JSE-listed diversified mining company Exxaro has announced a new supplier development partnership with the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).
The two organisations are launching a new contractor development programme, which aims to promote and support the advancement and empowerment of local Exxaro suppliers by providing business education and mentorship.
So far, 31 businesses have been approved to enrol in the course, with the first intake running from November 2020 to November 2021.
It is anticipated that a total of 90 participants will be enrolled through three intakes.
The programme will provide a unique intervention that combines selected accredited unit standards with customised mining and Exxaro-specific content to maximise impact and relevance for participants.
The programme was developed in partnership with the GIBS Entrepreneurship Development Academy (EDA), which was launched in 2012.
Exxaro’s contractor development programme intends to improve the business management and technical skills of the identified contractors and give these entrepreneurs a better understanding of how to overcome the operational challenges that they face.
The scope of the programme will cover four primary domains, namely leadership, entrepreneurship, people management, and business management practices; and is intended to empower participants to acquire the industry knowledge, skills, attitudes and values required to make their businesses more competitive, and to respond to the challenges of the economic environment.
Throughout the course, Exxaro representatives will present case studies, which are relatable and impactful, on technical topics such as procurement and payment processes.
Active mentorship is also an important aspect of the programme, and will see that entrepreneurs are matched with individual mentors based on their unique needs. Throughout the course, participants will work on achieving practical learning outcomes in a setting that combines expert facilitators, relevant content and a blend of face-to-face and online learning.
In a statement on November 23, Exxaro reiterated its commitment to uplifting communities and developing partnerships that “create equal opportunities”. It added that with the introduction of the new supplier development programme, the miner’s objective is “to improve local economic development in host communities by empowering suppliers, who in turn impact their families and communities through job creation and poverty alleviation”.
“Partnerships and collaborations are empowering both to ourselves and communities to address today’s socio-economic challenges,” said Exxaro CEO Mxolisi Mgojo. “By using our industry knowledge and resources to upskill up-and-coming entrepreneurs, we can grow new businesses and communities by providing knowledge and mentorship at a grassroots level.”