The official launch of the Chaneng Business Centre took place in Chaneng on Friday the 8th May 2009.
Bakwena funded this project as part of its socio-economic development projects and has invested a total budget of R3 million to date in the design, construction, training and project management of this project. The Centre is located in the Chaneng Village, between Sun City and Rustenburg and provides formal premises to 14 local micro-entrepreneurs in the Chaneng Community, elevating them from the informal premises that they operated from just a few months ago.
The concept for the Chaneng Centre was to provide formal trading premises for up to 15 entrepreneurs from the Chaneng area with the objective of assisting these entrepreneurs in elevating themselves from informal traders into fully fledged entrepreneurs providing goods and services that meet the needs of the community in the surrounding area. The Chaneng Business Centre has been modelled on a public private partnership (PPP) that includes the Royal Bafokeng Administration as landowners, the Department of Labour as joint training sponsors with Bakwena, the community as beneficiaries and entrepreneurs, and Bakwena as the project sponsor. The model is aligned with the National LED framework, the Sustainable Community Investment Programme (SCIP) 2006-2011 and the North West PGDS.
The Centre has been constructed on a train-then-build model making use of and enhancing the skills and experience of members of the Chaneng community. This has resulted in the empowerment of 200 people who now have certificated skills in various elements of construction – such as foundations pouring, bricklaying and roofing. The trainees were employed during the construction period to make practical use of the skills developed during the training project. The training programme was jointly sponsored by Bakwena and the Department of Labour.
A community theatre group has been promoting awareness of the centre by presenting a play on “How to create a working local economy” to various forums within Chaneng. The theatre group includes 10 previously untrained “actors” from the community, who were trained and mentored to perform in the play which educates people on the principles of spending their money locally to ensure that it circulates within the Chaneng community, rather than “leaking” out to shops outside Chaneng and even outside the North-West province. The play has been performed at schools, churches and community gatherings in Chaneng over the last year and has been very useful in imparting the message of “How to create a working local economy”.
The chaneng Centre was officially opened by Bakwena’s CEO, Mr Graeme Blewitt who said: “The Chaneng Business Centre is about creating the facilities to assist entrepreneurs in moving from informal businesses to becoming formal businesses trading from formal premises. Bakwena started this project with the idea that it would be only a matter of time before the first set of businesses would outgrow these premises and move onto bigger and better locations making space available for a new set of entrepreneurs. This center is intended to be an incubator, a stepping stone for businesses that have shown they have the ability to grow and expand. Bakwena wishes to see these businesses grow from strength to strength and grab the opportunity that has been offered to them in this Centre”.