7 months ago

Northern Cape Business 2023/24

  • Text
  • Tourism
  • Southafrica
  • Agriculture
  • Sustainable
  • Renewable
  • Mining
  • Solar
  • Business
  • Investment
  • Development
  • Port
  • Infrastructure
  • Green energy
  • Sector
  • Economic
  • Kimberley
  • Municipality
  • African
  • Province
  • Hydrogen
The 2023/24 edition of Northern Cape Business is the 13th issue of this highly successful publication that has, since its launch in 2009, established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Northern Cape Province. Officially supported and used by the Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Northern Cape Business is unique as a business and investment guide that focuses exclusively on the province. Specific investment opportunities are treated in detail in this journal, with a focus on geographic hotspots that are due to become the focus of sector-focused infrastructure development. Green hydrogen is the subject of a special feature in the early pages of the journal, but the subject comes up again in the Energy Overview.

OVERVIEW South African

OVERVIEW South African engineers and scientists, have worked on the design phase of the latest in radio astronomy for many years, the result of which will see 197 dishes erected in South Africa (mostly around Carnarvon) and 131 072 antennas put up in Australia. South Africa has already erected 64 dishes, which make up the MeerKAT device. In South Africa, the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), a facility of the National Research Foundation, manages all radio astronomy initiatives and facilities in the country, including the MeerKAT in the Karoo. The SKA will be the world’s largest radio telescope. In 2021, the Square Kilometre Array Observatory (SKAO) officially came into operation. The SKAO, with a head office in London, is tasked with delivering and operating the SKA. Local communities are getting exposure to engineering as a result of the SKA project. The SARAO started offering artisan bursaries in 2011. More recently, the Klerefontein Training Centre was opened in Carnarvon, giving local high school pupils access to an accredited electrical engineering apprenticeship programme. The training programme will provide the MeerKAT and SKA radio telescopes with qualified artisans for their operations and maintenance. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and SKA are placing the recipients of bursaries in the data science programmes of Sol Plaatje University (SPU) and other students of astronomy are enrolled at Rhodes University. The South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE) has launched a branch in Kimberley. The SAIEE Northern Cape Centre will attend to the needs of members and hold events of interest related to electrical or electronic engineering. SAIEE has 6 500 members around the country and is registered as a nonprofit voluntary association with ECSA (Engineering Council of South Africa). Innovation Part of a project to remodel the Northern Cape Department of Roads and Public Works (DRPW) aims to ensure that it has adequate in-house technical and engineering knowledge in infrastructure planning, design and project implementation ONLINE RESOURCES Consulting Engineers South Africa: South African Institute of Electrical Engineers: South African Radio Astronomy Observatory: Southern African Institution of Civil Engineering: Technology Localisation Implementation Unit: to enable it to complete important work. The DRPW is making 3D printing technology available to engineers and designers to allow them to create prototypes at lower cost. A feasibility study is underway on the establishment of a Northern Cape state-owned construction company. The Coega Development Corporation is undertaking the study. Among the goals for such a company are the training of young people as artisans, building houses, roads and other infrastructure and incubation of small businesses. The Northern Cape Innovation Forum (NCIF) has been established to bring together all sectors of society in taking advantage of innovation and technology in the province. The NCIF falls under SPU, in partnership with the National Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Localisation Implementation Unit of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). Most of the new structures for the Sol Plaatje University were subject to architectural design competitions. From a total of 59 entries, nine architectural firms were selected to enter the second round of the competition with five firms chosen as winners to complete different aspects of the project. The Sol Plaatje University Library and Student Resource Centre earned Aurecon an award at the 2018 CESA Aon Engineering Excellence Awards. ■ NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 46

Development finance and SMME support Small businesses are getting a head start in renewable energy. OVERVIEW ONLINE RESOURCES Northern Cape Solar Business Incubator: Northern Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism: Northern Cape Economic Development Agency: SECTOR INSIGHT More than 50 SMMEs have received PV green-card training. Solar panels in Kuruman. Credit: E-Kalahari Although the arrival of wind turbines and solar farms has been good for the Northern Cape economy, more can be done to involve local residents in the business side of the renewable energy economy. There is a feeling that fractional community ownership and charitable trusts are not enough in themselves. To that end, the Northern Cape will be one of three provinces in which Skills Development Zones (SDZs) will be sited over the next five years, as part of the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan. National government has committed R1.6-billion to this project. As part of the Northern Cape’s renewable energy strategy, SMMEs will be supported to become installers of rooftop solar PV panels. The support will enable small businesses to get loans and enter powerpurchase agreements. As of March 2023, more than 50 SMMEs had received PV green-card training. In addition, 2023 will see the launch of the Northern Cape Solar Business Incubator (NOCSOBI). A provincial Contractor Development programme is working to help small contractors become competitive. The aim is to install 50 small contractors on an incubation programme where business skills will be taught. A fund has been launched to provide concessionary funding to local entrepreneurs. The R75-million Northern Cape Blended SMME Fund is a joint initiative of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDaT) and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) and is part of a broader enterprise development programme. DEDaT is also partnering with the National Department of Telecommunications and Digital Technologies, the National Electronic Media Institute South Africa and the Vaal University of Technology to train unemployed young people in cellphone repairs. The South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) will spend about R4-billion on road maintenance and improvements in the province over three years. A sum of R50-million has been set aside for entry-level road maintenance subcontractors and of the R500-million to be spent on routine maintenance, something between 40% and 60% will go to SMMEs. Operation Vala Zonke, the province’s potholerepair initiative, created more than 120 jobs in the course of 2022. The province’s biggest new mine, the Vedanta Zinc International mine at Aggeneys, spends extensively on corporate social responsibility. SMMEs will be catered for in the planned Kathu Industrial Park which is being supported by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and companies in the mining sector. The park’s infrastructure will enable smaller companies to be in a position to tender for supply contracts to mines. The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) is a partner in the Kimberley incubation hub related to the Kimberley International Diamond and Jewellery Academy. The Kimberley Diamond and Jewellery Incubator (KIDJA) helps establish SMMEs, supports existing business and trains students. ■ 47 NORTHERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24

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