Integrated chemicals and energy company Sasol is opening a business centre to support emerging small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs) in the Secunda region in Mpumalanga.

The facility is located in an easily accessible area at the Grand Palace building in Secunda town and will be officially opened on Wednesday, 24 June 2020.

The office space, complete with high-speed Internet access, will provide SMMEs with access to colour printing, copiers and scanners, specialised software for technical requirements such as pallet design software, as well as telephone services.

Furthermore, SMMEs will for up to two hours a day, have access to fully-furnished working spaces, a boardroom and meeting rooms. Alongside these services will be assistance with registration on to Sasol’s Ariba supplier database system.

“This facility will deliver a very important function and massive value to SMMEs in the region,” said Phelelani Mbhele, Manager: Enterprise and Supplier Development at Sasol’s Secunda Operation.

“While we have more than 100 SMMEs on our enterprise development database supported through various programmes, the office will be open to 51% and more black-owned EMEs and QSEs.”

He added that some of the most common gaps that we have seen start-ups struggle with are effective communication mechanisms, accessing Sasol’s systems and responding to RFQs, and the office has been designed to address these.

With the eased lockdown regulations, more SMMEs will be going back to business. The opening of the offices is will provide the much needed support to the SMMEs that were impacted by COVID-19.

With transmission of Coronavirus likely to be a concern, safety measures to control the spread of the virus have been instituted at the location, with social distancing and sanitising established as an integral part of operations – adhering to the government regulations.

Mbhele says the petrochemical giant will include those that are CIPC registered and at least 51% black-owned in the pool of SMEs to be considered for participation in the development programme.

This is in its quest to increase participation of local businesses and advance the transformation of the South African economy.