Development financier, the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), has disbursed R72-million to 198 small businesses in the first nine months of the 2015/16 financial year.
This contributed to the creation of 1 415 jobs.
Delivering the development financier’s performance report for the first three quarters of the financial year, ECDC CEO Buhle Dlulane said 21% of the disbursements went to the Nelson Mandela Bay metro region.
“It is encouraging that the majority were disbursed to underserved areas such as the OR Tambo district, which accounted for 28% of disbursements. The Buffalo City metro 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,” he said.
He added that R20.7-million had been disbursed to 61 youth-owned businesses and R15.5-million to 58 women-owned enterprises. Of the 1 415 jobs created through access to development finance, small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) created 178 jobs for women and 332 jobs for the youth.
Dlulane said 212 SMMEs benefited from ECDC business support services in the first three quarters of 2015/16 and that 21 enterprises were supported through the ECDC information and communications technology and film sector incubator, the Eastern Cape Information Technology Initiative.
The Eastern Cape Jobs Stimulus Fund disbursed R1.96-million to five companies in the first two quarters of the year, creating 196 jobs.
He noted that the ECDCs capabilities were strengthened with the appointment of new regional managers in the Port Elizabeth and Mthatha regions.
“In terms of the property portfolio, rental collections for the end of the third quarter stand at R35.2-million. Properties to the value of R6.8-million have been disposed of to date,” Dlulane explained.
A list of residential properties valued in excess of R78-million was in the process of being disposed of, with a property disposal agent having been appointed to accelerate the disposal process.
He noted that a partnership had been 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.
Dlulane added that the ECDC also completed the first year of the Makana Water Crisis Intervention Project, which was aimed at creating security of water supply for the local municipality. The second year was progressing well, with total expenditure to date at R56.6-million. The programme was being conducted through the Integrated Social Infrastructure Delivery Programme (ISIDP).
A further R193-million had been committed through ISIDP for the construction and refurbishment of four schools in the OR Tambo district.