Bay businesses secure over R8 million in LRED support

Four manufacturing businesses have secured over R8 million in funding from the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

MEC for the Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Mlungisi Mvoko visited Gqeberha to confirm that the funds are being used for the intended purposes, verify the employment impact, and officially present the grants to recipients. The grants were made possible by the Local and Regional Economic (LRED) Fund that the Department manages.

Before the official presentation, MEC Mvoko visited Hloza Engineering, a 100% black-owned manufacturing business in the Bay area that received an R2 million LRED grant.

The business used its funding to acquire various machinery and vehicles for the company that manufactures steel products.

“Hloza Engineering, as is the case with all the businesses which we funded throughout the province, are part of the government-community compact to create employment, retain existing jobs and ensure business sustainability as we work hand-in-hand to develop the economy. Our people should expect to witness our own making a difference in other people’s lives,” he explains.

Plastic injection moulders New Breed (R1,9m), manufacturers of various paints and rubber proofing Numo Paints (R1.7m) and waste recyclers and plastic manufacturers Rhino (R2.7m) were also presented with their grant funding on Friday (18 June 2021). The Department confirmed 85 jobs were created or saved in the Metro through this funding window.

The Bay presentation brings to 17 the number of recipients who have received well over R33m in funding from LRED, Imvaba Co-operative Fund and the Provincial Economic Stimulus Fund.

Presentations to the companies in the OR Tambo, Joe Gqabi and Chris Hani Districts took place in April 2021 (OR Tambo) and the rest earlier this month. The Amathole and Alfred Nzo District events are scheduled for later in June.

Currently, the application window for the LRED fund is closed. However, a new window for applications is planned. The Department will publish these details once they have been finalised.

Talking about how small entities can access funding, Mvoko says it is evident from the latest relief funding applications that some businesses that applied did not qualify because forms were incomplete and mandatory documents had not been submitted.

In some cases, businesses did not comply with industry standards. However, Mvoko says the Department is now working very closely with the municipalities to share information regarding the funding instruments, requirements and qualifying criteria to assist businesses that experienced this type of challenge.”

“In addition, the Department, through ECDC, will provide R1,5 million to help SMMEs with certification and accreditation,” he ends.