EMPOWERMENT: Guide To Opportunities Propels BBBEE
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A new Provincial Government initiative to propel broad-based black economic empowerment in the Western Cape to a new level was launched yesterday.
BEE4ME and the Western Cape Guide to BBBEE Opportunities is a customised BBBEE benefits information package that will be published in English, isiXhosa and Afrikaans.
The package is the result of government’s 15 years of experiencing developing business opportunities for citizens excluded from the economy by apartheid.
“As a result, there is a mountain of information on business assistance, financing, marketing, employment, skills development, share ownership, State purchasing and other economic empowerment opportunities that Government is offering,” said Garth Strachan, MEC for finance, economic development and tourism in the PGWC.
“But,” he added, “the information is scattered all over the place.
“As a result, it is almost impossible for the average citizen, especially the poor, those with low literacy levels and the marginalised, to find and make sense of all this information without some help,” he said at the launch.
That’s where BEE4ME comes in.
BEE4ME brings that mountain of information to the targeted citizen where she or he lives and makes it possible for him to find out within minutes what Government programmes and schemes are available which best match her or his interests.
“In simple terms, BEE4ME finds all this information, simplifies it, classifies it according to the type of opportunity and the intended targeted beneficiary, places it in a computerised database, writes a software package which allows that person to enter personal details and interests and produces details of every type of Government support that is open to the person to help them participate fully in the mainstream economy,” Strachan said.
Phase one, a rudimentary form of the database has been made available in a booklet called The Western Cape Guide to BBBEE Opportunities Offered By Government.
Phase two, the trial of which will be rolled out in July, is an extensive and much more detailed database that will be available on the Internet for those who are able to find their way around the web.
Phase three provides help to those who do not have access to the Internet. From September 2009, computers and skilled advisers will be available at RED Door offices to assist walk-in clients.
Phase four sees the launch of a mobile BEE4ME Initiative. From November 2009, trained advisers will take the database to every town and village in the Province where they will assist individuals and demonstrate the programme to community groups and learners.
Phase five starts in April 2010. “We have set the target of at least one BEE4ME walk-in service to be operating in every municipality in the Western Cape,” says Strachan.
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