Banks in South Africa are finally joining the solar financing bandwagon as citizens search for ways to cushion both the load-shedding nightmare plaguing the country and the high cost of solar.
This week, Absa launched a solar financing subsidy for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Businesses that qualify will be able to apply for up to 50,000 or 10% of the installation value through its Green Asset Finance program. The bank says has made R50 million available for solar grants.
Businesses that have their commercial properties financed by Absa will not need to apply for the solar financial boost. The bank plans to contact qualifying businesses to make the offer.
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South Africa’s economy continues to suffer due to the ongoing blackouts that have led to some businesses closing down due to the strain.
“SMEs make a significant contribution to job creation and economic growth in South Africa. However, in many instances, the operating environment over the past few years has made it very difficult for these vital enablers to grow and thrive,” said Ronnie Mbatsane, Absa Relationship Banking’s managing executive for SME Business.
He says the subsidies are designed to help SMEs.
“We are helping to put liquidity back into the hands of small businesses to power their business into full production,” says Mbatsane.
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Also on the home front, First National Bank is offering a range of load-shedding solutions to its customers through its app. These include solar power, generators, and battery backup. Customers have the option to buy the products or get financing for the electricity-generating products.
“What we are saying is that the range we are giving access to will start from small UPS devices to full photovoltaic solutions that can give mostly off-grid execution,” said FNB Wealth and Investment CEO Sizwe Nxedlana last week. Nxedlana said the bank had already pre-approved a million clients for some of these products.