Mayor of Saldanha Local Municipality, Cllr Alderman Francois Schippers
Minister of Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu
Western Cape Premier, Ms Helen Zille
Executive Mayor: West Coast District Municipality, Councillor Herold Cleophas
Members of the Transnet board including Chairperson, Ms. Linda Mabaso
Acting GCE of Eskom, Mr Brian Molefe
Acting Director-General from DPE, Ms Matsietsi Mokholo
Ladies and gentlemen
Good day, I want to relate a story of an event that happened not so long ago. You will remember when the crayfish walked out of the water and died because of the red tide on the West Coast.
Local businesses suffered and it takes years for the industry to recover. In essence our fishing communities who are dependent on the sea for their livelihood suffered the most.
For me it’s appropriate that today we can launch Transnet’s Enterprise Development Hub on the West Coast that can also assist these small enterprises.
Through the development of small business venture, Transnet, as a State-Owned Company, recognises the role it has to play in small business development. Through this hub small businesses can have easy access to products and services offered by both national and provincial economic developmental institutions under the same roof.
Transnet recognises the importance of small businesses to the economic growth of South Africa. It recognises that over twelve million South Africans rely directly on small business for their livelihood and that small businesses employ almost 60%-70% of the employable population in South Africa today. South Africa’s small businesses also contribute 30 percent to the GDP. They have been identified as key in driving South Africa’s economic growth. That is why Transnet has made small business development a priority area of focus.
In 2012 Transnet launched its first Enterprise Development Hub in Johannesburg as part of the company’s drive to expand opportunities for smaller enterprises and new entrants, especially black-owned entities. This has since gathered momentum. Transnet has now invested R7million over 3 years in a partnership with West Coast Business Development Centre to develop and support small businesses in the West Coast.
This hub is a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs and potential suppliers to Transnet. Services on offer include business development, business registration, procurement aisory services, tax registration and compliance, financial support and guidance on black economic empowerment requirements.
The hubs are aimed at creating an enabling environment for SMME’s to participate in the mainstream of the economy by creating sustainable jobs.
The Saldanha hub will provide meaningful support and interventions to SMME’s in the West Coast.
The objectives of Transnet Small BusinessEnterprise Development hub are:
to ensure that we create an enabling environment for SMME’s to access economic development interventions that are provided by different economic development institutions
to create a culture of entrepreneurship
to transform Transnet’s supply chain thereby ensuring active economic participation of SMME’s
to develop and support new entrepreneurs through structured training programmes.
Importantly, it will be a one-stop shop for information on Transnet’s procurement activities in Saldanha.
Transnet is committed to rolling out Enterprise Development Hubs to other provinces and will replicate this programme across South Africa, particularly in rural and poorer economic areas over the next few years.
We have a number of Operation Phakisa activities currently in Saldanha bay. With regard to Saldanha and surrounding areas, there are exciting Transnet projects that should catapult the economy of this region to another level.
For example, The Saldanha Oil and Gas repair and supply base facilities are aimed at servicing the offshore oil and gas industry within the Port of Saldanha. The total amount to be invested in this project is R13.2billion. This will be collaboration between Transnet and private sector investors. It is estimated that 15 000 jobs will be created.
This operation is expected to contribute R18billion to the GDP. Transnet expects to have completed the process of identifying preferred bidders by December 2016. The project must be operational by 2019.
I am pleased to announce that Eskom and Transnet have been working very hard to translate the vision of the Department in the form of initiatives that have begun to be implemented in a phased-in approach. One such initiative is the Supplier Development Programme that both Eskom and Transnet undertook that is in the form of incubation of emerging business people who are trained and paired with established businesses who are suppliers to Eskom and Transnet.
In addition to that, the DPE, working with the SOC, have created a structure called Industrialisation Supplier Development Association (ISDA) whose main objective is to provide local industrial manufacturing suppliers.
What we now need in South Africa is a g culture of entrepreneurship of doing things for ourselves. Without entrepreneurs to create and run businesses, employing themselves and others in our country – we will not succeed as a nation. It is important therefore that we do all we can to inculcate that spirit of entrepreneurship in a concerted effort towards poverty alleviation and to increase job opportunities.
Small businesses contribute greatly to the economy all around the world. It is small businesses that play a vital role in grassroots development contributing to a more equitable growth. The development of SMMEs is seen globally, and especially in developing countries, as a key strategy for economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation.
To the local businesses I want to say, Transnet is coming to your doorstep. Use this facility to not only improve your business but also to improve the lives of the community.
I continue to encourage other SOC and the private sector to drive enterprise and supplier development in order to create opportunities for meaningful participation for small businesses and cooperatives to the benefit of Historically Disaantaged individuals in the country. The country needs an economy that is growing, but most importantly growth that is inclusive to all sectors of the society and responsive to the current income disparities suffered by mostly youth, women, and people with disabilities especially from semi-rural areas like here in the West Coast.
Today, we shall be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Minister Lindiwe Zulu to take forth the agenda of SMMEs in our portfolio. Already, internal engagements have emanated to look at various approaches to intensify support through enterprise and supplier development programmes targeted at designated groups. This will result in increased impact on and participation of enterprises owned by women, youth and people with disabilities and cooperatives as capable suppliers to our SOC.
Issued by: Department of Public Enterprises
Source : South African Government