Policy Study: Research to inform policy responses to economic challenges in South Africa faced by SMMEs and Cooperatives
Due to the current depressed economic climate having the potential to impact negatively on the positive growth trajectory of SMMEs and Cooperatives in South Africa, the Department of Small Business Development (DBSA) commissioned Mthente to undertake a study that would establish the preliminary effects of the downgrade and slow growth on SMMEs and Cooperatives, explore the policy responses from the experiences of three countries at a similar stage of development, provide an evaluation of the policy responses for the South African context based on the country-study benchmarking and recommend the best policy responses that would yield tangible results in supporing SMMEs and Cooperatives during periods of economic recession.
The study was informed by a workshop with entrepreneurs, interviews with SMMEs and a detailed analysis of the policy responses to economic challenges in Kenya, Taiwan and Brazil.
Delft Cultural Mapping Framework
Mthente was commissioned by the Arts and Culture Department (ACD) of the City of Cape Town to develop a Cultural Planning Framework for Delft in collaboration with Delft’s arts and culture stakeholders. The Framework included a detailed action planning in order to provide strategic direction.
The desired outcome of the research was to develop “a broad framework of long range goals to form the basis for more specific planning work in the future. This work invovled extensive stakeholder engagement with the Delft community, local leaders, and people involved within arts and culture, which was supported by extensive secondary research on the area.
Mthente was commissioned by the Arts and Culture Department (ACD) of the City of Cape Town to ‘test’ their draft Cultural Mapping Toolkit in the following previously mapped areas: Node 1: Bo-Kapp; Node 2: Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory; and Kalk Bay and Simonstown. This ‘testing’ resulted in Mthente updatingj the Cultural Mapping Toolkit and undertaking a mapping study in Hanover Park.
The Value of Local Craft and Design Retail in Cape Town
Mthente conducted research for the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI), looking at the value of the local craft and design retail sector in the Cape Town Metropole. The research was informed by 60 interviews with design retailers, a spatial economy analysis that focused on design retailers in two nodes – the Watershed at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront and the Hout Bay Market, and in-depth case studies with two retailers within these nodes.
In conducting this research, the CCDI hoped to illustrate the link of this sector to the Tourism sector of the provonce, thereby showcasing the the importance of this sector to the economy of the Western Cape.
City of Cape Town, Arts and Culture Department: Testing and updating of the draft Cultural Mapping Toolkit
Mthente was commissioned by the Arts and Culture Department (ACD) of the City of Cape Town to ‘test’ their draft Cultural Mapping Toolkit in the following previously mapped areas: Node 1: Bo-Kaap; Node 2: Woodstock, Salt River and Observatory; and Node 3: Kalk Bay and Simonstown.
This ‘testing’ resulted in Mthente updating the Cultural Mapping Toolkit and undertaking a mapping study in Hanover Park.
Small Enterprise Development Agency: Review of the current SEDA Incubation Ownership, Operation and Governance Model of the SEDA Incubation Programme
Mthente was commissioned by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) to undertake a review of its current Incubation Ownership, Operation and Governance Model of the SEDA Incubation Programme, in order to identify challenges with and/or gaps in the model, and to learn from best-practice incubation ownership, operational and governance models.
The review will be used as a basis for recommending changes or improvements to the current model in terms of effectiveness and agility.
Benchmark Study against Best Practices of Economic Transformation
Mthente was commissioned by the B-BBEE Commision to undertake a benchmark study against the best practices on economic transformation and empowerment both regionally and internationally. Apart from South Africa, the four other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and two additional countries (Malaysia and Zimbabwe) were identified for inclusion in the benchmark study.
The South African case was also explored by way of existing literature on economic transformation and B-BBEE legislation as well as through stakeholder interviews. From this and key lessons from the other case studies key lessons were derived and key conclusions drawn. This informed our strategic recommendations, aimed at assisting the B-BBEE Commission deliver upon its core mandate.
NCPC-SA Case Study Reports
Mthente was commissioned by the NCPC-SA to document and review three examples of eco-industrial parks in South Africa (for the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation – UNIDO).
This study formed a component of a global review of the good practice regarding the development of protocols/policies for resource efficient and cleaner production (RECP); their implementation and management; and continued expansion/promotion of eco-industrial parks (EIPs) in developing and emerging economies.
Situational Analysis of the South African SMME Sector
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) commissioned Mthente to undertake a situational analysis of the South African SMME sector. The output from this research process provided strategic input to support SEDA to deliver on its mandate and foster an entrepreneurial culture that brings previously disadvantaged individuals into mainstream economic activities in South Africa and creates sustainable employment through small business development.
The findings of this research informed SEDA’s strategy to deliver upon its mandate to foster an entrepreneurial culture that brings previously disadvantaged individuals into mainstream economic activities in South Africa and creates sustainable employment through small business development.
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: Recruitment Drive for Twenty Companies to Undergo RECP/IEE Assessments Offering by NCPC-SA
The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) is an Implementation Programme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The main objective of NCPC-SA is to enhance the competitiveness and productivity capacity of the South African Industry Sectors through Resource Efficiency Cleaner Production (RECP) methodologies and techniques. The purpose of the project was to recruit twenty companies on behalf of the NCPC-SA to undergo RECP-IEE assessments. The aim was to assist the NCPC-SA to strengthen market access by South African industry and business sectors through the Cleaner Production technologies and services that can contribute to the sustainability of value chains by delivering measurable economic, environment and social impacts that support the national priorities of growth, equity and employment.
