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Media releases 2002 Media releases 2001

12 December 2002

Standard Bank wins lucrative government accounts

Standard Bank has scooped two lucrative accounts to become bankers to the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the Polokwane Municipality (formerly Pietersburg) from next year.

In addition to gaining the two accounts, Standard Bank has been appointed the sole banker to the Municipal Employees Pension Fund (MEPF). The MEPF has a membership of 5 000 pensioners and 13 646 active members drawn from 120 local authorities from all nine provinces.

The contract with the Northern Cape government runs from April 2003 to March 2006. The Polokwane Municipality account is a three-year agreement and commences from January 2003 until December 2005. Both accounts will be reviewed after the initial agreement period.

Says Stewart Lumka, Director of Public Sector Banking at Standard Bank: ”We are delighted to be awarded both these important accounts. We view this mandate as more than just a business transaction, but rather, as an effective opportunity to develop mutually beneficial public - private sector partnerships.

“Our strategy is to remain a responsible corporate citizen, and to contribute to the socio-economic development of the communities in which we conduct our business. We therefore view our association with the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the Polokwane Municipality as an incredible opportunity to contribute in the socio-economic development of both the Limpopo Province and the Northern Cape. In this regard, we will continue to strengthen our business relationships within all tiers of government, as we believe that sustainable economic growth is a direct result of mutually beneficial public-private partnerships.”

Standard Bank has been involved in various social development initiatives in the two regions.

To date, sectors that have benefited from this social strategy include, amongst others:
  • the Philane Project, a five-year training programme for health workers to reach and educate over 6 000 farm workers each year;
  • educational events such as the annual school essay competition, cricket development and numerous welfare organisations; and
  • the training and mentoring of local entrepreneurs by bank officials through projects such as the Mpilo Loan Scheme and the Khula Mentorship Scheme.
A growth strategy, to be implemented in 2003 in the Northern Cape, has been presented to the provincial government.

Furthermore, Standard Bank has increased its Auto E bank branches in the Polokwane area from five to 12 in the past year. This strategy is but another attempt to extend banking services to the communities of the region. In order to improve customer service, the bank deploys personnel who are fluent in local languages to assist customers in these centres.