IDC ups funding to R8.4bn

2011-06-30 16:43

Johannesburg - The Industrial Developmental Corporation (IDC) approved the most funding ever for South African investments in its financial year ending March, it said on Thursday.

The IDC approved R8.4bn in funding for South African investments.

“This is the highest level ever for South African-based investments. Funding approvals during the year under review are expected to create 19 650 full-time jobs,” said CEO Geoffrey Qhena.

The funding was also expected to save an additional 11 650 jobs.

This would create a combined impact on employment of 31 300, up from 25 000 in 2010.

Another 8 100 jobs could be created through links to activities in the informal economy.

"We have retained our focus both on preserving and growing high impact manufacturing capacity, and have succeeded in improving our impact on job creation," said Qhena.

The IDC made a profit of R2.7bn during the year under review.

Priority sectors

Of the projects it approved funding for, 97% were in priority sectors identified in the government's new growth path economic strategy.

These include manufacturing, mining value chain and infrastructure and agriculture.

The IDC said it would "continue to be a key implementer of government policies" and aimed "to continue influencing policy to create a more enabling environment for industrial development".

"(The) IDC will make available R102bn over the next five years for investment. To achieve this level of investment, the partnership of various stakeholders and social partners is key - these include businesses, co-funders, labour, government and civil society," said Qhena.

Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel welcomed the results, which he said showed "solid performance and industrial recovery".

"The IDC has a strong, healthy balance sheet, which will now be used more actively to drive the new growth path and job creation," he said.

"We are now working with the IDC to significantly expand the level of investment, reduce the cost to industrial borrowers and shift more investment to projects with a large labour-absorbing capacity," he said.

"In the year ahead, it will expand its investment and funding in the green economy, agro-processing, mineral beneficiation and manufacturing."

Patel said that as South Africa exports most of its minerals in raw or unprocessed form, a greater focus on local processing could add jobs.

"The IDC must lead the green industrialisation drive and help South Africa identify new products and technologies in this expanding part of economic activities," he said.

The IDC is a state-owned development finance institution reporting to the minister of economic development.

- With Thomas Maree.