Glencore Ferroalloys is helping to redress South Africa’s historical socio-economic inequalities by supporting local SMME’s. The company launched its first Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) Hub in Rustenburg on 1 March 2021, to assist small businesses to be able to grow to a level where they can offer their services to Glencore and other big businesses in the area.
During the hub launch event, Ntombizodwa De Toit, Glencore Ferroalloys’ programme director and superintendent stakeholder engagement quoted President Cyril Ramaphosa who in his SONA address said: “If we are to achieve the Goal of the National Development Plan to create at least 90% of the targeted 11 million new jobs by 2030, we need to pay far closer attention to developing small businesses.”
It was against this backdrop that Glencore opened the ESD hub with the intent of developing small businesses through business skills development, infrastructure, opportunities and funding. The esteemed event was attended by Glencore Ferroalloys CEO, Japie Fullard, representatives from the local municipality as well as representatives from the North West Development cooperation.
“I strongly believe that today is a very important day in the life of this community. In the past, people have come to us with brilliant concepts but their businesses would often fail before their ideas became realised. This is where we saw the gap and need of capacitating and developing local SMME’s. The launch of this ESD Hub has the potential to change the economic status quo of this community.
“Through this programme, we aim to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of local black SMME vendors, fostering supplier diversity, and creating shared value,” said Fullard.
The Glencore Ferroalloys ESD Programme has been designed as an economic development strategy based on building SMMEs and integrating them into competitive markets that are stronger and more inclusive. To achieve this, Glencore partnered with Regoapele Capital, a development consultancy that specialises in the design, development and implementation of enterprise development and supplier development solutions. Together with Regoapele Capital, Glencore intends to connect with local business from their doorstep communities in a meaningful and lasting way.
Also in attendance was Otukile Moshori, chief operations officer of Regoapele Capital, who said initiatives like this one were key to achieve real economic transformation. “The ESD hub is an innovative way of potentially remedying some of South Africa’s deep inequalities. An important function of this is big businesses lending a helping hand to small businesses so they can upskill their business and processes to vie for opportunities in bigger markets and to evaluate alternative livelihoods beyond mining, and this is essentially what Glencore intends to do through this hub.”
The Glencore ESD Programme will focus mainly on business and technical skills development and the long-term sustainability of small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs).
To qualify to be part of the programme, SMMEs must meet the below requirements:
• They must be at least 51% black-owned
• Ensure that they are an employer of locals and/or able to show the capacity to create jobs for locals as a result of participating in the programme
• They are an exempted Micro Enterprise (EME) or a qualifying small enterprise (QSE)
• Show growth potential and the ability to become sustainable through business plans
• They must have a majority of shareholders involved in full-time management of the business
• They emanate from the local communities where Glencore Ferroalloys operates
• They must be interested in and commit to the Programme
Member of the mayoral committee responsible for the LED Ofentse Kombe who attended the launch on behalf of the executive mayor of Rustenburg, Mpho Khunou, pledged his support to the hub saying the municipality would do its best to support Glencore. “We really appreciate the efforts made by Glencore in continuing to partner with the community on projects that will uplift community members. We hope this business hub will help our locals to learn and understand the fundamentals of business because ultimately this is about empowering locals, growing businesses and developing the local economy.”
The Enterprise Supplier Development Programme will last between six and 36 months, depending on the growth stage and developmental needs of each business.