Speech by IDC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Geoffrey Qhena, during the official launch of the new IDC Emalahleni Office  

Speech by IDC Chief Executive Officer, Mr Geoffrey Qhena, during the official launch of the new IDC Emalahleni Office  

  • Good morning and thank you to each and every one of you for being here with us today and for honoring our invitation,
  • It gives me great pleasure to officially announce the opening of our new office in Emalahleni.
  • The launch of the office has been under consideration for a long time, particularly in the light of the high economic activity within Emalahleni, but more importantly as a direct response to repeated requests from potential clients and the broader business community, who indicated on several occasions that they would like to have an IDC office here as travelling to Nelspruit or Johannesburg was costly and time consuming,
  • In addition, the majority of the funding enquiries the IDC received from Mpumalanga province in recent years, came from the Nkangala district.
  • Naturally this move will significantly strengthen IDC’s presence and promote our visibility in the province of Mpumalanga as well as help us better understand the priorities and needs of the regions and clients.
  • Up until recently, our presence in Mpumalanga was mainly through our office located in Nelspruit. Through that office, we have, to date, processed many funding applications comprising start-ups, expansions as well as acquisitions across the the province.
  • It is also important to note that the Nkangala and Gert Sibande districts collectively account for 73% of IDC’s current total investment exposure of R4,66 billion in Mpumalanga.
  • In the financial year that ended on 31st March 2017, the value of IDC’s funding approvals for businesses from Mpumalanga, amounted to about R2,2 billion, with 4 000 permanent jobs created and or saved.
  • One of the businesses that received IDC funding is Siyabuddy, which is a 100% black youth-owned entity, with 40% black woman ownership. It was established and registered as a private company in 2012 by two young entrepreneurs – Mr. Siyabonga Tshabalala and Ms Nomuntu Ndhlovu.
  • The entity’s operations involve waste recycling around the Nkomazi Local Municipality. They started operating in March 2017 and grew from making an average monthly turnover of R30 000, to R150 000 currently. 
  • It is our express objective to reach out to black industrialists, start-ups and existing entrepreneurs who operate within the industrial sectors we support, especially youth and women, as we contribute to growth that is not only inclusive but transformative as well,
  • As these are the people who can help us reduce the high levels of unemployment in this province,
  • On the 15th of May 2018, Statistics South Africa reported that the national rate of unemployment in South Africa for the first quarter of 2018, was 26,7%.
  • According to Statistics South Africa, the biggest increase in the unemployment rate was recorded in Mpumalanga, which went up by 3,5 percentage points, and stood at 42.5% between January and March this year. 
  • This should be of concern to all of us, hence we regard the opening of this office today as one of the interventions through which we will fight unemployment in Mpumalanga.
  • As the IDC, we have supported many small and medium enterprises that have contributed directly to bringing this number down from what it could potentially have been
  • In the 2016/2017 financial year, we approved R3.2 billion for businesses with women ownership of more than 25%, approved R2.3 billion for businesses with youth ownership of more than 25%, and R4.7 billion was approved to support black industrialists.
  • All these contributed to the creation of 18 206 jobs and further saved 2 675 existing jobs. We would like businesses in Mpumalanga to help us create more jobs and save many others.
  • The opening of this office will therefore go a long way in supporting businesses that can help us create jobs.
  • I have also brought a team with me from Johannesburg and Nelspruit office (introduce if you wish), relevant to the sectors that drive this economy, am hoping you will use this time to engage with them on potential opportunities under consideration,

Thank you again for your attention



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