Following the introduction of an enterprise incubation support programme by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in September last year, the department has approved 30 applications, with a total investment value of some R817-million.
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies said in response to a Parliamentary question that the incubation initiative had approved 14 applications in the 2012/13 fiscal period and 16 in the current financial year, resulting in the creation of 19 546 jobs.
“The majority of these approvals have been in the manufacturing and agriculture sectors,” he noted.
Davies added that the first project, approved in November last year – the Sasol ChemCity business incubator, in Sasolburg, which was granted funding of R26.3-million over three years – was launched earlier this month.
The enterprise incubation programme was established with the aim of developing organisations that would absorb South Africa’s vast unskilled labour force, develop new technologies and strengthen the country’s economy.
It further aimed to encourage private sector partnerships with government to foster collaboration between small and big businesses, whereby big businesses would assist small, medium-sized and microenterprises with skills and technology transfer, supplier development and marketing opportunities.
Citing the successes generated by the programme, Davies indicated that four approvals had been granted to Eastern Cape businesses in the information communication technology (ICT), film and agriculture sectors, while three Free State-based enterprises in the ‘multi-sectoral’, jewellery and manufacturing industries had received assistance.
In Gauteng, seven enterprises in the ICT, automotive, energy, agriculture and manufacturing industries were granted approval under the facility, while one KwaZulu-Natal-based clothing enterprise received assistance.
Three manufacturing businesses in Limpopo were approved for assistance under the programme, while four Mpumalanga-based enterprises in the mining, chemicals and agriculture sectors received support funding.
In the Northern Cape, one agricultural enterprise received approval, as did seven Western Cape businesses in the ICT, manufacturing, energy, clothing and agrofarming sectors.
The Minister further indicated in his response that Lonmin, Eskom and Transnet had agreed, in principle, to partner with the DTI to sponsor several incubators.