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Eskom academy upskills black small business owners

From left to right:  Eskom Development Foundation Chairman, Mr Chose Choeu, Eskom Development Foundation CEO, Mr Cecil Ramonotsi, Professor Nel, Professor Mokgalong and Eskom Contractor Academy graduates who received their certificates at the graduation ceremony held at the Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand this week.

One hundred and seventy six (176) Eskom contractors and suppliers from around the country graduated today after completing the eight-month Eskom Contractor Academy. The group received their certificates today at a ceremony held at the Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand.

The Contractor Academy is one of the Eskom Development Foundation’s key initiatives and part of the organisation’s commitment to enterprise development, skills development, job creation and poverty alleviation. The academy has trained a total of 1311 students since its inception in 2008 and boasts a 97.7% success rate, with a fair gender (59% male and 41% female) and youth (50%) representation.

The training programme is offered exclusively to Eskom contractors and suppliers and entrepreneurs who’ve participated in other Eskom programmes. These are people wishing to improve their skills in project, people and financial management, business sustainability, SHEQ (Safety, Health, Environment and Quality), supply chain management, legislation and technical acumen, which all form part of the academy’s modules.

Eskom believes that by equipping small and emerging business people with the necessary skills to build sustainable businesses, the country can begin to effectively address some of its socio-economic challenges. By combining both practical and theoretical course work, the academy empowers contractors to be in a better position to negotiate and win lucrative contracts.

The Contractor Academy forms an integral part of Eskom’s corporate social investment programme as it seeks to enhance the quality of life for as many South Africans as possible. Many small and medium enterprises have benefitted as a result of their owners getting training from the academy, with some of them going on to successfully secure contracts with Eskom. Since 2010, 645 contracts worth over R3 billion have been awarded to students/graduates of the academy.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony Eskom Development Foundation Chairman, Mr Chose Choeu, said through initiatives such as the Contractor Academy, we will find solutions to our economic challenges of poverty and unemployment. “This training will help these entrepreneurs and their businesses to not only improve their communities but also the South African economy as a whole,” added Choeu.

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