EU aid helps create jobs in South Africa: Commissioner Piebalgs visits Afrika Biopharma Manufacturing
Today, EU Commissioner Piebalgs and European Investment Bank (EIB) Director General Tamsyn Barton visited Afrika Biopharma Manufacturing, a black-owned and managed business active in the pharmaceutical industry. The company benefited from a €0.7 million allocation from the EU-funded Risk Capital Facility (RCF) programme to co-finance a €1.5 million loan from a South African financial institution. Thanks to the RCF 9,400 jobs have been created, including 38 jobs in the visited company.
After the visit, Commissioner Piebalgs commented:
"The Risk Capital Facility set up by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank is an innovative and successful tool to help the development of the private sector for the benefit of formally disadvantaged people. Our target is to contribute to creating 13,000 jobs in the coming years. The EU will continue to stand by South Africa in their actions towards growth and sustainable development".
The Risk Capacity Facility (RCF) is a key EU tool for creating jobs, through the provision of financial assistance and business support services.
The European Commission funds the Facility with €100 million which aims at providing funding to Small and Medium Enterprises owned and operated by formerly disadvantaged people. The RCF is co-managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC) of South Africa (a self-financing national development financial institution).
The RCF focuses on seven areas, including:
- Improved access to development funding by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs);
- Increased numbers of new jobs created for historically-disadvantaged persons, in particular women, targeting 13,000 jobs by 2012 (at least 30% of these jobs should be for women);
- Increased empowerment of people who suffered under the apartheid regime through involving them in shareholding and possibilities to hold managerial positions
Some of the achievements so far:
Since 2001, 110 investments of a total of €67 million have been approved and an estimated 9,400 jobs have been created. As of mid-2011, the second part of the RCF (2007-2012) has funded 44 SMEs, as well as investment funds which in turn invest in SMEs.