22 March 2019


Submitted by Archy Hlahla

South Africa’s leading construction materials company, AfriSam is celebrating the graduation of 23 small business owners who completed their business training as part of the 2nd intake of Dudfield’s Enterprise and Supplier Development programme. The training programme commenced in January 2018 with the aim of identifying Small and Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) in the surrounding communities to the AfriSam Dudfield operation and assisting those enterprises to grow their business skills and capabilities to access markets and participate in the AfriSam supply chain.  

This initiative is in line with AfriSam’s transformation strategy and the Social and Labour Plan Local Economic Development initiatives of the company’s Dudfield operation in Lichtenburg, North West province. The graduation to celebrate the 23 participants achievements was held on 13 March 2019. 

Hannes Meyer, Cementitious Executive says: “AfriSam continues to support local enterprises, to create possibilities of growth in the local economy, staying true to our slogan of ‘Creating Concrete Possibilities’. We trust that the SMMEs as part of the second intake of Dudfield’s Enterprise and Supplier Development programme have gained valuable knowledge and skills to grow their businesses.” 

Local SMMEs were invited to apply for the business skills training programme which is coupled with Coaching and Mentoring of the SMMEs to be able to grow their businesses. Their profiles were assessed and a total of 23 SMME owners and delegates signed up for business training. The full training series comprised three levels covering 20 modules and entailed 39 days of training in total, over a six-month period.  

The modules covered during the programme included basic accounting concepts, statutory requirements and compliance, and bookkeeping amongst others. Based on feedback received from various sources including the mine management and some SMMEs, the training program / content was modified to create room for an additional module covering costing and pricing, which was identified as the biggest shortcoming demonstrated by the SMME tenders.  

Exempted Micro Enterprises and Qualifying Small Enterprises (as defined by the B-BBBEE codes of good practice) from AfriSam’s Vendor list are identified and enrolled for the mentoring and coaching programme, which aimed to assist them with resolving some obstacles that they were experiencing in doing business and to increase their competitive advantage.  

During the six months of training, the SMMEs were also given an opportunity to participate in some short- and medium-term supply opportunities at Dudfield which included, catering, transportation, silo cleaning, and construction and renovations of toilets in the local schools as part of the AfriSam’s CSR initiatives. The SMMEs were also introduced to the NHBRC and CIDB for a workshop and advice on how the SMMEs can effectively affiliate with the organisations. AfriSam has developed a criterion to assist five deserving companies with affiliation fees for one year. 

At the ceremony three individuals were rewarded for 100% Attendance and one obtained a Top Achiever award.  The North West ABSA Entrepreneurship Centre Manager presented the funding options which entrepreneurs can apply for online, and the non-financial support that ABSA offers entrepreneurs at their two centres in Rustenburg and Klerksdorp and through community workshops.  

The SMMEs thanked AfriSam for supporting their businesses and pledged to be ambassadors of AfriSam by setting a good example in the community and providing employment and upliftment to the youth in their respective communities. All participants who completed the course, received a laptop from AfriSam, as a gift to be used as an essential tool to enhance their business administration and connectivity.   

AfriSam will continue with the long-term Coaching and Mentoring of all trained SMMEs to realise their companies’ development plans and growth aspirations.