Premier Sihle Zikalala has announced R100 million in funding for the Youth Business Empowerment Fund, aimed at creating successful young entrepreneurs in KZN.
KwaZulu-Natal was the first province to announce a dedicated fund for youth enterprise development, which he said, demonstrated the province’s seriousness about changing the patterns of ownership and management of the economy, through radical economic transformation.
The R100 Million Youth Business Empowerment Fund seeks to end the economic exclusion from and marginalisation of black youth in the mainstream economy.
Zikalala said due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in 2020, the youth fund could not be disbursed, and the funds were rolled over to the 2021/2022 financial year.
“The advert/call for the second roll out for application for the youth fund was released on July 1, 2021 for 30 days. It was advertised in the local newspapers (Ilanga, Isolezwe, The Mercury, The Witness), provincial radio stations and KZN Government social media platform pages. Applications were distributed to all districts, local municipalities and at the EDTEA (Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs) district offices in the province. Applications were also available online.”
He said applications were collected in all districts from August 1 to August 31, 2021, and 4 123 applications were received.
“OTP (Office of the Premier) prepared an MOA with the Growth Fund in line with the previous Memorandum of Understanding. A deviation was sourced from Provincial Treasury to utilise KGFT as a single source Fund Manager. Funds were transferred to KGFT by OTP and EDTEA to the value of R50 million, R20 million and R3 million for management fees respectively,” said Zikalala.
He said the desktop screening of applications had been finalised and that the investment team had started conducting due diligence site visits, having already been to the Ugu, Harry Gwala and Ilembe districts.
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