EVP set in motion

Transnet’s innovative and resourceful Employee Volunteer Programme (EVP) was launched at Mokone Primary School in Langa, Cape Town on July 20 2012.  Dubbed “Volunteers for Villages,” the EVP has been developed by Transnet as a way to benefit community enterprise development, through skills and knowledge sharing and to also assist in other areas of community upliftment.
The programme is already under way in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal and has involved hundreds of Transnet employees spending up to 24 working hours per annum in various EVP initiatives, including food security, skills transference and infrastructure maintenance. 
“At Transnet we believe that empowering people to build their own futures is a logical route to job creation, provided that the support structures we put in place are strategically planned for sustainable impact,” commented Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.
The EVP will invest in the community in a way that is both sustainable and measurable. In other words, by sharing knowledge and skills with emerging entrepreneurs in the area, the employee volunteers will assist in building organised capacity, which not only helps these small community enterprises grow but ultimately empowers communities.
“Our broad wealth of skills will match the broad range of developmental needs of the disadvantaged community on the receiving end,” stated Transnet Chief Executive: Human Resources Nonkululeko Sishi, who attended the event. 
Entrepreneurs based in the communities where EVP is active, will be encouraged to participate in this programme and will attend an assessment workshop, where their potential to run viable businesses will be evaluated. The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), which has partnered with Transnet to set up the project and train its coordinators, will identify suitable candidates for the programme, assess their needs and assist the EVP project managers in matching Transnet’s specialist volunteer mentors with their beneficiaries.
Each enterprise will be assigned three mentors who will then assist with the three main gaps in their business, as decided by the CIE, such as marketing, finance or human resources management. Once the initiative is under way, the CIE will be responsible for monitoring and measuring its progress, which will include six-monthly formal assessments.
The Transnet mentor volunteers, will be given time off during working hours, to perform their duties and will be sharing skills such as financial management, business administration, project management, engineering and technical skills, marketing and communications, human resources and computer skills.
To add to this, the volunteers can also participate in community building projects such as repairing and revamping of infrastructure, creation of a waste management programme which feeds into recycling, and improving schools and crèches.

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