Ithala Bank and FinTech startup Black Pay have created a partnership aimed at financing township and rural development across the country. The alliance, valued at $15 million or R250 million, will finance township and rural development through home loans, backyard flats, and taxi and vehicle credit while prioritising women and young people.
Dr Thulani Vilakazi, CEO of Ithala SOC Limited, said Black Pay will provide all the support Ithala’s clients need to help them in obtaining a loan and to ensure the process runs smoothly.
“We recognise that a significant part of our work should be the improvement of the lives and livelihoods of our people. Our partnership with Black Pay is a valuable step towards that endeavour, and will serve as a model for future partnerships,” Vilakazi added.
As the only state-owned entity that provides full banking services, Ithala SOC Limited is fully regulated by the South African Reserve Bank and other banking industry regulators.
Its current distribution network of 38 branches in KwaZulu Natal provides convenient transacting facilities, offering a comprehensive portfolio of corporate and personal banking solutions.
Black Pay’s focus is on financial inclusion solutions in townships and rural markets. The no-frills, non-banking FinTech was founded by the Black Space Group, which is led by tech and property businessman, Nkonzo Mbetha, together with musician and social entrepreneur, Zakhele Madida (popularly known as Zakes Bantwini). At the helm of Black Pay’s lending business is CEO and partner, Thandeka Ndlovu, a chartered accountant.
On their partnership with Ithala, Bantwini says: “We’ve found a partner who is as committed as we are in developing and uplifting the township and rural economy. We believe the time is now to inject much-needed investment in underdeveloped communities.”