Opportunity Issue 107

Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).


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www.opportunityonline.co.za NOVEMBER/DECEMBER/JANUARY 2024 • ISSUE <strong>107</strong><br />



A YES graduate tells<br />

his inspiring story<br />




Business Partners<br />

has opened an Energy<br />

Fund for SMMEs<br />



A funding model that<br />

leaves a legacy for<br />

future generations<br />






Vezinhlanhla Mining strives to be a leading black-owned, diversified mining company in Africa while ensuring<br />

participation in the discovery, exploration and beneficiation of Africa’s mineral resources. It is also the mission of<br />

Vezinhlanhla Mining to develop and consolidate a diverse portfolio of high-quality assets and services for the benefits<br />

of its stakeholders.<br />

Misson<br />

To be a leading black-owned South African<br />

company that delivers value to all its<br />

stakeholders by:<br />

• understanding the needs of our stakeholders<br />

• delivering on and exceeding those needs<br />

• attracting and retaining the best talent<br />

• focussing on core assets – Pareto Principle<br />

• focusing on owning and operating our own<br />

assets<br />

• embracing diversity<br />

• ensuring sustainability, growth and good<br />

governance<br />

Services<br />

• Underground mining | Opencast mining<br />

• Project management | Facilities management<br />

• Plant maintenance | Conveyor maintenance<br />

• Crushing | Screening<br />

• Engineering | Drilling<br />

• Bulk material transportation | Hauling<br />

Versatility and innovation in mining<br />

Vezinhlanhla is a 100% wholly black-owned mining contractor that combines industryleading<br />

experience with the versatility and innovation required by mining to be sustainable<br />

for the long term.<br />

Established in 2017 as a mining contractor to service only the mining industry, Vezinhlanhla<br />

is an empowered turnkey contractor with capabilities across the underground and opencast<br />

contract-mining value chain.<br />

We provide extensive services for coal, gold, iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, nickel and<br />

platinum group metals (PGMs) producers, undertaking mining operations with continuous<br />

miners, roadheaders and drill and blast applications, enabling our clients to outsource<br />

according to their unique needs.<br />

Safety<br />

Vezinhlanhla’s commitment to safety, health, quality and environmental management<br />

standards means we work towards continuous improvements in risk management to better<br />

deliver project excellence.<br />

Black empowerment policy<br />

Vezinhlanhla is committed to the broad-based black economic empowerment (BBBEE). It<br />

supports the government’s initiative of transformation and affirmative action policies and<br />

will continue to implement such projects where possible. Vezinhlanhla has initiated projects<br />

whereby material and equipment are sourced from black SMME companies, thus speeding<br />

up the process of empowering one of our own.<br />

Vezinhlanhla’s black-empowerment credentials ensure that our clients benefit fully in terms of<br />

the Mining Charter requirement and the contractual conditions of key minerals purchasers.

• A 100% wholly black-owned mining contractor<br />

• Capabilities across the underground and opencast contract-mining value chain<br />

• Solely focussed on the mining industry<br />

• Promoting sustainable partnership and relations with our clients<br />

Our commitment<br />

The empowerment of women, youth and disabled persons should be achieved in all aspects<br />

of works. Vezinhlanhla has more women on board to strengthen the capacity of the business.<br />

Youth will also be employed by the company in order to pass on skills to the next generation.<br />

As Vezinhlanhla grows, bursary schemes will be introduced for students to further their studies.<br />

Vezinhlanhla has developed a culture where there will be no discrimination against disabled<br />

persons, hence it will seek to find, train and employ disabled persons with potential and<br />

enthusiasm.<br />

Community development plan<br />

Vezinhlanhla’s objective is to train its staff and community undergraduates from<br />

university and colleges, especially students in engineering, safety or mining.<br />

They will be given the opportunity to further their studies in their chosen<br />

field at Vezinhlanhla.<br />

The future<br />

• Reinforce our position in the market as a reliable and competitive<br />

independent producer and supplier<br />

• Grow sales and customer base<br />

• Vezinhlanhla Mining intends to acquire coal, gold, iron ore,<br />

manganese ore, chrome ore, nickel and PGM assets to<br />

develop new projects<br />

• Power generation is a key area of opportunity – a<br />

synergistic venture that is now indelibly written<br />

into our corporate objectives<br />

Contact details<br />

+27(0) 87 550 2087<br />

+27(0) 68 061 0184<br />

info@vezinhlanhla.co.za<br />

vezinhlanhla.co.za<br />

Vezinhlanhla mining<br />

Vezinhlanhla mining


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Contents<br />

ISSUE <strong>107</strong> | NOV/DEC/JAN 2024<br />

12<br />

18<br />

20<br />

22<br />

30<br />

34<br />

38<br />

42<br />

56<br />

30<br />


Jobs are everyone's business.<br />


The SACCI Economic Development Unit has launched an e-mobility pilot<br />

project and aims to offer SACCI members access to power solutions.<br />


South Africa, represented by SACCI, is chairing the Trade and Investment<br />

Working Group of the BRICS Business Council.<br />


If South Africa is to thrive, says CHIETA CEO Yershen Pillay, it must create a skillsbased<br />

curriculum.<br />


Data is vital in assessing the effectiveness of workplace training, says Michael<br />

Hanly, MD of South African online learning solutions provider New Leaf<br />

Technologies.<br />


A university degree was no guarantee of a job for a young man from<br />

Vosloorus, especially in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The path to<br />

employment began for Ntanganedzi Madzivhandila when he applied to join<br />

the YES programme and Nedbank has since hired and promoted him. An<br />

interview with Ntanga tells the inspiring story.<br />


Fibre providers need to partner and collaborate strategically with the public<br />

and private sectors, says the Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of DFA, Praveen<br />

Govender.<br />


A R400-million Energy Fund for SMEs who need to find ways of keeping<br />

their businesses supplied with power has been created by Business Partners<br />

Limited.<br />


The renewable energy sector is powering ahead, but Linda Mabhena-<br />

Olagunju of DLO Energy Resources Group says that more must be done to<br />

include women.<br />

20<br />

42<br />




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Contents<br />

ISSUE <strong>107</strong> | NOV/DEC/JAN 2024<br />

58<br />

64<br />

68<br />

76<br />

78<br />

87<br />

88<br />

92<br />

96<br />

97<br />

96<br />


EduPower and Assmang Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO) have combined to<br />

offer an innovative community development initiative in the Northern Cape.<br />


The University of Cape Town scored a clean sweep of winners in the first<br />

Student Project Fund challenge sponsored by RS Components South Africa.<br />


Planning ahead and delivering real benefits will pre-empt many of the<br />

obstacles to securing rights, says Webber Wentzel partner, Bruce Dickinson.<br />


Abdu-Rahman Abrahams, Co-Head: Hybrid Equity, a division of Old Mutual<br />

Alternative Investments, shares his experience of a funding model that leaves a<br />

legacy for future generations.<br />


Cerina Bezuidenhout, co-founder and COO of Future Females Empowerment<br />

Initiatives, lays out the facts about women and inequitable financing, based on<br />

research done in South Africa and four other countries by the organisation.<br />


The Glass Recycling Company outlines how best to go about recycling glass.<br />


The popular tea that is really a herb has a number of surprising qualities.<br />

Rooibos specialists Joekels shares 13 facts about South Africa’s beloved brew.<br />


Agribusinesses can maximise opportunities and promote resilience by<br />

adopting ESG strategies, according to two specialists from Webber Wentzel.<br />


Investors can invest in renewable energy on the Cape Town Stock Exchange.<br />


SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) and Trade Conditions Survey (SACCI).<br />

Latest graphs.<br />

64<br />

68<br />




This University of KwaZulu-Natal has developed a 10-year strategic plan – the UKZN 2023-2032<br />

Strategic Plan - which will “future-proof” it and guide its trajectory over the next decade.<br />

The strategy aims to position UKZN as an international research-intensive Higher Education Institution<br />

that contributes to practical solutions to challenges facing humankind. The plan will advance the<br />

Institution’s academic project and result in the production of graduates with high levels of knowledge,<br />

skills and values.<br />

The strategic plan is embedded in the ongoing Project Renewal - a systematic review of the University’s<br />

principal structures, including a renewal of the College model to strengthen teaching and learning,<br />

research and community engagement, together with the arrangement of professional services to<br />

support these core areas.<br />

Excellent Teaching and Learning; Excellent Student Experience; Excellent and High Impact Research<br />

Innovation and Entrepreneurship; High Impact Societal and Stakeholder Community Engagement; and<br />

Targeted Internationalisation are the five strategic goals that shape the new plan.<br />

The strategy assumes that classroom teaching and campus life will remain core to UKZN but will require<br />

digital extension and enhancement. Therefore, in the next ten years, the growth of the Institution will<br />

be restricted to the current geographic spread between the cities of eThekwini and Msunduzi. An<br />

exception is the Health Sciences, where there is a need for an extended platform into rural areas for the<br />

provision of training and services. Online education and other programmes for experiential learning<br />

will also be extended.<br />

The Plan’s successful implementation entails significant human, intellectual, material, and financial<br />

resources from diverse sources, including increased income from enterprises, University assets, alumni,<br />

and strategic partnerships; with a specific emphasis on research grants. To ensure the University’s<br />

ongoing viability, the University must develop a sustainable financial model that is responsive to the<br />

institution’s prevailing needs.<br />

We are excited to extend an invitation to potential partners to join us in a strategic partnership with the<br />

University of KwaZulu-Natal. As we embark on an important journey, your expertise and collaboration<br />

will be invaluable in achieving our shared objectives. We will identify key strategic areas that will align our<br />

vision for growth and impact. Your organisation’s contributions and insights would be instrumental in<br />

realizing these goals. Together we can create a meaningful change in various fields of our organisations.<br />


