With a national unemployment rate of around 25%, South Africa urgently needs to create employment opportunities. Small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) play a key role in job creation with the Adcorp employment Index indicating that 68% of the 13.8 million people working in South Africa are employed in businesses with less than 50 employees.
Enterprise development is an important part of the investment the Venture makes in the socio-economic capacity of communities. It recognises that it is an investment that makes good business sense as developing SMMEs and creating jobs stimulates growth, increases our ability to procure from black-owned enterprises and benefits us all. In addition, the Venture has enterprise development commitments in terms of the Mining Charter Scorecard and the broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) codes.
The Venture supports enterprise development through a number of initiatives. Small businesses often have difficulty obtaining loans from financial institutions because they do not meet their stringent requirements for the granting of credit. The Venture assists companies in this position with start-up and bridging capital and loans with preferential terms. It also offers management expertise in areas such as project management, business planning, cash flow management and legal compliance as well as providing appropriate skills training.
The Venture offers community members adult basic education training (ABET), computer literacy training and training in portable skills. At the Steelpoort Development Centre in Limpopo province, community education projects run by the Centre include teacher training (in technology education), ABET facilitator training, science teacher training and engineering workshop training for further education and training (FET) lecturers. The Centre not only trains members of the community in skills that will equip them to work in the Venture’s operations but also offers training in marketable skills including bricklaying, welding and household electrical skills. The Centre has expanded its programmes to include a bridging programme that prepares local students for tertiary education.