BEE artisan training academy IFTA, which trains thousands of artisans every year, is looking for an enterprise development benefactor in order to fulfill expansion plans.

Enterprise development  support will help launch additional technical trades, fund accommodation and equipment requirements in KwaZulu-Natal, and settle an onerous loan facility to free up further cash for development.
Sean Jones, a director of Roodepoort-based IFTA, says the Level 3 BEE contributor is looking for a new investor  to invest between R11,5-million and R17-million in order for the company to meet its “growth plans”.
“We have now reached a satisfactory critical mass and have already produced thousands of artisans for our growing client base in fields that include electricians, boilermakers, tractor mechanics, diesel mechanics, fitters and turners, plumbers and welders – and are hoping to add a far wider range of disciplines to our arsenal, including rigging, instrumentation, and refrigeration mechanics.”
While the company has been approached to open training centres in various African countries on behalf of clients, Jones says management decided to put these plans on ‘temporary hold’ – and to rather focus on its local expansion. “We have massive skills requirements to fill in this country. This should be our first mandate.”
He adds that IFTA is expecting to lift its BEE rating from three to level two when it is re-rated in July 2011.
Because IFTA is a category A beneficiary in terms of the current BEE legislation, any potential investor would be able to gain significantly enhanced BEE status through maximum enterprise development and preferential procurement points.