Jobs are<br />

everyone’s business<br />

So dire has the unemployment situation become in South Africa that some left-field<br />

solutions are now on the table.<br />

In the space of a few weeks in October, political leader Musi Maimane and<br />

John Dludlu, the CEO of the Small Business Institute, were arguing in favour of<br />

some kind of national service for young people. Dludlu, whose experience includes the<br />

editorship of the Sowetan newspaper, drew attention to the strangeness of what he<br />

was proposing in Business Day: “It may also be time to start thinking the unthinkable:<br />

reintroducing conscription.”<br />

He noted that white conscripts under apartheid had picked up “soft skills” such as<br />

discipline and opened academic and professional pathways. Maimane’s Build One SA<br />

political party presented “National Civilian Service” as one of the planks of its election<br />

campaign, the idea being to bridge the gap between school and work with a voluntary<br />

one-year programme that would also help clinics, police stations and schools with<br />

support staff. The private sector is supporting the YES4YOUTH internship programme<br />

and various levels of government are taking in young people to work in offices or be<br />

teacher assistants. Our news snippets section includes a reference to Harambee youth<br />

employment accelerator. The country’s Technical Vocational Education and Training<br />

(TVET) colleges are all seized with the importance of teaching skills that help people get<br />

jobs while at the same time trying to teach and promote entrepreneurship.<br />

Perhaps to create jobs – and in the absence of sustained economic growth – South<br />

Africa needs something startling.<br />

In this issue<br />

Jobs and relevant skills are at the heart of what CHIETA CEO Yershen Pillay does, and his<br />

description of his ambitious goals for the chemicals industry training sector, including<br />

raising digital skills levels, read like the sort of practical solutions that South Africa needs.<br />

The interview that leads the content of this magazine is an eye-opener.<br />

The sorts of internships that Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs)<br />

like CHIETA facilitate has been rolled out by the private sector with astonishing<br />

success through the YES4WORK programme. More than a million opportunities to<br />

experience the workplace have been offered since the programme launched in 2019.<br />

The interview with Ntanganedzi Madzivhandila provides an inspiring insight into just<br />

how well the programme can work. In this young man’s case, with Nedbank, where<br />

his career is now progressing.<br />

Training and its effectiveness are the subject of Michael Hanly’s input. MD of South<br />

African online learning solutions provider New Leaf Technologies insists that training is<br />

not much use unless it can be assessed for effectiveness. Date is vital, he says. A practical<br />

skills project that culminates in employment opportunities in Kuruman is described by<br />

EduPower and innovators who have used their skills well are the subject of a report on<br />

an engineering competition.<br />

Business Partners has launched a fund to help small businesses get access to renewable<br />

energy to help them stave off loadshedding; Old Mutual is having success with its Hybrid<br />

Equity product, funding that tries to support projects that go beyond one generation;<br />

finally, Cerina Bezuidenhout unpicks the statistics related to the underfunding of<br />

women-owned businesses. DFA’s Praveen Govender stresses the need for collaboration<br />

if broadband is going to continue to break down barriers in South Africa<br />

John Young, Editor<br />

12 | www.opportunityonline.co.za<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za<br />

Editor: John Young<br />

Publishing director: Chris Whales<br />

Managing director: Clive During<br />

Online editor: Christoff Scholtz<br />

Designer: Salmah Brown<br />

Production: Yonella Ngaba<br />

Ad sales:<br />

Shiko Diala<br />

Vanessa Wallace<br />

Venesia Fowler<br />

Gabriel Venter<br />

Tennyson Naidoo<br />

Tahlia Wyngaard<br />

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Gavin van der Merwe<br />

Graeme February<br />

Sam Oliver<br />

Administration & accounts:<br />

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Kathy Wootton<br />

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Distribution and circulation manager:<br />

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Printing: FA Print<br />


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Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales<br />

Physical address: 28 Main Road,<br />

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the copyright owner. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of<br />

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arising out of, or in connection with, the contents of this book. The publishers<br />

would like to express thanks to those who support this publication by their<br />

submission of articles and with their advertising. All rights reserved.


News & snippets<br />

Industry insights from the past quarter<br />

Dressing for success<br />

A group of companies and charities are combining to ensure that work-seekers have a better chance of success at<br />

interviews through the Suitably Dressed campaign. “At H&M we want to enable our customers to look good, feel good<br />

and do good and the Suitably Dressed campaign perfectly embodies this philosophy. By leveraging pre-loved fashion as<br />

a valuable resource, we can collectively drive positive change, empower job seekers and transform lives,” says Caroline<br />

Nelson, H&M South Africa’s Country Manager. The project is made possible through H&M’s collaboration with not-forprofit<br />

social enterprises Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and Clothes to Good, as well as the entrepreneur,<br />

Miles Kubheka, who recently participated as a panellist, judge and mentor in the H&M Foundation’s Global Change<br />

Awards. H&M customers will be encouraged to drop off workwear. For each bag of workwear, donors will receive two<br />

“15% off” vouchers to use towards their next H&M purchases. Donations gathered at H&M will be collected and sorted<br />

by Clothes to Good, while the distribution to job seekers will be managed by Harambee. Harambee Youth Employment<br />

Accelerator collaborates with various partners to address the challenges preventing millions of young South Africans from<br />

accessing employment opportunities. Beyond its impact on employment barriers, the Suitably Dressed initiative aligns with<br />

H&M’s mission to foster a sustainable circular fashion industry that reuses and repurposes textiles before eventual recycling.<br />

Cleaner cranes can cut costs<br />

Fuel costs and emissions can be cut by up to 25% through the use of new technology,<br />

according to the agents for Konecranes. Lenny Naidoo, Acting National Operations<br />

Manager for Heavy Lift, a division of CFAO Equipment SA that sells heavy forklifts<br />

to container handlers and the ports industry, says that Konecranes’ investment in<br />

research and development has led to improvements in “the safety, productivity and<br />

cost-effectiveness of equipment”. The technology that has developed over many years,<br />

Konecranes Lift Trucks Flow Drive, also improves the driver experience and active<br />

operation time of the equipment is increased. With more than 80 years of experience<br />

in the lifting sector, Konecranes supplies lift trucks, reach stackers and forklift trucks for<br />

shipyards, ports and terminals. The innovative Flow Drive system uses hydromechanical<br />

variable transmission (HVT) to limit power at low speed, lowering wear, fuel consumption<br />

and emissions on a heavy-duty engine that maintains full performance.<br />

Accelerating access<br />

MTN South Africa intends to reshape local supply chains, drive economic growth and<br />

champion inclusivity with its newest Enterprise and Supplier Development (ESD)<br />

programme, MTN Xlerator. The company is intentionally supporting black-owned<br />

enterprises under the ESG pillar of its Ambition 2025 strategy. MTN’s Total Measured<br />

Procurement Spend increased from approximately R26-billion in 2018 to more than<br />

R44-billion in five years. R17-billion of that spend went to entities that are at least<br />

30% black women-owned in the 2022 financial year. Further investments are made in<br />

Supplier Development, Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development.<br />

MTN SA aims to lower the barriers to entry to the telecommunication and technology<br />

sectors. These have been notoriously difficult to break into due to the high cost of capital<br />

investment required. Beyond procurement opportunities, the ownership profile of the<br />

company’s Y’ello stores is being changed to better mirror South Africa’s demographics.<br />

14 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

News & snippets<br />

Industry insights from the past quarter<br />

Wasting the waste opportunity<br />

South Africa generates an estimated 122-million tons of waste per<br />

annum with 90% of this waste being disposed of to landfills. Much<br />

of this waste, however, could be reused as alternative secondary<br />

resources or in the form of waste-to-energy solutions and make a<br />

significant contribution to our energy crisis and our ecosystems.<br />

With the global shift towards building a circular economy,<br />

and national plans and legislation driving the diversion of waste<br />

from landfill disposal, we need a collective and collaborative<br />

effort to develop systems and processes to manage our waste<br />

more effectively. Interwaste is a company that has long years of<br />

experience in doing just that, offering a range of services from<br />

waste solutions of every type to hazardous waste disposal and<br />

turning waste into energy.<br />

Nicolas Meletiou on Pixabay<br />

THE<br />


PORTS<br />


The Ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz lie on the West Coast<br />

of Africa. The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) was<br />

established by the Namibian Ports Authority Act, No. 2 of<br />

1994. It is recognised as a public enterprise in terms of the<br />

Public Enterprises Governance Act, No. 1 of 2019. Namport’s<br />

mandate is to exercise control and manage Namibia’s ports,<br />

lighthouses and other navigational aids in Namibia and its<br />

territorial waters.<br />

Lubango<br />

Namibia<br />

Angola<br />

Oshikango<br />

Otjiwarongo<br />

Ondangwa<br />

Windhoek<br />

Walvis Bay<br />

Aus<br />

Otavi<br />

Lüderitz<br />

Tsumeb<br />

Grootfontein<br />

Okahandja<br />

Mariental<br />

Gobabis<br />

Keetmanshoop<br />

Upington<br />

South Africa<br />

Democratic<br />

Republic of Congo<br />

Zambia<br />

Katima Mulilo<br />

Botswana<br />

Gaborone<br />

Kolwezi<br />

Francistown<br />

Lusaka<br />

Livingstone<br />

Lesotho<br />

Lubumbashi<br />

Ndola<br />

Zimbabwe<br />

Johannesburg<br />

Bulawayo<br />

Swaziland<br />

Harare<br />

Lilongwe<br />

Mozambique<br />

Malawi<br />

Tanzania<br />


Marine<br />

Services<br />

Cargo Handling<br />

Container, Bulk & Break-Bulk<br />

Vessel<br />

Repairs<br />

For customized shipping solutions, contact the Manager: Business Development, Trevor Ndjadila at t.ndjadila@namport.com.na<br />

