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Employment: Supporting Provincial Job Creation

Job creation for youth and artisan development featured high on priorities committed to in the State of the Province Address delivered by Premier Supra Mahumapelo of the North West Province Legislature and Mpumalanga Premier, David Mabuza in June. Responding to commitments from the Provincial leaders Sephaku Cement Chief Executive, Pieter Fourie affirmed the company’s support of regional targets and initiatives.

Premier Mahumapelo aims to create 7 407 job opportunities through infrastructure development, the green economy and social economy during the financial year 2014/15 while in Mpumalanga, the target put forward was 78 000 per year over the next five years.

Fourie said: “As our business grows, we will do what is in our power to support the people of the North West and Mpumalanga to make a real difference to their lives.” To date, the company has recruited more than half of the employees at its flagship plant, Aganang from local communities. Most of these people have never been employed or were unemployed prior to the commencement of the project.

“As we move into the operational phase of the Aganang plant, our employment numbers will reach 170 people at the cement factory and an additional 300 employment opportunities will be created through subcontractors,” said Fourie. The majority of the semi-skilled employees will be recruited from the adjacent communities.

During the company’s construction phase, Sephaku Cement’s project contractor spent approximately R500m with local subcontractors, of which the majority were from the North West Province.

Both Premiers made a firm commitment to developing skills through trade and artisan training. “Development of skills in trades is critical in the two provinces,” commented Fourie. While Sephaku Cement built its plants, it invested in artisan development. He explained that in the three years of the construction of the project, they supported training of 10 fitters and electricians, of which 7 have been employed as artisans and artisan assistants at Aganang.

Sephaku Cement will also focus on sourcing youth from FET colleges in the two regions to build its pool of learners for recruitment within its artisan programme. “We are committed to supporting the communities in which we operate by offering skills development opportunities to young people from previously disadvantaged backgrounds,” concluded Fourie.

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Bodibeng Trading Proprietary Limited

Founded by Mr Gaopalelwe Olebogeng from the Verdwaal Village in the North West province who is the sole managing member of Bodibeng Trading Proprietary Limited. Mr Gaopalelwe has previous experience in plant cleaning that he acquired during his tenure as a plant cleaner at another cement company in Lichtenburg. Bodibeng Trading Proprietary Limited employs 36 employees from the local community and currently has a short-term contract with SepCem which includes mentorship to ensure that it effectively provides the plant cleaning services at Aganang.

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Mancamane Trading Enterprise

Mancamane is a black female-owned enterprise that started operating in 2010 as a plant cleaning, construction and mining supply company. Ms Daisy Maseko, a renowned entrepreneur, founded the enterprise in the Delmas area, Mpumalanga province and currently employs 28 permanent staff. SepCem adopted Mancamane into the enterprise development programme in 2014. The company is currently supplying plant cleaning services to the Delmas grinding plant and has demonstrated the ability to grow sustainably.

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MM&JK Cleaning Projects Proprietary Limited

In 2014, SepCem contracted the cleaning services of MM&JK Cleaning Projects, an enterprise established in 2013 by Mr Sipho Mazibuko from a village called Springbokpan in the North West province. SepCem identified MM&JK Cleaning Projects as a well-managed enterprise that is appropriately suited to benefit from the programme. In the case of MM&JK, SepCem has partnered with another major industrial organisation to mentor Sipho.

The partner’s role is to assist MM&JK Cleaning Projects with inproving its cleaning skills through training, providing cleaning equipment and required detergents. SepCem’s role is to develop Sipho’s business management skills including cost management, record keeping and negotiation. SepCem is assisting MM&JK to develop a marketing strategy to increase its customer base to reduce the single-customer dependency risk and ensure that the company is sustainable. MM&JK Cleaning Projects currently has a three-year contract with SepCem for general cleaning at Aganang and employs 14 permanent staff.

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Millicent’s Enterprise

Millicent’s Enterprise is 100% black female-owned and was founded by Ms Millicent Mahlabe, an entrepreneur from Delmas in the Mpumalanga province. The company was selected for the programme because it has historically demonstrated the ability to supply large contracts but lacks administration skills. Millicent’s has a good reputation and positive track record of being able to cater for large provincial government events.

SepCem secured Millicent’s catering services in 2013 for its canteen at the Delmas plant that provides meals to 150 employees. Millicent’s currently has seven permanent employees and several contract employees who are sourced as and when required.

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