KZN Growth Fund transforming small business

Friday, February 22, 2019

Buddying enterprises in KwaZulu-Natal have over five years been provided with financial support worth R1.1 billion.

The support, which came through the KwaZulu-Natal Growth Fund (KZNGF) went towards investment in diverse sectors of the economy including manufacturing, healthcare, transport, logistics and as well as the telecommunications sector.

KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC, Sihle Zikalala, said the projects had created a total of 9 795 job opportunities to date.

“The funding has unlocked project value or investment of over R3 billion. The project locations are spread across the province, including KwaDukuza Municipality in the iLembe District, eThekwini Metropolitan and as well as Mthunzini in uThungulu district,” Zikalala said on Thursday.

The fund saw the establishment of many successful businesses such as HBM SA, which is Africa’s largest condom manufacturing facility located at the Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone.

The facility, which is black-owned, mainly supplies government free-issue condoms, which were predominantly supplied via imports.

This manufacturing facility plays a huge role in the localisation of manufacturing and thus positively contribute to the country’s economy, said Zikalala.

The funding also advanced a chemical manufacturing entity called Afro-Zonke, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of industrial chemical solutions, ranging from industrial, mining, engineering, manufacturing, homecare materials, agro-processing and healthcare to personal care products. 

The company is also 100% black-owned and has distribution partners spread throughout South Africa and Namibia.

The KZN Growth Fund also made an equity investment in two private hospitals, alongside a black-owned hospital management company, Busamed.

This will create further job opportunities and skills transfer that are desperately required to transform the private healthcare industry, which is predominantly white-owned.

Newly appointed KZN Growth Fund Chief Executive Officer, Aubrey Shabane, said his organisation is committed to reducing inequalities and the promotion of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

“It is fitting therefore that the Fund has been tasked to play a key role in the provincial and national initiatives relating to creating Black Industrialists. We have approved over R400 million towards Black Industrialist led projects,” Shabane said. –