or alternatively +264 64 208 2377<br />

www.namport.com<br />

Warehouse<br />

Facilities<br />

Cruise/<br />

Passenger<br />



Effective waste management<br />

can reduce emissions.<br />

Don’t “waste” the opportunity to expand our economy, says<br />

Kate Stubbs, Marketing Director at Interwaste.<br />

The National Environmental<br />

Management Laws Amendment<br />

Act, 2022 (NEMLAA 4) came into<br />

effect as of 30 June 2023 – and it’s<br />

another positive shift for our approach to<br />

environmental protection.<br />

As per the outline from government,<br />

this Act aims to prevent pollution and<br />

ecological degradation and ensure<br />

sustainable development by providing for<br />

air quality measures, norms and standards,<br />

management and control by all spheres<br />

of government. Now that this Act has<br />

been enacted, it should not only help<br />

strengthen South Africa’s environmental<br />

enforcement but deter non-compliance<br />

with environmental laws. While some<br />

might say that South Africa is now making<br />

good headway in our fight against climate<br />

change, we must still consider that we are<br />

in a juxtaposition between fighting climate<br />

change and fighting economic turmoil.<br />

Which one comes first, or can they coexist?<br />

While the government has already<br />

indicated its intention to gain access to<br />

higher levels of climate financing with<br />

a goal of achieving $8-billion per year<br />

by 2030, we know that, considering the<br />

current economic environment, this may<br />

not be as easy. So, what is the immediate<br />

solution or potential opportunity?<br />

It’s important to note that the waste<br />

sector offers a crucial and often overlooked<br />

opportunity, not just towards reducing<br />

carbon emissions through effective waste<br />

management but in meeting the country’s<br />

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).<br />

However, we have a conundrum<br />

where many people across business,<br />

communities and government are<br />

under-informed about the potential of<br />

well-managed, compliant and innovative<br />

waste-management solutions. The<br />

reality is that with a population of<br />

61-million people which is growing by<br />

around 1% a year, and with each person<br />

generating around 2kgs of waste per<br />

day, we are heading towards a waste<br />

disaster that will impact our climate<br />

action and our goals significantly. We<br />

need solutions.<br />

Solving problems and creating jobs<br />

We are already seeing some movement<br />

in the waste and energy sectors through<br />

programmes such as the Just Energy<br />

Transition (JET), which aims to explore<br />

alternative sustainable options to key<br />

challenges and where waste can, and is,<br />

forming a critical pillar. But we need to<br />

understand that waste, if well managed,<br />

can also be a very powerful tool in job<br />

creation and social equality. In fact, the<br />

global waste-to-energy market is expected<br />

to grow from $28.4-billion in 2017 to<br />

almost $43-billion in 2024. As far back as<br />

2019, global employment opportunities in<br />

renewable energy was given as 11.5-million<br />

people gaining access.<br />

The International Renewable Energy<br />

Agency (IREA) has also proclaimed the<br />

opportunities that exist, stating that<br />

renewables have the potential to employ<br />

more than 40-million people by 2050.<br />

While this new legislation is very<br />

welcome in our fight to protect our<br />

environment, the good news is that<br />

climate action and economic preservation<br />

can coexist and should be seen as<br />

complementary. In fact, waste and effective<br />

waste management presents a large<br />

economic opportunity not only to establish<br />

new industries and revenue streams but<br />

to meet legislative requirements and to<br />

achieve our climate-action agendas. It’s a<br />

win for everyone.<br />

Biography<br />

Kate Stubbs is the current Group<br />

Marketing Director for the<br />

Interwaste Group which forms part<br />

of Séché Environment, a leading<br />

international environmental<br />

solutions business. She has held<br />

various executive positions in<br />

marketing, sales, strategy and<br />

communications over the last 20<br />

years, predominantly working for<br />

supply chain, logistics and waste<br />

management companies serving<br />

a broad range of industries. Her<br />

experience has enabled her<br />

to work with diverse local and<br />

international teams and she<br />

thrives in complex, intellectually<br />

stimulating environments. Some<br />

of her successes have been in<br />

creating and building new brands,<br />

achieving growth strategies and<br />

assisting with the integration of<br />

many acquisitions. She is passionate<br />

about developing sustainable<br />

solutions for businesses that are not<br />

only economically viable, but which<br />

are socially conscious and protect<br />

our environment for future.<br />

16 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Building opportunities<br />

for corporate South Africa<br />

The SACCI Economic Development Unit has launched an e-mobility pilot<br />

project and aims to offer SACCI members access to power solutions.<br />

In August 2023, Zamlim Investments entered into a partnership<br />

with the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry<br />

(SACCI). The purpose of this partnership is to develop an<br />

Economic Development Unit, to be embedded in SACCI.<br />

Although SACCI is a non-profit company (NPC), it is at the<br />

forefront of engagements with big business. It is an inevitable<br />

evolution of its offering to corporate South Africa to be in a<br />

position to develop a pipeline of bankable opportunities that<br />

companies, commercial funders, development-finance institutions<br />

(DFIs) and OEMs can participate in that generate jobs, contribute to<br />

our growing Green Economy, increase skills transfer and generate<br />

community upliftment in both developed and underdeveloped<br />

parts of the country’s economy.<br />

Zamlim is a management consulting firm with interests in<br />

traditional consulting capabilities such as strategy, operations,<br />

implementation and investment promotion. Zamlim also has<br />

a wholly owned renewable-energy commercial and industrial<br />

(C&I) capability called Zamlim Power. Zamlim Power is serving<br />

industrial clients with a variety of solar solutions that incorporate<br />

a funding solution.<br />

The newly established Economic Development Unit, which<br />

is managed by Zamlim, has already generated several wins. A<br />

12-month e-micromobility pilot has been launched in Gauteng,<br />

alongside one of the Big Four banks. The aim of this pilot is to<br />

reduce last-mile-delivery CO2 emissions by over 300 metric tons<br />

per annum and employ hundreds of individuals from Alexandra<br />

township with the right skills to enter the rapidly expanding<br />

e-commerce market, while deploying a renewable-energy<br />

ecosystem that will include over 1.7MW hours of green energy<br />

per annum that will be used for the e-bikes.<br />

The final details are being in put in place of an arrangement<br />

with a DFI and another Big Four bank for a C&I renewable power<br />

solution. The product is known as “Power for You” and will be<br />

offered exclusively to SACCI’s 20 000 members nationally. The aim<br />

is to alleviate business dependence on grid power, while offering<br />

PPAs and lease-to-own options that will eliminate the need for<br />

SACCI members to deploy scarce capex.<br />

The Economic Development Unit played an active role in<br />

engaging senior stakeholders during the BRICS Summit held in<br />

Johannesburg and has influential relationships with the likes of the<br />

Confederation of Indian Industrialists (CII) as well as the Agency<br />

for Strategic Initiatives (Russia). Engagements are also ongoing<br />

with the European Union and the European Investment Bank,<br />

positioning the SACCI Economic Development Unit as a multipolar,<br />

multilateral player that is able to bring opportunities, FDI and<br />

outbound investment opportunities for corporate South Africa.<br />

These relationships are also being developed to expand into<br />

the SADC region, with Botswana and Zimbabwe being the initial<br />

pilot areas of cooperation.<br />

Zamlim Investments is led by its CEO, Dzingira Matenga, a<br />

former management consultant and industry executive who has<br />

led business units at the likes of McKinsey & Co and Ernst & Young,<br />

and also sat on the Exco of a Kazakhstan-based mining company<br />

with African interests in copper, cobalt, bauxite and platinum.<br />

The Zamlim team includes economists, actuaries, engineers and<br />

customer-value-proposition experts who are passionate about<br />

growing SADC economies, giving our youth a fighting chance to<br />

meaningfully participate in our economies, while also bringing the<br />

right level of rigour to engage local and foreign investors, partners<br />

and OEMs and encourage their participation in growth.<br />

The pilot is part of a disaggregated<br />

R1-billion upstream and downstream<br />

opportunity for South Africa...<br />

18 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Green Economy - Our project addressess a significant decarbonization of<br />

last-mile-delivery in Gauteng.<br />

... and would meet several UNDP and NDP objectives<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 19


Deepening trade ties<br />

with member states<br />

South Africa, represented by SACCI, is chairing the<br />

Trade and Investment Working Group of the BRICS Business Council.<br />

SACCI President Advocate Mtho Xulu assumed the position<br />

of chairperson of the BRICS Working Group on Trade and<br />

Investment in May 2023 towards South Africa’s hosting of<br />

the BRICS Summit. He reflects on the importance to South<br />

African business of the international grouping and its deliberations.<br />

South Africa proudly hosted the 15th BRICS Summit in<br />

Johannesburg in August 2023. The summit, which was held<br />

under the heading, “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually<br />

Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive<br />

Multilateralism”, will be remembered as the summit where the<br />

five member states made a commitment to expand the group to<br />

include several other countries.<br />

But another significant anniversary took place that was<br />

celebrated, it being 10 years since the BRICS Business Council<br />

(BBC) was established during the Fifth BRICS Summit held in<br />

2013 in Durban. The idea behind the Council was to constitute<br />

a platform which will promote and strengthen business, trade<br />

and investment ties among the business communities of the five<br />

BRICS countries, ensure that there is regular dialogue between the<br />

business communities and governments of the BRICS nations and<br />

identify problems and bottlenecks to ensure greater economic,<br />

trade and investment ties. The BBC is divided into various Working<br />

Groups, and each nation has its own chapter which runs the<br />

relevant Working Groups. When a particular country hosts the<br />

BRICS Summit, the host country becomes the Chairperson of the<br />

Working Group. The SACCI President was duly appointed to that<br />

position. As Advocate Xulu says, “I was honoured to be appointed<br />

by the BRICS Business Council to chair this important Working<br />

Group that has a very specific mandate to deepen and balance<br />

trade and investment among members states and the economies<br />

and have a bearing on BRICS.”<br />

The task of the chairperson is to maintain relations with<br />

colleagues in other chapters, but also, as Advocate Xulu explains,<br />

it entails “mobilising resources and expertise to fulfil the mandate<br />

of the working group, building synergies with the other working<br />

groups and facilitating knowledge sharing with domestic<br />

and international actors who have an interest in the trade and<br />

investment affairs of BRICS”.<br />

The benefits to South African business of being part of such<br />

Working Groups are clear to Advocate Xulu: “It gives us access<br />

to a platform of peers where we gain access to market-access<br />

opportunities for South African goods and services, investment<br />

pools to drive industrialisation, entrepreneurship and innovation<br />

and expert exchanges that will enable South Africa to become<br />

globally competitive.”<br />

Background to Trade and Investment Working Group<br />

The Trade and Investment Working Group is a cross-cutting<br />

Working Group, working in partnership with the other Working<br />

Groups to identify barriers to trade and investment in the targeted<br />

sectors and seeking ways to overcome these barriers.<br />

A key objective of the Working Group is to strengthen and<br />

promote economic, trade, business and investment ties among<br />

the business communities of the five BRICS countries.<br />

The purpose of the Working Group is to implement a more<br />

targeted approach towards:<br />

• the analysis of trade between the BRICS countries<br />

• the fostering of regulatory harmonisation to increase trade<br />

between member countries<br />

• the identification of trade barriers within specific industries<br />

• making recommendations on how these barriers might be<br />

overcome through multilateral or bilateral solutions<br />

• the examination of global trade and investment measures that<br />

have a bearing on BRICS economies and evolving common<br />

positions on the same.<br />

The various Working Groups will now follow up on these objectives,<br />

which were adopted by the 15th BRICS Summit.<br />

20 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Focus on trade and investment promotion<br />

With regard to promoting trade and investment between BRICS<br />

member nations, the Working Group has identified a number of<br />

areas where specific steps can be taken to achieve these aims<br />

through data-driven decision-making. Concrete steps can be<br />

taken to:<br />

• track trade statistics among the BRICS nations<br />

• propose solutions to identified non-tariff barrier challenges<br />

• enhance the complementarities and opportunities<br />

• promote and enhance mutual trade and investment, creating a<br />

business-friendly environment for investors and entrepreneurs<br />

in all BRICS and African countries<br />

• develop a BRICS calendar of trade and investment promotion<br />

events to allow for joint participation<br />

• develop joint statements on trade, investments and sustainable<br />

growth in coordination with the other Working Groups<br />

• identify key industries for focused in-depth research and bestpractice<br />

sharing<br />

• share information among BRICS countries on exchanges and<br />

capacity-building programmes<br />

• identify areas where trade performance has not met<br />

expectations, understand the cause of the underperformances<br />

and develop solutions to drive trade and investment.<br />

Regarding implementation, Advocate Xulu notes that it is up to the<br />

Working Groups to carry them out. He adds: “An annual review will<br />

be conducted at the 16th BRICS Summit in Russia 2024.”<br />

<strong>Opportunity</strong> areas to drive trade and investment<br />

At the Johannesburg Summit, the South African delegation<br />

particularly discussed the opportunities that the trade deficit<br />

presents. As Advocate Xulu points out, there are opportunities<br />

to use it “to grow and modernise our exports to the other<br />

member states. We also highlighted the need to take advantage of<br />

the popularity of our raw mineral and agricultural commodities, by<br />

building horizontal and vertical integration for each commodity,<br />

thus growing and strengthening the domestic industrial base.”<br />

A goal of the Working Group is to reduce the trade deficit and<br />

improve the trade balance between members, we need to enhance<br />

solidarity between member states and to strengthen bilateral and<br />

multilateral trade and investment.<br />

This can be achieved by focussing on four main areas:<br />

Economic partnerships<br />

• Establish strategic economic partnerships with BRICS nations to<br />

expand trade and investment opportunities<br />

• Promote trade fairs, exhibitions and business forums to attract<br />

BRICS nations companies and investors<br />

Infrastructure development<br />

• Deploy expertise in infrastructure development and help<br />

African countries in sectors such as transportation, energy and<br />

communication<br />

• Build strong infrastructure networks to enhance regional<br />

connectivity and facilitate trade under AfCFTA<br />

Financing cooperation<br />

• BRICS nations offer various financing mechanisms for<br />

infrastructure and development projects<br />

• Explore financial cooperation opportunities, including bilateral<br />

investment agreements, infrastructure funds and loans from the<br />

New Development Bank<br />

Knowledge exchange and capacity building<br />

• BRICS nations have experts in various sectors. Organise exchange<br />

programmes, training and capacity-building initiatives to<br />

enhance skills and knowledge transfer.<br />

As to whether there is value to be gained from the Working Group,<br />

Advocate Xulu reflects, “The unique value of this Working Group is<br />

its focussed mandate on the practicalities of economic cooperation<br />

of the real transactions regarding trade and investment among<br />

member countries.”<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 21


Building an<br />

innovative and<br />

employable<br />

workforce<br />

If South Africa is to thrive, says CHIETA CEO Yershen<br />

Pillay, it must create a skills-based curriculum<br />

Where did you do your tertiary studies?<br />

I did my undergraduate degree in Politics and Economics<br />

at the University of Cape Town. That was followed by a<br />

Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration at<br />

the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS),<br />

University of Pretoria.<br />

I then graduated with a Master of Business<br />

Administration (MBA) qualification from GIBS<br />

in 2021. I am currently studying towards my<br />

PhD in Digital Transformation at the University<br />

of Johannesburg (UJ).<br />

At the time, did it feel that your studies<br />

were helpful in terms of developing your broader<br />

understanding of the world and pursuing a career?<br />

Absolutely. Studying across various institutions helped to broaden<br />

my worldview and develop a wide range of skills and interests.<br />

I gradually developed into a generalist with specialist skills in<br />

leadership and administration.<br />

To be successful requires knowledge, skills and experience<br />

together with the right attitude and character. By continuing to<br />

learn and acquire new qualifications, I made education fashionable<br />

which assisted my career growth tremendously.<br />

Should universities and TVET colleges be trying to strike<br />

a balance between education (in the broader sense) and<br />

training (for the workplace) or should there be a greater<br />

focus about what is offered at each type of institution?<br />

There needs to be more of a focus on a skills-based curriculum. The<br />

result will be more employable graduates who have a penchant<br />

for solving problems and generating new ideas, innovation<br />

will flourish and the country will grow. Universities and TVET<br />

22 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


There needs to be more of a focus<br />

on a skills-based curriculum<br />

colleges are producing graduates who lack innovation skills,<br />

entrepreneurial thinking and core skills such as empathy, courage<br />

and communication.<br />

What did you learn in the course of your<br />

diploma and Master’s at GIBS?<br />

My MBA journey at GIBS was more about the robust classroom<br />

discussions and the discussion-based learning than the tools and<br />

case studies offered. It was a journey of self-exploration and selfawareness.<br />

I learnt more about who I am as a human being and<br />

what I am capable of. I became more aware of my virtues, vices<br />

and “x-factor” skills. I learnt to be a knowledge seeker. In doing<br />

so, I realised my innate skills of curiosity, strategic communication<br />

and people development, all of which have served me well in my<br />

leadership roles as the Executive Chairperson of the NYDA, MD of a<br />

logistics firm, and now CEO of an education and training authority.<br />

How has your experience in the private sector shaped you?<br />

My experience in corporate South Africa was enabling more than<br />

debilitating. It was a totally different role to where I am now at<br />

CHIETA. I used to be in transport as an MD and not dealing much<br />

with SETAs. However, my next role was still in transport and logistics<br />

as a board member and director of Airports Company South Africa<br />

(ACSA). The jump from transport and logistics to education and<br />

training has been a seamless one.<br />

Many of your positions have been in positions<br />

affecting youth. Is this a passion of yours?<br />

I have always been passionate about people and service. Working<br />

in the public sector was a perfect fit. After my days as a student<br />

leader at UCT, I took up youth development for nine years, first<br />

as the Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Development<br />

Agency and then serving as the President of the Pan African<br />

Youth Union. Making a difference through public service is what<br />

I’ve always enjoyed. I have always been an advocate of youth<br />

development. I am acutely aware of the role that youth play in<br />

society. Our youth are our future. This is why I am so passionate<br />

about ensuring that youth are adequately skilled, trained and<br />

empowered for success.<br />

A SAFCOL board member has commented on your ICT<br />

competence: have you specialised in ICT? How important<br />

is ICT in driving progress within an organisation?<br />

Yes, absolutely! Over time, I have acquired essential skills in ICT and<br />

cybersecurity strategy. I am currently studying towards my PhD in<br />

digital transformation with a focus on people and technologies as<br />

this is a passion of mine. We live in an era of artificial intelligence<br />

(AI) and hyper digitalisation. The impact of technology on our<br />

daily lives is inevitable. We cannot afford to ignore the impact of<br />

technology. For this reason, I continue to play a role in the digital<br />

transformation of organisations. At ACSA, I am the Chairperson of<br />

the ICT committee where we are leading the digital transformation<br />

strategy of South Africa’s airports. At SAFCOL, we have introduced a<br />

number of automated and mechanised technologies for the digital<br />

transformation of forestry. At CHIETA, we are executing a digital<br />

transformation strategy to be a fully digitised SETA that offers<br />

digitised skills development and training services by 2025.<br />

What do you find rewarding about serving on boards?<br />

I have seized every opportunity as a learning opportunity to grow<br />

and develop in leadership and governance. Serving on boards in<br />

education, aviation and forestry has allowed me to develop a<br />

range of different perspectives and drive cross-sector collaboration<br />

which is a key factor of innovation.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 23