The focus was on recruited companies within the industrial parks of Spartan and Isando located in Kempton Park, and with more than 20 employees, and be a mix of different sectors (at least four different sectors) such as Agro-Processing; Metals/Foundries; Chemicals; Logistics/Distribution; Clothing/Textiles; FoodBev manufacturing; etc. The primary objective of the project was the signing of MoU’s with twenty (20) companies to undertake RECP/IEE assessments with the NCPC-SA.
Profiling the Journey & Experiences of Stakeholders in the Universities Science, Humanities, Law and Engineering Partnerships in Africa (USHEPiA) Programme since inception
The University Science Humanities & Engineering Partnerships in Africa (USHEPiA) Programme was established in 1996 to build institutional and human capacity in African Universities. The programme has sought to build and promote collaboration between African researchers across the continent, with the ultimate goal being to develop a network of African researchers capable of addressing the developmental needs of the continent. USHEPiA is a partnership of eight South and East African Universities (including UCT) which offers post-graduate scholarships to staff members of the partner universities, in the form of split-site PhD (and a few Masters) degrees, with Fellows jointly supervised by academics at their home university and UCT.
On the 20th anniversary of the USHEPiA Programme, the International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO) commissioned Mthente to track the changes in the programme and profile the journeys and experiences of those who were involved in or benefited from the programme since its inception.
Tourism Sector Study
Every year South Africa hosts numerous world-class sporting events, such as the Cape Argus Cycle Race, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the 89 kilometre Comrades marathon – two of which are held in the Western Cape. In addition to large scale, international sport events, South African provinces also compete to host inter-provincial sports tournaments due to social and economic benefits that often result for hosting communities. Such tournaments include the Craven Week, Coca-Cola Schools T20
Challenge and the South African Under 18 Interprovincial Hockey Tournament.
The CWDM was interested in hosting sport tourism events as a means of capitalising on its unique environment and reputation as a destination for outdoor sports (cycling, canoeing, etc), and attracting greater numbers of visitors to the region – particularly during off-peak season. The proposal to host the Under 18 Academy Week in Worcester provided the CWDM with the opportunity to test the economic value of such events for the municipality, as well as to assess any related social impact. Mthente was, therefore, commissioned to assess the impact of the Under 18 Academy Week on the Cape Winelands economy, and develop recommendations on how to better improve the hosting of such events within the CWDM.
Brand Marketing & Communications Research, and Brand Audit
Mthente conducted research by FCB for the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to determine the effectiveness of the RAF’s marketing and communication campaign. The aim of this campaign was to achieve raised awareness of issues relating to road safety, RAF service offerings, and a positive change in behaviours amongst road users and predestines.
The RAF is undergoing a fundamental change in its operation and will be replaced by a new dispensation in the form of the Road Accident Benefit Scheme (RABS). Therefore, the insights and learning from this research was used to inform the new RABS brand, logo and Corporate Identity, as well as the development of its marketing and communications strategy, creative offering, and marketing & communication plans.
The research was informed by a desktop review, a desktop audit of the RAF brand and a behavioural and attitudinal snap survey to probe the public’s attitudes, beliefs, behaviours, perceptions and awareness along the new RABS customer journey.
Tourism Sector Study
Mthente was commissioned by the Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM) to conduct a Tourism Sector Study to investigate opportunities for growth, diversification and transformation in the tourism sector and identify ways in which the Municipality could support the development of the sector. From this Mthente developed a Tourism Niche Strategy (TNS) and Implementation Plan for the CWDM.
The focus of the TNS was in three key sub-segments of the tourism industry: sports and outdoor tourism; accessible tourism; and multigenerational tourism. The final report presented the results of desktop research to inform the development of the TNS and implementation plan.
The research was informed by stakeholder interviews and 150 interviews with tourism businesses based in the Cape Winelands District.
Developing a Budget Travel Destination Chain in South Africa
Commissioned by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Mthente undertook a qualitative and quantitative study that analysed the South African market to determine the feasibility of developing a budget travel destination chain targeted primarily at low- to middle-income earners travelling domestically.
Research methods included statistical analysis of existing tourism data, survey interviews with 450 respondents, qualitative focus groups and international case studies.
Development of a National Fashion Strategy
The Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) commissioned Mthente to undertake in-depth research in order to develop a National Fashion Strategy. The overall aim of the research was to undertake an in-depth analysis of the fashion industry to assess how to grow the sector and further assist designers with opportunities.
The practical recommendations emanating from the research informed the DAC’s five-year strategy and implementatio plan. The focus was to guide the activities and programmes of both government and other key industry stakeholders to support the growth and development of South Africa’s Fashion Industry.
The Small Enterprise Development Agency: Branch Establishment and Staffing Criteria Project
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), commissioned the development of guidelines for the establishment and staffing of Seda branches. SEDA provides business development and support services for small enterprises through its national network, in partnership with other role players in the small, medium and micro-enterprise (SMME) sector. It also implements programmes targeted at business development in areas prioritised by the Government.
