GrandWest, the largest entertainment and gaming destination of its kind in the Western Cape, is underpinning its Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) efforts by contributing to the growth of the local economy through sustained support of small local enterprises.
GrandWest has maintained a Level 2 BBBEE status for the past three years and has met its procurement target for local and empowered suppliers of 60%, as prescribed by the Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board’s condition of licence. The complex is stepping up efforts to increase procurement from compliant, empowered suppliers, aligned to holding company, Sun International’s focus on promoting sustainable change in its supply chain.
“We have identified a number of opportunities within our supply chain, from service providers and operating equipment suppliers, to maintenance providers, equipment rental, and food and beverage suppliers. In particular, we have been proactive in identifying black women owned businesses,” says Wayne de Wet, Commercial Manager, Eastern and Western Cape.
While local empowerment is both a preference and a requirement, de Wet says that it is not always easy to implement. Most of the larger companies are based in Gauteng and do not have a base in the Western Cape, which means they are not local.
“There are challenges associated with finding service providers in the Western Cape that are able to fulfil our specific requirements. Our biggest needs lie in the specialised maintenance fields, such as air conditioning and fire services, as well as earthworks. While empowered suppliers with 50% empowered status are preferred, we still look at working with companies which are 30% black empowered with a view to supporting and assisting in their growth towards full empowerment,” de Wet says.
“Any relationships we develop need to benefit both parties from a price and quality perspective. Running a complex the size and scale of GrandWest means we have to be very efficient, while at the same time customers expect that we will provide a premium level of quality in everything that we do.”
Skilling and nurturing BBBEE providers in GrandWest’s supply chain is critical to success, explains Heidi Edson, Group Socio Economic Development Manager. “We offer continuous training and mentorship through our Enterprise Development Programme. Five years ago we gave opportunities to five small suppliers and those five companies are still with us today. We now boast a bigger pool of suppliers with verified quality of work and importantly their track record with GrandWest means opportunities have been opened up with other corporate contracts in the market,” she said.
For example, women-run Decordent Living (pictured above) has been associated with GrandWest since 2014. Decordent Living successfully completed an interlinking service road on the property, stripping the old gravel, fixing the quality of the road and resurfacing it with a new asphalt layer. Such was the quality of the finished project that GrandWest has commissioned Decordent Living for other projects.
As a result of the partnership, GrandWest has been instrumental in helping Decordent Living to double their turnover and afforded them more access to other tender opportunities. Says Decordent Living’s Warda Albertyn: “Timeous payments by GrandWest for projects completed has favourably influenced our cash flow management, giving us easier access to banking facilities, together with greater credit facilities in terms of 30 day creditors. We have now grown to the point that we have been able to increase our staffing capacity and engage several other emerging BBBEE contractors and suppliers. Based on the investment by the Sun International Group and GrandWest specifically, our future plan is to create more opportunity for sustainable procurement through ongoing collaboration with local building partners, thereby growing further employment opportunities in our region.”
Another company that is growing its business through its participation in GrandWest’s Enterprise Development Programme is NBW Transport. GrandWest assisted the small operator to purchase new vehicles which are used to transport GrandWest shift working employees at night, while during the day they are used in the operation of NBW Transport’s business. Says NBW Transports’s Nolin Wildschut “Instead of taking a bank loan with a high interest rate, GrandWest offered us an interest free loan. We are assisted in reducing the loan through the subsidised night transport service we provide for staff working late. Our vehicles are running 24 hours which means we are maximising our return on investment.”
In addition to the Enterprise Development Programme, GrandWest also has several learnership programmes in place to offer unemployed youths with tertiary qualifications, as well as disabled people, opportunities to receive on-the-job training and mentorship at the complex.
“Since inception in 2000, we have understood that the success of GrandWest would not only depend on our ability to deliver quality entertainment and facilities, but also on our ability to help build a sustainable community. Our efforts to support small enterprises and provide learnership opportunities to our youth are part of our commitment to contribute towards the growth of the local economy and promote a healthy community,” concludes de Wet.
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