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“The South African economy needs scalable SMMEs that can grow at an exponential rate. This is critical to helping government achieve its objectives of reducing unemployment,” said Small Business Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu

Speaking at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Congress (GEC) held in Johannesburg from the 13th of March, Zulu reiterated the critical role that small businesses play towards job creation and economic development. As one of the sponsors of the 2017 GEC, the IDC was part of the more than 45 exhibitors that took advantage of the event to demonstrate its commitment to supporting entrepreneurship. 

In line with the National Development Plan (NDP), which is government’s economic blue print, Zulu said local SMMEs need to grow by 20% per annum in order create at least 800,000 jobs by 2030. Billed as the largest entrepreneur gathering attracting investors, policy makers and researchers, the 2017 GEC attracted more than 7000 delegates drawn from well over 165 countries. With almost every industry disrupted by technology, the 2017 GEC was aptly themed 'Digital Disruption'.  While the Minister acknowledged various challenges facing SMMEs locally and abroad including access to capital, Zulu called on entrepreneurs to be ingenuous in the face of globalisation.

Speaking earlier when he delivered his keynote address to delegates, Deputy President Cyril

Ramaphosa urged small businesses to embrace digital disruption arguing that this phenomenon 

had become a cornerstone of  modern and diversified economies. 

Gamuchirai Mutezo, chief operations officer of research group SEA Africa which is also the custodian of the Global Entrepreneurship Network – South Africa (GEN-SA) chapter, urged entrepreneurs across Africa to brace for digital disruption. 

“Digital disruption is where the continent is headed. As such, we need to prepare our entrepreneurs by way of coaching and mentoring them in manner that readies them to overcome such challenges,” he added.

“Improving access to quality healthcare, especially in previously marginalised communities, is a part of the IDC’s broader development mandate”, said IDC regional manager for the Western Cape, Lizo Ntloko.

Speaking when IDC in partnership with Diacoustic Medical Devices donated 10 Thinklabs electronic stethoscopes to Tygerberg hospital, Ntloko disclosed that IDC’s CSI initiatives had evolved over the years enabling the institution to strategically position in responce to shifting social and economic dynamics in the country.

The stethoscopes donated to the hospital will be used for auscultation training to the Tygerberg cardiology department in Cape Town.

“Access to quality healthcare is a universal right which should not only be enjoyed by a privileged few in our society. Therefore, our decision to be part of this project at Tygerberg hospital is borne out of our conviction that we need to broaden access to quality healthcare. And this can only be achieved by equipping public healthcare institutions such as Tygerberg hospital with modern equipment.”

According to statistics provided by Thinklabs – the US based manufacturer of the electronic stethoscopes donated, about one out of a hundred babies are born with a congenital heart defect. This results in a heart murmur, which is often challenging to detect when using an ordinary auscultation methods.

Speaking at the same event the CEO of Thinklabs, Clive Smith, explained that structural heart defects were difficult to detect and by using high tech equipment such as electronic stethoscopes, it becomes easier to detect.

“The good thing about this product is that it can also be used as a lecturing tool in classrooms,” added Mr. Smith.

Ntloko donated R50000 worth of Thinklabs electronic Stethoscopes to the Tygerberg hospital cardiology faculty for use in further research and development, a donation that was matched by Thinklabs CEO Clive Smith. “I’m also happy to learn that if successful, more stethoscopes of this quality will be rolled out in other public healthcare institutions,” said Ntloko.

 All smiles after the donation. Thys Cronje, Managing Director of Diacoustic Medical Devices, Lizo Ntloko, IDC Western Cape Regional Manager ,Prof Anton Doubell, Head of Cardiology, Tygerberg Hospital, Clive Smith CEO of Thinklabs Medical and Dr Alfonso Pecoraro, Cardiologist at Tygerberg Hospital

All smiles after the donation. Thys Cronje, Managing Director of Diacoustic Medical Devices, Lizo Ntloko, IDC Western Cape Regional Manager ,Prof Anton Doubell, Head of Cardiology, Tygerberg Hospital, Clive Smith CEO of Thinklabs Medical and Dr Alfonso Pecoraro, Cardiologist at Tygerberg Hospital

IDC and NEF merge

In a landmark breakthrough for SA’s quest for inclusive growth and radical economic transformation, the Ministers of Trade and Industry and of Economic Development announced in Cape Town yesterday that the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).

The development will enable the two institutions to meet considerable demand for funding to black entrepreneurs in line with the affirmation by President Jacob Zuma as outlined in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Thursday.

Both the IDC and the NEF have been identified by Government as central in implementing radical economic transformation and development policies, particularly in light of renewed efforts to develop black industrialists. The merger will also promote increased broad-based black economic empowerment with a specific focus on promoting black industrialists.

This decision is in line with government policy to consolidate South Africa’s development finance institutions to provide effective support to emerging and existing black entrepreneurs, and thereby enhancing efficient service delivery.

Accordingly, the dti and EDD will appoint a technical team to drive the process expeditiously while the Minister of Trade and Industry will continue to provide legislative and policy guidance to the NEF.  The two Ministers expressed confidence that this historic integration of two leading DFIs will enhance the country’s developmental aspirations as outlined by President Zuma in the SONA to open up the economy to new players, give black South Africans opportunities in the economy and indeed to help make the economy more dynamic, competitive and inclusive. This is our vision of radical economic transformation. 

New energy plant launched in Cape Town


On the 25 January 2017, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), working with other partners, Clean Energy Africa, WasteMart and Afrox launched the multi-million rand New Horizons waste-to-energy plant in Athlone, Cape Town.  

The IDC provided 60% funding towards the R400 million plant, of which half was provided by KfW, the German Development Bank as a Green Fund.

The plant will process over 500 tonnes per day of municipal solid waste, about 10 % of the waste generated in Cape Town.  This will be recycled and converted into various products, including organic fertiliser, liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) and compressed biomethane.

Lizeka Matshekga, divisional executive of Agro, Infrastructure and New Industries, said the plant had numerous benefits. According to Matshekga, it will address the county’s landfill challenges. 

The plant will create just under 100 direct jobs and reduce costs associated with importing polluting fossil fuels, namely LPG, and petrol and diesel.  

“We intend to promote and support similar projects across the country to propel South Africa to a more clean and efficient energy status,” Matshekga said.

Egmont Ottermann, chief executive of New Horizons, said that when fully functional, the facility is expected to divert up to 90% of the received waste away from landfill.  “This will change the renewable energy landscape as far as waste management and energy recovery from underutilised resources are concerned,” said Otterman. 

IDC CEO talks industrialisation at WEF

IDC CEO Mvuleni Geoffrey Qhena and Chairperson of the IDC Board, Ms Busi Mabuza, were part of a 56-person high level government, business and labour delegation that attended the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland recently.

Held under the theme: ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership’, team South Africa conveyed to the international community that the country was open to investment.

In an interview with CNBC Africa on the sidelines of the WEF gathering, Qhena stressed the need for African to industrialise in order to strengthen economic development across the continent. 

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