IDC invests in South African economy

4 September 2012

South Africa’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) enjoyed its highest ever level of investment in the local economy in 2011, with a record number of funds approved for economic development projects across the country.

Announcing the company’s 2011/12 annual results in Johannesburg on Monday, chief executive officer Geoffrey Qhena said the IDC had approved funding worth R13.5- billion, an increase on the R8.7-billion approved the year before.

The number of funding approvals also increased from 221 in 2010/11 to 293 in 2011/12.

Qhena said the company’s objective was to grow the local economy through the development of industrial capacity, leading to the creation of jobs.

‘Driving investment in economic priorities’

Last year, Economic Minister Ebrahim Patel announced that the IDC would make R102-billion available over the next five years to drive investment in the economic priorities identified in the New Growth Path.

“We expect the IDC to continue ramping up its performance,” Patel said at the release of the annual results.

“As part of the contribution of the IDC to industrial development, we have begun to measure the speed with which it considers and decides on applications. It is making steady progress to improve turnaround times.

“I have asked the IDC to consider the cost of its facilities to ensure that it is affordable and provides real support to manufacturers,” Patel said.

Contributing to the renewable energy sector

A significant part of the IDC’s approvals over the past year have been in the green and renewable energy sector.

The IDC participated in funding for 12 of the projects that received preferred bidder status during the first round of the Renewable Energy Procurement Program (REPP).

It also launched the Green Jobs report, as well as the Green Energy Efficiency Fund (GEEF) to provide-low cost funding to businesses to implement energy-saving technologies. It has launched a Green Bond to raise finance for renewable sector investments.

It has also set aside R25-billion towards the development of green industries over the next five years. “The IDC is emerging as a leader in the development of green industries,” Qhena said.

In April, the Small Enterprise Finance Agency was launched – a result of a merger between Khula, the SA Micro Finance Apex Fund and the IDC’s small business lending portfolio.

The agency focuses on lending up to R3-million to small, micro and medium-sized businesses.

SANews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter