Our alloys business has developed an enterprise development programme to promote and improve the capability, skills and experience of local Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) suppliers. BEE is a programme launched by the South African government to give certain previously disadvantaged groups economic privileges previously not available to them. It includes measures such as employment preference, skills development, ownership, management, socio-economic development, and preferential procurement. 

Our enterprise development programme provides a holistic set of mentorship, incubation and development measures to assist new, emerging and/or small enterprises from our neighbouring and local communities to thrive. It includes: 

  • Entrepreneurial coaching and development, including business and financial management
  • Business mentorship and incubation, which covers the requirements associated with owning and managing your own business successfully and sustainably
  • Permanent job creation through ongoing training and skills transfer
  • Creation of independent, self-sustainable black‑owned enterprises

The programme’s primary objective is to empower BEE entrepreneurs from a grass-roots level, to evolve to the point where they can compete and be sustainable.  

We evaluate all projects for social impact and sustainability using broad-based socio-economic indicators; this also helps us achieve maximum BEE compliance and recognition. We take an inclusive approach to stakeholder engagement and ensure local BEE individuals are involved in the programme.

Two businesses we have supported so far are Minatlou Trading Enterprise and Phadima CC. Minatlou is a cleaning company that cleans all areas of the local alloys plant. It is 100% owned by local BEE women and has created 79 permanent jobs. Phadima is involved in internal transport and bulk materials handling. The company is 100% owned by local BEE individuals and has created 14 permanent jobs. The support we have given Minatlou and Phadima has allowed both to become financially independent and sustainable. 

Throughout our alloys business, we have worked to increase our procurement from local BEE suppliers, focusing on business enterprises local to our surrounding communities. This includes regular open days for vendors that target BEE suppliers, often on a monthly basis. At these events, we meet potential vendors to get a better understanding of their capacity. If they meet our criteria, they are included in our preferential procurement programme. This approach works well for service providers but has varying success for capital items, such as ball mills or furnace roof panels, where lack of capacity and skill hinders the procurement relationship. 

We monitor our BEE performance each month to ensure we are continuing to focus on local socio-economic development. This allows us to identify specific areas where we can better support the development and growth of SMEs. We run local business support centres to mentor and develop SMEs, which help with bookkeeping, running payrolls, forecast planning and general office management. 

Our alloys business spent ZAR 9.9 billion ($915 million) on BEE business entities in 2014, exceeding the requirements of the South African government programme.