The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has encouraged Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) to register on its database to access economic opportunities and benefit from its skills development programme.
“The SMME programme targets SMMEs that are at least 51% black owned, with a Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) grading of 1 to 7,” the CDC on Wednesday.
The CDC SMME Development Programme, led by the SMME Development Unit, also comprises training and mentorship of SMMEs on tendering for construction contracts, basic business concepts, applying health and safety standards, and business finance.
The CDC affirmed that access to economic opportunities remains one of the key aspects driving SMME development. Its objective is to facilitate, promote and drive the inclusion of SMMEs in procurement opportunities.
“The CDC recognises that a thriving SMME sector is vital to delivering on the country’s economic development objectives. Our objective is to create an environment for the development and participation of SMMEs to ensure sustainability and empowerment through the CDC SMME database,” CDC SMME Programme Manager, Unathi Maholwana, said.
Owner of Masbandi (Pty) Ltd, Ndileka Mfunda, who has been registered on the CDC SMME database since 2016, has grown her business over the years as a beneficiary of the programme.
“I first entered the Steel Fabrication and Erection industry at a time where businesses were encouraged to transform and embrace black partnership through skills development and participation in the economic development of our country.
“Shortly after, I was hounded by a mentor and friend to register on the CDC SMME database, and I obliged. The CDC SMME Department has been very motivating and encouraging by making sure we always update our information for compliance purposes,” Mfunda said.
Masbandi (Pty) Ltd is one of the SMMEs that worked on the construction of the Coega Special Economic Zones (SEZs) APLI Coega Fruit Terminal and Cold Storage. The SMME is located in Deal Party in the city of Gqeberha.
She said despite the intensive compliance requirements by the CDC, the delivery of the project attracted further opportunities to secure other work as well as industry recognition.
“Continuous support from the SMME Unit is appreciated. Being a nominated SMME, you are exposed to other companies, and constant monitoring ensures that real development is implemented,” Mfunda said.
Director of Ilinge Lethu Bafazi, Phumeza Kate, explained the advantages of being part of the programme.
“My experience with the CDC SMME Unit has been good. They listen and respect the advice of small contractors, and they address the challenges we face. The unit is there for us professionally,” Kate said.
The company implemented the paving at the Weidplas site and previously worked on the Coega SEZ multi-user facility.
The CDC policy is to ensure 33% SMME involvement in all projects; this cuts across the different sectors where the CDC has a presence.
The CDC’S vision to champion socio-economic development through skills and SMME development remains central to its standing, as a preferred investment destination and infrastructure implementing agent of choice.
CDC SMME Database registration process
• Application forms are available on (coega.co.za &amp;gt; Coega Services &amp;gt; SMME). They must be completed in full and returned to the SMME Development Unit with all required supporting documents, as stipulated on the application form.
• All supporting documents must be valid and active at the time of submission.
• Once verified, the business will be registered on the database and the applicant will receive a SMS with the reference number of the business registered.
Source: South African Government News Agency