team of people at CHIETA. We are a people-centric organisation<br />

that focuses on high-impact, qualitative results.<br />

We adopted a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance and<br />

a “people first, everything else second” philosophy. We actively<br />

seek to empower, recognise and reward our people. In return,<br />

our people delivered the results, in this case, a first clean audit<br />

outcome after five years. This clean audit outcome signifies a SETA<br />

that works!<br />

CHIETA’s digital transformation strategy aims to be offering<br />

digitised skills development and training services by 2025.<br />

I have had the privilege of acquiring a vast range of experience and<br />

innovation skills such as observational, discovery and networking<br />

skills. I now have an innovator’s DNA! Importantly, I have developed<br />

a relational intelligence (RQ) that has assisted me greatly in my<br />

current position as CEO of CHIETA.<br />

How did CHIETA achieve a clean audit?<br />

CHIETA received a clean audit outcome for the first time in five<br />

years. The key factor of success was our people. We have a great<br />

What are your broader goals for CHIETA?<br />

To be a fully digitised, innovation-driven SETA that is not just<br />

about skills development, but about sustainable livelihoods and<br />

improving the quality of life. We want to support the end-to-end<br />

value chain of sustainable livelihoods. This means supporting<br />

more startups and SMMEs, so we must achieve our target of<br />

2 000 SMMEs supported by the chemical SETA, and more than<br />

200 co-operatives.<br />

We have a goal of establishing nine SMART Skills Centres in<br />

every province by 2025. We are measuring grand goals such as<br />

livelihoods and the impact created through supporting more<br />

chemical startups, SMMEs, retrenched workers, gender-based<br />

violence and other social programmes, new hydrogen skills<br />

projects, VR-based training and the use of AI in education and<br />

training. We want to impact 100 000 livelihoods by 2025.<br />

As an innovation leader in education, skills development<br />

and training we don’t want to train for the sake of training and<br />

contribute to employment. Our broader goal is to improve the<br />

quality of life by focusing on sustainable livelihoods.<br />

Pan African Hydrogen Skills Conference<br />

The Chemical Industry Education and Training Authority<br />

(CHIETA), together with the Department of Science and<br />

Innovation (DSI), have hosted a number of events connected<br />

to the Green Hydrogen Economy.<br />

One such event was the Pan African Hydrogen Skills<br />

Conference held in Cape Town in December 2022. Other<br />

conference partners were Impact Hydrogen (Netherlands),<br />

the South African National Energy Development Institute<br />

(SANEDI), the Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy<br />

Studies at Stellenbosch University, Durban University of<br />

Technology and the National Business Institute (NBI).<br />

The conference was officially opened by the Minister<br />

of Higher Education, Science And Innovation, Dr Blade<br />

Nzimande, pictured, who noted how CHIETA has repositioned<br />

itself to innovate for impact. The conference is an example of<br />

CHIETA providing leadership on skills development for the<br />

hydrogen economy.<br />

Under the title "Industry Perspectives, Experiences and<br />

Skills required for the Hydrogen Economy", the conference<br />

unpacked the skills required to bring about sustainable green<br />

economic growth and development.<br />

In the pursuit of a Just Energy Transition, Minister Nzimande<br />

stressed the need for even closer collaboration between<br />

industry (small and large), educational and financial<br />

institutions, investment partners and governments.<br />

24 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

Innovating<br />

for impact<br />

CHIETA aims to provide skills for the<br />

Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond.<br />

The Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA) is a<br />

statutory body that was established by The Skills Development Act 97 of<br />

1998. Our purpose as a SETA is to facilitate skills development in the chemical<br />

and manufacturing industries and to ensure that skills needs are identified<br />

and addressed through a number of initiatives by the SETA and the sector. A<br />

Trusted Partner in Skills Development and Training for the Chemical Sector.<br />

Approximately 70 % of the Skills Development Levies that are obtained from<br />

the chemical industry are distributed back to member companies through<br />

grants. CHIETA also works in close collaboration with the Quality Council for<br />

Trades and Occupations to design and develop occupational qualifications<br />

and trades, quality assurance, accreditation, monitoring as well as<br />

certification of competent learners.<br />

Fourth Industrial Revolution<br />

In terms of CHIETA’s digitisation strategy, the fully automated, end<br />

to-end digitised SMART Skills Centre will be rolled out in every province<br />

of the country by 2025.<br />


Learners<br />

The CHIETA offers learnerships and other youth programmes to unemployed youth with the aim of promoting employability in line<br />

with government policy as per National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS III) objectives<br />

Skills development training providers<br />

Accreditation processes for training providers and for assessors and moderators. Training providers of education and training must be<br />

accredited with an Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA) body under the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)<br />

Employers<br />

The CHIETA makes grant funding available during a window period in which it accepts applications from the employers. The opening<br />

of this window is advertised on the CHIETA website, national and community media<br />


Highlights from the CHIETA 2022/23 Integrated Annual Report<br />

• Unqualified clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General of South Africa<br />

• 100% performance against planned targets approved by DHET<br />

• 30 032 Learners supported through career exhibitions<br />

• 108 Co-operatives supported<br />

• 576 SMMEs supported<br />

• 6 036 Certificates issued by CHIETA ETQA<br />


72 New Road, Glen Austin AH (Grand Central), Midrand 1685<br />

Email: info@chieta.org.za | Tel: +27 87 357 6608 | Tel: +27 11 628 7000 | Website: www.chieta.org.za


Leading the way<br />

in AI education<br />

The Principal of ORBIT TVET College, Dika Mokoena, is<br />

proud of his students’ achievements in an international<br />

AI competition and the college’s powerhouse soccer<br />

team! Plans for a hotel school will bolster a college<br />

already strong in electrical and diesel mechanical trades.<br />

Is this a period of change for TVET colleges?<br />

The changes which are taking place within the colleges are spearheaded by<br />

the Minister of Higher Education and Training. He wants these colleges to<br />

become colleges which respond to the real situation that an individual South<br />

African is going through economically. That is why he has introduced the<br />

Centres of Specialisation. These centres are financed by the Ministry under his<br />

leadership. They are a beautiful game-changer where a learner who would<br />

have gone through the entire programme would have an opportunity to be<br />

employed. If not employment, then the learner has enough skills to start his<br />

or her own business. As a college we have responded very well to the call of<br />

Centres of Specialisation in the electrical trade and the most difficult trade<br />

of diesel mechanics. Drivers that own diesel-engine cars will tell you how<br />

difficult it is to find a diesel mechanic. We have done well in the certification<br />

of these two trades.<br />

Where are these offered?<br />

The electrical trade is offered at the Brits site and the diesel specialisation<br />

is attached to Mankwe Campus.<br />

What else is offered at Mankwe?<br />

We are just adjacent to Sun City so there is also a tourism focus.<br />

Because of the presence of Sun City and other holiday resort facilities<br />

in the area we intend to build a hotel school which will have training<br />

facilities for students and a conference centre. This hotel school<br />

will not be in competition with all other centres in the area. It is a<br />

puzzle that fits like a glove onto a hand because we are a training<br />

institution and we will then want to partner with these<br />

facilities. These centres would like to have a skilled labour<br />

force so where would they get their skilled labour force? We<br />

are still looking for a partner for the project but what is key<br />

is that the hotel school at the college will be complementing<br />

what these other facilities are currently doing in the area. We<br />

are looking at food preparation, hospitality services, client<br />

services and human relations, just to name a few areas we<br />

are looking to take care of, plus many more.<br />

ORBIT TVET College’s successful AI students, pictured with the<br />

Principal, Mr Dika Mokoena, right.<br />

26 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


So you are responding to what business needs in your area?<br />

Yes. In Brits it is electrical and for Mankwe it is diesel. Now we are<br />

looking at our Rustenburg campus to focus on IT.<br />

Has ORBIT College started to focus on IT already?<br />

ORBIT College is the first college within the Republic of South<br />

Africa which has a partnership with Intel. This partnership, which<br />

began in 2022, is all about artificial intelligence.<br />

The traditional way is that you go to school, you get<br />

registered, you leave with a certificate which says you have a<br />

particular skill and off you can go. The international trend from<br />

these big giants is that the certificate is secondary. What they<br />

want to see is what you can do. A modern learner will register<br />

with the college on an artificial intelligence programme which<br />

will be designed and categorised for “future workforce”. The<br />

categories need to be explained. There is a category for high<br />

school, a category for the future workforce, a category for those<br />

that are in employment already and yet another category for<br />

decision-makers. There is an excellent programme run by Intel.<br />

Learners will report that, for example, in the area where<br />

they live there isn’t enough sunshine for certain types of crops<br />

to grow properly. Once that person has identified the problem<br />

they go to a lab, which has software that was donated to the<br />

college by Intel.<br />

The lab you see in ORBIT College North West, South<br />

Africa, on the African continent, is exactly the same lab you<br />

will see in Singapore, Germany or Spain. The ORBIT College<br />

lab is the latest. Once the problem has been identified the<br />

students bring that problem into the lab and begin to develop<br />

algorithms which are going to talk to the problem and come<br />

up with a solution.<br />

Please tell us about the achievements of your<br />

students in the global competition.<br />

Intel brings students from all over the world into one melting<br />

pot and runs a competition showcasing problems solved<br />

in different areas. ORBIT College, representing South Africa<br />

and Africa in the future workforce category, participated in<br />

the 2023 competition with two projects which students had<br />

developed. Out of 1 350 projects which were submitted for<br />

the first round, both ORBIT projects were chosen among the<br />

75 which made the cut and then one of them ended overall in<br />

third position, which is a beautiful story to take home.<br />

Where was the competition held?<br />

It was held virtually but now the winners have been invited to go<br />

and celebrate in Poland.<br />

Was “The Decade of the Artisan” a good programme?<br />

Did you feel that was a good way of focussing<br />

the attention of the country on artisanship?<br />

There’s a phrase that says, “out of sight, out of mind”. If we as a<br />

country had not pulled artisanship up and placed it on the<br />

dashboard we would not have attended to the shortage of artisans.<br />

It was a good move that we made it a priority.<br />

Does ORBIT College have a sports programme?<br />

We subscribe to the adage, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull<br />

