Benefits for BEPEC members
There are 11 reasons why South African built-environment professionals and contractors who seek to export their skills, services and expertise into the rest of Africa should join BEPEC.
Our relationship with the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), other export councils, and professional bodies in South Africa allows us to identify new markets and strategic infrastructure projects for our members. Africa’s development corridors particularly offer fantastic opportunities for South African engineers, architects and other built environment professionals as well as contractors.
Through the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), BEPEC provides export assistance in the form of financial incentives and funding mechanisms. These include the Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme. This government-led initiative compensates South African exporters for part of the costs incurred during, for instance, trade and investment missions. This applies to exporters of goods, products, services and skills.
BEPEC helps its members overcome trade barriers. We do so by providing up-to-date market information on in‐country professional registration rules, working and permit requirements, and other issues. BEPEC also liaises with relevant government bodies and industry associations on contractual challenges, financial regulations, and medical requirements.
Our global network of contacts gives us access to the funding mechanisms of the world’s major financial institutions. These include the South African Trust Funds at the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation.
We foster connections between BEPEC members and all relevant stakeholders. The aim is to facilitate their participation in current and future infrastructure projects in new markets. These stakeholders include professional industry bodies, government agencies, national departments prominents, and representatives of international organisations, donor agencies, and funding institutions. Through the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) we also have access to all South African Embassies and High Commissions.
Knowledge is power, and that is why knowledge is the cornerstone of our export assistance activities. BEPEC provides its members with up to date and relevant information around upcoming project opportunities along Africa’s development corridors. We do this through the facilitation and hosting of dti Outward Selling Missions (OSMs) and regular ‘Show me The Funding’ and ‘Show Me The Projects’ workshops.
Besides the dti’s EMIA funding assistance programme, BEPEC members have access to its Capital Projects Feasibility Programme (CPFP). This is a cost-sharing grant through which the government financially contributes to feasibility studies by South African exporters. Studies that will stimulate the overseas appetite for South African capital goods and built environment services are key.
BEPEC has staged and participated in several dti trade missions within Africa and beyond, with political and organisational support from the South African government. We also host regular local and international briefings. These present significant networking and learning opportunities for our members
Our regular ‘Show me the Projects’ workshops discuss new project opportunities and trends in Africa, and are key to our portfolio of export assistance interventions. Our ‘Show me the Money’ workshops, on the other hand, give participants an overview of the available financial incentives. These include feasibility study funding financial support from global organisations like the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Industrial Development Corporation, the African Development Bank, World Bank, and the IFC.
We facilitate networking opportunities with other African built environment and contracting organisations. These include the Group of African Member Associations of Consulting Engineers (GAMA), the Union of African Architects, the Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), and the Southern African Federation of Engineering Organisations (SAFEO).
Getting the right export insurance cover is important but can be a complicated affair, particularly when working across borders. Rules tend to change often. We work together with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa to assist our members in assessing the risks they are facing with regards to their involvement in overseas projects and getting the right cover.