Mpumalanga Business 2021-22

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OVERVIEW Research done by Seda shows that a high percentage of SMMEs in Mpumalanga are in the trade and accommodation sector. Whereas the national figure is about 43%, in Mpumalanga it is closer to 50%. Seda is a subsidiary of the National Department of Small Business Development. Seda is not a financial agency, focussing rather on training and administrative support, although the agency will help SMMEs get in touch with financial bodies. Seda supports several incubators in the province: Furntech, furniture manufacturing, White River; Mobile Agro-Skills Development & Training (MASDT), agricultural training, Nelspruit; Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative (MSI), stainlesssteel processing, Middelburg (with Columbus Stainless); Timbali f loriculture, Nelspruit; Ehlanzeni T VE T College Rapid Incubator Renewable Technologies, Nelspruit.

Private companies

The Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative helps SMMEs develop products. Credit: MSI

In her 2021 State of the Province address, Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane paid tribute to private companies for providing employment opportunities to local people and for continuing to support small and emerging businesses. Bursary programmes and training programmes were also acknowledged. The companies mentioned were Sasol, Exxaro, Eskom, Sappi, Columbus Stainless, South32, Samancor, RCL foods, Mondi, Safcol, Glencore, Standard Bank, Absa Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank. At Exxaro’s Matla Mine, a black– and woman-owned business has grown in leaps and bounds with support from the mining company’s Enterprise and Supplier Development unit. Stenda Trading won contracts to do underground civil and underground cleaning services at the mine. This included building containment and explosion-proof walls, installing black brattices, reinforced brattices and air crossings, building refuge bays, concrete work and installing specialised doors. Exxaro extended a R9.2-million interestfree loan to the enterprise to purchase equipment, vehicles and a mobile office.

ONLINE RESOURCES Gert Sibande TVET College: www.gscollege.edu.za Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency: www.mega.gov.za Mpumalanga Stainless Initiative: www.mpstainless.co.za Small Enterprise Development Agency: www.seda.org.za

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Sappi’s long-term Ngodwana mill project will spend more than R600-million on procuring goods and supplies from broad-basedblack-economic-empowered companies, of which R51-million will go to SMMEs. Other companies supporting SMMEs through their buying chain include Woolworths and Anglo American. Woolworths funds TechnoServe to ensure that small tomato growers can grow produce that will meet the demanding standards of the retailer, and to help them expand production. Anglo American’s Zimele runs four enterprise development and investment funds. Zimele runs hubs related to the supply chains of platinum, thermal coal and, with Mondi, forestry. ■