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In 1959, an institution known as the Bantu Investment Corporation Limited (BIC) was established by the state, to be responsible for the development of all black areas in the Republic of South Africa. With its Head Office in Pretoria, this corporation duly established branches in the various regions and commenced work on various development activities and projects, under centralised control from its Pretoria-based management.

In 1968, the legislation governing the BIC was amended, to enable the establishment of regional development corporations for each of the various "homelands" and in due course the KwaZulu Development Corporation Limited (KDC) was established for the development of the black areas in KwaZulu/Natal, by means of Proclamation R73 of 1978. Similar development corporations were established for the other regions, although not all simultaneously.

In 1977, the BIC’s name was amended to the Corporation for Economic Development Limited (CED).
Upon its establishment, the KDC took over most of the CED's functions and assets in this region, although the CED reserved a number of functions for itself, including the very important and lucrative industrial development function. The CED thus continued to operate in KwaZulu-Natal after the establishment of the KDC, in relation to these reserved functions.
Initially, the KDC fell under the effective control of the CED. The majority of the KDC’s shares were held by the CED, with the remainder being held by the South African Development Trust (SADT). The CED provided all funding required by the KDC, whether in the form of the KDC’s annual allocation of share capital, or in the form of loans; and the KDC was prohibited from raising loans on the open market.
In the early 1980's, a policy decision was taken by the central government to establish the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA); to phase out the CED; and to transfer control in the various regional development corporations to the self-governing territories.
Consequently, after appropriate provision had been made in the (then) National States Constitution Act, 1971 (now known as the Self-Governing Territories Constitution Act, 1971), the KwaZulu government assumed responsibility for and control of the KDC, amending its governing legislation by means of the KwaZulu Corporations Act, 1984 (KwaZulu Act 14 of 1984).
This Act provided for the KDC's name to be changed to the KwaZulu Finance and Investment Corporation Limited (KFC) and for its share holding to be transferred to the KwaZulu government. The restriction against raising finance on the capital market was lifted.
At the same time, the central government took steps to abolish the CED, and, in 1984, its remaining functions and assets in the KFC's area of operations were formally transferred to the KFC, including the industrial development function.
However, since the CED had a limited number of projects and activities which were not in areas in which the KFC was authorised to operate (see below), a new body, the South African Development Trust Corporation (STK), was established to take over these residual projects and activities.
The KFC embarked on a process of transformation from 1994, with the objective of more effectively satisfying the changing economic development needs of the people of KwaZulu-Natal. The transformation activities culminated in the promulgation of the KwaZulu-Natal Ithala Development Finance Corporation Act, No.2 of 1999, on 2 March 1999, from which date the corporation became known as the Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited, which was in turn abbreviated to "Ithala".

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Ithala is an Authorised Financial Services and Credit Provider
FSP License No. 17125 NCRCP No. 610 Reg No. 2001/007427/30
Ithala SOC Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ithala Development Finance Corporation Limited