Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube
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Government pays out $9bn loans to workers

THE Public Service Commission (PSC) has so far distributed close to $9 billion in salary-based loans to deserving civil servants under the Government Employees Mutual Savings (GEMS) Fund which was launched in February this year. 

This comes as the voluntary fund has successfully processed 10 400 loan applications worth a total amount of $855 104 463.  

PSC secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe said the scheme is exerting all efforts to meet the overwhelming demand from thousands of government employees, who have been attracted by the favourable and low interest rates. 

Most banks and micro-financing institutions peg their interest rates between 25 percent and 35 percent on pay-day loans. 

However, GEMS offers a favourable interest rate of 10-15 percent and a flexible tenure depending on the amount applied for. 

“Due to the enthusiastic response, disbursements are being managed to ensure that a significant number of applicants receive their loans every month,” Wutawunashe said. 

“Applicants who are members of GEMS and are yet to receive loan amounts, should, therefore, not despair as the savings scheme, which is based on a combination of monthly contributions and monthly repayments by those who have already drawn loans, is designed to ensure that all contributing members benefit.” 

Wutawunashe indicated that the government recently injected “significant amounts” as a bridging measure to allow the member-financed fund time to grow to independently support the demands of applicants. 

As a new facility, GEMS is exerting all efforts to meet the overwhelming demand that has come from thousands upon thousands of government employees who appreciate how this non-monetary benefit helps cushion them from economic hardships and helps improve their livelihoods without waiting only for a salary.  

GEMS also goes beyond providing loans to its members. 

The principal purpose it was created for is to mobilise mutual savings for civil servants for their direct financial benefit during the tenure of their employment and post retirement.