IDC Message of Support by Divisional Executive: Chemicals and Textiles, Shakeel Meer at the launch event of Kevali Chemicals

IDC Message of Support by Divisional Executive: Chemicals and Textiles, Shakeel Meer at the launch event of Kevali Chemicals


Ladies and Gentlemen

Allow me to start off with this fitting quote by Bobby Kotick, when he said, “Successful business leaders who have helped build institutions of lasting value are committed to talent and a culture of excellence”. We are here today not only for the launch of Kevali Chemicals, but also to celebrate the excellence of committed entrepreneurs who have built a chemical manufacturing company that serves a need and provides employment for others.

As the Industrial Development Corporation, we are delighted to be part of this success story, and to have partnered with Kevali in their business journey. Kevali is one of the funding recipients that benefited from the IDCs Black Industrialists focus as well as the dti’s Incentive programme, which have the objective of supporting the development and growth of black industrialists and placing them at the forefront of South Africa’s industrialisation efforts.

The chemicals sector is crucial for the success of our manufacturing industry since it provides inputs which are used in all sectors of the economy. Kevali Chemicals products are key inputs to sectors such as the food and beverage industry, assisting their customers to reduce ultimate prices to the consumers.

This investment is important for the IDC, not only for these reasons, but also because of the contribution we are making to Black Industrialists being the drivers of this venture. There is nothing that can replace an entrepreneur’s own efforts, personal sacrifice and personal investment in his or her own business initiative. It is important to acknowledge that the business has got so far as a direct result of the culture of excellence, determination and high work ethic demonstrated by the individuals who founded this company and continue to manage it to this day. It makes it easier for us to support a business such as Kevali, when we have partners that have substantial expertise in the sector they operate in and have dedicated themselves to making this work. We can take comfort that our investment is in capable hands which will ensure the success of this business.

In the last financial year alone IDC approved over R2bn in funding in the chemicals value chain, of which over R1bn was to Black Industrialists. These investments will lead to the  creation of over 1 400 direct jobs, but even more importantly because of the crucial intermediate role played by chemicals in various value chains, will support many more jobs in various sectors. Our investment in Kevali has already assisted by creating 57 jobs in Harrismith in the Free State, where there is a significant need for employment. It is also important to acknowledge that the shareholders of Kevali want to broaden the benefits flowing from the business. With IDC support, they have allocated 10% of the equity in the business to their employees through a Workers’ Trust.

We want to acknowledge all the key stakeholders, many of who are here today, for not only the support they have given to Kevali to date but for the role they will play going forward. We congratulate the management and staff of Kevali Chemicals and applaud them on a job well done. We wish you all of the best and have confidence that your continued hard work and commitment will ensure the long term sustainability and growth of your business.

Thank You.