Good news for small and medium sized enterprises is that they will benefit from the EUR 60m credit line provided to the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC) by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The funds will support viable projects undertaken by small and medium enterprises businesses in the industrial, resources and services sectors. Screen Africa has confirmed with the IDC’s Corporate Communications spokesperson that projects undertaken by the film and television sector will also qualify for this support.
The agreement was signed in Johannesburg on Friday, May 8, 2009 in the presence of IDC Chief Executive Officer Geoffrey Qhena, Chief Financial Officer Gert Gouws and the Head of EIB’s Regional Representation in South Africa, David White.
EIB Vice President Plutarchos Sakellaris, who is responsible for lending operations in South Africa, said: “This loan is a strong signal of the EIB’s commitment to supporting the private sector and encouraging the creation of employment in South Africa. Moreover, the Bank is confident that by working in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation we can help to stimulate the South African financial markets by diversifying IDC’s funding base and enhancing the provision of finance to SMEs.’
Commenting about the loan, Qhena said the line of credit will improve access to funding SMEs in the country.
“This credit could not have come at a more opportune time when the cost of raising funds is extremely high given the market volatility and the liquidity crisis,’ Qhena said.
“We are particularly pleased that this loan will further enhance our commitment to development finance and addressing market failures.
“IDC’s expertise in project evaluation ensures that the EIB funds are directed towards projects which promote economic growth and job creation, as well as being environmentally and socially sustainable.’
The IDC’s relationship with the EIB dates back to the mid “90s and over the years provided four credit lines totalling about EUR 165 million to IDC for private sector small businesses in South Africa.