Supporting Black Industrialists
The NEF has for the past eight years been hard at work carving a space for the development of black industrialists through the Strategic Projects Fund (SPF). This makes the NEF a pioneer in the space identi ed by the new Black Industrialist Policy.
Through SPF, the NEF has made important steps in seeking competitive opportunity for the South African economy and the inclusion of black participation in opportunities at the outset of projects, as opposed to doing so during equity closure.
SPF approved 12 new projects during the year under review which was a remarkable achievement as it happens under slowing economic activity.
These Industrial projects typically undergo an extensive and rigorous development cycle prior to reaching a bankable stage at which point they can be evaluated for commercial viability and for funding by investors.
The NEF’s commitment to black industrialisation saw the NEF progressing a total of 10 SPF projects to subsequent development stages. Our commitment is ultimately to commercialise the SPF portfolio so that the NEF may contribute towards the reindustrialisation and growth of our economy, with black people at the centre.
Partnership with the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR)
Among achievements for the year under review is the NEF’s partnership with the DRDLR after the Hon. Minister Gugile Nkwinti invited the NEF to become a partner in the pilot implementation of the programme called STRENGTHENING OF RELATIVE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WORKING THE LAND, also known as the 50/50 project.
There are a number of key strategic and patriotic considerations that attracted the NEF to this partnership. These include:
- The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform plays an important role in terms of redressing the injustices of the past in the areas that were devastated more severely by apartheid.
- The objectives of the pilot project that we have partnered on with the Department, are at the heart of the existence of the NEF, because they seek to empower farmworkers to become entrepreneurs.
- We value the potential progressive outcomes of this historic programme, which include objectives such as:
- economic development;
- job creation;
- enhancing food security;
- broadening entrepreneurship; and
- growing women’s economic participation.
We believe that there were several factors that distinguished the NEF as a worthy partner, and these include the following:
- The NEF has a track-record of success in structuring start-ups, expansion and equity acquisition deals;
- With a dedicated Rural and Community Development Fund the NEF possesses consummate expertise in unlocking economic value in peri-urban and rural areas: and
- The NEF is highly pro cient in facilitating community and worker ownership and participation in BEE transactions. Our skills include providing entrepreneurial training, incubation support, drawing up social and labour plans and broadly safeguarding the interests of communities and workers in business.
Through the partnership, the NEF assisted in the facilitation of approving and nalising legal agreements for ve deals worth R154 million.
This milestone would not have been possible had we not invested significant time and effort in building relations with the broadest spectrum of stakeholders across the Government sphere, in the private sector and across organised commerce, in civil society, across communities and indeed in the mass media.
I believe that Government, Parliament, the Board and the broader South African public, including our targeted entrepreneurs, can take pride in the phenomenal growth and institutional maturity of the NEF since operational inception in 2004.