The guidelines developed by Mthente focus on:
- setting up new SEDA branches to deal specifically with the following five areas:
financial, political, societal and legal matters and practical arrangements such as geographical location;
- criteria used to decide the nature of operations and activities;
- staffing criteria and expected efficiency levels of each position; and
- the amount of time required to establish a new SEDA branch.
The guidelines were informed by a review of relevant best practice literature and information obtained from focus groups, in-depth interviews, and a survey among 139 SEDA stakeholders.
Analysis of the Western Cape’s Design Industry
Mthente conducted market analysis study for the CCDI in order to understand the value of the design industry in the Western Cape, and to identify key strengths and weaknesses within the industry. This was informed by 153 design businesses in the Western Cape. The results of this research informed the development of the CCDI’s Design Strategy for the Western Cape.
Institutional Philanthropy Research Study
Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement commissioned a research study to better understand the size and scope of institutionalised private philanthropy in South Africa.
The objectives of the research project were to:
- understand the size and scope of the local institutionalised philanthropic sector i.e. established charitable trusts and philanthropic foundations;
- evaluate the impact of philanthropy within different sectors, including education, employment creation, and infrastructure development, but not excluding others; and
- assess the effectiveness and sustainability of interventions supported by philanthropic foundations.
This research provided influential insights and information to better understand formal, institutionalised philanthropy in South Africa and will be of value not only to civil society, but also to private wealth management professionals, the South African Treasury and individuals interested in philanthropic endeavours. Research included an analysis of existing literature and definitions of philanthropy, and a consideration of the origins of, motivations for and trends in philanthropy (or giving) both in South Africa and internationally. Case studies on Ireland, Singapore and Egypt as well as case studies of South African Foundations and Trusts were developed to present an analysis of emerging innovative funding models such as donor-advised funds (DAFs); social impact bonds (SIBs) and social enterprises.
Civil Society Research Project
The Funding Practice Alliance (FPA), under the auspices of Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement, commissioned a Research Study on Civil Society in South Africa to understand how the civil society sector is resourced and to legitimate the sector as a crucial agent in the South African economy. The research objectives were to: determine where funding to civil society comes from (i.e. funding source); determine where this funding goes to in terms of issue/sector and geography; quantify how much the civil society sector contributes to employment (remunerated employment) as well as to training new graduates (non-remunerated employment/voluntary work); and quantify how much the civil society sector contributes to the South African economy.
A sector scoping exercise and desktop review was conducted to provide an in-depth analysis of the civil society sector and also included the development of three country case studies (Brazil; India; and Kenya) highlighting the impact of vibrant civil society. These countries were selected on the grounds that: each has a large and well-established civil society sector; and, each shares some economic, social and political similarities with South Africa. A list of key stakeholders was drawn from across the various sectors within civil society, covering CEO’s and COO’s of philanthropic organisations, academics, sector experts and government donors and departments working on civil society issues. Key variables employed for the selection and stratification of the research sample were: organisational type; geographic location; and sector focus. The sample frame was based on the Department of Social Development’s (DSD) database of 133,879 registered Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs). This resulted in 500 CSOs being interviewed and 9 focus groups being conducted across the nine provinces.
Review of Development Funding Available to Black-Owned Manufacturing Enterprises and to Determine Appropriate Interventions to Develop and Scale-Up Black Manufacturers in South Africa
Mthente undertook a review for the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) of development funding available to Black-Owned Manufacturing Enterprises in order to make recommendations appropriate interventions to develop and grow Black manufacturers in South Africa.
The research includes an in-depth analysis of the accessibility, adequacy and availability of funds to support black manufacturers; a benchmark assessment that provided insightes into the type of support that is provided to emerging manufacturers in other countries; and interviews and focus group discussion with 300 black manufacturers. The rearch findings informed our recommendations on the development of alternative support intervention and funding solution, which were suppored with a Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA).
The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Ltd: Study on the Potential Market Gap in the Provision of Short-Term Trade and Finance Insurance Products for South African Exporters and Buyers of South African Goods and Services
The Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa SOC Ltd (ECIC) commissioned a study on the market for the provision of short-term trade and finance insurance products for South African exporters and buyers of South African goods and services.
The objectives of the research were to:
- gain an understanding of short-term trade finance and insurance products globally and in South Africa;
- identify potential gaps in the market;
- identify new short-term trade finance and insurance products; and
- provide recommendations to streamline ECIC’s role in the trade finance market to ensure optimal utilisation of limited resources for South African exports abroad.
The methodology included:
- a comprehensive literature review,
- international benchmarking research, which examined trade financing and Export Credit Agency (ECA) activity in the United States of America (USA), Brazil and China; and
- key stakeholder interviews to obtain in-depth understanding of the current shortcomings of the short-term trade finance and insurance market in South Africa.
This research provided input and insights to assist the ECIC in streamlining its role in the short-term credit insurance market so as to ensure optimal utilisation of limited resources.
Analysis of the Needs, State and Performance of Small and Medium Businesses in the Agriculture, Manufacturing, ICT and Tourism Sectors in South Africa
The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) commissioned Mthente to undertake a research analysis of the needs, state and performance of SMEs in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors, with the latter focused on the information and communication technology (ICT) and tourism sectors. The research was designed to provide guidance to SEDA as to how these enterprises can be better served and supported to create jobs and contribute to the national government’s objectives of sustained economic development and employment creation.
