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Coega’s SMME development programme upskills current and future suppliers

Home Business Management Finance & Investment Coega’s SMME development programme upskills current and future suppliers

THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC) achieved a milestone in the training of small, medium, and micro-enterprises (SMME) in the first half of the 2022/23 financial year, from April to September 2022. A total of 102 SMMEs received training, as part of Coega’s SMME development programme initiative to grow SMMEs. The programme has proved very successful, having trained over 2 500 SMMEs since 2014.

During the first two quarters of the current financial year, Coega’s SMME training included bespoke new venture training, pricing, and tendering workshops. The new venture training module aims to assist SMMEs with business administration, while pricing and tendering workshops aim to guide SMMEs on the tendering process, which will assist them to properly prepare and respond to bids/ tenders. The training was project-specific, covering the Tshwane automotive special economic zone (TASEZ) programme and the Coega special economic zone (SEZ) zone 10 – bulk infrastructure project.

Coega reaffirms that a strong SMME sector is crucial to achieve the country’s objectives for economic development. The ability of Coega to promote long-term, sustainable corporate growth while simultaneously improving people’s quality of life through the provision of opportunities, forms the basis of the company’s overall strategic plan. Of the 102 individuals that received SMME training, 32 completed the new venture skills programme and 70 completed the pricing and tendering workshops.

In June 2022, the Coega SMME luncheon was hosted at the Bluewater Bay Sunrise Hotel, with an emphasis on acknowledging the quality of SMME growth for the 15 meritorious awardees. CDC SMME coordinator, Nomphelo Budaza,  stated, “As a Coega employee, I acknowledge the importance of our contribution to SMME development, the essential role it plays in promoting the creation of employment opportunities and strengthening local business.”

One of the Coega SMME beneficiaries, Cynthia Ndika, from Savela Cleaning Services, stated that Coega’s SMME development initiatives have improved the reputation and image of her business. “Coega is a reputable corporation, which motivates my employees to put in the extra effort to meet its standards.” She also praises Coega for giving her a platform as a small business, which has allowed her business to differentiate itself from other cleaning businesses, particularly in the Gqeberha area.

“Working with Coega was a positive experience; service delivery was quick and effective,” according to Britney Charles from Motheo Construction. “We are appreciative to Coega SEZ for the chance to support our growth, which ultimately led to our company receiving an upgrade to a 5pe CIDB grading. The project team and Coega provided excellent and highly competent support.”

Nompilo Dube, whose company provides plumbing services, expressed her gratitude for Coega’s trust in her and for going above and beyond in renewing their company’s contract. “I appreciate the opportunity Coega has provided, and to be introduced to new clients as a result of our collaboration, as well as the ongoing communication with Coega, and the advice provided through the administration learnings.”

CDC SMME training and development manager, Ziyanda Kalani, concludes by saying that training is a crucial component in ensuring that we expand our SMMEs, and that SMMEs that are a part of the CDC SMME development programme are well-trained through SETA-accredited interventions as well as on-the-job training when on construction sites.

Earlier this year, Coega announced that it had spent R1,5 billion on SMME procurement spend during the past financial year, ending March 31, 2022, targeting businesses owned by women, especially black women, black youth, and persons with Disabilities. Coega’s policy is to ensure 33% SMME involvement in all projects; this cuts across the different sectors where Coega operates. The organisation also stated that it offers mentorship opportunities for emerging contractors and entrepreneurs.

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