The Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Seaparo Charles Sekoati, has launched the Lephalale Enterprise Development (ED) Centre in support of black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in the region.
Also present at the launch were Phuti Mahanyele, CEO of Shanduka Group; Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa CEO, Stephen Moore; Khanyisile Kweyama, executive director of Anglo American in South Africa and Sipho Nkosi, CEO of Exxaro.
The ED Centre is a co-branded, multi-functional business hub and incubator partnered by Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU); the Sebenza Fund which is run by Anglo American's enterprise development arm, Zimele; Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa (MHPSA); and Exxaro.
The partners have combined their respective strengths, expertise and resources to provide assistance and support to small, medium and micro-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in the Lephalale community that are more than 51% black owned with SBU focusing on businesses that are 100% black owned.
SBU will operate an incubator providing subsidised infrastructural support, on-going mentoring and training to 100% black owned businesses. The SBU incubator within the Lephalale ED Centre is the eighth incubator which SBU now operates around the country.
MHPSA and the Sebenza Fund are providing equity finance, loans and mentorship to support start-ups or expanding businesses referred to the hub. Exxaro (Grootegeluk Mine) will provide enterprise and supplier development opportunities within its supply chain to suppliers that are more than 51% black owned.
"This centre brings together a number capable organisations, each with a proven track record of contributing to economic and social development. Working together, we can make an impact far beyond what they could achieve individually.
"This is a principle that we have embraced as Shanduka Black Umbrellas. Our fundamental purpose is to collaborate with partners in the private sector, government and civil society to address the low levels of entrepreneurship and high failure rate of 100% black owned emerging businesses in South Africa," says Shanduka Group CEO Phuti Mahanyele.
"We have been a corporate citizen within Lephalale since 2007, and since the onset of the Medupi Power Station Project, a major imperative of our company has been community development. MHPSA envisages a thriving future for Lephalale that goes beyond the Medupi Power Station Project. The Enterprise Development Centre is a small yet significant way in which we are able to ensure sustainability within the community after the completion of the power station," says Stephen Moore, Chief Executive Officer, MHPSA.
"With the opening of this new hub, we look forward to providing more support and improved facilities for the community for many years to come, while the new, more central location will allow entrepreneurs easier access to these opportunities," concluded Moore.
"Anglo American recognises the importance of enterprise development and that it can make a real and sustainable difference in improving the socio-economic conditions of South Africans. We understand that our responsibility extends beyond financial gain, and that we have a duty to effect positive change in the communities around our operations. It is for these reasons that Zimele was established 25 years ago, to create jobs by providing funding and support to previously disadvantaged South Africans with the aim to create commercially viable and sustainable businesses. We therefore have no doubt that the new business hub will be seen as a welcome addition to Lephalale," says Khanyisile Kweyama, executive director of Anglo American in South Africa.
"Exxaro strongly supports meaningful participation in the socio-economic transformation of South Africa and enterprise and supplier development is therefore a strategic focus area for the Company. The creation of small, medium and micro enterprises through enterprise and supplier development invigorates the local economy and promotes job creation. The overall objective of Exxaro's enterprise development programme is to assist and accelerate the development, sustainability and ultimate independence of beneficiary enterprises. Exxaro is looking forward to a long and meaningful partnership with Anglo, Shanduka Black Umbrellas and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa in the Waterberg region," says Sipho Nkosi, CEO of Exxaro.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas is a non-profit company involved in the support of emerging black businesses through enterprise development. Members are provided with a working environment and support services that will enable them to thrive.
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