DTI averts East London IDZ budget shortfall

MARCH 12, 2015

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has pledged to bridge the shortfall of the East London Industrial Development Zone’s (ELIDZ) budget for the current financial year.

This follows a meeting between the ELIDZ and the national department this week and a review of some of the underlying challenges that have led to the ELIDZ’s situation.

Speaking after the meeting between the two entities, Director-General at the dti, Lionel October, said the department would make the injection with immediate effect. 

“The allocation will be for the remainder of the current financial year and is in line with our objective of strategic industrial development,” he said.

ELIDZ Chief Executive Officer Simphiwe Kondlo welcomed the funding from the dti, saying it would assist in responding to the funding shortfall.

“We are very happy with the move from the dti to increase its support to the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) for the current financial year.  To us it is also a sign of confidence by the department on our ability to significantly contribute to the industrialisation of our province,” he said.

Both October and Kondlo called for calm from all parties and investors concerned, stating that the ELIDZ would continue to operate.

Kondlo added that the ELIDZ remained committed to delivering on its mandate from the dti. 

“Even the funding shortfall we are now talking about is as a result of the ELIDZ wanting to ensure maximum industrial development of the Eastern Cape,” he said.

The ELIDZ is part of the Industrial Development Zone programme, which was initiated by the dti to drive economic development and increase industrialisation in 2002.

Key to the East London IDZ’s mandate is the attraction and retention of strategic investments that will not only diversify the local economy, but also create meaningful employment opportunities.

Since its designation in September 2002, the ELIDZ has attracted 38 private sector investors worth R4.4 billion in the automotive, agro-processing, renewable energy, aqua-culture and general manufacturing sectors. It has also activated over 3000 direct manufacturing and related jobs as well as created 21 262 construction job opportunities. - SAnews.gov.za

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