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment A Baseline Research Study in the Western Cape
Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape (PGWC) commissioned Mthente to conduct a baseline research study exploring Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) in the Western Cape. The objectives of the research study were to: determine the extent to which B-BBEE serves as a catalyst for growth in the Western Cape economy, to identify factors which encourage and/or hinder B-BBEE and entrepreneurial activity in the Province, to offer possible guidelines for the formulation of effective and targeted policies aimed at stimulating BBBEE in the Western Cape and to recommend a model which clearly defines what B-BBEE should look like in the Western Cape.
The research was informed by a comprehensive desktop research phase; a baseline survey of 180 companies in the Western Cape; and a series of in-depth, one-on-one interviews with both company owners/ managers in the Western Cape (11) and B-BBEE specialists and stakeholders (3 interviews). In addition to these interviews, a selection of companies representing examples of best practice in terms of BBBEE implementation were interviewed.
Benchmarking South Africa’s Immigration Regulatory Framework against those of Selected Sub-Saharan African and OECD Countries
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) in the Western Cape commissioned Mthente to explore immigration regulatory frameworks of selected Sub-Saharan African and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries with the aim of drawing out lessons for South Africa. The countries selected for this study are Australia, Botswana, Canada and Mauritius.
By undertaking this research at a provincial level, the DEDT was well-positioned to participate in the national debate and to lobby for immigration processes and procedures that would facilitate the Western Cape’s ability to attract foreign investment and scarce skills..
State of the Province Report
Mthente conducted a research study for the Provincial Government of KwaZulu Natal in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme focused on the State of the Province. The focus of this research was to highlight issues relevant to the development and implementation of KZNs NPAs (Decent Work creation, Education, Health, Crime & Rural development) and KZNs PGDP pillars (Job creation, Human resource development, Human and community development, Strategic infrastructure, Environmental sustainability and spatial equity & Governance and policy)
The report gave context to these prioritised interventions and offered an up-to-date assessment of the province’s progress towards achieving the targets set by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and attaining the longer-term goals of the province.
Study on the Economic and Socio-Economic Impact of the Recreational West Coast Rock Lobster Fishery
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) commissioned Mthente to undertake an analyse the economic and socio-economic impact of the recreational West Coast Rock Lobster (WCRL) fishery on the Western Cape economy. The scope of the study included the geographical area between the Orange River and Cape Agulhas, and focused on all types of recreational WCRL fishers.
The research was informed by an extensive secondary review of information and data, stakeholder interviews, a fisher survey with 171 fishers and interviews with 21 businesses.
Research on Beneficiation in Key Value Chains in the Minerals Sector
Mthente was commissioned by Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP) to undertake detailed research on mineral beneficiation. The core objective of the study was to gain sector specific knowledge and to identify opportunities for SMMEs and Co-Operatives within these sectors and the value chains within it.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): The Impact of Trade in Services for Employment
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) commissioned research exploring the services sector in South Africa to understand whether trade liberalisation within the sector has contributed to viable, sustainable employment over the past decade. The intention was then to publish the results of this research in one of UNCTAD’s annual publications. Employment and economic output data were employed to assess whether employment growth has kept up with GDP growth in the services sector. Desktop research was supplemented by data and econometric analysis, and reference was made to Lesotho as being the least developed country situated within the borders of South Africa.
Key findings from the analysis indicate that the services sector in South Africa has experienced higher average annual growth rates than those recorded in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors. This has created an expectation that this growth will spill over into employment in other sectors.
The Atlantic Philanthropies: The Feasibility of Establishing a Human Rights Foundation in South Africa
Mthente was commissioned by Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of establishing a new South African Foundation for Human Rights. The purpose of the study was to explore the establishment of a domestic human rights foundation that would be able to tap into domestic funding sources.
Employing both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, Mthente engaged with individuals and philanthropists in South Africa and the United Kingdom, gathering data by means of: baseline desktop research and documentation review; a self-administered quantitative survey questionnaire sent via email to participants; in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews with key informants; and focus group workshops.
Research into investors’ confidence with engaging with the Western Cape Agribusiness Investment Unit (AIU)
Wesgro commissioned an evaluation of the confidence levels of existing investors and their experiences of engaging with the Western Cape Agribusiness Investment Unit (AIU). As the first point of contact for import, export and investment in the Western Cape, Wesgro manages the AIU through its Investment Promotion Unit (IPU). The assessment was used to improve the AIU services offered to investors and addressed the following thematic areas: investment criteria and concerns influencing decisions to invest in agribusinesses in the Western Cape; positive and negative investment experiences and interactions with the AIU; and whether investor needs are being met by the AIU’s interventions and programmes.
Key research findings included that investment criteria are closely tied to the socio-economic and political environment of the region – the physical infrastructure and good governance in the province impress investors. Most have expanded their businesses internationally but have not yet expanded into Central Africa. The prevalence of red tape and lengthy application processes were found to be the main barriers to growth amongst investors. Overall confidence levels are good despite investor concerns about skilled labour shortages and rising commodity costs. Investors require more frequent and focused engagements with the AIU, favorably portrayed as an attractive vehicle for strong investment support.
