top of page

Search Results

1060 items found for ""

  • THE SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT SHORTFALL

    It is fair to surmise that the points earned on Supplier Development, especially since Enterprise & Supplier Development is a Priority Element, will impact an organisation’s overall scorecard. Statement 400 of the Amended General B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice allocates 10 Weighting Points with a compliance target of 2% Net Profit After Tax, based on the following criteria: 2.2 Supplier Development 2.2.1    Annual value of all Supplier Development Contributions made by the Measured Entity as a target percentage. There are another 2 Bonus Points available for job creation and elevation from an Enterprise Development Beneficiary to a Supplier Development one. It is therefore vital that the Supplier Development Strategy of an organisation reflects the importance of this element. A Beneficiary must be identified as per the criteria in the correct timeline. The contract should highlight all interventions and contributions with evidence to support those contractual obligations were met. Enterprise & Supplier Development Services are available to guide Members on the implementation of Sustainable Supplier Development initiatives.

  • SAFETY FIRST FOR THIS MARITIME LEADER

    Salmah Brown | 17 April 2024 African Marine Solutions (AMSOL) CEO Dan Ngakane is committed to putting his people first. BBQ caught up with this empowering leader who took us through the entity’s sustainable solutions for stakeholders, their transformation imperative, and what the year 2024 holds. African Marine Solutions (AMSOL) is a specialist solutions provider and partner to clients who operate in marine environments. AMSOL is able to provide a tailored and flexible portfolio of specialist marine services to clients in the Energy, Ports, Mining, and Maritime sectors in multiple markets across Africa. With a value proposition that is underpinned by its ability to meet international standards in health and safety, environmental protection, and quality in high-risk marine environments and operations, AMSOL employ an experienced team of marine specialists–both seagoing and shore based–who manage and operate their fleet of specialist vessels that include bunker barges, tankers, tugs, supply launches, and other specialist vessels. Dan Ngakane, who took on the role of AMSOL CEO in July 2023, explains: “We are able to ensure continuity in the value chain for our clients, which I think is such an important element of our business. “Often, it is because of what we do that there is continuity in fuel supply, in offshore activities, and in shipping operations, and these activities keep our economy moving forward. “Our company purpose is to empower people, be it employees, clients, suppliers, or communities, through sustainable solutions. This is the purpose that drives AMSOL.” An entity that cares As the only marine solutions provider in the region that is employee and management owned, AMSOL is able to provide a much deeper experience for clients, as everyone within the entity is pulling in the same direction. The AMSOL Employee Trust offers benefits to permanent employees who currently own 12% of the company. The trust has transformed into a driving force for promoting economic empowerment and fostering shared value within the maritime industry, with 89% of the beneficiaries being black South Africans. This undertaking serves as a pivotal element of the company’s employee value proposition, ensuring that both permanent employees at sea and on-shore, who are all integral to the company’s foundation, equally share in its success, irrespective of their position or background. “There is a high level of ownership and accountability in the business because we’re invested in it,” shares Ngakane, who has extensive experience within the Energy, Transport, and Mining sectors during his career. “AMSOL drives transformation in the maritime industry and has a long track record of empowering people. In fact, a core part of our mission is to be a catalyst for the transformation of the maritime economy.” “We’re a Level 2 contributor to Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) with majority ownership by black South Africans, including employees and management who together own 34% of the business.” “In a niche, specialist industry and with black South Africans representing 90% of the workforce at sea and ashore, we’ve also increased the representation of women in the business from 8% to 18% since AMSOL was formed in 2016. We’re a diverse company, optimising the skills and talents of a diverse workforce.” By investing in the development of specialist marine and maritime skills, AMSOL is not only ensuring that they create a sustainably qualified, competent, and experienced workforce for their business, but, at a broader level, they are unlocking the potential of the Ocean’s Economy. “To support this, we’ve invested R400 million in acquiring five vessels in the last four years. The local flagging of four of these vessels on the South African Ships’ Register means that jobs for South African seafarers are created and sustained,” the Lehurutshe-born Ngakane explains. “Critical to our ability to meet the needs of clients is a robust and diverse supply chain. Aligned to the vision of inclusive economic growth and AMSOL’s commitment to working closely with supply partners as an extension of our business, we embrace the growth of small, medium, and micro enterprises.” Operationally speaking AMSOL, without a second thought, have always prioritised safety in all that they do. This is because they operate in an intrinsically high-risk environment where the highest level of care for the safety of their teams is demanded for every operation and on every day. As a result, a number of initiatives are run to ensure that the safety element is paid the attention it requires from an operational standpoint. “Top of mind for me is always the safety of people. In light of the high-risk nature of our operations and the fact that protecting our people and the environment is our licence to operate, the long-term goal, ‘Zero Harm’, to our people and the environment guides regular interventions concerning equipment, processes, and people,” Ngakane, who is also a qualified Electrical Engineer, says. “Our recent AMSOL SHEQ ‘Safety Reset’ campaign to support the company’s approach to continuously improving was an opportunity for AMSOL stakeholders to refocus on their commitment to safety.” As the maritime industry progresses towards a more interconnected and technology-driven approach to fleet management, companies need to embrace digitalisation whilst ensuring that data integrity remains in place. This is also a priority for AMSOL and entails implementing new technology onboard their ships, modernising data collection methods, and ensuring crew members receive adequate training to utilise these new technologies. Ngakane explains: “AMSOL has been able to invest in new assets in recent years which provide our seafarers with opportunities to work with newer technology across the fleet. “It is definitely a key strategic focus area for the business as we look into the future. “We utilise an effective International Code Compliant Ship Management system developed in house and implement modern systems that utilise artificial intelligence to alert us to potential cyber threats and autonomously respond to and prevent cyber-attacks.” The challenge of navigating a volatile economic environment is impacted significantly by geo-political developments, trade wars, and currency valuation. The impact on operations and supply chain disruption, as well as in markets of operation and on clients, is often immediate and far reaching. To combat this as best as possible, Ngakane says that “AMSOL conducts regular reviews of economic indicators in order to inform client contracting, escalations, supply chain management, as well as foreign currency management”. As has become evident, the people of AMSOL come first for Ngakane. That’s why Ngakane’s top priority for 2024 is to ensure that the business “continues to improve their safety performance, supporting talent, and taking the next steps in further developing the culture of continuous improvement in our current operations”. AMSOL is also focused on expanding the business’ footprint in South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, and Ghana, all while growing their Fuel Logistics and Transportation business–specifically tanker operations–to meet client demand.Ngakane, who has remained committed to continuous learning during his career and has achieved Master’s Degrees in Engineering and Business Administration, as well as a Bachelor of Laws, says: “Tanker operations require effective risk management to efficiently execute the scope of work to international oil industry standards, ensuring no impact on the environment and the health and safety of all personnel. “A key focus of the company’s growth strategy has been the expansion of its marine services portfolio into the operation and management of seagoing product tankers and developing the skills and competence over time.” Leveraging data and systems to better optimise business operations is another goal for 2024, with Ngakane concluding that “this will lead to increased efficiency, reduced costs, improved client satisfaction, and ultimately, greater competitiveness in the maritime sector”. And we look forward to charting your maritime journey in the years to come. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://bbqonline.co.za/2024/04/17/safety-first-for-this-maritime-leader/

