Oakbay to reach out to SA's major banks

Nazeem Howa says the company hopes to dispel myths about Oakbay & open a clear channel of communication.

Nazeem Howa, CEO, Oakbay Investments. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Oakbay Investments says it will be reaching out to the four banks that closed their accounts earlier this year to implore them to reverse that decision.

Yesterday, the Gupta-owned company released its financial results for the past year saying revenue increased by seven percent but emphasised that only 8.9 percent of the total revenue was derived from government business.

Four major South African banks decided to stop doing business with the group following allegations that the controversial family had undue political influence on President Jacob Zuma.

Oakbay Investment's CEO Nazeem Howa says the company has been doing well in South Africa for the past 20 years and its revenue in the past year is driven by the private sector and not government business.

Howa says the company hopes to dispel myths about Oakbay and open a clear channel of communication in order to show how they operate.

"I suppose the fact that we've left a vacuum by not communicating with [the media] has created some misperceptions and some misunderstandings about our business. First of all, I want to look at all our heads, I don't think any of us has horns on them. We're just business people who want to get around, driving our business."

At the same time, Howa says they have no idea why some of South Africa's banks closed their accounts - despite asking for reasons multiple times.

They will be pursuing the issue with the relevant banks in the coming weeks, in the hope that the accounts will be reopened.

At the same time, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is reportedly expected to reveal all the interactions the Treasury has had with Gupta-owned Oakbay Investments.

The Mail & Guardian is reporting this morning that Gordhan will today set out the number engagements the ministry has had with the group.


Meanwhile, Oakbay Investments said it earned R233 million from government business in the past financial year.

JIC Mining Services, the group's largest mining company and Sahara Computers, were the biggest contributors in terms of revenue, with the company emphasising that neither had government contracts.

Howa said he hopes these results will help audiences understand their operations and dispel some of the myths that have been built up about the group, especially that they are heavily reliant on government business, when nothing could be further from the truth.