Red Tape: A Study of the Cost of Doing Business in the Western Cape
Cape Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the PGWC and the City of Cape Town, commissioned Mthente to undertake a study to identify regulatory practices that have the greatest negative effect on businesses’ competitiveness and resiliency in the Cape Town city-region. The results of this study provided policy makers with an insight into the regulatory processes and procedures that should be reformed in order to make it easier, simpler and faster to establish and grow a business in the Cape Town city-region. This study included a survey with 250 SMEs.
The Impact of the Global Economic Crisis in Ten SADC Countries
Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) commissioned Mthente conjunction with Imani Development Ltd, to undertake a rapid assessment of the impact of the global economic crisis on selected Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
This assessment was to be done through quantitative and qualitative research and analysis of the impact of the global economic crisis on the world of work, in particular on economic and business performance and working conditions. This was informed by business interviews in 10 SADC countries, as well as through focus groups amongst key regional stakeholders.
Lesotho Services Policy Review
Mthente was commissioned by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to investigate policy, regulatory and institutional weaknesses in Lesotho. Key recommendations resulting from this study focused on addressing policy, regulatory and institutional deficiencies in the sectors of tourism, financial and professional medical services.
Productivity SA: Development of Productivity Indicators for the Western Cape Fisheries Sector
Productivity SA (PSA) commissioned a study to develop productivity indicators for the fisheries sector in the Western Cape.
The objectives of the study were to:
- evaluate different sub-sectors in the fishery sector;
- identify the value chain of sub-sectors;
- quantify seasonal patterns;
- evaluate fish types;
- identify periods and drivers of high productivity;
- identify and quantify productivity indicators and patterns of sub-sectors; and
- benchmark productivity indicators of the fishing sector between countries.
This research on the change in the productivity of fisheries provided information on the level of fishing effort and fish catch. Information was gathered in order to assess the competitiveness of the fishing industry. The study provided PSA with a document that can inform relevant initiatives within the fisheries sector in order to promote a culture of productivity as per PSA mandates.
A Baseline Study of Black Filmmakers in South Africa
The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) commissioned Mthente Research and Consulting (Pty) Ltd to conduct a Baseline Study on Black Filmmakers in South Africa. The overarching aim of the study was to comprehensively determine activities of black filmmakers, document their existence, profile, and provide information about their contribution to the South African economy.
The research approach includeded a comprehensive desktop research and stakeholder interviews, together with a survey, and focus group discussions. A telephonic survey was conducted with 53 black filmmakers in South Africa as well as 9 interviews with stakeholders. Four focus group discussions were also facilitated with black filmmakers in Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal as part of the research.
Analysis of Export Product Opportunities and Development of an Export Implementation Plan
As the official trade and investment agency for KwaZulu-Natal province, Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) aims to: (i) promote KwaZulu-Natal as an investment destination, and (ii) assist KwaZulu-Natal based companies to export. To support the aim of assisting local companies to export, TIKZN commissioned Mthente to conduct a detailed study on KZN’s export product performance and identify export opportunities for KZN companies to expand their products into the global market, resulting in the development of a clearly defined Export Implementation Plan.
This study was informed by the identification and analysis of KwaZulu-Natal products that were being produced and exported, including the export destinations of KwaZulu-Natal’s economic sectors and export performance, a detailed analysis of KwaZulu-Natal companies exporting their products and the identification and comprehensive analysis of markets with potential demand (in terms of size and growth) for the products that KwaZulu-Natal can offer.
Market Research into the Use of Foot Care Products Used in the Salon and Spa Industry
ChemCity is Sasol’s enterprise development vehicle, and operates to support new and existing entrepreneurs with business development. ChemCity embarked on a new partnership with Medi-Heel: a Cape Town-based cosmetics company that produces and markets chemical treatments for dry and cracked heels, primarily for use in spas and salons. Medi-Heel is already distributed both locally and internationally, the company requires better positioning within the industry.
Sasol ChemCity commissioned Mthente to conduct: (1) a sector performance evaluation, including an overview of the Health and Beauty sector and an analysis of the foot care sub-sector; and (2) market research focused on foot care products currently used in the South African spa and salon industry. The purpose of the study was to investigate ways in which to assist Medi-Heel to increase its presence as a supplier to the spa and salon industry. ChemCity also intends to use this research for the benefit of similar companies, and as an indicator of the overall viability of the foot care product sector.
The research approached included a market scan of the Health and Beauty sector in South Africa, as well as the footcare subsector, and 166 survey interviews with representative of spas and salons in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. The survey focused on five core marketing aspects relevant to Medi-Heel, namely: market segmentation; psychological aspects of the market; purchasing power and buying habits; environmental factors and marketplace competition.
Study on the Needs of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in terms of Short Term Insurance
Mthente was commissioned by Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Limited to conduct a study on the Small and Medium enterprise (SME) sector with regards to their short-term insurance requirements. The purpose of this study was to determine the short-term insurance needs and preferences of SMEs in Gauteng and to translate these into product recommendation that could be offered to meet the needs of SMEs.
