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FirstRand’s Vumela Fund has committed an additional R25-million to SA fintech lender ProfitShare Partners to lend to small businesses needing capital to supply essentials to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
This, while SA civic startup GovChat yesterday announced a partnership with the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to support the digitisation of the Covid-19 social relief grant application process.
With the coronavirus (Covid-19) headlining news all over the world, Ventureburn has launched a regular daily roundup on the virus and how it is affecting Africa’s tech startup sector.
SA startup GovChat has announced a partnership with Sassa to help digitise the Covid-19 social relief grant application process
Those with any news releases relating to Covid-19 and Africa’s tech startup sector can send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here then is the latest on the coronavirus and African tech startups:
Fintech gets R25m for SME lending: FirstRand’s Vumela Fund has committed an additional R25-million to SA fintech lender ProfitShare Partners to lend to small businesses needing capital to supply essentials to fight Covid-19. The Vumela Fund is managed by Edge Growth and currently has a mandate to support high-growth small businesses in supply chains that have both economic and impact returns.
Spike in retrenchments: SA’s Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) last Friday (8 May) reported a spike in applications for large-scale retrenchments in terms of Section 189 of the Labour Relations Act, Business Report said in an article yesterday. The applications included 17 referrals of large-scale retrenchments affecting 3344 employees and a further 151 referrals for Section 189 A applications which were not large-scale. Meanwhile, an article yesterday by Business Day reported that a study has forecast that more than 90,000 jobs in Cape Town’s tourism sector could be wiped out over six months due to the pandemic.
Digitising social relief: SA civic startup GovChat yesterday announced a partnership with the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to support the digitisation of the Covid-19 social relief grant application process. GovChat’s platform, accessed through WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, SMS and USSD channels provides a secure application portal for pre-qualifying citizens, automating filling, verification and applicant assessment. GovChat was founded in 2016 and launched in 2018 as the official citizen engagement platform for government by Eldrid Jordaan (pictured above).
Free training to education workers: Tech giant Cisco’s Networking Academy has announced that it will provide free remote instructor training for education personnel beginning in the week of 11 May until 15 June. It said over 1300 registrations have been made for the remote instructor training which will enable instructors to expand their reach as educators. Typically, course costs range from $500 to $1000. However, Cisco will provide training for free across Africa.
Featured image: GovtChat CEO and founder Eldrid Jordaan (Supplied)