Fifty Schools Promised For Eastern Cape

Pretoria - The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) on Thursday announced that it had disbursed a total of R56.4 million to 169 small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the first six months of 2013/14.

The majority of the disbursed funds went to businesses in the Amathole (R26.6 million) and OR Tambo (R20.6 million) district municipalities. About R3.8 million went to businesses in Chris Hani, R2.6 million to Alfred Nzo, R2.3 million to Nelson Mandela Bay, R435 000 to Cacadu and R89 000 to Joe Gqabi district municipalities respectively.

Furthermore, R3.4 million of the disbursed funds in this six month period went to women-owned businesses, while R3.2 million went to youth-owned businesses.

The construction sector was again the main beneficiary, accounting for R23.9 million of disbursed funds closely followed by the services sector at R24.4 million and manufacturing at R3.7 million.

"The financier is pleased that the spread of its loan instruments is responding directly to the social and economic infrastructure needs of the Eastern Cape making the corporation socially relevant," said ECDC Chief Executive Sitembele Mase.

The multibillion-rand Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission (PICC) program with dedicated infrastructure programs nationwide has seen a backlog in the Eastern Cape.

"The biggest backlog is in the Eastern Cape and in particular the OR Tambo region. There is also the multimillion rand Accelerated School Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI) with the greatest need in that region. Our funding instruments are also responding to this need and our loan book reflects this reality," said Mase.

Mase said the ECDC balance sheet remained strong with a net asset value of R970 million largely driven by the high value of investment property.


About 50 schools are to be built through the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative (ASIDI). The schools will accommodate more than 10 000 learners in the Eastern Cape.

President Jacob Zuma has already opened four schools in the province.

ASIDI aims to replace inappropriate school structures, address basic services backlogs and the provision of these services. It forms part of government's 13th Strategic Infrastructure Project (SIP), which relates to the rebuilding of schools.

South Africa inherited a large number of schools in all provinces without water, sanitation and electricity, the bulk of the challenge being in the Eastern Cape.

The R8.2 billion public-private programme aims to eradicate the 496 mud schools in the country, provide water and sanitation to 1 257 schools and electricity to 878 schools by March 2016.

As part of the national ASIDI rollout, mud schools in the Eastern Cape will also be replaced with more appropriate structures, and upgrade schools to optimum functionality through the provision of core spaces such as libraries, laboratories and administration blocks.