The research was informed by a benchmark study of the product offerings of Mutual & Federal’s competitors, as well as a survey with SMEs operating in the manufacturing, wholesale/retail and services sectors in Gauteng. In total 450 SMEs were contacted.
A second survey was commissioned to gain a deeper understanding of the buying patterns and behaviours of the Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME) sector when purchasing commercial insurance. Attention was also given to their short-term insurance requirements. This survey was informed by 101 interviews with SMMEs operating in Gauteng.
The knowledge gained from the research on the needs and expectations of SMMEs contributed to the launch of a pilot in the fourth quarter of 2014, and the ultimate product launch in 2015.
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Research on the Minimum Age of Criminal Capacity
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ & CD) commissioned statistical information and an analysis that led to recommendations on whether the minimum age of criminal capacity should remain at 10 years, as provided for in Section 7(1) of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008) or whether the minimum age of criminal capacity should be raised.
The objectives of the project were to compile a record of:
- statistics on the number of children from 10 years up to the age of 14 (per type of criminal offence category) who are alleged to have committed offences;
- the type of offences that they allegedly committed;
- the sentences imposed on these children, if they were convicted; and
- the type of offences that did not go to trial because the prosecutor was of the view that criminal capacity would not be proved, the reasons for that decision in each case, and the ages of the children involved.
The research included the collection of statistical data in 92 identified courts across the nine provinces of South Africa. The courts were chosen by the DoJ & CD based on the high number of child justice cases reported in these courts in order to give a more detailed picture of the status of 10 to under 14-year-old children within the justice system.
In terms of Section 8 of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008), the research provided the Minister with the necessary information to present a report to Parliament detailing the research findings of the DoJ & CD with regard to the minimum age of criminal capacity.
Communication Strategy Research
Mthente undertook a project on behalf of Draftfcb Social Marketing. The aim of the project was to undertake qualitative and quantitative research to inform the development of a communication strategy and project that will communicate nutrition information on the role of sugar in a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle directly to the public.
The study was conducted on a national level and the main aspects thereof looked at Existing Platforms for Communicating Science-Based Information on the Role of Sugar in Nutrition and Health in South Africa as well as Perceptions and beliefs on the health and nutrition effects of consuming sugar
Private and Public Procurement and Social Economy (PPPSE) Case Study Development
Mthente conducted research for the ILO to develop case studies that promoted the procurement from the social economy within the public and private sector in South Africa. The case studies hightlighted good practices where the government and private sector are procuring from social enterprises in a sustainable way and showcased the impact of such procurement strategies on enterprises and the communities in which they operate.
Changing the Nature of the Western Cape Economy: The Role and Impact of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)
Mthente was commissioned by the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDT) in the Western Cape Government to document the impact of tweleve selected Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) on the trajectory of their respective industries within the Western Cape economy.
Through in-depth interviews with CEOs and key representatives in each of the SPVs, the project aimed to move beyond the hard indicators that each SPV is required to report on in order to identify the often less tangible impact and influence that the SPVs have had on their industries and sectors.
Development Of the ‘South Africa in Africa: Trade Investment and Infrastructure Development Handbook’
Mthente was commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry to develop a handbook aimed at providing trade and investment profiles, trends and growth prospects of all 53 African countries to policy makers and exporters.
Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) of the Review of the Business Act (No. 71 of 1991)
Mthente was commissioned by the Department of Trade and Indutry (the dti) to undertake a regulatory impact assessment on proposed changes to the business act (No. 71 of 1991).
Mthente conducted a national survey, involving 1,500 small to medium businesse enterprises (SMMEs), in order to ascertain the impact these changes would have, primarily on the enabling environment for small businesses. The aim was to expand on the definition of ‘business’ in order to include all business under the act, including small businesses, and also to implement a set of legislative regulations which would enhance the operating environement. The findings were used to inform the impacts (social, economic, political and environemental) of the proposed changes and helped the dti to make informed decisions based on emprical data to refine the Business Act.
IT Sector Strategy Project
Mthente was was commissioned to assist CITI to grow the ICT sector in the Western Cape Province by reaching its strategic vision to become the leading ICT Hub in the region.
The aim of our research was to work with CITI to achieve its vision, and to increase their long-term competitiveness and stability, allowing them to become a significantly contributor to growing the Cape’s ICT sector.
High Level Regulatory Audit on Fine Foods Processing in the Western Cape
Trade, Investment and Economic Development Study for the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape. This project included undertaking objective research to investigate the existing policy, regulatory and legislative frameworks governing the fine foods processing industry in the province, and identify red tape issues associated with the relevant regulatory and administrative processes and procedures.
Trade Fact Sheets: Angola and Brazil
WESGRO appointed Mthente to develop two fact sheets. One on Angola and the other on Brazil. The Angolan fact sheet focused on the market for consumer goods and cosmetics and toiletries in Angola. The Brazil fact sheet focused on the food and beverages sector in Brazil.
The fact sheets were designed to provide relevant and comprehensive information to exporters in the Western Cape on the consumer goods markets in each of these countries, as well as to provide intelligence that would assist potential exporters to make informed decisions on whether to enter these sector in the two countries.
