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DURBAN -  KwaZulu-Natal Growth Fund Trust (KZNGFT), a KZN development finance institution and impact investor, has raised an additional R300m into its newly formed equity fund.

KZNGFT acting chief executive, Aubrey Shabane, said this would be used to provide equity finance into KZN projects.

Darma Mahadea, a professor at the University of KZN's school of accounting, economics and finance, said capital usually was the major constraint to entrepreneurs. 

“The key thing then is that people should have the capacity to see through these projects when capital is no longer the constraint,” said Mahadea.

Despite South Africa's depressed economic conditions in 2017,  Shabane said last year had proved relatively good to KZNGFT as their performance targets were met in terms of projects supported and jobs created . “We successfully implementing the Black Industrialist Programme (BIP) in conjunction with the Department of  Trade and Industry (dti), which has seen five projects with more than 51percent black ownership being co-funded with the dti.”

IDube Cold Storage, Microfinish Manufacturing and Mthembu Tissue Converting are the three BIP projects that were launched in KZN last year.

Shabane said KZNGFT started 2018 with a healthy pipeline of projects, which required funding. 

“We have increased our talent pool in preparation for long-term economic growth. KZN Growth Fund Trust will continue with the implementation of the BIP in support of the KZN provincial government mandate to create jobs and empowering of the previously disadvantaged.”

KZNGFT said this year it increased its assets under management with the fund now sitting at R1.5 billion up from R1.1 billion from previous year. 

“KZN Growth Fund Trust aims to increase assets under management in the next three years to more than R2 billion. This will enable the gund to provide ginance to more projects thus making a significant positive impact on its mandate,”  Shabane said.