Anglo American, Development Bank of South Africa pumps R500m to create 8,000 new jobs

Anglo American’s enterprise development arm, Zimele, in partnership with the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), today launched the Sebenza Fund at this year’s Enterprise Development (ED) Conference at Gallagher Estates in Midrand, Johannesburg. The fund is designed to create meaningful and sustainable employment in poverty nodes and areas with high unemployment throughout South Africa.

The Sebenza Fund, which is the fifth fund in the globally recognised Zimele stable, will channel a total of R500 million into underprivileged and poor communities, with Anglo American and DBSA each contributing R250 million. 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.

Anglo American logo The Sebenza Fund will follow a similar model to the highly successful 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.

This Fund will provide loans to businesses, start-up and growing entrepreneurs, at a preferential annual interest rate of 6%, with Zimele undertaking 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.

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.

The ED Conference, where the Sebenza Fund has been launched, is proudly supported by Anglo American in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The conference is aimed at leading ED practitioners, corporate South Africa, entrepreneurs and members of government who all play an essential role in contributing to sustainable job creation and poverty alleviation in the country. The conference exhibits best practice within the ED sector across South Africa and welcomed 450 delegates who learnt first-hand how best to use their resources for entrepreneurial development activities.

Khanyisile Kweyama, Anglo American’s executive director in South Africa and the chairperson of Zimele, 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.

“The launch of the Sebenza Fund is therefore an extremely proud moment for our company, as the Fund has the potential to assist us considerably in advancing these 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.”

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