Identification and Assessment of Existing Local Manufacturing Businesses in the Govan Mbeki Municipality and Surrounding Areas to Supply SASOL Secunda
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Mpumalanga Rural Development Programme (MRDP), in partnership with Sasol, commissioned to identify and assess existing local manufacturing businesses that produced Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and which have the potential to serve as suppliers of PPE to Sasol in Secunda.
Sasol was looking to expand the areas where it can improve its preferential procurement points, with more pointes being earned through procuring from small companies and black-owned companies, especially black, women-owned companies.
The identification of possible suppliers was informed by interviews with Sasol’s management, technical and procurement teams, desktop research to identify potential suppliers and interviews with local manufacturers.
Priority Sector Study in the Western Cape
In its aims to fulfil its leadership role for the regional economy in terms of facilitating growth and reducing unemployment, the Western Cape Government Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) commissioned a study to Mthente that focused on gaining a better understanding of the structure of the economy and the contribution of the various sectors to its growth and stablity.
Mthente, therefore, was commissioned to map the provincial economy against the SIC system, investigate the availability of data from formal and informal sources and estimate ranges for employment, the number of firms and wage rates for the various economic sectors.
Comprehensive Market Analysis on South African Sectors, Products and Companies that Should be Targeted for Exporting Value-Added Products and Services to BRIC Countries
Mthente conducted comprehensive market analyses of the BRIC markets, as well as capacity and comparative and competitive advantages within South Africa. Using international trade data and market intelligence gathered through in-depth high-level stakeholder interviews (including country diplomats, trade & country specialists, government, academics & think tanks, Mthente developed an economic model to identify the top 30 high potential, value-added export products for each BRIC market
Integrated Cooperatives Development Strategy for Gauteng
Mthente was commissioned by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development to support the department in crafting an Integrated Co-operatives Development Strategy, which was aligned with the national and provincial policy framework.
The focus of the strategy was on the needs of co-operatives in the province; current policy and legislation; sector issues; developing sector co-operatives and provincial strategies; promoting entrepreneurship through co-operatives; enhancing competitiveness and capacity; and, aligning the developed strategy to research recommendations for co-operatives.
Market Research to Inform the Proudly South African Campaign
Mthente conducted social marketing and behaviour-change research for Draftfcb Social Marketing and Proudly South African’s (Proudly SA) social marketing campaign in order to enhance the impact of the initiative aimed at increasing the uptake of goods and services that carry the Proudly SA brand.
The market research informed the development of Proudly South African’s social marketing campaign.
Study to Collate All Research Work Done on Administered Prices
Mthente conducted a study for the IDC, This study is focused on administered pricing in the energy, telecommunications, transport and water sectors in South Africa, wherein prices are set via a regulated framework in settings where the market alone would not have ensured an efficient outcome. This study was done on a national level and pertained to Trade, investment and Economic Development.
Investment Opportunity Scoping Study for Dimension Stone Processing and Beneficiation Activities in the Greater Taung Local unicipality (GTLM)
Invest North West (INW) appointed Mthente to undertake an investment opportunity scoping study. The aim of this study was to assess the technical feasibility and economic viability of undertaking niche value adding and beneficiation activities in the dimension stone processing industry in the Greater Taung Local Municipality (GTLM). INW had identified the beneficiation of dimension stone as a potentially lucrative industry for the GTLM area, with the potential to contributing to the economic development objectives in the province and in the country more broadly. Through the investment scoping study INW hoped to identify the needs and requirements for the successful implementation of beneficiation/value adding activities that could contribute to job creation, technology transfer and skills development opportunities.
The research was informed by extensive desktop research into the policy and economic context of GTLM and the NW Province, as well as into the market potential for the dimension stone, in-depth stakeholder and expert interviews, a value chain analysis and through case studies of South African companies and/or entrepreneurs already operating in the dimension stone industry. From this top dimension stone products with the greatest potential to succeed were identified, and a comprehensive report with recommendations was presented to INW.
Positioning the Western Cape Province as a Knowledge Hub: An Exploratory Study
Mthente was appointed by the University of Mauritius to assess the potential of positioning the Western Cape Province as a knowledge hub in a globalising world economy. The study explored whether the Western Cape possessed the critical success factors to become an internationally competitive knowledge hub that could contribute towards South Africa’s national economic goals of economic growth, employment creation and poverty reduction. This is due to international evidence suggesting that the answer to this policy questions lies with understanding the dimensions of creating a knowledge hub. A knowledge hub has been defined by the University of Mauritius as an “ensemble of knowledge-intensive institutions and organisations (public, private and overseas) that generate, store, transfer, apply and transmit knowledge through education and training with the overall objective of fostering economic and social development.”
Goat Meat Production and Processing Opportunity Scoping Study
Invest North West (INW) commissioned Mthente to undertake an opportunity scoping study in order to investigate the technical and economic viability and potential value of promoting goat meat production and processing activities in the North West Province. The principal aim of the study was to investigate whether goats farmed in the North West had significant economic value, could supply a market sustainably, were of good quality, were well managed, and were receiving adequate bio-security and technical attention from the government.
