PUTTING PEOPLE TO WORK IN ...
At least 500 farm workers in Upington are now able to make ends meet after the IDC funded Farmers Pride Raisins.
Leaving his stable job to pursue what he had been yearning to do all his life, Tubby van Heerden, CEO of Farmers Pride, approached the IDC for funding to buy a company that is just a few kilometres from his home.
He processes the sought-after dried fruit, including flame, golden seedless, sundried sultanas and Thompson raisins. Most of the raisins produced by Farmers Pride are destined for the export market.
The IDC also financed a 30% stake for a workers’ trust. When many other funders were unwilling to take the risk, the IDC was the first to step in to fund a project such as this.
The Orange River has been useful to farmers for decades – they have grown their crops along its banks, using its water and fertile soil to produce citrus, grapes and other cash crops.
But in modern times, the river’s use has been extended beyond the agricultural sector and into green industries. Electrical engineers are now using its waters to generate and supply electricity for generations to come. The Kakamas Hydro Electric Power project will make use of the river’s kinetic energy to generate 10 megawatts of electricity. The project is a run-of-river design at the existing Neusberg Weir, which feeds water to the Neusberg Power Plant.
Australian engineering company Hydro Tasmania partnered with the IDC, Hydro SA, Old Mutual, the Kakamas Hydro Community Trust and Nedbank to construct the Kakamas Hydro Electric Power project.
The energy modelling for the project is estimated at 69.25 gigawatts per hour of net electricity generation per year. The output could light as many as 5 000 homes.
Kalagadi Manganese is South Africa’s only manganese mine part-owned by a female entrepreneur.
The company is held by ArcelorMittal (50%), Kalahari Resources (40%) and the IDC (10%), and has been involved in the exploration for manganese in the Kalahari Basin. The three farms on which the company holds new order mining rights are believed to overlie about 960 million tons of manganese ore. The project will have a total value of R4.3 billion, and will consist of:
An underground mine to produce 3 million tons a year of manganese ore.
An ore preparation facility and sinter plant, which will beneficiate the ore into 2.4 million tons a year of a high-grade sinter.
A smelter located in the Coega Industrial Development Zone near Port Elizabeth, which will produce 320 000 tons a year of high-carbon ferromanganese. The smelter will consume about 700 000 tons a year of the sinter, leaving 1.7 million tons for export.