Skills and socioeconomic development company Bosch Ulwazi launched the first phase of its three-year Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD) programme in KwaZulu-Natal in July. The Petroleum and Waste Recycling programme will assist in developing five businesses that will offer products and services to the waste management sector.
State-owned strategic pipeline custodian Transnet Pipelines is the sponsor and funder of the ESD programme, says Bosch Ulwazi MD Balan Govender, adding that the programme will assist in developing an industry that is still only in its infancy.
“We, in South Africa, are only scratching the surface with regard to the waste management industry. There are numerous opportunities for corporations and entrepreneurs to be creative and establish businesses that use waste streams more effectively.”
Bosch Ulwazi plays a key role in the development of small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) nationally and its core aim for the ESD is to ensure that SMMEs become successful self-sustaining businesses. Moreover, through this programme, Bosch Ulwazi will also further the development of the waste management and recycling sector.
The five emerging SMMEs that Transnet Pipelines has selected to participate in the Petroleum and Waste Recycling programme are Vulela Development Enterprises, Dilex Purification, Inkwa Trading, Khe Investments and Total Serve Facilities, which will provide individualised services, in line with the requirements of Transnet Pipelines.
The programme encompasses project and operations management, mentoring and skills development, as well as assistance with International Organisation of Standardisation accreditation. “Business opportunities and support to successfully run these projects are provided through Bosch Ulwazi, in partnership with Transnet Pipelines,” Govender comments.
He notes that the programme’s duration is three years, depending on the funds available. “A comprehensive needs analysis was conducted on the companies and a structured development plan has been implemented. The assistance will predominantly comprise skills development, focused mentoring and infrastructure support.”
During the first year, Bosch Ulwazi will introduce interventions and systems to improve the businesses. In the second year, the company will assist the SMMEs in creating opportunities and growing the business and, in the final year, Bosch Ulwazi will offer additional mentoring to ensure skills, tools and systems are implemented and improved upon.
Govender explains that Bosch Ulwazi has successfully developed emerging enterprises since its inception and has established a long-standing relationship with State-owned port utility Transnet Port Authorities, having introduced and managed a successful Women in Engineering programme for the entity in 2014.
“Through the company’s partnership with Transnet Pipelines, which started in 2015, Bosch Ulwazi has, through similar programmes, assisted 17 selected emerging enterprises in becoming profitable and sustainable organisations,” Govender explains.
He points out that Bosch Ulwazi’s vision is to see SMMEs increase the number of employees, boost turnover and, ultimately, have access to procurement opportunities within the supply chain of Transnet Pipelines.
Govender states that the company’s success can be attributed to its hands-on, step-by-step approach and individualised support, which ensures that every enterprise achieves its milestones. Further, the model used by the company is in line with the Broad-Based Black Economic-Empowerment (BBBEE) Codes of Good Practice. Additionally, sponsoring companies receive maximum benefit on their BBBEE scorecards for the ESD programme.
“The ongoing success of this programme is owing to our understanding the needs of each candidate. We carry out the majority of the development at their place of work, reducing the time spent away from their businesses. Further, the monthly mentor and management visits to guide and assist where needed, ensure the SMMEs’ success.”
He notes that Bosch Ulwazi’s motto is that “every business owner needs a mentor to guide, coach and keep their feet on the ground”.
The company also facilitates the development and improvement of engineering skills and businesses throughout South Africa by providing solutions for engineer development, technical training, supplier/enterprise development and socioeconomic development.
“Our programmes are used in all types of industries,” Govender states, adding that some of its notable clients include Indian chemicals company TATA Chemicals, industrial product supplier Magnet Electrical and multidisciplinary engineering consultants Bosch Holdings – which is Bosch Ulwazi’s holding company.