Ithala Limited is a 100% owned subsidiary of Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited (IDFC), which is governed by Ithala Act 2 of 1999 (Ithala Act) of the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature.
Ithala Limited was ring-fenced from IDFC in 2001 in line with the recommendation from the South African Reserve Bank. It has been operating under exemption from Banks Act 94 of 1990 (“Banks Act”) although it has had to comply with most requirements of the Act.
Ithala traditionally offered home loans and banking services to black areas ie. townships and rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal during apartheid South Africa. The branch network is mainly spread along the abovementioned areas. Although the other banks have been slowly moving to these areas, Ithala has not been able to move speedily into the traditionally urban and profitable areas.
Ithala has 51 branches and one agency throughout the KwaZulu-Natal province. The branches are mainly used to raise deposits from customers and also to provide transacting facilities. The customers are mainly from LSM2 – LSM6.
Savings Products offered by Ithala Limited, are:
- Savings bank book;
- Debit card;
- Club save;
- Target save;
- Fixed deposit.
Ithala utilises deposits to fund its advances book. The lending is centralised at the Head Office in Durban, and most of the business in obtained from the bond originators.
Ithala Limited offers the following Lending Products:
- Home loans;
- Home Improvement Loan;
- Property Development;
- Commercial Loans;
- Personal Loans.
Ithala Limited's Board has six non-executive directors (two from IDFC and two executive directors), five committees to help it discharge its duties, and convenes four times a year. The Board is primarily responsibility for setting the direction for Ithala Limited and is ultimately responsible for the organisation.
The Executive Management is responsible for the day-to-day running of the business and meets twice a month to monitor performance of various business units and discuss various issues affecting the organisation at that particular moment, and consider appropriate action.
The Executive Committee has five Management Committees that look at various operational matters.
Ithala has about 450 staff members based in the branches throughout the province and at its Head Office in Durban, where all centralised business units are based. There are about 35 people seconded to Group Head Office, because of the Group structure, where some functions are centralised at group level.