New development programme launched to boost EC Exports

16:26 (GMT+2) Thu, 08 Mar 2018

The Eastern Cape Development Corporation and the Nelson Mandela Business Chamber have joined forces to launch an exporter development programme.

ECDC said the programme was part of an enterprise developmenmt strategy aimed at empowering business owners and companies by helping them navigate through the processes need to get their products into export markets.

Ten companies from across the province were been selected to form part of the programme.

Speaking at the launch at the Business Chamber on Thursday, ECDC exports business advisor, Naledi Siwisa, said the ten were shortlisted because of their potential for growth.

"It's not a matter of us saying to them, go this direction or take this route, they were going to do it whether we were there or not. What we liked about them is that they've got the potential to grow," she said.

According to the Chamber, the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan is the most competitive metropolitan in the Eastern Cape when it comes to manufacturing exports, with transport equipment -motor vehicle, parts and accessories - contributing 99.3% to the province followed by metal, metal products, machinery and equipment (97.4%); furniture and other manufacturing (95.3%), other non-metal mineral products (93.1%); petroleum products, chemicals, rubber and plastic (86.3%); textile, clothing and leather goods (78.3%); Radio, tv, instruments, watches and clocks (74.9%); wood, paper, publishing and printing (53.5%).

ECDC Senior for Export Promotion, Phakamisa George, said that the agency decided to partner with the chamber after seeing these statistics.

"It is against these statistics that the ECDC has decided to partner with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber on delivering the pilot phase of the Exporter Development Programme,"he said.

The chamber CEO, Nomkhitha Mona, said the programme entailed a combination of interventions aimed at imroving export readiness of the firms.

"This includes modular training by an accredited service provider as well as mentorship with firms in the Bay that are currently exporting," she added.

Some of the companies that have been enrolled include:

Buzwebethu Textile Prints - a manufacturing company of creatively-designed and company textiles

Flat Foot Engineering -  a company involved in industrial air-conditioning, steam and boilers, generators and fire protection

RV Footwear - a footwear manufacturer creating a full range of ladies, men's and children's slippers, sandals and school shoes

IKIM Solutions - a water treatment chemical manufacturing and trading business

SOGA Organic (Pty) Limited -  the association was formed in  2005,  and the SOGA juice factory was started 2012 and is a certified organic citrus juice processing plant

Budget Office Furniture - a leading manufacturer of office and school furniture

Fred Footwear - a 100% black-owned company with a UK trained fashion designer involved in the fashion and footwear industry for 40 years

Nceduluntu Wesley Community Project - Nceduluntu Wesley Community Project, a community programme focussed on agricultural produce and mohair products

La Mohair - a company producing Mohair products

SA Canvas - a custom-made PVC and canvas manufacturer.

Statement and photo supplied by Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber.