ECDC disburses R72 million to almost 200 small businesses

MARCH 12, 2016

Development financier, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) says it has disbursed R72,1 million to 198 small businesses which created some 1,415 jobs by the end of the third quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.

Delivering the development financier’s performance report for the first three quarters of 2015/16 business and stakeholders in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro on Friday, recently-appointed chief executive officer Buhle Dlulane says 21% or R15,5 million of the disbursements went to the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro region.

“While the results for the first three quarters of the year indicate 21% of the loans went to the Nelson Mandela Bay region, it is encouraging that the majority were disbursed to underserved areas such as the OR Tambo district which accounted for 28% or R20, 5 million of disbursements. The Buffalo City Metro also accounted for 29% of disbursements with Alfred Nzo (13%), Amathole (4%), Chris Hani (2%), Joe Gqabi (2%) and Cacadu (1%) making up the rest of the disbursements.

“A total of R20,7 million was disbursed to 61 youth-owned businesses and R15,5 million to 58 women-owned enterprises. Of the 1415 jobs created through access to development finance, SMMEs have created 178 jobs for women and 332 jobs for youth,” says Dlulane.

A former chief executive of the Eastern Cape Rural Finance Corporation (ECRFC), Dlulane says 212 SMMEs benefitted from ECDC business support services in the first three quarters of 2015/16. Some 21 enterprises were supported through ECDC ICT and Film sector incubator, the Eastern Cape Information Technology Initiative (ECITI).

The Eastern Cape Jobs Stimulus Fund has disbursed a total of R1.96m to five companies in the first two quarters of the year creating 196 jobs.

A Master of Business Leadership graduate from UNISA,  boasting  29 years’ experience in development finance including micro, agricultural and rural finance, Dlulane says ECDCs capabilities has been strengthened with the appointment of new regional managers in the Port Elizabeth and Mthatha regions.

A BComm honours graduate in business management who also holds a degree in human resources, Mlungiseleli Zilimbola is the new regional manager for the Port Elizabeth region. He has held several roles as a Business Manager SMME unit for Standard Bank Cape Town, project coordinator, fund manager, outreach manager and provincial manager for economic development agencies such as the Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) and ECDC.

Tandeka Rozani who holds more than 27 years’ experience in strategic planning, development and implementation; enterprise development; capacity building, project design; and the business processes and systems development and implementation is the new ECDC regional manager for the Mthatha region.

“In terms of the property portfolio, rental collections for the end of the third quarter stand at R35.2m. Properties to the value of R6,8m have been disposed to date,” Dlulane explains.

A list of residential properties to the value in excess of R78m is currently in the process of disposal. A property disposal agent has been appointed to accelerate the disposal process.

Dlulane, who helped turnaround operations at the South African Micro Finance Apex Fund (Samaf) in Pretoria between 2010 and 2011 as chief operations officer, says a partnership was concluded in the second quarter between ECDC and the Nelson Mandela Chamber of Business to advance export development and support in and around Port Elizabeth.

The Port Elizabeth and East London Export Help Desks are now fully-functional and the staff members have received the required training. As a result of this the outreach of the unit has improved significantly. ECDC also participated in the Exporter of the Year Annual Awards through sponsorship as well as the Judging Panel.

ECDC assisted a five-person delegation that represented the Amahlubi Traditional Council to participate in the World Forestry Congress. This stakeholder group is central in the implementation of the DBSA Jobs Funds Forestry projects

In respect of ECDCs risk capital facility, Dlulane says the construction of a catfish processing plant in Graaff Reinet will commenced in the third quarter of the year. Currently, the processing is still being done at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

Polyfibre which manufactures outdoor furniture from recycled plastic and pineapple waste has received SABS approval which brings it closer to commercialisation.

He says ECDC also completed the first year of the Makana Water Crisis Intervention Project which is aimed at creating security of water supply for the local municipality. The second year is progressing well with total expenditure to date at R56,6 million. The programme is being conducted through the Integrated Social Infrastructure Delivery Programme (ISIDP).

A further R193 million has been committed through ISIDP for the construction and refurbishment of four schools in the OR Tambo district. These schools are Dilizintaba Senior Secondary School in Tsolo at a cost of R49,4 million and Plangeni Junior Secondary School in Mbizana at a cost of R52,3 million. Flagstaff Primary School will come at a cost of R37,2 million while Flagstaff High School comes at a cost of R51 million.

- GetNews