JUNE 12, 2015: THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC) will embark on a number of programmes to empower youth during Youth Month and beyond.
Included on the list of programmes the CDC will host are roadshows for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), including those enterprises owned by youth and women, informing them about the new Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) codes and secondly promote the new CDC Integrated SMME Growth Programme (ISGP) that will focus on key business management and technical skills.
The initiative is targeting 100% black-owned enterprises, including youth-owned and women-owned businesses with particular emphasis on SMMEs located in Port Elizabeth, Mthatha, East London and KwaZulu- Natal, where CDC is currently implementing various infrastructure programmes.
“During the Enterprise and Supplier Development Programme, we will address issues affecting SMMEs mainly relating to managing contracts, compliance, access to markets, access to procurement opportunities and access to finance. This knowledge continues to be a major problem for small business owners and the programme aims to address these issues and arm SMMEs with essential tools to build their capacity and become competitive in the market,” said Andile Ntloko, CDC SMME Unit Head.
“As a catalyst for socioeconomic change, it is important for Coega to make available programmes that act as a one-stop shop and to inform all SMMEs on how the amended B-BBEE codes will affect them and the manner in which they can embrace B-BBEE as an opportunity to grow their businesses,” said Nolubabalo Pandle, CDC Senior BEE Analyst.
In addition, the SMMEs will be informed of the innovative financing solution for SMMES that the CDC has implemented since 2014.
Other Youth Month programmes will be undertaken by the CDC interns, who will be donating blankets and mattresses to non-profit organisations located in Nelson Mandela Bay. The Coega interns will also host motivational dialogues at six high schools in Port Elizabeth in order to inspire youth.
The donations and motivational dialogues form part of the CDC’s Corporate Social Investment unit (CSI). CSI manager Thandi Rayi said the “CSI initiatives are life-changing for all the beneficiaries”.
During the 2014/15 FY Coega invested more than R13-million in CSI initiatives to local and Eastern Cape region and also KwaZulu-Natal, where the CDC is operating. More than 13 000 people have benefited from Coega-led CSI engagements tailor-made to meet strategic provincial shortfalls that focus on skills, education, training and human development.
CDC aligns its youth development programmes with Government’s priority projects on socioeconomic development amongst the youth.
At the end of April 2015, CDC achieved the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Level 1 status for the second consecutive year. The organisation underwent a full B-BBEE audit by BEEVER a South African National Accreditation System (SANAS)-accredited verification agency based in East London.
“The CDC’s youth programmes are aimed at equipping young people with self-confidence to take up leadership positions and to promote young people as drivers of social leadership,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing and communications.
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