I can't account for many decisions of the past, but certainly where I am sitting today, we are acting to create value, sustain jobs.
IT must have been a daunting two years at the top for Tshokolo Petrus ‘TP’ Nchocho. Since his appointment as CEO of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in 2019, he has had to steer the organisation through stormy waters. Covid-19-related lockdowns and limited trade ravaged the balance sheets of many of the IDC’s subsidiaries. Despite these challenging conditions, the IDC managed to partially plug its leaks. Losses for the 2021 financial year were limited to R33m – a significant improvement from 2020’s R3,8bn.
Nchocho’s more than two decades’ experience in banking and development finance have stood him in good stead. In a radio interview after the IDC’s results announcement at end-September 2021, he attributed the narrowing of the loss margin to prudent cashflow management and a reprioritisation of the financier’s investment activities during the past financial year. “I can’t account for many decisions of the past, but certainly, where I am sitting today, we are acting to create value, sustain jobs,” he said.
For 2022, eyes will no doubt be on whether the IDC manages to sell its majority stake in Foskor, which was partially to blame for the organisation’s hefty loss in 2020. According to media reports, an international equity partner made an offer to acquire a significant portion of the Phalaborwa-based phosphates manufacturer. As for future investments, the IDC has pledged its support for renewable and cleaner decarbonised technologies. An opportune commitment as the IDC, like other funding institutions, is likely to come under increased scrutiny for its involvement in industries related to coal.