  • EFFORTS TO CURB UNEMPLOYMENT

    Highway Mail | 16 April 2024 A MASSIVE training of unemployed to transition into employment is set to roll-out nationally. This was announced by Minister of Employment and Labour Thulasi Nxesi. Nxesi said the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) Labour Activation Programme (LAP) is to provide training for employment and entrepreneurship programmes is up-and-running and is set to be rolled-out in other provinces. Addressing an employer’s breakfast session recently, he said South Africa finds itself in the throes of an ever changing technological era and this calls for adaptation. This comes a week after Nxesi  announced that the Department of Employment and Labour through the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s LAP has launched a R23.8-billion programme to fund the training for employment and entrepreneurship programme. “We are living in a technological era. This massive training will now need to be implemented on a large scale to multi-skill the unemployed, so as to adapt to the ever-changing world of technology,” Nxesi said. The Minister said that the crime ravaging the country was threatening its stability and noted that the government needed to partner with the private sector to counter the threat. He said the government was intent to help business, especially small enterprises as the “big employer is small business”. He appealed for partnerships at district level to ensure integrated interventions as part of the District Development Model. He said that it was unacceptable that Gauteng as the country’s economic hub had a high unemployment rate and this situation could be even worse in other provinces. A number of service providers were handed their certificates confirming their participation in the training to employ programme and entrepreneurship development. Small Business Development Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrams reiterated the role of partnerships. She said the National Development Plan (NDP) envisioned the creation of 11 million new jobs by 2030 and that most of these should come from small businesses. “The only way to make South Africa work is to grow small businesses . We have to also look at developing new industries. We are continuously advocating for more incentives to be given to business, especially those geared towards promoting small business,” she also said the informal businesses also needed to be supported to transition to formal business,” she said. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.citizen.co.za/highway-mail/news-headlines/local-news/2024/04/16/efforts-to-curb-unemployment/

  • SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC SPARK YOUR INTEREST IN ELECTRICITY ONLINE COURSE IMPACTS MORE THAN A THOUSAND YOUTH

    Creamer Media Reporter | 16 April 2024 The free interactive online training course, Spark Your Interest in Electricity has since its launch, more than a year ago, seen approximately 1700 students from English-speaking Africa enrolling into the course and completing one or more sub courses.  To date, the majority of enrolments have been from South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. The Spark Your Interest in Electricity course, which was designed and launched in a partnership between Schneider Electric and multimedia giant Trace, is available on the Trace Academia app from both the Google Play (Android) and Apple iStore (iOS) platforms. “Schneider Electric is leading the way when it comes to providing training to the youth.  With the world becoming increasingly more digital and virtual, we’ve ensured that that our training approach keeps up with these evolving trends,” says Zanélle Dalglish, Global Leader: Training & Education Affairs, who was instrumental in establishing this course with Trace Academia. “The Spark Your Interest in Electricity course provides an introduction to electricity for NEET youth (Neither in Employment Education or Training) as well as anyone that is interested to understand the basics of electricity. The course was designed and developed by a team of experts from South Africa that carefully designed the course curriculum to include the important modules required to Spark your Interest in Electricity,” says Dalglish. The Spark Your Interest in Electricity course has been developed in line with Trace Academia’s criteria for course certification which includes a rigorous approval process and aims to provide a virtual hands-on training in the field of electricity. It also serves as a precursor to encourages youth to take the next step; enrolling in an electricians or related course provided at various tertiary and vocational institutions. To obtain a Spark Your Interest in Electricity certification, which serves as an introduction to electricity, students must complete the entire course syllabus which includes eight modules: 1. Discover The Magic of Electricity, 2. Electrical Sockets and Light Fittings. 3. Connecting Wires. 4. Principles Of Electricity. 5. Discover Circuit Breakers. 6. Understand Series and Parallel Circuits. 7. What Are Electrical Hazards. 8. What Is an Earth-Leakage Device? “Our aim with the course material is to truly spark students’ interest, laying the groundwork for future studies in the electrical trade. Module 1 of the course delves into the magic of electricity, including its formation, movement, and storage, while module 7, for example, provides insight into understanding series and parallel circuits which is fundamental to any electrical work,” explains Avin Ramjeeth, Projects & Offer Manager at the Schneider Electric Academy. “The Schneider Electric Spark your Interest in Electricity course is one of many education and training initiatives that lie at the heart of the company’s commitment to Youth Impact though Learning,” says Carina van Zyl, Corporate Citizenship Leader for Anglophone Africa, Strategy and Sustainability. These include: Partnerships in conjunction with the Schneider Electric Foundation among others and tertiary and vocational training organisations to form part of the French Southern African Schneider Electric Education Centre (F’SASEC) network focusing to enhance energy technical training. The New Skills of the Future and Innovation programme of the Schneider Electric Foundation aimed at skilling and empowering youth in energy transition by leveraging the company's resources to provide financial and technical support in view of 139 million new jobs in energy transition by 2030. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’ https://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/schneider-electric-spark-your-interest-in-electricity-online-course-impacts-more-than-a-thousand-youth-2024-04-16

  • PPC BOOSTS COMMUNITY BRICKMAKER WITH NEW MACHINE, EMPOWERING LOCAL BUSINESSES AND JOB CREATION

    South Africa The Good News | 16 April 2024 PPC, a leading supplier of building materials in Southern Africa, is fostering community development through its Enterprise Development Programme. The initiative provides crucial support to small businesses, like Mathacs Civils, a Venda-based brick manufacturer. PPC recently invested over R440,000 in a state-of-the-art brickmaking machine for Mathacs Civils, tripling their production capacity. This follows years of successful collaboration, including the provision of a silo and water tank, technical expertise, and credit facilities. The new machine will enable Mathacs Civils to meet rising demand for high-quality bricks, further their growth, and create additional jobs – with a focus on employing women.  PPC is committed to supporting similar community-focused businesses, empowering local economies and creating a brighter future. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.sagoodnews.co.za/ppc-boosts-community-brickmaker-with-new-machine-empowering-local-businesses-and-job-creation/

