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Strategic partnership supports small businesses

April 2020 News

Small businesses in the local manufacturing industries were recently celebrated for outstanding achievement in Macsteel’s award winning Usizo Supplier Development Programme, run in conjunction with ORT SA. The Usizo Supplier Development Programme, into which Macsteel has invested R37,9 million in the past four years, is designed to strengthen the capacity of SMMEs within the steel manufacturing sector by offering sustainable solutions to overcome their operational limitations. In addition to promoting gender and racial equalities as well as empowering youth-owned business, the project has supported 62 businesses with an average turnover of R4,3 million. The impact of this on South Africa’s economy is a contribution of R110,6 million, the creation of 230 new jobs and a further 756 existing jobs being sustained.

Recognising that greater impact and business growth can be achieved through partnerships with intermediaries, Macsteel enlisted the services of ORT SA, an accredited, award winning non-profit education and training organisation funded generously by Macsteel’s founder, through the Eric and Sheila Samson Foundation.

“As a corporate, Macsteel can only do so much in our own capacity, hence the imperative of creating shared value,” says Kim Allan, Macsteel group corporate social responsibility manager. The ORT SA Usizo Project assists Usizo businesses where they need it most. So far, it has supported 30 SMMEs through needs analysis, individualised mentoring and training on both technical aspects and business acumen – assisting them to reach compliance of above 75%. “To date, 19 of the businesses in the ORT SA Usizo Programme have achieved 75% compliance, with three of these achieving 100% compliance,” reports Allan.

Vuyani Gaya, CEO of Baolong Enterprise, a beneficiary of the programme, explained that their business has seen accelerated growth and recognition as a result of the initiative. “A special thanks goes to Macsteel’s Corporate Social Responsibility department. The Usizo Programme really does justice to its name Usizo – it assists and provides a meaningful development to us SMMEs,” she said.

“We believe that this initiative is a testament to our long-term commitment in sustainably building our economy, through co-operation with partners who have a shared vision. We are proud of our unique database of local manufacturing suppliers and look forward to assisting even more small business to achieve success,” concludes Allan.

For more information contact Sipho Mofokeng, GGi Communications, +27 11 728 1363, sipho@ggisa.com, www.ggisa.com




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