A total of 368 small medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) continue to benefit from the construction of the Kusile power station in Emalahleni, South Africa.
The companies were linked to business opportunities at the coal-fired power station through the Mpumalanga Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism.
“In the 2011/12 financial year, about 232 SMMEs were awarded contracts at Kusile, and an additional 136 SMMEs were also guided to obtain contracts at Kusile in the 2012/13 financial year,” said Economic Development, Environment and Tourism MEC Pinky Phosa in a statement.
Phosa said the department was happy with the contribution that the Kusile project was making in terms of assisting emerging entrepreneurs and cooperatives.
“The project has enabled many residents from neighbouring towns in the Emalahleni Local Municipality such as Delmas, Ogies and Phola to obtain jobs and that enable them to take care of their families, and over and above these, the province has benefited economically,” said Phosa.
She said the business opportunities are in construction, catering and material supply to the project.
The Kusile Power Station project has seen a boom in the local economy of the Nkangala region and subsequently the province, with Eskom and its contractors injecting about R238 billion into the local economy.
The money has translated into about 8 000 permanent jobs, with locals being the beneficiaries of more than 4 000 jobs.
“Our intervention in the economy is crucial. We want to make sure that our people also become empowered and access business opportunities in projects such as the Kusile project.
“I will continue to push for more and greater participation of the historically disadvantaged people in the provincial economic system through engagements with big business,” said Phosa.
In an effort to make sure that people of the province are able to tap into business opportunities in the province, Phosa said the department would develop a Provincial Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment database.
“We will develop the provincial BBBEE database and maintain it to ensure that Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment bears fruits for the people of Mpumalanga. The database will then be linked to the National BBBEE IT portal. This will then expose those complaint companies to other business opportunities in the economy,” said Phosa.
One of the beneficiaries of the Kusile project, Millicent Matlala, Managing Director at Tecco High End, said since working with the station, her steel-manufacturing company, which is based in Middelburg, has grown in leaps and bounds.
“I am very happy about the opportunity of working with such a giant power station. We are supplying the power station with the steel water treatment tanks. It is an amazing experience for us as emerging business people,” said Matlala.