  • NO DOUBLE DIPPING

    In certain areas of the B-BBEE Scorecard, once a B-BBEE claim has been made under one element, the same spend must not form part of another claim in another element. For example, if an organisation claims the headcount of a Y.E.S Employee, under no circumstances can that spend for a Salary be recycled and then claimed under Skills Development. Although an organisation can claim training for a Y.E.S Employee, this needs to then align to the Skills Development Learning Programme Matrix as per a B-BBEE Code of Good Practice. Technical Support Services are available to advise Members on B-BBEE Claims.

  • CONFIRMING JOB CREATION

    Clause 2.4.2 of Statement 400 of the Amended General B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice allocates Bonus Points for creating one or more jobs as a direct result of a Supplier Development or Enterprise Development intervention. The necessary evidence varies between B-BBEE Rating Agencies. Generally, however, a letter confirming job creation from the Beneficiary will serve as such evidence or a Signed Employee contract. The letter of confirmation must affirm that the intervention created at least one new job. Some confirmations may include being administered by a Commissioner of Oaths.  This must be undertaken by the Beneficiary and must include (not limited to): An organisation’s full name, physical address, postal address, and registration number; A Beneficiary’s full company name, physical address, postal address, and registration number; The Enterprise Development or Supplier Development commenced; The date of the contribution; The number of new positions due to the intervention; and The names of the new employees; Enterprise & Supplier Development Services are available to assist Members meeting requirements for Job Creation.

  • FRAUDULENT B-BBEE CREDENTIALS

    The most significant risk to an organisation meeting its Preferential Procurement targets is fraudulent B-BBEE Certificates and Affidavits. They not only go against the spirit of B-BBEE, but they put an organisation at risk, as fraudulent B-BBEE Credentials generally only reveal themselves at the time of an organisation’s B-BBEE Verification. The B-BBEE Commission's website contains a List of known Fraudulent / Invalid B-BBEE Credentials currently in circulation. If any Members have suspicions about B-BBEE Credentials currently on file, Certificate Collection Services is on hand to assist with validation of their authenticity.

  • GIVING SMMES A BETTER CHANCE

    Xoliswa Kali | 15 April 2024 The Gibela Business Incubator is one of 110 incubators and hubs supported by Seda. The Minister for Small Business Development, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, officially launched the Gibela Business Incubator on Wednesday at the Kwa-Thema Business Park. The incubator aims to create an environment enabling small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to grow and become sustainable by providing affordable space, business support, and market opportunities. It is a partnership between the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) and the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda). The incubator provides business and technical development services to qualifying entrepreneurs and small businesses operating in Kwa-Thema, Nigel, Springs, and the greater Ekurhuleni area to mitigate the risk of failure in the early stages of start-ups. SMMEs in various sectors with high employment potential – including mining, manufacturing, engineering and ICT– will leave the incubator’s three-year programme with badges of full compliance, market readiness and self-sustaining businesses. The Gibela Business Incubator is one of the 110 incubators and hubs supported by Seda. It advances the mandate of the Department of Small Business Development, which is to lead and coordinate an integrated approach to promoting and developing entrepreneurship, SMMEs, and co-operatives, as well as to ensure an enabling legislative and policy environment to support their growth and sustainability. In her keynote address, Ndabeni-Abrahams said, “Today’s launch of Gibela Business Incubator is another testament to our resolve to transform small businesses into real game-changers and catalysts for economic growth and job creation.” The incubator’s programme focuses on boosting local employment, fostering gender equality and the economic inclusion of women and youth, and facilitating interventions in the green economy. It provides physical and virtual incubation support to all qualifying enterprises, generating innovative solutions in the engineering, green tech, IT-related and manufacturing sectors. The incubator takes a particular interest in entrepreneurs and small enterprises that could become suppliers in the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium value chain. In addition, it strives to boost economies in communities surrounding Gibela’s plant in Dunnottar. The first cohort of enterprises was admitted in January 2021, of which 100% are black-owned businesses, 49% are women-owned businesses, 35% are youth-owned businesses, and 2% are businesses owned by persons with disabilities. Since its inception, the participating SMMEs have generated almost R20m in turnover and created 121 jobs. The incubator has assisted incubatees in accessing R10.3m in funding for their businesses, including more than R2m, through a memorandum of agreement with the Small Enterprise Finance Agency. Since its inception, the Gibela Rail Consortium committed R10.2m in partnership funding. The National Youth Development Agency has funded the youth-owned enterprises in the Gibela Business Incubation programme. Seda has provided the centre with strategic support, funding, and expertise to deliver a successful incubation programme. At the launch, five enterprises from various sectors, including baking and confectionary, ICT, beauty, and cosmetics, graduated from the programme. These enterprises are market-ready after a series of interventions during their incubation period. These include testing and approving their products and accessing machinery through Seda and various business support services. The graduate business owners include Dimpho Mashilo, Louis Mtsweni, Senzeni Tjameya and Lebogang Skosana. “What we have been able to achieve in the last three years has been truly remarkable,” said the CEO of the Gibela Business Incubator, Justine Mogashoa. The launch event included an SMME exhibition where participating businesses showcased their products, services, and expertise. The work of the Gibela Business Incubator supports the government’s Economic Reconstruction and Development Plan to build a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economy. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.citizen.co.za/african-reporter/news-headlines/2024/04/15/giving-smmes-a-better-chance/

