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North West Business 2023-24

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  • Economy
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  • Rustenburg
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  • Platinum
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  • Mining
  • Mmabatho
The 2023/24 edition of North West Business marks the 12th publication of this highly successful journal that, since its launch in 2009, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the North West Province. Renewable energy is a huge global trend, and the impact this burgeoning sector is having on the North West can be seen in the development of several new solar farms which are under construction. The North West’s strong suit in platinum group metals (PGMs) already puts the province at the forefront of the drive towards a greener and renewable economy because of the applicability of so many of those minerals and metals for the cleaner energy movement. North West Business includes news and analysis of the most important sectors. Best known for its platinum mines, grain and livestock farming and tourism, the province is making a concerted effort to bolster its manufacturing capacity through a dedicated new strategy which includes trying to attract solar panel manufacturing to the province. To complement the extensive local, national and international distribution of the print edition, the full content can also be viewed online at Updated information on the North West is also available through our monthly e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to at, in addition to our complementary business-to-business titles that cover all nine provinces, our flagship South African Business title and the new addition to our list of publications, Journal of African Business, which was launched in 2020.

OVERVIEW Education and

OVERVIEW Education and training Bicycles make learning easier. Rural pupils attending classes at Olefile Secondary School in Pitsedisulejang no longer face a long walk to and from school. The village, in the far north-western corner of the province, is part of the Moses Kotane Local Municipality. Medipost Holdings has donated R300 000 worth of mountain bikes for the use of pupils. Bikes4ERP, the NGO which distributed the bicycles, gives bicycles to students, teachers and school volunteers with the main aim to increase access to education. The CSI initiative responds to the findings of a StatsSA survey that found that more than half of the 690 000 pupils in the province who walk to an educational institution are from rural areas. In the 2022 academic year, an amount of R16.2-million was allocated by provincial government in terms of the renamed Victor Thebe Sifora Provincial Bursary Scheme. The scheme will disburse R21.4-million in the 2023 academic year. The North West Parks Board has allocated an amount of R4-million to be spent on youth skills development. At North-West University, a new qualification, Mechatronic Engineering, has been added to the courses offered by the Faculty of Engineering. The Bachelor of Mechatronic Engineering programme has been approved by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA), enabling graduates to compete internationally. The university and its researchers are leaders in many fields, including astrophysics, tourism, solar energy and extruder technology. The University of South Africa (Unisa) has three branches in North West, at Rustenburg, Potchefstroom and Mmabatho. Technical Vocational and Educational Training colleges teach skills that are relevant to the workplace. North West has three TVET colleges with several campuses each. Vuselela TVET College has its headquarters in Klerksdorp, where there is also an accredited trade test centre. There are a further four campuses: Jouberton Centre for Engineering Studies; Matlosana Campus; Potchefstroom Centre for ICT and Taung Campus. Orbit TVET College has three sites, Rustenburg, Mankwe and Brits, with about 15 000 students overall. The Rustenburg campus of Orbit College hosts a Microsoft IT Academy while the Mankwe campus offers automotive training, the result of a partnership between the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related SETA ONLINE RESOURCES North West Department of Education: North-West University: NWU Business School: SECTOR INSIGHT North-West University now offers Mechatronic Engineering. (MerSETA), Lelethu Training and Ford South Africa. Orbit TVET College hosts an electronics academy courtesy of sponsor Samsung Electronics on the Mankwe campus, and in partnership with the MerSETA. Mankwe also offers Automotive Repair, Maintenance and Transport and Logistics and is a Centre of Specialisation in Diesel Trade. The Taung Agricultural College is accredited by the Council on Higher Education (CHE) to offer the NQF level 6 Diploma in Agriculture specialising in Irrigation Technology. ■ NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24 26

Banking African Bank has bought Ubank. OVERVIEW Ubank, which had a significant presence in the North West, has been sold to African Bank. Having started its life as a savings fund for mineworkers, Ubank was converted to a commercial bank in the early 1990s but mineworkers continued to have a say in how it was run. The relationship of Ubank with the North West was close, an example being the branches located at the Dishaba and Thumela hostels of the Amandebult Mine. Ubank was placed under administration in May, with the banking authorities citing concerns over insufficient capital, corporate governance and weak internal control. African Bank’s acquisition of Ubank was completed in November 2022 and adds 4.7-million customers to its operation. Coming within months of African Bank’s purchase of Grindrod Bank for R1.5-billion, the R80-million transaction indicates the scale of Africans Bank’s ambitions – an indication of how far the bank has come since it was put into administration itself in 2014. The Reserve Bank still has a 50% shareholding in the bank, which it intends to sell. TymeBank, one of the newer entrants onto the South African banking scene, is taking the concept of “retail banking” to another level. Having run banking kiosks within retailers such as Pick n Pay and Boxer for several years, TymeBank has signed a deal with TFG, a group that has a big presence in the North West. What used to be known as the Foschini Group has 34 brands, including Markhams, Totalsports, Jet and Dial a Bed, and 30-million customers. In the short term, TymeBank will have access to 600 TFG kiosks, taking the bank’s total in South Africa to 1 450. There are Exact stores in Rustenburg, Mahikeng and Zeerust. Another relatively new bank is Capitec. Investment holding company PSG has reduced its holding in Capitec Bank from 32% to 4%, earning about R4-billion by selling those shares. Discovery Bank officially launched in March 2019 and is experiencing rapid growth with deposits of R3.7-billion. Discovery Bank is applying the behavioural model it uses in its health business to reward good financial behaviour. ONLINE RESOURCES Association for Savings and Investment South Africa: Auditor-General of South Africa: Chartered Institute for Government Finance, Audit and Risk Officers: SECTOR INSIGHT TymeBank customers can bank in shops. In 2022, financial services group Old Mutual received permission from the prudential authority of the South African Reserve Bank to apply for a banking licence. The bank will spend R1.75-billion on setting up the bank and intends to launch in 2024. All of the big banks have agricultural desks where experts can offer relevant advice. Nedbank is making a point of making funding available for climate-change mitigation such as more efficient irrigation and water-use technologies. All of the large agricultural companies have finance divisions. Partners in the programme include the National Union of Mineworkers, Sanlam and Coronation. ■ 27 NORTH WEST BUSINESS 2023/24

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