Finance body creates real jobs in rural areas

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

The Industrial Development Corporation says while most financial institutions, including banks, were tightening their belt on granting loans, it will be a case of business as usual for them.

IDC KwaZulu-Natal operations manager Pat Moodley said they had received a number of applications related to business opportunities for 2010.

"As a viable lender, we will continue to assess the projects in line with the financing criteria procedures," said Moodley.

Moodley said the main financing criteria they use when assessing an application is to determine the economic viability of the project, its profitability and sustainability.

The IDC invests by financing a number of different business sectors including healthcare, textiles and tourism.

One of their key projects was the R340million eThekwini Heart Hospital and Health Centre in Durban launched last year.

"We financed the project on the grounds that it displayed viability, sustainability and profitability. "The project also created a number of direct and indirect job opportunities in KZN," Moodley said.

The IDC is a state-owned development finance institution, whose primary objectives are to contribute to the generation of balanced, sustainable economic growth in Africa and the economic empowerment of the South African population, thereby promoting economic prosperity to all citizens.

"In the past year the IDC has invested over R40million in the Jozini area for the construction of a hotel in the deep rural area of northern KwaZulu-Natal, and created 60 jobs," said Moodley.

"We are targeting projects in the rural areas because there is a range of viable business opportunities, such as textiles and forestry projects, that don't materialise because of a lack of funding."