The Swaziland Building Society (SBS) has been showered with congratulatory messages for officially opening its state-of-the-art Matsapha Branch.
Ironically, the ceremony was part of the continuous commemoration of the Society’s Diamond Jubilee, which started on 11 May 2022.
Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini officially opened the new branch situated at the former MICA premises opposite Eswatini Beverages last Friday.
Notable dignitaries were, among others, the Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg, Tibiyo Taka Ngwane Managing Director Dr. A.T. Dlamini, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Eswatini (CBE) Felicia Dlamini-Kunene and captains of industry.
SBS Board Chairperson Advocate Lomalanga Matsebula, together with Managing Director Mbali Sibanyoni and Branch Manager Eric Gamedze, took the dignitaries on a tour of the branch.
The Prime Minister congratulated and thanked the Board of Directors for steering SBS to be among the Kingdom’s best financial service providers.
“We appreciate your tremendous efforts in putting together this immaculate branch,” said Dlamini.
The Premier further noted that the Society was one of very few local businesses to reach a Diamond Jubilee.
Dlamini further challenged the relevant stakeholders to speed up the Society’s conversion into a commercial bank.
“The conversion is in line with Government’s aspirations to
promote diverse and fair competition in all sectors. This provides
the public with options in products and ensures broadened and
quality customer service as well as financial inclusion,” he said.
Finance Minister Neal Rijkenberg praised the Society for a job well done.
“My first reaction when I saw the building was ‘wow it’s very impressive. A big congratulations to SBS for a job amazingly done,” he said.
Rijkenberg noted that the nation and economy needed the Society’s input.
“Please continue the good work, continue growing and doing what you can to grow the economy,” he said.
The Minister further assured that the Society’s conversion would be finalised soon.
Sincephethelo Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (SMVAF) Chief Executive Officer David Myeni described the branch as: “Unequalled, a game-changer, diverse, seamless and convenient.”
He congratulated SBS on the branch official opening.
“Its look and feel are a clear indication of the Society’s commitment and passion to provide unequal customer experience,” he said.
“The set-up and design of the banking hall are a game changer from the unsavoury feeling of being in long and winding queues.”
Myeni said the range and diversity of the services offered at the branch corresponded with the diverse needs of its clientele.
“The digitalization of services does not only enhance the quality of financial inclusion, but also provide the necessary options for customers to be served seamlessly and conveniently,” he said.
MTN Eswatini Head of Corporate Services Sibusiso Nhleko, who is a SBS customer, said: “I wish to convey hearty congratulations to the Swaziland Building Society on its Diamond Jubilee Anniversary and official opening of the flagship branch in Matsapha. It was an honour to witness the launch of this world class branch.”
He noted that the branch was accessible and provided good ambiance to deliver epic customer experience.
“It is an inspiration to see SBS grow in leaps and bounds. It is also heart-warming to me as a customer to see SBS expand its portfolio of products and services to meet customer needs as well as contribute positively to the development of our beautiful Kingdom,” said Nhleko.
“Keep on shining Swaziland Building Society.”
Matsapha Mayor’s representative Stephen Khumalo said the municipality was pleased with the addition of such as structure in their shores.
He said the branch inspired confidence to Matsapha investors and was a sign that the Society aspired to grow.
“You did not bring ATMs alone, but a whole branch which will give us a personal touch and investors will not have to look beyond the boundaries of Matsapha,” said Khumalo.
“There are opportunities that will come with the opening of this branch and hope you will find more time to access the service offered by SBS.”
SBS Board Chairperson Matsebula said: “The Society is in a celebratory mood since 11 May 2022 while at the same time expanding its branch network to bring products and services closer to emaSwati.”
She said the branch was part of SBS growth strategy to increase its footprint across the country.
“We would like to thank our customers and the public for trusting and supporting our services. Your support has enabled us to establish and implement our five-year growth strategy,” said Matsebula.
She said they were proud of their existence in Matsapha, “especially growing to what we are seeing today”.
“We would like to thank our customers who have stood with us despite the space challenges in the past,” she added.
Meanwhile, CBE Deputy Governor Dlamini-Kunene described the Society’s progress since 1962 as amazing.
“As a regulator that licensed the entity, it has been a marvel to watch it grow,” she said.
Business Eswatini (BE) Chief Executive Officer E. Nathi Dlamini congratulated the Board, Management and staff for their achievements.
“We can’t wait to see a new bank emerging out of SBS very soon. We wish them well,” he said.
He further mentioned that it was an honour for him to be invited to the official opening of the new-look branch.
“It’s a beautiful reinvention of a financial institution that is going places, and has new markets to exploit,” said Dlamini.
He also attributed his excitement to three reasons – SBS being one of the brands closer to his heart, the SBS leadership and that BE was intentional in promoting women leaders.
“What the SBS MD has been doing and the plans she has make us proud,” he added.
Partner at African Alliance (AA) Group S’thofeni Ginindza said: “Congratulations to the Board, Management and Staff for a sterling transformation.”
He noted that information technology had evolved to such greatness and unparalleled level of innovation over the years, so had Building Society.
He recalled that in previous years it was very difficult convincing the Society to invest in ATMs.
“Today, after 60 years of existence, the transformation of the Society is very visible. We have the first female MD of the Society, more branches than ever, let alone the technology and the beauty of the new branches, namely Manzini, Matsapha and the Gables,” he said.
Ginindza further mentioned that the next level was the transformation of the Society to a bank.
“Just as we evolve as a society and as businesses, the time for a bank conversion has come, and it is now before we start playing late catch-up,” he said.
“I am very much cognisant of the fact that this process was initiated by predecessors who did an awesome job to sustain the Society even in trying times, including the 2008 financial crisis.”
Truly, SBS is on the right path and happy 60th Anniversary!