South African bishops back bond issue

 The Justice and Peace Department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference (SACBC) today backed the South African National Treasury's issuing of retail bonds to ordinary South Africans as a sound poverty reduction strategy. "We congratulate the National Treasury on this very worthwhile initiative and encourage Minister Trevor Manuel to ensure that the bonds reach the poor who are familiar with community saving schemes but are marginalised by banking corporations", said Bishop Mlungisi Dlungwane, Chairperson of the SACBC Justice and Peace Department. "Correspondingly, we encourage communities to find out more about the bonds on offer and to invest their savings in these government bonds to build a secure future for themselves and to promote development in South Africa," he said. "With a guaranteed return of 10% over five years, communities that are familiar with 'stokvels' would do well to collectively invest their money in these government bonds if that was possible," said Billy Maseti, SACBC Secretary for Economic Justice. Previously, investors needed at least R one million to invest in government bonds, but the new retail bond investment minimum is set at R1000, with a maximum limit of R one million. An especially attractive aspect of the bond issue is that no commission or costs are charged, with a distribution network including the internet and post offices. Bonds are printed papers issued by government or a corporation acknowledging that money has been lent to it and will be paid with interest. Source: SACBC

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