The Coega Development Corporation’s (CDC) initiative to advance Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMME), has exceeded its annual participation goal creating job opportunities for many unemployed people, in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Coega’s SMME development has a target of 35% SMME participation on all contracts awarded and exceeded this, achieving 37.92% SMME involvement and participation during the 2013/2014 financial year.
In 2013 Coega launched its R400 000 BEESIP (BEE Scorecard Improvement Programme) which assisted 100% black-owned and black women-owned enterprises to improve their B-BBEE status levels to achieve Level 1 thus improving their competitiveness during the tendering processes.
Coega has already awarded 100 BEE certificates to local black SMMEs of which 65% were black female and 50% were youth entrepreneurs.
“CDC has a fully-fledged Small Business Development (SMME) Unit that focuses on SMMEs capacitation and development. The Unit ensures that training sessions are conducted and mentorship programmes are completed by companies that are on site. This is done to ensure that small companies are not exploited by the main contractor, but rather that they are fully developed. The database is also refreshed to ensure that the information contained is credible and responsive to the needs to the main contractors,” said Andile Ntloko, CDC SMME Unit Head.
“We want to ensure that black owned businesses thrive because this is one way of alleviating poverty and simultaneously creating employment opportunities.”
“We ensure that we monitor compliance and possible exploitation by the main contractors, by actually physically being there and communicating with both parties. Our team of SMME Unit facilitators physically does weekly site visits to monitor the development of small contractors,” Ntloko said.
The CDC, through its efforts, in playing a positive role in carving a way for marginalised businesses to take part in the greater sphere of the economy has established policies which ensure the participation of small business.
“Within the region of Nelson Mandela Bay we currently have about 80 SMMEs that have benefited from CDC contracts, with an estimated contract value of R 50 million. In the entire Eastern Cape Province, 120 SMMEs have benefited with an estimated contract value of R 400 million,” said Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC head of marketing communications. In total, 200 SMME’s are benefiting from Coega programmes, Dr Vilakazi added
Nelson Mandela Bay based small business, Siwela Inkoleko Joint Venture (JV), is not only benefitting from Coega’s SMME initiative, but is also creating job opportunities within their community.
Siwela JV, a cleaning company, started by Thozama Grootboom and business partner Nocama Nondumo, both from Motherwell in Port Elizabeth, created work for 18 men and women who largely live in the impoverished Motherwell area.
“A lot of people in Motherwell and Wells Estate are unemployed. They are suffering. There are families who bought houses but because someone in that family was retrenched they lost their houses or are drowning in debt,” Grootboom said.
Nondumo, a single mom of twin daughters, who gained experience in sub-contracting as a cleaner, working for other government entities, said it was “unbelievable” what peace of mind she has since singing up as an SMME with Coega.
“Now with a steady income I can sleep at night for a change. I am a properly functioning person,” Nondumo said.
The CDC has adopted and mentored Dwane Kgomotso Civils and Landscaping, an SMME that is certified and 100% black owned. The business provides landscaping and gardening services at Coega’s business process outsourcing (BPO) and human capital solutions (HCS) buildings and the Nelson Mandela Bay Logistics Park in Uitenhage.
Owner, Thobile Dwane has created work for 34 people. He has three permanent employees and 23 part-time workers working at the BPO and HCS buildings and further 11, from Uitenhage township areas, work at the logistics park.
Dwane, whose staff largely hails from Motherwell and Wells Estate in Port Elizabeth and Kwa-Nobuhle in Uitenhage, said he often heard from people that they do not have food at home.
“Some of the guys were unemployed for a number of years. The contract I have with Coega allows me to create work, which is a life line to many of them and their families,” Dwane said.
Patricia Ndlazi, owner of Hlumokuhle Civils and Landscaping from Kwa-Nobuhle in Uitenhage, employs three men from Motherwell and services the Coega Business Centre (CBC).
Ndlazi said the role of SMMEs was to develop their communities. “There are many unemployed people and I worry about this. It is important to have SMMEs because they are in a position to employ people whether they have experience of doing the job or are just entering the job market. My heart’s desire is to get more work from Coega, so that I may employ more people even from my community in Uitenhage and also grow my expertise in this field.”
Cynthia Ntseoane, owner of Trade Lane Management cleaning company signed her supplier agreement with the CDC in 2013 and employs 10 staff members. Trade Lane Management service the CBC by providing cleaning services.
“Prior to my contract with Coega I did not have any work. My previous contracts with other companies had ended,” Ntseoane said adding that she witnessed how people struggle to put bread on the table on a daily basis.
“People are struggling to find work. It is important that there are SMMEs who can create lower level entry jobs to the communities. My heart goes out to the people who struggle with unemployment. I hope to grow my business and believe that with the contract I have with Coega doors of opportunity will open for me,” Ntseoane said.
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/07/putting-an-end-to-tough-times/