boy” and so we have a soccer team.<br />

Does your soccer team play in a league?<br />

You have just made my day. The soccer team is like that at any<br />

other school with youngsters playing soccer just to keep them<br />

active, but these youngsters gained momentum and now they are<br />

in the National First Division, just one level below the Kaizer Chiefs<br />

and the Pirates of this world. ORBIT College Football Club is now a<br />

professional soccer team.<br />

These youngsters have created employment for themselves. In<br />

the North West province there is no team at that level, so as much<br />

as it is the college they represent, they also represent the province.<br />

That’s how good their status is.<br />

And does that bring other benefits?<br />

It changes the culture of learning in an institution where we can<br />

sometimes overstretch ourselves. We expect that all students<br />

come in in search of academic knowledge and they will leave<br />

with that, but we are not all wired the same. There are those<br />

who are very strong in certain areas as compared to others. Now<br />

this sporting activity helps the total population of students to<br />

discover themselves even better.<br />

Do staff members help out as coaches?<br />

In the early stages the youngsters coming together would get a<br />

college staff member who would do some coordinating. Even now,<br />

it is just a staff member coordinating. It is for fun.<br />

So there is no director of sport of something like that?<br />

No, no, no.<br />

But when you’re in the Premier League,<br />

surely you will need that?<br />

I am aware of that. But I said to them, “Look you are students, go<br />

and have fun, go and have fun in the veld.” From day one they<br />

started in position number one. As we speak, they are still in<br />

position one in the league.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 27


Skills development for<br />

employment and growth<br />

South Africa must prioritise relevant skills development, says Elangeni TVET<br />

College Rector, TJ Kula, if it is to achieve significant economic growth.<br />

Biography<br />

TJ Kula is a qualified educational specialist, armed with a wealth of professional<br />

experience and a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) from MANCOSA. TJ Kula's<br />

educational philosophy centres around the notion that creating an optimal learning<br />

environment, effective leadership and a dedicated educational team are essential factors<br />

in facilitating learning for all individuals. Her teaching career began in 1994 and in 2016,<br />

she joined the Department of Higher Education and Training as Rector of Elangeni TVET<br />

College, where she remains at present.<br />

TJ Kula, Rector of Elangeni TVET College<br />

As the Decade of the Artisan draws to a close,<br />

please reflect on whether it was successful.<br />

In general, this campaign has raised youth awareness of<br />

artisanship opportunities, resulting in more young people<br />

enrolling. The country is creating an average of 20 000 qualified<br />

artisans per year, which is a great step towards meeting the<br />

National Development Plan's goal of 30 000 artisans per<br />

year. At Elangeni TVET College, we are proud to have over 50<br />

skilled artisans who are currently undergoing training. We<br />

are making ongoing efforts to increase the participation of<br />

young individuals and the College obtained trade test centre<br />

accreditation for two trades, namely Welding and Electrical.<br />

This initiative will greatly contribute to the College's efforts in<br />

cultivating a larger pool of skilled artisans.<br />

Why was it so important to focus on artisanship?<br />

Prioritising the development of artisans is crucial, as they play a<br />

vital role in fostering future growth. In addition, the artisan sector<br />

contributes to the employment market. Artisan training also<br />

contributes to enhancing the employability of young individuals,<br />

facilitates job mobility and enhances the availability of skills for<br />

the global job market.<br />

Has progress been made in dispelling the myth<br />

that a university degree is somehow more<br />

worthwhile than a college diploma?<br />

There is a prevalent misconception that technical and vocational<br />

colleges primarily cater to underachieving students. However,<br />

depending on one's career path, a university degree may not<br />

always be the most suitable option. In my experience, TVET<br />

colleges provide numerous valuable opportunities.<br />

ETVET offers technical and vocational training to students<br />

who want to enhance their skills in high-demand areas.<br />

This is achieved through various programmes such as NCV,<br />

Business & Engineering Studies, as well as occupational and<br />

skills programmes. The practical and theoretical knowledge<br />

acquired from obtaining a qualification at Elangeni TVET<br />

College equips graduates with the necessary skills to actively<br />

engage in the labour market.<br />

Does the college have its own focussed programmes,<br />

that are in line with the “Decade of the Artisan”?<br />

Yes, Elangeni TVET College provides several vocational and skills<br />

programmes to build students' skills and knowledge and boost<br />

artisan development. Through a variety of skills programmes,<br />

learnerships, apprenticeships and ministerial-approved<br />

programmes, ETVET provides a broad-based education aimed<br />

at developing the rural and township economies and certifying<br />

students who have gone on to secure employment in a variety<br />

of industry sectors.<br />

Is the South African “skills development”<br />

sector on the right path?<br />

In order for South Africa to achieve significant economic growth, it<br />

is crucial to prioritise better access to relevant skills development.<br />

This can be accomplished by implementing educational and<br />

training opportunities offered by TVET Colleges. By offering<br />

such access, TVETs can effectively address inequalities and<br />

unemployment while also fostering employability and active<br />

participation in the country's economy. Skills development is the<br />

primary goal of education and training and it serves as a catalyst<br />

for economic growth.<br />

28 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


What are areas that can be improved upon?<br />

The key to unlocking a better life for everyone lies in fundamental<br />

learning and skills development. One area that requires<br />

improvement at TVET Colleges is the workshops. If these workshops<br />

are aligned with the specific industry needs, students will have the<br />

opportunity to acquire accreditations as artisans, apprentices and<br />

undergo trade tests. As a result, this will lead to an enhancement<br />

in the level of skills development. It is logical for TVET Colleges to<br />

prioritise skills-based programmes. By doing so, artisans are able<br />

to make valuable contributions to the economy.<br />

Which of your study programmes are<br />

attracting student interest?<br />

Looking at enrolment trends based on College forecasts and also<br />

application trends based on student programme selections, the<br />

following conclusions were reached:<br />

The programmes with the most applicants:<br />

• Occupational Programmes: Electricians, Plant Production and<br />

Welding<br />

• Business Studies: Public Management<br />

• NCV: Office Administration and Hospitality<br />

• Engineering Studies: Electrical and Civil Engineering<br />

Do you see a link between that interest from students with<br />

the efforts of the College to promote certain programmes<br />

and the needs of the regional economy and local business?<br />

There is definitely a link as Elangeni TVET College promotes the<br />

offerings of practical and skills training for numerous vocations.<br />

ETVET is researching and exploring new College programmes<br />

that meet community needs, therefore boosting the rural and<br />

township economies by producing jobs. The College strives to<br />

build and sustain close relations with prominent industry and<br />

business figures in order to ensure that the programmes we<br />

offer fulfil the demands of the labour market. Our catchment<br />

areas are surrounded by industries and the College has begun<br />

linking its offerings to our programme qualification mix. In the<br />

near future, ETVET is planning to introduce the Transport and<br />

Logistics programme at Mpumalanga Campus, and partnerships<br />

with these businesses will make it possible for students to acquire<br />

knowledge and then be placed in industry, enabling them to<br />

obtain employment.<br />

Is it possible to teach “entrepreneurship”? If so, what works?<br />

There is a possibility. Firstly, it is essential for students to<br />

successfully fulfil the requirements of their chosen field of study<br />

or specialisation. The College often emphasises the importance<br />

of students not relying solely on the government and instead<br />

encourages them to be self-sufficient. However, it is observed that<br />

while some students possess entrepreneurship skills, they may lack<br />

the ability to effectively manage themselves and their businesses.<br />

Transitioning from the successful completion of a specific<br />

diploma or skill, students should have the opportunity to acquire<br />

entrepreneurial knowledge and skills through an entrepreneurship<br />

hub. This platform would enable students to gain expertise in<br />

creating business proposals, developing professional conduct<br />

for job applications, mastering the process of tender applications<br />

and effectively managing clients. Teaching entrepreneurship<br />

opens up these possibilities for students. ETVET is considering the<br />

establishment of an entrepreneurship hub in future.<br />

Do you have a good relationship with<br />

local businesses and SETAs?<br />

Several businesses have generously contributed training<br />

equipment to the College. ETVET has established international<br />

exchange programme partnerships with the UK, Netherlands,<br />

China and the US. The College maintains a positive rapport with<br />

several Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs), which<br />

have generously provided funding for the College's learning<br />

programmes, infrastructure development and learner placements.<br />

We have also established strategic partnerships that have greatly<br />

contributed to the College's efforts in improving the delivery of<br />

teaching and learning.<br />

What lies behind the fact that Elangeni TVET<br />

College has received unqualified AG audit reports<br />

and is ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 rated?<br />

A positive audit report, such as an unqualified audit report, can be<br />

attributed to a robust and resilient compliance system. ISO 9001:2015<br />

[Quality Management System] and ISO 45001:2018 [Occupational<br />

Health and Safety Management System] are two compliance<br />

functions that are implemented in the College. These systems ensure<br />

that the ETVET is compliant regarding all its operational functions<br />

through the implementation of a policy and procedure framework<br />

monitored by the Quality Unit. The unit undertakes internal systems<br />

audit processes and regular monitoring of its operational objectives<br />

informing management of operational under-performance. This<br />

ensures success concerning external audit processes.<br />

What work does the Business Unit do?<br />

The Business Unit is responsible for providing skills training and<br />

establishing strategic partnerships. It serves as an additional<br />

source of revenue for the College, reducing its reliance on<br />

government funding. It is essential for the College to establish<br />

financial independence.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 29


CREDIT: Jason Goodman on Unsplash<br />

How effective is training?<br />

Data is vital in assessing the effectiveness of workplace training, says Michael Hanly,<br />

