A business support programme targeting 16 SMMEs from four Eastern Cape communities was launched in the second half of 2021, after research indicated that youth-owned businesses are under-represented in procurement opportunities within this area. These entities are benefiting from business training and coaching through this supplier development programme, which is expected to run until 2024.
“This programme is important in that it broadens the horizons of entrepreneurs and exposes them to opportunities outside the renewable energy sector. Each business owner comes from a family and a community, and with each success they make, the chances of creating jobs increase, and we will have done our part to help reduce the high rates of poverty and unemployment that plague our communities,” said Lifa Baskiti, Community Liaison Officer for Cookhouse Wind Farm.
The wind farm, in collaboration with Suzlon, a wind turbine operations and maintenance contractor, is funding this initiative as part of its socio-economic development programme, which positively empowers communities to be economically independent and take ownership of their future.
The programme objective is to prepare a pipeline of local suppliers for both on-site and off-site opportunities.
One of the beneficiaries, Siyasanga Vena, owner of Iqhayiya neBhongo Lethu, says the programme has been helpful and a catalyst for his business as well as other aspiring local entrepreneurs to conduct their businesses professionally, ethically, and in compliance with all applicable laws.
“The programme has taught me that I don’t have to own a multi-million-rand company to be professional and I need not limit myself to my local market. As a business, I want to be self-sufficient and be able to penetrate any market space while doing a great deal of social investments,” concluded Vena.
2nd Floor, Fernwood House, The Oval, 1 Oakdale Road, Newlands, Cape Town, 7700
P O Box 23101, Claremont, 7735
Tel: +27 21 670 1400 (main switchboard)
Cookhouse Wind Farm Local Community Office:
12 Main Road, Cookhouse, 5820
Tel: +27 42 247 2961