(MENAFN – The Post) MASERU -THE Lesotho Post Bank (LPB) in partnership with Maluti Mountain Brewery (MMB) have embarked on an initiative that will ease access to finance for those in the liquor trading business.
The Lesotho Post Bank now issues loans to MMB clients from M5 000 up to M5 000 0000 in an effort to help grow local businesses and minimize constraints related to access to finance.
This comes after realising that for a long time access to finance and affordable credit has been a problem for Lesotho’s business fraternity especially for the Macro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
As a result, most businesses collapsed or continuously struggled to meet market demands.
According to Khauhelo Ramakongoana, Head of Business Banking at LPB, the MSMEs in the liquor industry have been struggling to compete with their counterparts who have financial muscle to serve their clients.
Ramakongoana says this was due to lack of finances to stock up enough to make adequate profits to aid stock during peak times.
‘You will find that due to limited funds they are only able to stock up during the week’s consumption without funds to cater for the weekend,’ Ramakongoana said.
‘Most times during weekends they do not have stock to sell or are forced to buy from their competitors,’ he said.
He said through this initiative they have eased access to finance and affordable credit as their conditions are not stringent.
‘With the submission of relevant documents the turn-around time is two days, we offer concessionary interest rates and zero fees for cash deposits,’ Ramakongoana said.
He added that applicants would have to prove their business solvency through provision of financial statements, banking statements, a Lesotho Post Bank account and a track record from MMB.
Ramakongaoana said that they will assist all businesses at different levels as long as they prove to be sustainable.
‘Our aim is to have assisted at least 3 000 businesses by the end of the year through this facility,’ he said.
Speaking at the media briefing, the bank’s CEO Molefi Leqhaoe said that the state of the economy calls for corporate collaborations that believe in Basotho’s capabilities in order to curb unemployment and grow the economy.
‘The budget speech indicated that the capital expenditure is lower than the recurrent expenditure, meaning that the government cannot afford to create jobs and we as the corporates need to partake directly or indirectly towards job creation,’ Leqhaoe said.
The Country Corporate Affairs Manager at the MMB, ‘Mathabang Fanyane, said that this partnership is a clear indication of their commitment as corporate citizens towards growing the economy.
‘Our dream is to see Basotho businesses grow,’ Fanyane said.
‘Mapeete Ntjana, Performance and Planning Manager at the MMB, said that they are committed to see their clients’ businesses grow as that translates into jobs and economic growth.
‘Basotho are determined to fully partake economically but inadequate resources undermine their efforts,’ Ntjana said.
‘We know that getting access to finance or affordable credit is a problem due to stringent conditions set by banks,’ she said.
She added that under this initiative they are giving Basotho equal footing and a chance to access finance and grow their businesses.