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14 KZN SMEs generate over R163m, create 150 jobs
Two leading property companies, Fortress Real Estate Investments and Growthpoint Properties, have celebrated the graduation of 14 small and growing businesses in KwaZulu-Natal through the enterprise development programme, Property Point.
The programmes, despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021, have recorded a combined revenue of over R163 million in two years, generating around 150 full-time and part-time jobs and accessing over R34 million worth of contracts.
At a joint graduation ceremony in Durban, electrical contractors KVA Engineering and cleaning and logistics business Phephela Elangeni were declared top-performing businesses in the Fortress and Growthpoint programmes, respectively. Each business earned a prize of R50 000 for displaying exceptional growth throughout the programmes. The 14 companies also received R360 000 as prize money from the sponsors at the graduation.
Shawn Theunissen, CEO of Property Point, congratulated all participants of the programmes and commended them for their resilience and hard work. He said, “We are getting a step closer to strengthening the impact of local economic development, and through these programmes, we will prove that SMEs have a larger impact on the growth of this country’s economy, striving for success and sustainability against all odds.”
Fortress chief operations officer Donnovan Pydigadu highlighted the importance of SMEs in grassroots economic development. “We are proud to be part of this joint initiative with Growthpoint and Property Point, and we congratulate all the graduates of our Enterprise Development Programme.
“These small and growing businesses have shown that they have the potential to make a significant impact on the South African economy. We believe that SMEs and entrepreneurship are the engines of economic growth, and we will continue to support initiatives that foster entrepreneurship and promote sustainable job creation.”
Growthpoint regional head in KwaZulu-Natal, Greg Worst, echoed Pydigadu’s sentiments and expressed his pride in the graduates’ resilience and hard work. He said, “We are committed to positively impacting the South African business landscape. We will continue to support initiatives that promote economic growth, job creation, and sustainable development.”
Phakama Matiwane, the owner of one of the graduating companies, Amankankani Glass and Aluminium and chairman of the Umhlanga chapter of the Black Business Forum, emphasised the importance of economic inclusion.
He said, “As the owner of a black business that has been on the fringes for so long, this programme has taught me much about what we as SMEs must do to access opportunities from big businesses.
“The real need remains immense, as hundreds and hundreds of black businesses and BFF members in KZN alone still have no access to the bigger economy. We call on all big businesses to take economic inclusion seriously as these companies have done and open their doors to SMEs from within their local communities.”
The 14 graduating businesses also expressed their gratitude for the programme and the opportunities it provided. KVA Engineering chief executive Vuyani Koyana said, “The Property Point programme has been a game-changer for our business, and we are grateful for the support and guidance we received. The networking opportunities have been invaluable, and we have secured several big contracts as a result of the programme.”