De Beers Zimele Business Hubs have created over 2 00 jobs in South Africa’s rural and regional urban areas with loans exceeding R60 million.
Barend Petersen, Chairman of De Beers Consolidated Mines (DBCM), launched the latest De Beers Zimele Business Hub in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. The first in the Western Cape region, the De Beers Marine Zimele Business Hub joins others operated by DBCM to support budding entrepreneurs in the Northern Cape, Limpopo, Gauteng and the Free State.
Mr Petersen said: “De Beers has supported many initiatives from historically disadvantaged, and often the most marginalised, people in South Africa. We are proud to have funded 233 new SMEs in 2014, thereby creating 2,335 jobs in rural and regional urban areas with loans amounting to R60.7 million. I am encouraged by the progress to date and know that De Beers and Anglo American Group share a vision for Zimele with South Africa to transform and build a better future, especially for those South Africans who are proof that job creation can come from unexpected places, sectors and regions.”
The launch was addressed by The Honourable Minister for Small Business Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu MP, and attended by senior officials from the Department of Small Business Development.
De Beers Marine Chairman, Burger Greeff, together with De Beers Marine General Manager, Domingos Valbom, championed the introduction of the Hub to serve the Western Cape and to complement the Hub in Namaqualand on the west coast of the Northern Cape Province.
Anglo Zimele Director, Sakhile Ngcobo, and the Head of De Beers Zimele, Tsepo Monaledi, hosted De Beers Marine Zimele partner entrepreneurs who were introduced to the Minister and had the opportunity to discuss their respective businesses.
Mr Petersen outlined the 2014 successes in promoting transformation within the mining sector, highlighting various initiatives taken by the industry through the Chamber of Mines and with government. He also welcomed fundamental progress in the advancement of employment equity within De Beers saying: “The empowerment of De Beers’ diamond trading arm – Sightholder Sales South Africa – in July 2014 further complemented the broad-based empowerment of DBCM back in 2006 when Ponahalo Holdings took a 26 per cent share in DBCM.”
Mr Petersen emphasised that De Beers Zimele’s vision is to create sustainable jobs in the communities in which De Beers operates. Its purpose is to facilitate the creation, promotion and expansion of sustainable, empowered businesses through funding, extensive support, mentorship and guidance. De Beers Zimele, in collaboration with other strategic partners, facilitates the turning of dreams of potential entrepreneurs into reality. De Beers Zimele Business Hubs have been established in all the areas where the De Beers companies operate in South Africa.