Johannesburg electrical engineering company Nerm Applications and Testing was named overall winner at the annual 2014 Shanduka Black Umbrellas National Enterprise Development Awards. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and Lindiwe Zulu, the Minister of Small Business Development, handed out prizes to the winners yesterday.
Nerm is involved in the testing of electrical protection schemes and metering in substations and presently employs eight people on a full-time basis. Owned by Dorian Engle, Mduduzi Motsa and Reginald Nkosi, it has a substantial contract with the Ekurhuleni municipality and is planning to expand operations into Africa with advanced negotiations under way to do work in Kenya.
Ramaphosa said it was vital to support SMMEs in order to create employment in South Africa. He said that if 100000 small businesses employed 20 people each, then two million jobs would be created. "I believe it is possible and it's something we should strive for. The businesses showcased tonight at these awards prove that it is achievable," Ramaphosa said.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas (SBU), the innovative non-profit business incubation programme, established the Enterprise Development Awards to reward and acknowledge those businesses in its programme that are making a difference and creating employment.
Earlier this year, regional awards were held at SBU's business incubators in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The regional winners then competed for the national awards.
Indrani Govender of Durban-based Ricinz Construction took top honours in the Jobs Created category while Best Performing Company award went to another KZN company, M&L Business Solutions, owned by Nokwanda Kambuwa.
Samson Sekgolea of the Johannesburg company Time Keeper Trading, which supplies protective equipment for mining and construction companies, was named Best SBU Ambassador.
This category evaluates those who have best met compliance with training, tax and statutory requirements and who have made an impact on their community.
Shanduka Black Umbrellas Durban was named SBU Incubator of the Year.Yvonne Themba, chairperson of Shanduka Black Umbrellas said: "Shanduka Black Umbrellas has come of age since it began operations in 2009." - 700198