compliance Officer also means that the combined assurance capability is now in place. The Chief Risk Officer position was filled a year ago."Regulatory compliance is critical for our operations, building a combined assurance capability will ensure that we remain compliant with all the relevant regulations & legislation and will give us comfort that the depositors’ monies are protected and safe at all times", Said Dr. Thulani Vikalazi the new Ithala SOC Limited Chief Executive Officer.

The impact of Covid-19 is having devastating effects on communities and businesses. Hower, Ithala SOC Limited has continued to serve its communities during this difficult time. Ithala SOC Limited main priority during this period has been the safety and wellbeing of staff members, customers, and communities.

“For our staff members we have ensured that they have all the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure their safety while serving our customers; for those that can fulfill their functions working remotely, we havegiven them tools to work from home. The other key priority when it comes to our staff is to protect their jobs and ensure their livelihoods” Said Dr. Vilakazi. Ithala has also offered payment relief programmes to customers who have been experiencing difficulty fulfilling their repayment obligations on loans as a result of Covid.For many years, Ithala SOC Limited has run initiatives aimed at helping communities it serves.

Ithala Education Platform: In response to the COVID-19 crisis and its impact on Grade 12 learners in KwaZulu-Natal, Ithala SOC Limited elected to direct its CSI energies towards an online education initiative. Ithala is eager to help matric learners, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to recover lost schooling time as a result of the National Lockdown and to help them prepare for their exams. In the short-term, the programme has focussed on helping Grade 12 learners with CAPS Curriculum, soft skills, and career guidance. Podcasts of these webinars have been uploaded to the Ithala Edu Platform to enable learners to receive 24-hour access to the webinars. These lessons can be followed or viewed on GoDigital_SAMovement or MyIthala on Facebook or via Ukhozi FM of Thursdays evenings between 21h00 – 22h00. Over 40 000 grade 12 learners are benefiting from this programme.

Youth Digital Skills Development Programme: In July 2019, Ithala Education Fund resolved to direct resources towards the development of digital skills through the 4IR Digital Skills Development programme. The objective is to provide learners with digital skills that will allow them to be active participants in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) by exposing them to the world of coding, robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Gaming.

The first programme was an intensive Winter/Summer School in September 2019 in KwaDlangezwa High School Esikhawini. A total of 44 learners from 11 schools attended where programming and coding skills were taught. The programme that was planned for the Autumn school holiday at Phendukani Full Service High School in Newcastle was postponed as a precautionary measure due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent lockdown.

Ithala MoneyTalks: As a member of the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA), Ithala SOC Limited is expected to conduct financial literacy education to the community. Ithala launched its financial education programme called Ithala MoneyTalks. This programme was established out of the need to start frank conversations about money, which is a difficult topic to discuss, especially in previously disadvantaged households.

Normalising theseconversations opens opportunities to educate our customers and guides them on the path to financial prosperity.MoneyTalks offers our customers financial literacy skills which empower them to make sound financial decisions, manage their money, and create wealth. The programme contains a series of modules with practical advice and examples that are relevant to our customers. We have also introduced MoneyTalks lessons in various rural schools and other environments where we hope to impact future generations of Ithala customers.

Ithala believes that redefining what wealth means, educating, and giving South Africans the necessary tools to manage their money, can help address the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. By simplifying the conversation about wealth creation, we aim to offer our customers and potential customers a practical formula to accumulate wealth.

Ithala SOC Limited has a distribution network of 38 branches in KZN which provide convenient transacting facilities. A comprehensive portfolio of personal banking and insurance solutions are offered.

For more information, visit www.myithala.co.za, call 031 366 2500 or follow us on LinkedIn: Ithala SOC Limited Facebook: @myithala Twitter: @myithala.

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Issued by: Ithala SOC Limited Head Office303
Dr. Pixley KaSeme (West Street)15th Floor
Delta Towers
Durban