MD of South African online learning solutions provider New Leaf Technologies.<br />

Businesses want to see the results<br />

of training programmes reflected<br />

in day-to-day operations. For<br />

learning and development (L&D)<br />

professionals, it’s no longer enough to<br />

simply facilitate upskilling of staff; they<br />

actively need to drive performance within<br />

a company.<br />

Where in the past the focus fell on<br />

learning outcomes, it’s now squarely on<br />

performance outcomes. If organisational<br />

training has little to no impact, it<br />

essentially means a business is wasting<br />

time and money that could be better<br />

spent elsewhere. Of course, it would<br />

rather not redirect these resources from<br />

training programmes, given skilled staff<br />

are crucial to the success of the company.<br />

According to Michael Hanly, MD of<br />

South African online learning solutions<br />

provider New Leaf Technologies, to get the<br />

most out of any investments in training,<br />

L&D leaders must embrace a broader role<br />

within the organisation and formulate an<br />

ambitious vision for the function. Most<br />

importantly, the results of this training<br />

must be quantifiable and make a marked<br />

difference to business performance. This<br />

is where data is playing such a crucial<br />

role, as it allows training professionals<br />

to make informed, factual and evidencebased<br />

decisions to the benefit of the<br />

organisation as a whole.<br />

30 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Wits Business School: learning<br />

for real-world impact<br />

For Leoni Grobler, Director of Executive Education at Wits Business School, lifelong<br />

learning is necessary for those wanting to succeed and remain relevant.<br />

Executive education caters for<br />

working people at various levels<br />

of an organisation; it focuses on<br />

the key skills and competencies<br />

needed to manage oneself, others and a<br />

successful business. “Things are constantly<br />

changing, so whether you’ve just stepped<br />

into your first job, you’re a seasoned<br />

manager or a celebrated executive, you<br />

need to constantly reskill and upskill<br />

yourself,” she explains.<br />

Being a leader requires a different<br />

skillset from the technical competencies<br />

required to perform operational tasks.<br />

“Once you start managing people, you<br />

need to develop and recall different<br />

skills: you need to inspire and motivate<br />

people but still hold people accountable,<br />

because, at the end of the day, you’re<br />

working towards a common goal.” Grobler<br />

says calling these management skills “soft”<br />

is misleading because these foundation<br />

skills are among the most important<br />

traits for success. Business leaders must<br />

be adaptable to internal and external<br />

disruptions; therefore, flexibility, agility and<br />

resilience are important skills and mindsets<br />

to develop.<br />

“The world is forcing us to be far more<br />

fluid in the way we think and nobody<br />

can afford to be resistant to change,” says<br />

Grobler. Creative thinking is important<br />

across all levels of business as this skill<br />

goes hand in hand with problem-solving<br />

and a growth mindset. While creativity is<br />

important, it needs to be coupled with<br />

critical and analytical thinking that support<br />

sound decision-making. Stay ahead of the<br />

curve and register for an upcoming course<br />

in digital business.<br />

Mentorship and coaching training are also<br />

in high demand for executives because<br />

leaders are expected to guide, empower,<br />

motivate and inspire the people they work<br />

with. This entails cultural sensitivity, an<br />

appreciation for diversity and inclusivity<br />

and a collaborative approach.<br />

Developing authentic leadership,<br />

especially in the South African context, is<br />

crucial. Our country requires leaders who<br />

are steadfast and purpose driven, guided<br />

by a personal and organisational North Star<br />

that helps them navigate decisions and<br />

interactions. Social responsibility, ethical<br />

business practices and sustainability<br />

are also important to incorporate into<br />

operations. Learning is not something<br />

that is done; it is something that is lived.<br />

A learning mindset is one that permeates<br />

every aspect of life and ensures continuous<br />

growth and development.<br />

“This does not mean that lifelong<br />

learning is without challenges,” says<br />

Grobler. This is even more true when it<br />

comes to structured, formal executive<br />

education programmes. “It’s never easy to<br />

find a balance between professional and<br />

personal responsibilities; therefore, one<br />

of the most important things we offer our<br />

delegates is flexibility.”<br />

Learning from the best<br />

Graduate and postgraduate studies are<br />

theoretical and academic in nature, while<br />

executive education programmes are<br />

more experiential. Staying relevant means<br />

staying up to date in theory and practice.<br />

This practical approach is why Wits Business<br />

School’s programmes are presented by<br />

what Grobler calls “pracademics”: “A lot of<br />

Leoni<br />

Grobler,<br />

Director<br />

of Executive<br />

Education at<br />

Wits Business<br />

School<br />

organisations and leaders are concerned<br />

that business schools may not be in touch<br />

with the realities of the world of work. Our<br />

teaching faculty have a good theoretical<br />

and technical base, but more than that,<br />

they have practical experience and have<br />

walked the journey themselves. So, if<br />

they talk about implementing a strategy,<br />

they can give real-world examples of the<br />

problems they faced and the solutions<br />

they implemented. We ensure that our<br />

delegates gain knowledge from someone<br />

who is speaking from experience. We get<br />

people from business to teach business.”<br />

Upcoming programmes:<br />

• Management Advancement Programme<br />

• Digital Business<br />

• New Managers Programme<br />

• Senior Leader Development<br />

• Executive Development Programme<br />

For Wits Business School, working with<br />

pracademics ensures delegates receive<br />

the necessary theoretical knowledge<br />

and practical experience needed to stay<br />

ahead in their professional environments.<br />

Combined with the fostering of a growth<br />

mindset and lifelong learning, delegates<br />

are supported and challenged to grow<br />

personally and professionally, helping<br />

them to succeed and stay ahead.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 31


The right lens<br />

It’s all about having the right lens to<br />

measure value, Hanly says, and New Leaf<br />

Technologies’ Training Intelligence System<br />

is one of the tools meeting this requirement.<br />

“If you experience administrative burdens<br />

and inefficient ways of analysing data<br />

effectively, then this system can guide<br />

you and allow you to align your training<br />

interventions to promote a human capital<br />

advantage and achieve your strategic<br />

training objectives,” he says.<br />

“You must remember, it’s far easier<br />

to drive behaviour than it is to change a<br />

belief, and by making use of the Philips<br />

or Kirkpatrick model of evaluation you'll<br />

shape a clear lens on training effectiveness.<br />

This is all directly measurable through the<br />

Training Intelligence System.”<br />

This enables the user to undertake analysis<br />

to better understand learner behaviour<br />

and update existing training methods if<br />

required. These cues can then be used to<br />

create personalised and more effective<br />

learning paths that enable learners to<br />

learn, practise and obtain feedback and<br />

remediation far more effectively through<br />

informed data-led decisions.<br />

Hanly says a common mistake is that<br />

businesses tend to view an outcome<br />

through a single platform. For example,<br />

they might want to find out how<br />

many learners logged in, or how many<br />

passed a particular module. But this<br />

does not consider all the information<br />

the organisation has in its operational<br />

technology stack in its software ecosystem.<br />

“Why not rather connect the dots of<br />

training with your CRM/ERP and HRM<br />

system? Doing this will give you the full<br />

picture and tell you the right story visually<br />

in real time.”<br />

When organisations start to use data<br />

at a strategic level, it can lead to more<br />

informed decisions being made. It might<br />

be aware of data lying in different systems<br />

and steps can be taken to integrate these<br />

platforms to arrive at a more holistic view<br />

of what's going on.<br />

At the highest level of analytics, a<br />

business can start looking at past trends<br />

and start modelling future behaviour<br />

predictively. “Suddenly you have<br />

contextual and impactful training that will<br />

enhance your organisation’s capability and<br />

give you the edge you need against your<br />

competition,” Hanly says.<br />

An essential component of this effort<br />

is a comprehensive, coordinated strategy<br />

that engages with departments, SMEs and<br />

the business holistically.<br />

Reactively executing demands from<br />

other departments or heads of department<br />

is a negative strategy and L&D professionals<br />

should rather position themselves as the<br />

drivers of performance.<br />

“To achieve this, you need to have a very<br />

clear lens on business goals and objectives.<br />

This is why data within the L&D space has<br />

become so critical.<br />

“At the end of the day, the goal of learning<br />

and development is to develop or change<br />

the behaviour of individuals or groups for<br />

Michael Hanly,<br />

MD, New Leaf Technologies<br />

the better, sharing knowledge and insights<br />

that enable them to do their work and<br />

improve their performance. The effective<br />

use of data will cultivate the type of culture<br />

that can help them perform better.”<br />

About New Leaf Technologies<br />

New Leaf Technologies provides learning<br />

software and services to corporations,<br />

training companies and educational<br />

institutions throughout Africa and<br />

the Middle East. Its products include<br />

aNewSpring, a cloud-based Learner<br />

Experience Platform (LXP); New Leaf LMS,<br />

an enterprise-grade Learner Management<br />

System; and Wisenet, a sleek student<br />

management system. The company also<br />

offers over 20 000 off-the-shelf courses<br />

and tailor-made course content, shareable<br />

through these platforms, as well as a<br />

turnkey design and production service, to<br />

create holistic e-learning experiences.<br />

32 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

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When talent meets opportunity<br />

