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TYMEBANK said on Tuesday that it was tracking slightly behind its projections to attract clients, largely due to the national lockdown and sustained financial pressure on consumers even though it managed to grow its customer base to 2.5 million by the end of November.

The digital bank, in which African Rainbow Capital Investments ( ARC Investments) owns a majority stake of 35.18 percent as at the end of June, has shown tremendous growth after its official launch in February last year.

The bank has approximately 1.5 million active clients.

TymeBank reached the 1 million clients mark between February and November last year.

However, the bank said it continues to take on board an average of 100 000 customers a month or an average of 25 000 customers each week.

“In terms of growing the bank’s product portfolio, it has concluded one bancassurance partnership and is in the process of piloting a second bancassurance partnership which will enable TymeBank to provide a broader suite of products to its clients.

It is further planning to enter the market with innovative lending products in the first half of 2021,” the bank said. ARC Investments provided the update for the first quarter to end September, which includes the period up to the end of November.

Rain, the telecoms business, said it continued to expand its 4G and 5G data network in the metro areas in South Africa. The group said the high demand for data solutions during the initial phases of the national lockdown has tapered off recently, but new customer flows remained strong, especially for its unlimited data packages.

“The business has experienced certain customer service challenges following the strong growth in enrolling new customers as significantly more people than expected engaged in online and digital activity during the lockdown period. Significant progress has been made to improve customer service levels.

As previously announced, Rain will have a new chief executive in Brandon Leigh, effective March 1, 2021 to replace Willem Roos, who will become a non-executive director after the completion of his three-year contract.

The group said the appointment of Leigh is in line with the company’s succession planning and the group there will be a six-month handover period to ensure a smooth transition.

ARC Investments said its investment in the Kropz Plc group has faced challenges resulting in several delays in bringing the plant to production.

Kropz Plc operates as a plant nutrient producer and, according to Bloomberg, it said following a further capitalisation in June: “The project to modify the processing plant at Kropz Elandsfontein is progressing well and, despite certain challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, the estimated date for the first ore through the plant remains unchanged at September 30 2021.”

ARC Investments also has stakes in Afrimat, Alexander Forbes, Fledge Capital and Rand Mutual Holdings.

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