Established in 1940, the state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is a national development finance institution set up to promote economic growth and industrial development.

The IDC has offices throughout South Africa with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) regional offices being located in Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The KZN office strives to find synergies and maintain alignment between national and provincial goals and the IDC’s strategic objectives. The Corporation is a key driver in facilitating the creation of jobs and stimulating regional economic activity.


The IDC’s regional manager for KwaZulu-Natal Pat Moodley says working for IDC is not only a job, but it is also a calling. “As a development finance institution, it is critical that we fund projects that will have a positive impact on many people. One of our key driving forces, is to create new opportunities for employment in the province.” “Through employment people can enhance their lives and secure a better future for their children by being able to pay for their education. By creating jobs, we are creating a sustainable country that ensures our future. For the young upcoming university graduates, having a possibility employment will retain much needed skills in the country.


The KZN regional office has a small staff complement of individuals, including two located at the Pietermaritzburg office. “The whole team is very passionate about development; it is the main role of our organisation. Our team is made up of experienced individuals who have expertise knowledge within different sectors,” says Mdu Njoko, Senior Regional Officer. “We are a close-knit team that works very well together,” says Chrystal Ally, IDC KZN Senior Regional Officer. vision is to be the primary force of sustainable economic development in KZN, as well as in South Africa. “speaks to our passion and drive. If we want to create we need to finance sustainable businesses and doing right brings a great sense of achievement.” “We are a professional entity, which maintains communication with our clients and once we finance them, we the agreement as a partnership between us,” says Ally.

“We are here to serve the clients; by partnering with the IDC, they will definitely operate sustainable and viable businesses,” added Njoko.


KwaZulu-Natal is a diversified province that comprises a range of economic sectors and the IDC is one of the forerunners in driving industrialisation. Some of the key projects funded in the province include those in textiles, clothing, footwear, metals, chemicals, tourism, agro processing, media and audio-visual sectors. In particular, the IDC views manufacturing as an important catalyst for development in the country, focusing on job creation and rural development.

At the moment, a key focus for the corporation is on developing black industrialists, women, youth and encouraging localisation. The IDC has specific finance offerings for youth such as the Gro-E Youth scheme, which has preferential rates for youth under the age of 36. “We would like to see more youth applying for finance to address unemployment in the province and the country,” says Moodley.

In addition, the IDC has aligned itself to the current foreign investment drive to cater for new business coming into South Africa and to enhance the financing capability required for establishing new business,” says Moodley.


The KwaZulu-Natal regional office’s success has grown out of the relationships it has forged with both public and private sectors, with other development finance institutions as well as commercial banks. “We work in conjunction with these institutions to identify potential clients which increases the footprint of the KZN office. We sometimes co-fund with these institutions. We like to work together to see how we can complement finance structures for relevant clients. In this manner, we don’t compete with the other institutions, but we collaborate with them,” explains Moodley.

The IDC has been a forerunner in creating and derisking new industries. Unlike other finance institutions, the corporation does not finance against security. “As a development fund institution, we fund against sustainability and the cash flow of the business,” adds Moodley. One of the more unique products the corporation has to offer is targeted at saving businesses that are struggling and need to go into business rescue. All this is aimed at ensuring that businesses that are viable but going through a difficult patch are assisted to get through those tough times, while saving much needed jobs. One such example is in the R150-million investment the IDC made in the Glodina towel manufacturing company in Hammersdale, west of Durban. Through this partnership, jobs were saved, and additional jobs will be created when the facility reaches full operational capacity.

The IDC has a rigorous due diligence process as part of its assessment of applications for funding. This process is there to ensure that the businesses it funds are set for longevity and sustainability. “Our due diligence is very thorough. During that process, our accredited IDC business support team will identify and address gaps to ensure that the business operates seamlessly and remain sustainable and competitive not only locally in KZN, but throughout the country and even globally,” says Moodley.


The IDC’s KZN regional office intends to continue funding businesses and industries which will impact positively on the lives of people throughout the province. The corporation is also responding to challenges that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is causing to the manufacturing sector. As the economy embraces change, there are many opportunities which start-ups and black industrialists can tap into.

“It is important to note that as a result of 4IR there will be a shift in the type of skills-set required. This may be a challenge for our economy where the education system still needs to shift to take this into account and be able to supply relevantly skilled people for the kind of jobs that will become available to address 4IR changes,” adds Ally.