Mutual Bank sells a million shares within 72 hours of trading
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Pretoria - While the newly launched Nthabeleng Likotsi (NL) Mutual Bank has sold one million shares within 72 hours of trading, it insists it still has a long way to go towards raising its target of R2.2 billion by the end of the month.
Speaking to Pretoria News after the official launch of the bank, previously known as the Young Women Business Network (YWBN), Managing Director Nthabeleng Likotsi said the co-operative was still in its establishment phase but shares were available to South Africans between now and the end of June through a public joining scheme.
The official launch was held in Sandton on Monday night. It was attended by high profile South Africans in business and politics.
They included Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo, Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Justice Minister Ronald Lamola, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, ANC Women's League (ANCWL) president Bathabile Dlamini EFF treasurer Omphile Maotwe and ATM president Vuyo Zungula, among others.
While the 500-member YWBN was given authorisation by the South African Reserve Bank (SARS) to establish a mutual bank in March, the businesswoman added, they were still putting systems together while also raising capital from the investors, who automatically become co-owners of the institution.
“This is a call for action to the South African public for the next month to put in their contributions so that they (become) part of the capital raising.
As soon as we have raised capital, other processes like putting our technology in place and appointing an auditor will be prioritised. We will then submit our state of readiness to the Prudential Authority,” Likotsi said.
She added: “Since we launched on Tuesday we have raised R10 million of the R2.2 billion we are aiming to raise by the end of the month. This is the only solution to our economic challenges. If people want to be employed they must participate.”
Likotsi made history in March when she became the founder of the first, 78% female-owned financial institution in the country. Her co-operative includes over 500 members with a vision to bring hope to black women and the marginalised people of the country.
She said the public could contribute R1 000 as a minimum to R2 million as a maximum. The bank has so far sold 1 million shares to the public for R10 each, Likotsi added. A total of 95 million shares have been issued.
“We started the bank because as black people there is no way we are going to achieve financial freedom any time. We need to collaborate and work together.
“The economy is in the hands of a few white people. Majority of us black people don’t have the financial muscle,” Likotsi pointed out.
“We call for citizens to go inwards to find solutions to our economic challenges as it is widely known, South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. While studies show that the future of employment and economic growth is dependent on Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs), particularly those based in township and rural dwellings where 90% of new jobs can be created, thousands of innovative businesses fail to emerge with many SMMEs forced to close shop due to lack of access to financing to keep their businesses afloat.”
At a gala dinner to officially launch the bank, speaker after speaker heaped praise on Likotsi for successfully championing the establishment of the institution. Ntshavheni and Ndabeni-Abrahams pledged to work together with the bank to finance SMMEs and assist members to buy the spectrum.