R168m boost for East Cape SMMEs

Bay receives R6.5m from ECDC disbursements to small and medium businesses across province

In a boost for small business development, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) sunk R168-million into small and medium businesses across the Eastern Cape during the 2016-17 financial year.

Business in Nelson Mandela Bay and the Sarah Baartman District Municipality received R6.5-million and R8-million respectively.

ECDC chief executive Ndzondelelo Dlulane said yesterday while a total of R14.5-million went to enterprises in the two neighbouring municipal districts, a total of 263 SMMEs throughout the province had received funds from the total of R168-million in disbursements.

“Some of the stand-out projects supported by the ECDC in this region in 2016-17 include the catalytic Karoo Catch project in Graaff Reinet.

“The multimillion-rand fish-farming venture is earmarked by government to act as a model for other fish-farming projects inland,” he said.

In addition, the ECDC approved R20-million for disbursement to Tide Marine, a boat-building company, and a further R4.8-million was received by Port Elizabeth brick manufacturer Zikhona Bricks.

A total of R941 000 was disbursed to Port Elizabeth-based black women-owned engineering company Lebenyane Trading, while the ECDC also disbursed R1.1-million to Port Elizabeth’s Jamak Rigging to buy a new crane from Italy.

“The overall district spread of the loan disbursements was R80-million to OR Tambo, R25-million to Buffalo City metro, R21-million to Amathole, R17-million to Alfred Nzo, R8-million to Sarah Baartman, R8.4-million to Chris Hani, R2.2-million to Joe Gqabi and R6.5-million to Nelson Mandela Bay metro.”

In addition, Dlulane said, a total of R76.9-million was also leveraged in third-party funding for the implementation of projects in 2016-17 to support largely greenfields projects from ideas and concept stage to bankable commercial investments.

The ECDC also contributed R3-million to the technology innovation fund to assist Eastern Cape innovation projects.

“A total of R500 000 was approved for disbursement to Humansdorp’s HVA Technologies, which makes a medical waste machine that turns medical waste into carbon and activated carbon, through the ECDC-TIA innovation partnership.”

Dlulane said 118 youth-owned enterprises benefited from the funding.

He said loan funding had also been allocated to construction-related businesses, in the main to those which had been awarded contracts.

“This is due to the significant infrastructural backlogs that exist in the province.

“As a priority and for sustainability purposes, ECDC continues to target long-term loans for high revenue injections and annuity.

“The strategy is to continue on this path mindful that its fruits will only be realised in the medium to long term.

“While short-term loans are good for liquidity purposes, their margins are low,” Dlulane said.

“Loan repayments were R179-million, which reflects an 86.3% repayment rate.

“All these interventions resulted in the facilitation of 4 209 jobs.

“To further improve job creation and economic activity, the ECDC will continue to support the re-establishment of industrial parks in the province which were once drivers of regional economic growth.

“The ECDC is pleased that in 2016-17 it finalised the Dimbaza Industrial Park Master Plan, which received cabinet approval.

“The ECDC also played an important role in the re-establishment of the Vulindlela Industrial Park in Mthatha and the iKomani Industrial Park in Queenstown.”

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