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FORUM MEETINGS
SMME Forum Meeting held 15 March 2005

The forum meeting was very poorly attended with only 14 SMMEs representing their companies while 50 indicated by the RSVP date that they would attend. Karin Janse van Rensburg and Maxwell Malan gave an overview of the programmes of the WCBDC for 2005.

The following issues were discussed:
  • Chairperson Mr Edgar Solomons noted the lack of commitment on the part of SMMEs in not attending the forum meetings.
  • The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Finance’s link to the centre was discussed. At this stage the department has outsourced the development process to National Productivity Institute who is currently using Mr Mark Topass to mentor local SMMEs who form part of the 118 SMME incubation programme of the Department. The WCBDC is informed of the status of the mentoring, but is not physically involved in the process.
  • Corporate Companies have access to the database of the WCBDC.
  • SMMEs expect the WCBDC to market their services and corporates to supply growth opportunities for SMMEs. The WCBDC is measuring local spend of corporates wich is an indication of local BEE opporutnities and will raise the issue with the corporate companies. The WCBDC further emphasizes the importance of all SMMEs to deliver quality services and to adhere to good business pratice when providing service to the corporate sector, as one SMME’s lack of profesionnality reflects on all the SMMEs in the West Coast. The WCBDC also stresses that it can only present the capabilities of it’s SMEs but cannot prescribe to the corporates who they should use.
  • The following issues were identified by the WCBDC and Corporate Procurement Forum:
    • SMME costing and pricing. SMMEs eiter under quote and make losses or over price their services and thus don't get orders/contracts.
    • Poor Work ethic. SMMEs do not regard the corporate companies as clients to whom they need to provide an excellent service in order to get work, now and in future. Small jobs or urgent work is often not quoted for and the corporate is forced to contract large businesses form Cape Town to do the job, on account that the SME "does not want to work on weekends" etc. SMMEs must view small jobs and crisis jobs as opportunities to reaffirm their relationship with the corporate, which will lead to bigger contracts.
    • 2 SMEs will be included on each corporate procurement forum meeting. This will give SMEs an opportunity to voice their concerns directly to the corporate procurement managers of the local corporate companies. SMEs will be placed on a rotational roster so that as many SMEs as possible will be included in the discussions. The roster will be compiled from SMMEs in the SMEDP and Subscription programmes.

      Karin Janse van Rensburg
The following SMME Forum meeting will be held:

Date : 11 May 2005
Venue: WCBDC, Tonyn Street, White City, Saldanha
Time: 16:00 – 17:30

If you are serious about developing your business, you must be there. This is a platform for SMMEs to voice their concerns as well as to gain information concerning the programmes of the WCBDC.

Karin Janse van Rensburg
CORPORATE BREAKFAST MEETING:

The Corporate Breakfast Meeting held at Club Mykonos 16 March 2005 was a success.

The following corporate companies were represented by General Management, Procurement Managers and or buyers:
  • Mittal Steel (previously Saldanha Steel)
  • Namakwa Sands
  • PCC Saldanha
  • Sea Harvest Corporation
  • Spoornet
  • National Ports Authority
  • Saldanha Bay Municipality

Other business partners who attended were: Saldanha-Vredenburg Business Chamber
Die Weslander was also present

The WCBDC presented an overview of the start-up, subscription and SMEDP programmes as well as corporate business opportunities and local BEE spending analysis, as determined by a survey done by Maxwell Malan in 2004. Discussions centered on the joint responsibility of corporate companies and the WCBDC to develop BEE SMEs in the West Coast Region. Corporate Companies responded positively and we hope that we will have their continued support.

Namakwa Sands presented a contract to Mr. LW Johannes of the Bergrivier Gestremdes.
Thank you once again to Namakwa Sands for sponsoring the meeting, reiterating their commitment to local development.

Karin Janse van Rensburg

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