Positioning our people to economic transformation opportunities is key to the RBIDZ in driving Radical Economic Transformation
Positioning our people to economic transformation opportunities is key to the RBIDZ in driving Radical Economic Transformation.
Upbeat in becoming a motor-force for change and taking a central role in the radical transformation of the economy of the province, the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) is deliberately focusing on opening opportunities for emerging contractors as part of efforts aimed at fast-tracking their entry into the mainstream economy. RBIDZ is an organisation made of real people with a real dedication and passion to effect real change in South Africa. This commitment to delivery is apparent in all dealings with not only potential investors but also internal and external stakeholders as well.
As an agent for economic development within the region, RBIDZ continues to live out its mission and vision to be the preferred Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for quality investment through utilizing the competitive advantage of the Richards Bay area to attract sustainable investments that stimulate economic growth, job creation, and beneficiation of resources and the empowerment of people.
Job creation remains central to achieving government’s objectives of inclusive growth, radical structural economic transformation, distributing the benefits of growth more widely and consequently reducing dependency on the welfare system, by broadening economic participation. The pattern and pace of economic growth needs to be adjusted and accelerated to achieve this outcome. It continues to require investment and interventions by both the public and private sectors to enable a conducive environment to further stimulate the generation of employment opportunities and inclusive economic growth.
It is for these reasons that recently, RBIDZ organized an SMME seminar at Hlanganani Hall in Esikhaleni Township. More than 200 entrepreneurs explored opportunities available and discussed possible agreements ranging from supplying and contracting. Richards Bay IDZ CEO – Pumi Motsoahae articulated his sentiments after the 3rd annual SMME seminar that “Investing in skills development is similar to investing in the future and prosperity of this country”.
The strategic objective of the event was to provide a platform for dialogue between SMMEs, funding institutions as well as RBIDZ locators. The seminar further allowed for SMMEs to get information on funding and development opportunities in order to properly align themselves to the demands of the respective companies which are already located on the various industrial estates as well as acquire insight from organisations due to set up in the immediate future. Locators or investors under the IDZ programme provided in-depth knowledge of their operations as well as their projected timeframe for factory set up allowing SMMEs to acquire adequate knowledge of the operational requirements and opportunities within the value chain.
In the interest of recognizing female talents and upskilling local people RBIDZ has confidently backed the employment of Nkosingiphile Goodness Luthuli, a female back-tip operator on Medway Road. Traditionally viewed as a male industry due to the intensive manual labour, Goodness has demystified these stereotypes by thriving in a male-dominated sector.
Goodness began her career within the construction industry in 2011 and has since never looked back. She was introduced to the field of heavy duty vehicles when she worked as a general worker, cutting and pruning trees at Port Durnford forest. Realizing that only men where operating such heavy machinery she enquired about how she can also become an operator from her employer. She was advised to acquire a driver’s licence and once certified to drive, the company would arrange for the necessary training needs. Through sheer determination Goodness acquired the necessary accreditations and was able to fulfil her dream of operating heavy construction machinery.
As a black female driver Goodness explained that she has faced vast challenges, such as being undermined owing to her gender but encourages more females to consider the field of construction.
“It is very interesting to note the reactions of my male colleagues when they realise that a female is skilled in operating such machinery. My ability to conduct myself professionally as well as efficiently is what ultimately wins their respect” she said.
This job is like any other, it is not gender that determines your success but it is skill and composure under strenuous situations.
“My employers are very accommodative of me”, further adding that she is allocated separate changing areas and also enjoys full benefits such as adequate maternity leave, etc. RBIDZ recognizes that although significant progress in female empowerment has been made in numerous fields, much still needs to be achieved.