  • GROUNDBREAKING INITIATIVES LAUNCHED TO EMPOWER AND ELEVATE

    Rising Sun Online | 15 April 2024 The launch of the SAMED x YES Youth Portal marks another significant step towards a more diverse medtech industry. This online platform connects medtech companies with talented young professionals who possess valuable industry experience. The South African Medical Technology Industry Association launched two groundbreaking initiatives: the SAMED Women Empowerment Index (WEI) and the SAMED x YES Youth Portal, last week. The SAMED Women Empowerment Index- a benchmarking tool designed to monitor and encourage progress made towards greater economic inclusion and empowerment of women in the medtech industry- was developed in collaboration with Deloitte. The WEI will establish baseline scores and track these key metrics over time: Women’s employment rates Remuneration levels for women Female representation in leadership positions Women’s ownership in medtech companies Opportunities for women’s development. Industry executives and influencers were in attendance. Women make up 50, 7 percent of the total SA population but only 45, 5 percent of the employed workforce. South African women only fill 17, 3 percent of CEO and chairperson positions. Only one to six percent of government procurement ends up with women-owned businesses. Essentially, the numbers indicate a massive underrepresentation of women in economic participation and leadership opportunities. This is substantiated by the World Economic Forum which has reported it will take 150 years to close economic gender gaps. Scott de Oliviera, chair of SAMED’s Diversity in Medtech committee, said, “We presently lack an accurate picture of what this looks like in our sector. The index will establish benchmarks for each of the metrics and thereafter follow and mobilise efforts to promote women into and within our industry. Simply put, we have to hire more women and open equal access for our female peers to educational and professional opportunities within our companies and workplaces.” The online platform that hosts the index will empower medtech suppliers to access custom-made reports comparing their company scores against industry averages. Moreover, SAMED will issue certificates to participating companies, enhancing their competitiveness in tendering processes. “These elements of the WEI initiative were designed to present practical business assets that can boost member companies’ competitive advantage and which have a bearing on all operational activities including marketing and procurement. The message we would like to extend to the whole healthcare sector is that women’s inclusion is pro-business and pro-development,” explained Tanya Vogt, SAMED executive officer. According to her, these approaches can tap into the existing and substantial but insufficiently utilised government resources and legislation as well as the intention to channel more government procurement into women-owned businesses. “SAMED’s commitment to women empowerment is a major component of the industry’s transformation journey that is encompassed in our Diversity in Medtech programme,” said Vogt. Other SAMED’s transformational interventions include a commitment to WECONA since it was inaugurated in 2022, the creation of more than 2700 youth jobs (64 percent female youth employees) by 41 SAMED members through the partnership with YES Youth Employment Service and participation in the Skills Village capacity building hubs that lead to income-generating activity for youth, women and persons with disabilities. The launch of the SAMED x YES Youth Portal marks another significant step towards a more diverse medtech industry. This online platform connects medtech companies with talented young professionals who possess valuable industry experience. SAMED chairperson, Peter Mehlape, who leads a multinational member company that has itself benefited from the YES partnership, said, “This online resource hosts a pool of talented youth who have already gained experience in our industry. We encourage members who haven’t yet participated in the YES initiative to give it a go. You will be able to skip recruitment fees and fill your vacant positions with young people who have a passion to succeed and understand our field.” Mehlape added that the SAMED board has consistently championed governance and diversity at board and committee levels, sought to recruit members that are proudly South African entities, promoted localisation of medtech and engaged on B-BBBEE and other related legislation to assist members with compliance. The WEI data will be collected through SAMED’s secure Data with Integrity portal, ensuring compliance with data protection regulations. This programme fosters improved decision-making, reporting and industry representation. Mehlape concluded that SAMED will continue to act as a frontrunner driving positive change within the South African medtech sector. “The WEI and YES Youth Portal empower women and young professionals, paving the way for a more inclusive, successful and future-proofed medtech industry,” Mehlape conceded. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://risingsunnewspapers.co.za/287109/groundbreaking-initiatives-launched-to-empower-and-elevate/

  • NEW TIGER BRANDS FACILITY A SIGN OF CONFIDENCE IN SA

    SA News | 14 April 2024 Tiger Brands’ new R300 million state-of-the-art peanut butter manufacturing plant is a sign of confidence in the South African economy, said Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Nomalungelo Gina. The Deputy Minister was speaking during the official launch of the company’s facility in Chamdor, Krugersdorp in Gauteng. In a statement on Friday, the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) said the plant is located on more than 8000 square meters of land within Mogale City, with 62 full time employees. “The company says up to 70% of the peanuts used in the production process are procured locally and the remaining 30% from markets outside South African due to local farmers not being able to meet the actual need,” said the dtic. Gina also commended Tiger Brands for its commitment to the economic transformation agenda and growing Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME) through Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD). “As government, we insist on this policy direction because we know that SMMEs contribute 34% to the national GDP [gross domestic product]. As the country, we are under pressure to maximise employment in this country as we are pursuing [the] re-industrialisation of the economy. SMMEs will remain an important aspect of growing our economic base. Big corporates have an obligation to use the ESD model effectively through empowerment measures such as ESD mechanisms,” she said. Gina further urged Tiger Brands and South African based companies to fully utilise the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA) to ensure their own advancement and those of the South African and African economies. The African Continental Free Trade Area creates the world’s largest free trade area by number of countries, and has the potential to bring transformative change and tremendous opportunities to African economies and businesses. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’ https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/new-tiger-brands-facility-sign-confidence-sa

  • TEACH WOMEN TO FARM AND THEY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD, SAYS YOUNG FARMER

    Zoutnet | 14 April 2024 When a young woman from Maraxwe village received a portion of farming land from her father, she decided to make the most of the opportunity. Today, she is making steady inroads in the market with her produce, such as her specially blended mango achar. Funzani Muthevhuli Bila (30) is a crop farmer from Maraxwe, located some 30 kilometres from Thohoyandou. A few years ago, she received four hectares of land from her father and started planting sweet potatoes, peanuts, and cabbages. She also registered her own mango achar product, Sanas Piquant Mango Achar, which is sold in buckets and in bulk countrywide. Funzani believes that more young people should go out there and create their own opportunities, instead of waiting to be employed. “Unemployment and poverty have become a way of life for many young people in this country. Many are educated but are still jobless years after obtaining their qualifications. This is unacceptable. It cannot go on like this. Young people have their future in their own hands, and this can only be realised if they start their own businesses and employ others,” she said. When Funzani’s father, Mr Dakalo Tshililo, gave her some land to farm on, he also taught her the basic skills she needed. She now wants to pass on these skills to other young people, especially rural women, to enable them to participate in the economy. “I want to be among the women who strive hard to fight poverty, youth unemployment, and hunger by increasing the quantity of the products we produce, so that more young and local people will be employed,” she said. But she admits that farming is not easy, with unique challenges. In her case, one of the biggest problems remains water. “Climate change is a huge challenge because we no longer have rainfall as we used to have. The crops are irrigated using furrows running from the mountain, but this is not sustainable. Having at least two boreholes will be a great help,” she said. A major problem for small producers such as Funzani is access to markets. “I wish local and central markets could consider my products. This will strengthen the economy of the municipality and the region,” she added. Currently, she markets her products on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook, and WhatsApp. She makes use of a delivery service to get her products to her clients. “The richest bank in the world is agriculture, and politicians and the business world must continue to play a role to enable us, mostly women, to generate funds to fight poverty in rural villages,” she said. ‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’. https://www.zoutnet.co.za/articles/news/60196/2024-04-14/teach-women-to-farm-and-they-will-change-the-world-says-young-farmer

bottom of page