IDC brings hope to Limpopo's Vhembe district

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thohoyandou - The opening of an Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) office in Thohoyandou is expected to help create more jobs in the area.

Speaking at the launch of the IDC satellite office this week, acting mayor of the Vhembe district municipality, Dorcas Mmboyi, said 1.3 million people in the area were living in poverty and unable to make ends meet.

"If we pull together and support each other we can achieve more. I am very confident that through partnerships like the opening of this office, we will be able to relieve 1.3 million people in our district who are trapped in poverty and unemployment," said Mmboyi.

The IDC's acting regional manager, David McGluwa, said the district had the right ingredients to open both economic and employment opportunities as it was home to agriculture, tourism and manufacturing sectors.

"Limpopo is the second-largest producer of potatoes in the country accounting for 19% of the country's total production. The annual yields of mangoes, tomatoes, pawpaw, citrus, litchis, macadamia nuts and avocados contribute enormously to the production rate of the country," said McGluwa.

McGluwa said Limpopo also boasts the largest cotton fields among other quality agricultural products in the country.

"Limpopo is critical to the country's economic growth prospects and as IDC, we are keen to nurture the economic and job creation fortunes," he said.

He said since the opening of regional offices in Polokwane in 2008, IDC had issued funds to the tune of R1.9 billion.

He added that in the past two years, IDC had approved R467 million to local companies, with R32.2 million being invested in the Vhembe district alone, creating or saving more than 7 500 jobs.

"We urge community members of Vhembe to take advantage of the satellite office opened in Thohoyandou and apply for funding so that they can get a share of the R102 billion budgeted by IDC for the next five years," said McGluwa.

A local in the area, Petronella Mavende, 27, said the satellite office would help her achieve her long-time dream of running a brick-yard.

"I have a dream of running my own brick-yard so that I can employ many people where I will become one of the major suppliers of bricks in Vhembe," said Mavende.

"However, with my salary of R1 200 that I earn as a domestic worker, it was difficult to secure funding. My belief is that IDC will be able to help me and other people like myself as they promised today."

Vhutshilo Ndou, a young entrepreneur who attended the event said: "I am positive that IDC will help me to finance by jewellery project. It has been my dream since I was very young."

He said the Thohoyandou office was the fourth to be opened in Limpopo, with others in Tzaneen, Groblersdal and Burgersfort.