!Khi Solar One

Once completed, this concentrated solar tower power station will be one of the largest in the world. One of the benefits of this project relative to most other renewable energy projects is its ability to store energy and to deliver electricity to the grid during peak times.

Investing in communities

Agency Development and Support

Under-development including low-level economic activity continues to characterise most of the country’s rural regions. This is largely attributed to capacity constraints and to an extent lack of funding and support structures critical to unlocking opportunities.

In some cases, risk perceptions and a huge skills deficit have further served to discourage potential investors from developing the rural economy. This has prompted the IDC, working in partnership with other co-operating agencies, to focus on restoring and creating business confidence in these regions. Thus the Agency Development and Support department (ADS) has been responsible for facilitating funding and support services to under-serviced regions. The ADS also facilitates the advancement and promotion of sustainable and integrated development opportunities through strategic interventions.

A key objective of the ADS is to create a conducive local environment enabling investment activity that can result in sustainable employment including:
  • Linking the public, private and community sectors – promotion of strong social dialogue to focus stakeholders on growth and employment creating activities (social capital formation);
  • Supporting job creation initiatives;
  • Enhancing local and regional competitiveness and social equity; and
  • Supporting broader based participation in the economy (economic transformation).


The Agency programme was launched in 2002 to fund and support the establishment of Municipal Development Agencies to fund and speed up local economic development (LED). Accordingly, the IDC, through the ADS, provides development agencies with resources to expand their work of developing and packaging catalytic local economic development projects. The map below shows some of these agencies specifically created to catalyse growth in under-serviced regions:

Over the past year the following can be highlighted in respect of this programme:
Programme   Achievements  
Development agencies  
  • Nine agencies have moved from one phase to the next during the past year
    • Sekhukhune (Ops 1)
    • Lejweleputswa (Ops 1)
    • Central Karoo (Est)
    • Cape Agulhas (Est)
    • Thaba Chewu (Ops 1)
    • Bojanala (Est)
    • Aspire (Ops 2)
    • Ilembe (Ops 3)
    • West Rand
    • Leverage ratio (almost R10 for each R1 committed from the IDC)
    • ADS agency model has become a general practice as a local and regional development strategy in South Africa and beyond its borders, including National and Provincial government, Namibia, Chris Hani DM, Cacadu, Sedibeng

Spatial interventions

Many communities, by virtue of their specific challenges, unequal development and levels of poverty, require direct and focused interventions to improve their economic circumstances and prospects. Such interventions are needed specifically as a result of market failures and markets working sub-optimally outside the larger, more formal and established urban centres, thereby often retarding or impeding development in the more marginalised areas.

The Spatial Intervention Fund is designed to provide areas/communities with the resources to plan and implement coordinated, flexible, area-specific/customised activities capable of helping the inhabitants of that area capitalise on their opportunities and potential through:
  • Accelerating communities’ ability to create jobs and strengthen their regional economies; and
  • Helping areas identify local assets and connect to regional opportunities that impact on economic growth.
Programme   Achievements  
Spatial interventions   Various spatial initiatives have been funded with good alignment to SBUs and IDC imperatives:
  • Shongoni Gate
  • Kabokweni
  • South Gauteng Metals Initiative
  • Vredenburg Revitalisation (SIP5)
  • Enon-Bersheba Land Restitution (Kirkwood)
  • Bizana Housing Incubator
  • Kannaland
  • King Goodwill Zwelithini
  • Lejweleputswa ICT Eco-System

Social enterprises

In line with a growing acknowledgement that developmental institutions need to be more cognisant of the direct bearing that environmental and social issues have on economic growth and development, the ADS established a programme aimed at supporting social enterprises.

The IDC defines a Social Enterprise (SE) as an entity that uses business principles to create, build and maintain social value; one that has a long-term strategy towards self-sustainability; and one that invests a majority of its revenue back into the business to ensure a larger social impact.

The Social Enterprise Fund is aimed at achieving the following outcomes:
  • Facilitating the establishment and growth of social enterprises through innovative, appropriate and adequate financing;
  • The leveraging of opportunities emerging from IDC operations and other areas for broader and deeper impact and footprint;
  • Taking responsible investment to a higher level (setting a standard for others to follow);
  • Establishment of a critical mass of enterprises designed primarily to achieve socio-economic impact and transformation; and
  • Integration of social or mission-driven enterprises into the mainstream of society and the economy;
  • Fostering the development of sustainable, beneficial forms of enterprises from innovative/ local technologies and models;
  • Creation of sustainable jobs;
  • Improving opportunities for women and youth;
  • Integrating social enterprises into the value-chains of the formal and mainstream economy; and
  • Ensuring broad-based social inclusion and promoting social cohesion.

Coega Dairy Holdings

The IDC has identified increased competition in the dairy value chain and import substitution in the cheese industry as key sector development goals. We also singled out the need for increased farmer (and specifically B-BBEE) participation in dairy value-adding initiatives.

Windtown Lagoon Resort 

The newly built Windtown Lagoon Resort and Spa reflects the IDC’s focus to funding community-based projects that have potential to create employment opportunities in far-flung regions.

R13.1 billion
R16.0 billion
18 922
3 950
© The IDC 2013. All rights not expressly allowed are reserved. P.O. Box 784055, Sandton, 2146, South Africa