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Glencore Coal launches a business hub to empower local businesses

Johannesburg, South Africa
August 2021

Glencore Coal seeks to contribute to activities and programmes designed to improve the quality of life in their communities. Recognising the major contribution small businesses can make to local economies and their potential of alleviating some of the socio-economic challenges faced by communities, Glencore Coal launched their Enterprise Supplier Development Portal as a key tool to support SMMEs in their communities.

The Glencore ESD Portal allows local businesses to register their business profiles and access procurement opportunities through Glencore. Those who register on the ESD portal will obtain information about procurement opportunities and may qualify for business support and advice so as to create employment and business opportunities to help build their capacity, skills and expertise. Glencore Coal has now launched a business walk-in centre for the eMalahleni communities in Ogies, Mpumalanga. 

“At Glencore, one of our core values is entrepreneurialism, where our aim is to foster an entrepreneurship spirit within our communities by supporting local, black-owned businesses. The launch of the business centre in the community of Ogies comes at a very crucial point in our country where we are desperately trying to rebuild and strengthen our economy after the year that has been. This project, and many others, form part of our Progress Together initiatives which are designed to show communities the positive ripple effects of investing in the growth of our people,” said Glencore Coal CEO, Murray Houston.

In establishing the business centres, Glencore partnered with Regoapele Capital, a development consultancy that specialises in the design, development and implementation of enterprise and supplier development solutions. Together with Regoapele Capital, Glencore intends to connect with local businesses from their communities in a meaningful and lasting way. 

The services offered by Regoapele, which will be available at the business walk-in centre, are:

  • Free consultations for SMMEs
  • Diagnostic services for established businesses applying for funding
  • Information hub for local community members
  • Assisting SMMEs in preparing applications for asset finance or working capital
  • Providing SMME training – both business skills training and specific technical training
  • Facilitating SMME attendance of any accredited courses by third party providers
  • Mentoring SMMEs with regards to Enterprise Development
  • Offering targeted programmes and initiatives to equip SMMEs with the required managerial, technical and financial skills

Omphile Mathole, the centre Manager, says the success of programmes like these lies in leveraging on the power of big business to grow the business sector through empowering SMMEs. “The ESD programme is built on the ideals of fostering sustainable growth for small businesses. This is why what Glencore is doing for their communities is so important. With the walk-in centre, we will be empowering SMMEs and creating a diverse and competitive local business environment where everyone has an equal and fair opportunity to grow their business,” he said. 

The business walk-in centre will be targeting a variety of small businesses, with a special focus on +51% black-owned suppliers, +51% black women-owned suppliers, and 18- to 35-year-old black-youth-owned companies.

Innocent Mdlalosi, local business owner of Investability, said they are excited to have the centre in the community. “Today is a really special day, not just for us as business owners, but the whole community at large. I want to thank Glencore for their continued efforts to support our community. The Glencore ESD hub is a source of hope to us as growing business owners and those who are considering starting their own businesses,” he concluded.

In addition, Glencore Coal has also rolled out the Supplier Development Training Programme as part of the offering of the ESD programme. The new offering is a year-long training programme to ensure that small businesses are fully equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to grow. The programme will cover various modules, such as Strategic Planning and the use of strategic tools in business, an introduction to Glencore Coal Procurement, Acquiring New Business and a step-by-step guide to the tendering process, Financial Management, Managerial Skills & Leadership, to name a few. 

To date, Glencore Coal has enrolled 15 local businesses from the Nkangala area in the training academy, who all began the training in June and should be completing within a year. 

“We are excited about the business centre and the training academy because they are going deep into the roots of what hinders the growth of small businesses and capacitating entrepreneurs with the tools to overcome challenges so they can thrive. We also want to encourage other businesses in these areas to make opportunities available so we can all work together to help grow the local economy,” Glencore Coal CEO, Murray Houston, concluded. 

For further information please contact:
Shivani Chetram    
t: +27 11 772 0650

Notes for Editors
Glencore is one of the world’s largest global diversified natural resource companies and a major producer and marketer of more than 60 responsibly sourced commodities that advance everyday life. The Group's operations comprise around 150 mining, metallurgical and oil production assets.
With a strong footprint in over 35 countries in both established and emerging regions for natural resources, Glencore's industrial activities are supported by a global network of more than 30 marketing offices. Glencore's customers are industrial consumers, such as those in the automotive, steel, power generation, battery manufacturing and oil sectors. We also provide financing, logistics and other services to producers and consumers of commodities. Glencore's companies employ around 135,000 people, including contractors.

Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Our ambition is to be a net zero total emissions company by 2050.

We began marketing activities in South Africa in 1974, and mining in 1988. Glencore has a strong presence in both the coal and ferroalloy sectors and is a major contributor to the local, provincial, and national economies and have almost 16,800 employees and contractors. We are a leading producer of thermal coal, which is intended for the domestic and export market. Thermal (or “steam”) coal is mainly used in power generation. Our coal operations are located near eMalahleni, Middelburg and Belfast in the Mpumalanga province.

Our Ferroalloys business is one of the world's largest integrated ferrochrome producers. Ferrochrome has anti-corrosive properties and around 80% goes into the production of stainless steel. Our chrome and vanadium operations are located across the mineral-rich Bushveld Complex of South Africa's North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.

Glencore is proud to be a member of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and the International Council on Mining and Metals. We are an active participant in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

The companies in which Glencore plc directly and indirectly has an interest are separate and distinct legal entities. In this document, “Glencore”, “Glencore group” and “Group” are used for convenience only where references are made to Glencore plc and its subsidiaries in general. These collective expressions are used for ease of reference only and do not imply any other relationship between the companies.  Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer collectively to members of the Group or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies.