12th September 2022 – The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is ramping up its investment activities across various sectors of the economy as it accelerates efforts to contribute to economic reconstruction amidst a challenging environment.
Announcing its annual results for the financial year ending 31 March 2022, IDC Chief Executive Officer TP Nchocho was upbeat about economic prospects in the year ahead. “The opening up our economy following Covid-19 enforced shutdowns provides us with a great opportunity to ramp up our funding activity. We see great opportunities in supporting start-ups, and expansions. Accordingly, we are investing in developing projects that will bring in new products such as green hydrogen among others. The recent easing of the energy regulatory framework is also an opportunity to augment our funding activities,” said Nchocho.
For the year under review, the development financier approved funding amounting to R16.0 billion in an economy that was substantially depressed due to the Covid -19 pandemic and its lingering impact. This figure, Nchocho says, represents a 146% increase from the R6.5 billion in the previous corresponding period. Of the R16.0 billion approved, R4.1 billion was for black industrialists (2020/21: R1.4 billion), R5.3 billion for black-owned (2020/21: R3.7 billion), R1.1 billion for women-empowered businesses (2020/21: R787.4 million); and R386.0 million for youth-empowered businesses (2020/21: R192.2 million) yet again demonstrating the Corporations commitment to supporting black industrialists, including women and youth entrepreneurs.
IDC disbursed R7.2 billion from its balance sheet, a 14% increase compared to last year. An additional R1.2 billion was disbursed from funds managed on behalf of other partners. IDC further disbursed R37.6 million worth of corporate social investment funds to deserving causes. “This funding has not only contributed to achieving our goals of economic recovery, reconstruction, and inclusive economic participation but has saved jobs and restored livelihoods.”
This impact will multiply as ventures grow and create employment off the back of IDC funding and support. The number of jobs expected to be created and saved through committed funds jumped 1 089% to 27 130 from 2 281 recorded in the previous reporting period. While upbeat about green shoots in the economy, Nchocho remained cautious in light of the lingering effect of Covid -19 and the challenging economic environment.
He observed that last year’s social unrest in parts of the country which culminated in the looting and damaging of crucial infrastructure and the recent flooding, notably in coastal areas of the country, posed a challenge to a much-anticipated rebound.
The IDC, through its Post-unrest Business Recovery Fund (PUBRF), approved 96 transactions to the value of about R2.0 billion and has since disbursed R1.5 billion to date in support of the affected business. “ Important for us, IDC’s swift response to the unrest and flooding demonstrated the Corporations agility to respond to crises,” he added.
IDC Chief Financial Officer, Isaac Malevu, was equally bullish about prospects in the year ahead, saying the development funder had grown its capital base to R109.7 billion, which is a 32.5% increase compared to the previous reporting period. Malevu attributed the improvement of the IDC’s capital base to, among other factors, the upward valuation of its listed and unlisted portfolio.
“We remain fully aware of the investment risks created by a challenging environment. We have also amplified our post-investment and client support programmes just so we can optimise the value of our unlisted book,” said Malevu.