As part of its ongoing and programmatic efforts that are aimed at supporting SMMES in the renewable energy sector, the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) held a supplier day workshop for SMMEs yesterday, 19 September 2019 in Ngqushwa Local Municipality (LM) at Ncumisa Kondlo Community Hall.
This programme aims to capacitate local SMMEs to take up direct and indirect business opportunities that arise from Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Programme (REIPPP).
Ngqushwa LM is one of the beneficiaries of this programme as it has a ‘South African first renewable energy plant developed in the former homeland area’.
The development is being undertaken by a private company under the guidance of the National Department of Energy as expressed in the implementation agreement between the two.
The hope is that this investment will encourage more private sector investment into the municipality.
Addressing the participants, the Ngqushwa LM Mayor, the honourable Mnikelo Siwisa appealed to the SMMEs to pay close attention to the presentations.
Today we will hear about the opportunities and the requirements SMMEs have to meet in order to contract directly with the Independent Power Producer, said Mr Siwisa.
We will also hear about the indirect opportunities that will accrue from and are associated with the development, added Mr Siwisa.
South Africa is attracting investment and growing employment in the green economy through private sector investment in the renewable energy plants.
Renewable energy plants are a means to secure energy for homes and businesses in the country and reduce carbon emissions.
Whilst opportunities to work directly with the developer may be limited as there is only one in the area currently, the workshop will help SMMEs to improve their overall business competitiveness.
It is within this context that various role players who are mandated to assist in empowering the SMMEs towards business competitiveness were invited and in attendance.
These include government and private business development institutions like Coega Development Corporation (CDC), DEDEAT, Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC), Kouga Municipality’s LED Unit, Kouga Wind Farm, SARS, SEDA, SEFA, South African Bureau of Standards, Standard Bank, The Business Place and SAICA Enterprise Development.
Guided by a vision of an Eastern Cape where economic growth and sound environmental management underpin sustainable development, DEDEAT’s mandate is to lead economic development and environmental management in the province.