Anglo American’s enterprise development arm, Zimele, has teamed up with the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) to launch a new R500m fund that promises to create 8000 new jobs via enterprise development.
The Sebenza Fund was unveiled yesterday at the Enterprise Development Conference underway at Gallagher Estates in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Anglo said the Sebenza Fund will follow a similar model to its Community Fund and will create 30 new business hubs across South Africa. As a result, Zimele will then have close to 60 hubs nationwide, providing entrepreneurs with access to affordable finance and ongoing business support and mentorship.
The Sebenza Fund will provide loans to businesses, start-up and growing entrepreneurs, at a preferential annual interest rate of 6%. Zimele will undertake surety and ownership of assets until the loan is repaid. “In line with the Zimele model, on-going mentorship will be available to all beneficiary companies.”
Anglo American SA executive director, Khanyisile Kweyama, said the launch of the Sebenza Fund was an “extremely proud moment for our company”
The Fund has the potential to assist us considerably in advancing these (Zimele’s) aims. We are confident that the Fund will add substantive value to Zimele’s already successful model, and make a real difference in improving socio-economic conditions in South Africa, by creating sustainable employment opportunities.”
Anglo added that the fund is designed to create meaningful and sustainable employment in poverty nodes and areas with high unemployment throughout South Africa.
“Sebenza, which means ‘to work’ in isiZulu, expects to create 8,000 new jobs over the next three years, building upon Zimele’s existing commitment to create and sustain 25,000 jobs by 2015,” said Anglo.
The company added that Zimele has already achieved demonstrable success in collaborating with the South African government, through the Anglo American Sefa Mining Fund (previously Khula Enterprise Finance Ltd). This Fund, which was set up more than nine years ago, also as a public private partnership, manages funds of R200 million and is currently going for a third round of recapitalisation.
Commenting about the Enterprise Development where the fund was launched Kweyama said “The timing of this conference could not be more appropriate, considering the focus on enterprise development as an effective job creation mechanism for South Africa, as well as the revision of the Codes of Good Practice. A central component of this ethos is the intention to alleviate poverty by providing employment opportunities and enhancing skills development”.