Kroonstad: De Beers is taking giant steps in working with businesses in their mining towns of Musina in Limpopo province, Kroonstad in the Free State and Kimberley in the Northern Cape, awarding almost R200million worth of contracts to black owned enterprise, majority of these contracts will be in place for the next three years. This enterprise development programme is driven with the aim of providing a sustainable link between local enterprises and De Beers’ supply chain to create consistent and reliable business opportunities for local enterprises.

Through the De Beers Zimele initiative, Voorspoed mine has committed to provide developmental funding, training and mentoring support across a broad spectrum of businesses and industries. Among the beneficiaries of this programme is Tripple Man Electrical, a 100% Black Youth Owned Company based in Kroonstad.

Tripple Man successfully completed the Voorspoed Mine Incubation Program and graduated to the Supplier Development Programme after successfully bidding for the tender at Voorspoed Mine.

“To date, our company has been upgraded by CIDB (Construction Industry Development Board) from grade 1 to grade 2 level which will assist us to get work with higher project values.” said Paul Tsheole Managing Director of Tripple Man.

The continuing slugging economic performance in South Africa and lack of job opportunities has increased the importance of developing Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s). Training and skills upgrade is also crucial in the fight against the scourges of high unemployment and poverty.

In the past years, De Beers Group has increased its enterprise development efforts in line with its commitment to the Social and Labour Plans entered into with its hosting communities.

Ikefree Projects is a construction, general maintenance and civil services company based next to De Beers Venetia Mine in Musina in Limpopo Province. The company has benefitted greatly from De Beers’ assistance enterprise development and supply assistance ensuring that 16 staff members continue to receive employment from the company.

“Through the Mentorship Program we have learnt that entrepreneurship is not a status but rather a responsibility. We have learnt the importance of professionalism. Today we have a fully functional company that operates both in the mine and in the community.” said Semata Sewele, Founder of Alelale Holdings.

In 2017, De Beers took a giant leap in faith by awarding a security contract to a local company, ending years of international security companies safeguarding its premises and products. Lesedi Security Services which now manages Venetia mines’ security, received mentorship and a loan from De Beers to improve its capacity and capability to deliver services of international standard. Since then, the business has been growing from strength to strength and today they have successfully trained and employed 74 security guards.

“At De Beers we commit ourselves to community development initiatives to ensure the success and growth of small businesses, as well at the De beers supply chain. This will ensure long term benefits for the community at large.” said Gregory Petersen, De Beers Senior Commercial Manager.

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