Skills for vendors

As part of the city’s plan to increase entrepreneurship in Cape Town, Small businesses heard how to land government contracts and beat red tape at an entrepreneurial-skills workshop in Bellville last week.

The workshop took place at the Bellville Civic Centre last week to develop vendors’ entrepreneurial skills. Among other things, the session showed vendors how to apply for tenders.

The main agenda of the workshop, which was the 13th one the city hosted since May, is to properly educate vendors on how to successfully apply for tenders. 

Mayco member for urban management, Grant Twigg, said small businesses could find it “daunting” navigating red tape.

“We often encourage individuals to become entrepreneurs and to venture into starting up their own businesses. But navigating the supply chain management requirements and paper-work is simply quite daunting for a number of small vendors.“Quite often they would rather abandon their efforts to respond to a government tender due to the complexities. This  training will help to build their confidence in responding to request for quotations and tenders that are issued by the City and other spheres of government.” 

The City is running the programme over the next three years with a business consultancy firm.

In order to run the workshop, the city’s enterprise and investment department joined up with the Business Associate, a local business consulting and financial management firm, to run the programme over the next three years. 

The programme is there to provide registered suppliers on the city’s community vendors database but it is also able to help newly registered vendors, a concept that Sub-council 6 chairperson Mercia Kleinsmith said will help the area of Bellville. 

She said the programme would benefit “contractors from the wider Bellville area will benefit from this and contractors could approach the sub-council for help and officials.

“I support this initiative as this is empowering our local contractors. Contractors which falls under the Bellville sub-council like Bellville, Bellville South, Ravensmead, Uitsig, Belhar can come to the sub-council and officials can guide them through the process.” 

Ms Kleinsmith added that the programme will also help encourage entrepreneurs to apply for more tender and other benefits the city may offer in the near future.

Mayco member for economic opportunities and asset management, James Vos said it was important to help small businesses grow support small businesses.

“It is important for us to empower small business vendors with the knowledge and the skills needed to grow and develop their businesses into successful entities. These are the businesses who make an important contribution to creating employment for their community members and in doing so make a meaningful impact in our efforts to alleviate poverty and empower more people to become economically active.”
The training session “ticks all the right boxes”, he said.

Mr Twigg said more than 160 vendors had attended the workshops. 

He said 90% of the vendors were “in good standing” with the South African Revenue Service, but those that weren’t need not despair as they would be assisted to get the tax-clearance certificates needed to tender and quote for government contracts.