BSA – Daily Update 12 05 20


The Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme announced by President Ramaphosa in April will operate from today, 12 May 2020. The initial set of participating banks (Absa, First National Bank, Investec, Mercantile Bank, Nedbank and Standard Bank) are ready to accept loan applications from distressed businesses which bank with them.

The activation of the loan guarantee scheme follows the finalisation of legal details by National Treasury, the South African Reserve Bank and the Banking Association South Africa.

The loan guarantee scheme is an initiative to provide loans, guaranteed by government, to businesses with an annual turnover of less than R300 million to meet some of their operational expenses. Funds borrowed through this scheme can be used for operational expenses such as salaries, rent and lease agreements, contracts with suppliers, etc.

Government and commercial banks are sharing the risks of these loans. Initially, the National Treasury has provided a guarantee of R100 billion to this scheme, with the option to increase the guarantee to R200 billion if necessary and if the scheme is deemed successful.

More details on the scheme can be found in a Frequently Asked Questions guide posted at Loan Guarantee Scheme Q&A or

Further queries can also be directed to the individual banks, which are administering the scheme.

Jointly issued by National Treasury, The South African Reserve Bank and The Banking Association South Africa.                        



Business for South Africa’s (B4SA) Health Workgroup has partnered with Essential Medical Guidance (EMGuidance), the country’s largest free digital health care platform and community, which has launched a dedicated COVID-19 Support Channel for South African health care professionals (HCPs) in both the public and private sectors. 

The COVID-19 platform will provide four key support and resource channels:

  1. Clinical Updates Channel: providing the latest South African COVID-19 clinical information, including National Department of Health (NDoH) alerts, digital guidelines, COVID-19 medicines information, local care coordination such as the location of COVID-19 testing sites, information on accessing and using personal protective equipment (PPE), and links to other critical clinical applications;
  2. Mental Health Support Channel: Support and access to mental health support, through the South Africa Society of Psychiatrists (SASOP), the South African Medical Association (SAMA), the South African Society of Anaesthesiologists (SAMA), the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).  EMGuidance will serve as a dedicated channel to survey and monitor the mental health status of South Africa’s health care community.  It will also be used to disseminate mental health care content, and provide access to professional mental health support.
  3. Practice Business Support Channel: Providing business resources, including advice on taxation, accounting and labour relations.  This is provided in partnership with practice management companies and financial institutions; and
  4. COVID-19 Chatbot: A dedicated machine learning chatbot which provides information based on NDoH guidelines and local care coordination information. In addition, a specialist pharmacologist is available online to provide guidance on COVID-related medicines queries. 

Accessing EMGuidance:

We encourage all healthcare professionals to access the COVID-19 Support Channels within the EMGuidance platform. To download and register on the mobile application click here or visit the website and register here:  

HCPs will need to input their South African professional registration details to gain access. For support, please contact or call 010 592 1818. 



On International Nurses’ Day, Business for SA acknowledges and shines a light on the incredible work being done by nurses in every hospital, clinic and community care facility for their commitment to keeping our country healthy. Let’s stay home and healthy so that we can keep them safe.