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Many companies have worked with the Industrial Development Corporation over the past two decades, in traditional and new industries.

On 16 April 2014, the IDC and some of these business partners got together to celebrate the impact they have had on the country's economic development over these past 20 years.

These partners shared their experiences – reflecting on the tough times and the support they had received from the IDC. Together the IDC and its partners have made a difference to the economic landscape of the country.

Our partners

Aerosud

Aerosud is an established leader in the South African aviation industry, and is increasingly being recognised as a respected brand in the very competitive international market place. Based in Centurion, in Tshwane, the aeronautical engineering and manufacturing company was formed in 1990 and has since become a key supplier of commercial and military components.

Its vision focuses on strong growth in four areas, namely in engineering and production programmes and partnerships with government original equipment manufacturers. By partnering with the government, the company looks to drive job creation, transferring training and skills, supplier development initiatives, and black economic empowerment.

Amka Products

Amka Products is a highly successful, 100% black-owned manufacturer of cosmetics, personal care and household cleaning products. Established in the 1950s, the company is a leader in hair care and body care products, with an annual turnover of about R1.6-billion.

It supplies major South African retailers such as Pick n Pay, Dis-Chem, Clicks and Shoprite. Exports, mainly to other African countries, account for 19% of the company's revenue. The Industrial Development Corporation has supported Amka for almost 10 years. In 2005, it funded the acquisition of its pharmaceutical interests, Micro Healthcare and Nativa, and also funded the acquisition of a 40% stake in Black Like Me. Amka has recently approached the IDC to finance a new factory building. The IDC will provide a R350-million Gro-E land and building loan, which will fund the construction.

Bell Equipment

Founded in 1954 by Irvine Bell in what was then Natal province, Bell Equipment is the leading articulated dump truck (ADT) manufacturer in the world. Located in Richards Bay, the facility has a capacity of 5 000 machines a year and it supplies a full range of trucks, haulers, loaders, tractors, backhoes and custom equipment to Africa and Asia.

At the end of 2012, Bell re-entered the American market with its articulated dump trucks and received an overwhelming response from its customers. The move into the US quickly bore fruit and the company received Construction Equipment magazine's Top 100 Award for its B50D Articulated Dump Truck.

After 60 years of manufacturing, Bell rolled out is 50 000th vehicle, an ADT, in January this year. It acknowledges the Industrial Development Corporation as a key contributor to its business's expansion across the Southern African Development Community as it continues to fund road linkages between countries in the region.

Chic Shoes

Chic Shoes is a success story in the making. After buying out the manufacturing arm of Olympic Flair in 2004, Rachmat Thomas, David Arendse and Ivan Meyer decided to produce ladies' footwear. It took the company, which is in the Cape Town suburb of Parow, Western Cape, five years of struggle to turn around its fortunes.

Today, Chic Shoes' leather pumps have become Woolworths' biggest selling footwear item. Since the company first supplied the retailer, orders for the pumps have increased by 580%. As a result, it has created 236 new jobs. The Industrial Development Corporation has supported the manufacturer since its inception and will aid the company as it expands its operations.

Clinix Health Group

The Clinix Health Group of private hospitals was founded by Dr Khamane Matseke in 1992 to ensure that people received quality health care, friendly service and upliftment. Since its inception, Clinix hospitals have attracted the best health care professionals. They are also equipped with state-of-the-art theatres, intensive care facilities, maternity wards and antenatal clinics, neonatal intensive care wards, radiology and pathology departments, and onsite pharmacies.

It has opened seven hospitals so far – in Dobsonville and Diepkloof in Soweto; in Mahikeng; in Boksburg; in Sebokeng; in Selby in Johannesburg; and in Phalaborwa. Keeping it local, 95% of nursing, cleaning and administration staff are members of these communities, and over 90% of the group's employees are female. By building in these areas, the company has given black specialists the opportunity to continue their practice. Apart from health care services, staff members are also involved in the communities in which the hospitals operate.

Commuter Transport Engineering

Patricia Norris started Commuter Transport Engineering (CTE) with the aim of refurbishing commuter rail coaches. The company was the first black female-owned refurbishment company in the South African rail industry – and it has been an overwhelming success.

Apart from refurbishing coaches, it has also become a reliable designer and builder of rolling stock products such as electric locomotives, passenger electrical multiple units, freight wagons and specialised railway equipment.

In January 2013, the company, under the CTE Consortium – which included the Industrial Development Corporation – acquired the Union Carriage and Wagon Company from Murray & Roberts for an undisclosed fee. This was the second time the two groups had been partners. More than 10 years ago, the IDC provided start-up capital to CTE.

CTE believes the consortium will create a national footprint, bring in new technology to improve efficiencies, deliver quality services to clients and present its workers with opportunities for professional development and career progression. Its footprint spans three provinces with manufacturing plants in Nigel, Gauteng; Touws River, Western Cape; and Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal.

Impahla Clothing

Impahla Clothing is the first carbon-neutral clothing manufacturer in South Africa. Thanks to finance from the Industrial Development Corporation's Green Energy Efficiency Fund, the Cape Town sports and leisurewear company installed a solar photovoltaic system at its Maitland plant, leading to a 25 percent reduction in grid electricity consumption.

The solar panels generate approximately 48MWh of energy a year, which is fed directly into the electricity grid. It saves 1 150 tons of carbon over the lifetime of the system. The company received two awards at the 2013 IDC Business Partner Awards, one for job creation and the other for its sustainable practices.

Meaning "clothing" in isiXhosa, Impahla has six shareholders who all have a hands-on approach when it comes to managing the business. This has led to steady growth not just in terms of income but in job opportunities as well. Impahla has grown from having 60 workers in 2004 to a current staff complement of 320.