The research was informed by desktop research that provided an overview of the size, scope and capacity of the goat meat production and processing sub-sector (globally, nationally and in the North West) and a review of existing government policies and strategies and relevant legislation and regulatory frameworks governing the sub-sector. Following this 13 one-on-one interviews were held with experts and a full value chain analysis was undertaken to identify the investment opportunities in the sub-sector, as well as to identify areas to promote backward, forward and horizontal linkages
Business Intelligence & Market Analysis on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
In order to provide a factual basis from which to inform decisions regarding whether or not to become involved in the DRC’s power sector (and, if so, in what areas of the electricity business), Eskom commissioned Mthente to undertake an in-depth country assessment of the DRC.
The country assessment was designed to provide information that would aid Eskom’s decision making as it gave consideration to a range of proposals for involvement in the power sector in the DRC. These included proposals to build, own and operate a power station in the DRC to produce electricity for sale domestically or for export; build, own and operate a transmission line in the DRC; become involved in electricity distribution in the DRC; import power from the DRC; and export power to the DRC.
Gauteng Incentives Handbook
Mthente was commissioned by the GGDA to develop a handbook with the purpose of providing information on the incentive schemes available to investors in Gauteng. It was designed to assist investors to make informed investment decisions related to possible opportunities within the province, as well as incentives available through relevant Industrial Development Zones (IDZs) or Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in South Africa.
Gauteng Investor Guide Booklet
Mthente was commissioned by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency to develop an Investor guide on doing business in Gauteng. The handbook provided up-to-date information for investors, policy makers and importers/exporters on trade strategies and initiatives, as well wealth of opportunities that exist in Gauteng- South Africa’s hub of economic activity
Developing Business Linkages for Pro-Poor Growth: Mozambique Tourism Sector Supply Chain Case Study
Mthente was commissioned by the Southern African Trust (SAT) to undertake a study to determine the business linkages for pro-poor growth; focusing on the Mozambiquan Tourism Sector. In particular, the study aimed to identify the role SMEs played in the sector and challenges faced by them.
The study entailed in-depth analysis of the tourism sector in order to establish the role the sector plays and its contributions to employment and gross domestic product (GDP). This was done primarily through comprehensive desktop research through mapping the tourism value chain in Mozambique as well as conducting key in-depth stakholder enagsgements within the industry.
Research Study into the City of Cape Town’s By-Law in Relation to the Informal Sector
The Western Cape Government Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) commissioned Mthente to undertake a study that examined the by-laws that govern informal trade, with the aim of determining whether or not they promoted the economic development of the city’s informal trade sector. Two by-laws in particular were reviewed: The Informal Trading By-Law of 2009 and the By-Law Relating to Streets, Public Places and the Prevention of Noise Nuisances of 2007.
The study was informed by an extensive desktop review, stakeholder interviews and focus groups with informal traders
Analysis of Key Economic Indicator for the Eastern Cape Provincial Economy
The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) commissioned Mthente to undertake a short-term research assignment to analyse key economic indicators for the Eastern Cape provincial economy.
The focus of this analysis was on provincial-level economic indicators that have direct implications for the operations of the ECDC. The data and information used in the analysis was sourced from secondary sources through an extensive desktop research process.
Joint Study on Economic Cooperation Between South Africa and Japan
Mthente was commissioned by the dti, in conjunction with the Japanees Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, to undertake Study on Economic Cooperation Between South Africa and Japan – Automotive, Minerals Beneficiation and Agro-Processing Sectors.
The aims of this research were twofold: a) to serve as an information input for SA and Japan towards the formulation of joint collaborative work in the economic sphere, and b) to recommend and discuss mutually beneficial cooperative activity in areas such as industrial development, infrastructure development, and investment promotion.
From thee research implementable initiatives and projects were identified with a view of promoting government’s objectives of economic growth, technology transfer, skills development and transfer, investment promotion and the deepening and optimisation of the manufacturing value-chain in SA.
Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government: Premier’s Enterprise Recognition Awards (PERA), Awareness and Perception Study
The Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), Western Cape Government, through its sub-directorate: Department of Communication, commissioned research into the marketing and communication of the Premier’s Entrepreneurship Recognition Awards (PERA).
The aim of the research was to:
- assess the efficacy of advertising messaging; and
- understand the motivation of businesses in entering the competition.
PERA was established to demonstrate the powerful potential of local entrepreneurs, create role-models and promote entrepreneurial activity amongst the youth and in communities at large. The Awards have been presented for the past three years during which time the number of entries has increased each year. However, the demographic profile of entrants and winners over the years was noted as a growing concern, with few entries received from black-owned businesses and from businesses located outside the metro. The information gathered from this research will be used to improve and enhance the 2016 PERA communication campaign.
Qualitative Research to Market Test the New Underwriting Scheme
Old Mutual South Africa (OMSA) commissioned Mthente Research and Consulting Services (Pty) Ltd to test the new underwriting scheme aimed at burial societies, funeral parlours and funeral administrators.
The objectives of this research was to:
- Gauge the willingness of existing clients to consider the revised product offering.
- Gauge the willingness of non-clients to consider the revised product offering.
- Understand the reasons underpinning the market penetration of competing product offerings.
- Identify potential clientele for future engagement.
This research was informed by 50 qualitative interviews and 12 focus groups across South Africa.
This study was supported by both in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. This initial study was undertaken in 2012 and a follow-up study was conducted in 2015.