LEPHALALE — The Medupi Leadership Initiative (MLI) was established to actively seek sustainable solutions that would mitigate the socio-economic impact of the demobilisation programme on local communities. This initiative began in October 2012 and the MLI Implementation Launch took place on 12 April 2013 with contractors, labour, traditional leaders and local government in attendance.
MLI’s vision is to provide “hope” to the local demobilised employees of the Medupi Principal Contractors, after their current Limited Duration Contracts (LDCs) have expired, while also improving the local environment.
On behalf of Eskom and its Medupi Principal Contractors, the MLI Team, in collaboration with the implementing agents, is currently designing, securing funding for and delivering projects, or “Value Propositions” (VPs), to provide development and employment opportunities to the Medupi contractors’ demobilised local employees and other local people.
The initial VPs focused on creating job opportunities by restoring the environment, providing life skills training and developing employable skills. In the five-year period, the focus now also includes the development of self-employment opportunities and facilitating support for enterprise development for co-operatives and other small businesses.
Five-year headline achievements
At present, 21 SMMEs are in the incubation processes at the Lephalale Enterprise Development Centre that is run by Black Umbrellas and funded by MHPSA and Exxaro. Fourteen SMMEs have graduated since 2014.
Enterprises Development VP
This VP facilitates the establishment and provides support for start-up and existing Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) including co-operatives through networking with enterprise development agencies, training institutions, the Lephalale Local Municipality, development finance institutions, commercial banks and local service providers. To date:
- In total, 152 SMMEs have been registered on the MLI database and 105 assessments have been completed;
- Funding and training support are actively being pursued to address SMMEs’ development needs;
- Approximately 75 entrepreneurs and support agency representatives attended a two-day knowledge-sharing event held in October 2017. The MLI Team actively supports four priority enterprises and is evaluating more potential priority enterprises.
Smallholder Farmer VP
The Smallholder Farmer (SHF) VP is funded by the Jobs Fund, Eskom and South Deep Community and Education Trusts. The VP assists smallholder farmers by providing planning, training, coaching and access to in-kind input loans and market opportunities. To date:
- In total, 730 Smallholder Farmers (SHFs) have been registered on the MLI database, including 144 people demobilised from Medupi;
- Over 170 in-kind input loans have been granted;
- The Agri-Services Centre in Ga-Shongoane is fully operational;
- In addition, close to 1 000 participants have been deployed in more than 590 part-time/seasonal farming jobs through IDT funding to assist the SHFs.