sefa provides the following loan products:

  • Start-up loans;
  • Business Loans; and
  • On-lending loans

1.1.1 Start-loans: Loans offered through Direct-Lending to survivalist non-financial co-operatives for working capital e.g. for small orders from government departments, municipalities and private sector.

1.1.2 Business Loans: Loans offered through Direct Lending to all types of co-operatives for funding enterprise projects e.g. purchasing production machinery etc. and working capital.

1.1.3 On-lending loans: Loans offered through Wholesale Lending to Financial Co-operatives and Co-operative Banks to on-lend to their members.

1.2 Institutional Strengthening :

sefa provides the following institutional strengthening support :

  • R500, 000 grant for Financial Co-operatives start-ups aimed at subsidising operational costs. The following expenditure items are excluded:
    • Furniture;
    • Rental; and
    • Stipends.
  • Mentorship is provided to non-Financial Co-operatives. This is an indirect expenditure as it is paid directly to the Mentor.


2.1 Financial Co-operatives and Co-operatives Banks

Description: A financial Co-operative and Co-operatives Banks (primary) are deposit-taking co-operatives owned by 200 or more members. These types of co-operatives provide savings and credit facilities to its members. In addition to the Co-operatives Act, they are regulated in terms of the Exemption Notice issued in terms of the Banks Act and Co-operatives Banks Act as Amended.

To qualify for on-lending loans, the co-operatives must meet the following minimum requirements :

  • Duly registered with CBDA and CIPC
  • Minimum of 200 members
  • Compliance with CBDA prudential standards
  • Proof of registration with NCR( where applicable)
  • Audited/reviewed financial statements
  • Must have been in existence for a year
  • Have lending and savings policy
  • Must have a fully functioning body
  • Savings book/share capital of at least R100 000
  • Registered with SARS

2.2 Non-Financial Co-operatives

Description: Non-Financial Co-operatives (primary) are non-deposit-taking co-operatives, owned by a minimum of five persons and offer its members various types of services except for savings and loans. These type of co-operatives are regulated in terms of the provisions of the Co-operatives Act as Amended. sefa provides start-up loans and business loans to this type of co-operatives.

To qualify for start-up and business loans, the co-operatives must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Duly Registered with CIPC;
  • 5-10 members;
  • Must have been in existence for at least six months for start-ups and one year for matured co-operatives;
  • Must support enterprise creation and activities;
  • Registered with SARS; and
  • Audited/reviewed financial statements.


sefa charges interest rate and other fees based on its pricing model and risk profile of the co-operative.No fees are charged to start-up co-operatives.


  • Financial Co-operatives: 15% of the total assets (R5 million in case where the Financial Co-operative has obtained an exemption from the Supervisor: Co-operative Banks Development Agency (CBDA) or Reserve Bank in case of a Co-operative Bank.
  • Non-Financial Co-operatives: R5 million.


Maximum period: 5 years.


  • Potential applicants can approach sefa’s nearest regional office in their Province for further information and application forms. Alternatively, potential clients can download the application forms from sefa website and qualifying criteria;
  • Upon completion of the application form, a potential clients will submit same to sefa Regional Office for assessment and if the applicant :
    • Does not meet the requirements, the applicant is accordingly informed and the application is closed;
    • Meet all the requirements, the application will be submitted to the relevant sefa Credit Committee for decision after certain activities have been performed as part of assessing the application;