A university degree was no guarantee of a job for a young man from Vosloorus, especially in the wake<br />

of the Covid pandemic. Having started on a path to actuarial science, Ntanganedzi Madzivhandila<br />

switched majors and graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BCom: Investments Management<br />

and Statistics. His path to employment began when his application to join the Youth Employment<br />

Service (YES) programme was approved and since then Nedbank, the company that took him in<br />

for work experience, has hired and promoted him. Ntanga’s skill set got him placed at Nedbank<br />

Wealth, where his ingenuity and expertise were instrumental in restructuring and centralising<br />

the people-data function. Ntanga's curiosity saw him explore other possibilities within the bank<br />

and he is now a specialist in the HR team, but still working with data. Getting a helping hand was<br />

all this curious, hard-working and highly teachable young man needed. Ntanga tells his story.<br />

Your first course of study at university was<br />

actuarial science. How did you come to think<br />

of that as a possible avenue of study?<br />

My inspiration to want to study actuarial science was my mentor<br />

who was my maths teacher at the time. He was really inspired by<br />

my journey because I was a late bloomer in school. Mr Musada<br />

thought I should continue testing my boundaries and go for<br />

something that will really challenge me. I only bloomed in the<br />

last two years at school and then I was not entirely sure where to<br />

take my career. The guidance I received was, perhaps you can find<br />

some insights in actuarial science and some future there as you<br />

have great potential, and so I went for it.<br />

Some of the people around me were going for more<br />

conventional degrees and courses and I thought that was fine,<br />

because it would set me apart from the rest. I felt I needed to be<br />

more ambitious and hence I looked into the actuarial science<br />

direction and took on the challenge.<br />

Had you done well in mathematics at school?<br />

From the early stages from primary school to perhaps Grade 10, I<br />

was more of an average student, but then in Grade 11 and Grade<br />

12, I was a straight-A student in mathematics.<br />

Was this in Vosloorus?<br />

I grew up in Vosloorus but I went to high school in Johannesburg,<br />

at Dominican Convent School, a fairly small Catholic school.<br />

Could you have done with more guidance in<br />

terms of choosing a university career?<br />

I think at the time, yes. However, I always knew the decision lay<br />

with me and because I did not know my potential, it was a lot more<br />

difficult for me to know exactly what I wanted to do.<br />

The guidance that I received helped launch me in the right<br />

direction. When I got to university, I experienced a lot more<br />

opportunities and that’s when I was able to decide, this is the<br />

future that I want for myself.<br />

It sounds as though you needed some<br />

time to find your way at university.<br />

Yes. Most BCom students were doing exactly the same set of<br />

modules in the first year. In the second year it became more<br />

streamlined and career focused. It was then that I realised that<br />

I actually wanted to focus more on statistics and the investment<br />

side. It was more of a self-discovery than anyone nudging me in<br />

a specific direction. The more I interacted with people and with<br />

the course materials, the more I realised that I was actually where<br />

I want to be.<br />

Were your parents supportive of your decision<br />

to switch to investments and statistics?<br />

It was a difficult conversation because they had bought into<br />

the idea of actuarial science, but they were supportive. They<br />

believed in my capabilities and they trusted the decision that I<br />

was making. They also believed that I was giving it my all and it<br />

worked out. It was quite a shock to them but in the long run it<br />

proved to be a good decision. My mom and dad were the first<br />

in their families to go to tertiary institutions, so they saw how<br />

academics changed their lives.<br />

They had encouraged me to go and further my studies<br />

as it would definitely benefit me and it would open more<br />

opportunities for me. If I decided to follow other trajectories that<br />

did not involve academics I could do so, but at least I should have<br />

some academic background.<br />

What fields are your parents in?<br />

My dad is a chemical engineer and my mom is an artisan. However,<br />

they both decided to start their own business and pursue their<br />

own goals.<br />

34 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


A YES4YOUTH Induction ceremony.<br />

Credit: YES4YOUTH<br />

When did you first become aware of the YES programme?<br />

I had a friend who was in the 2021 YES intake at Nedbank and<br />

he told me about the experience. He told me that he was really<br />

enjoying his time and learning a lot so I was on the lookout.<br />

When the applications came out, I was looking for it on various<br />

platforms. I found the link and I applied.<br />

So how does it work? Do you<br />

immediately start with a salary?<br />

While you do get a monthly stipend, the focus is on the work<br />

experience that you are going to gather. You first go through<br />

training for the various roles that you might play in the programme<br />

and after the training you get hands-on experience. So while you<br />

will earn an income, the focus is not necessarily about the money<br />

but to get you ready for the workplace.<br />

But you are paid something?<br />

Yes, we received a stipend.<br />

How long does that period last?<br />

The YES programme is 12-months long. In cases like mine, where<br />

they see potential in you and they want to develop you further,<br />

you may be offered employment at the end of your 12-month YESwork<br />

experience year. So I was drawn into the company before<br />

the conclusion of the contract. The initial stage was in November<br />

2022 when I started interacting with people from the group. They<br />

saw potential in me and they thought that my expertise could be<br />

used on a larger scale.<br />

What do you think those qualities are that they saw in<br />

you? Curiosity? Hard work? Maths ability?<br />

I think it is a bit of everything. The most important<br />

qualities would be hardworking, curiosity and<br />

having a teachable spirit. By that I mean<br />

wanting to go out there and learn more and<br />

also interacting with people. Not being<br />

afraid to raise your hand and wanting to<br />

know more about not just what you do,<br />

but what other people do and how can you<br />

help the business grow. You need to have<br />

an entrepreneurial spirit and I think that’s<br />

what they saw in me.<br />

What sort of work was<br />

allocated to you?<br />

My job was pretty clear. I had to assist with<br />

the way that reporting was being done,<br />

regarding people data and analytics. I had<br />

to bring innovation and new insights. I had<br />

to bring to Nedbank new ways of reporting<br />

through creating dashboards and visualisations<br />

for effective reporting using accurate data. I<br />

was expected to bring all the data together at a<br />

centralised point.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 35


Does that mean you have to be very capable in IT?<br />

Not necessarily, but you do have to have some knowledge when<br />

it comes to working with data. I don’t necessarily know about<br />

advanced IT programming but I do have some programming<br />

knowledge, which helps me to handle the data better. It is certainly<br />

advantageous to have that knowledge.<br />

Have you done IT courses?<br />

No, but I do have a teachable spirit and I am curious. I work<br />

independently and I look for resources to upskill myself.<br />

And yet you are now in Human Resources (HR),<br />

which seems at first glance to be a very different<br />

field. Are you still working with data?<br />

Here at Nedbank, there is a great project that aligns with what<br />

I want and with how I see myself working in the future. We are<br />

working towards moving HR to be more data driven. We are<br />

working towards presenting insights from people analytics. I can<br />

still serve a purpose here for the short term to medium term and<br />

I am quite comfortable in this department.<br />

Do you have siblings?<br />

I have two siblings; my sister is the one that follows me and who is<br />

studying in Stellenbosch. The youngest is in Grade 10.<br />

What your parents started is now an entrenched family<br />

tradition, then. Please give me an overall comment on<br />

how you have experienced the YES programme.<br />

I think YES is a great opportunity for young individuals like myself.<br />

It has given me an opportunity to penetrate the work market, an<br />

opportunity that would be rather difficult to come by even with<br />

the level of qualifications that I have. I think it is an initiative that<br />

should be implemented on a larger scale. Only a few organisations<br />

are currently participating in it and I think it will definitely benefit<br />

the entire country now and in the future. As a matter of fact, we<br />

should have not just a YES initiative but more initiatives like this<br />

to give the youth an opportunity like the one I was given. There is<br />

great potential out there that is just waiting to be recognised and<br />

to be given an opportunity.<br />

Do you think you could be a mentor one day?<br />

I look forward to that. We live in depressed societies and not<br />

through any fault of our own. It can be very difficult if you somehow<br />

stand out from the rest, by for example, applying for university.<br />

I spoke earlier about my family setup which was very supportive<br />

about me going to university but at some point, I did have to focus<br />

and isolate myself from the people in my neighbourhood as their<br />

life had taken a different trajectory. There is a danger that you are<br />

going to fall into that trap as well with societal pressures and peer<br />

pressure. It was a challenge but it is something that I conquered<br />

and I am grateful that I did.<br />


YES participant Ntanga Madzivhandila<br />

has risen quickly from intern to specialist within Nedbank.<br />

Having completed the YES programme, is there<br />

someone with Nedbank who is mentoring you?<br />

Yes there is. I used to have a bi-weekly meeting with a mentor<br />

but now the onus is on me to schedule how frequently we meet.<br />

We do speak and I am also part of a team. I engage with them<br />

more frequently and they tell me or they teach me how they do<br />

things and how I can further improve myself so in this way, I have<br />

a support structure.<br />

What do your parents think about your career right now?<br />

More than anything I think they’re excited, they’re very hopeful<br />

and they see exponential growth. I am the one who is a bit anxious<br />

but on their side they’re very excited, they think that this is only<br />

the beginning for me and it’s only up from here.<br />

YES has reached the milestone of one-million job<br />

opportunities. It is beginning to show success in shifting<br />

South Africa’s complex and concerning challenge of youth<br />

unemployment. YES is the highest-impact private-sector<br />

youth-employment programme in South Africa. YES was<br />

launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the first<br />

cohorts kicked off the programme in 2019. YES addresses<br />

the country’s youth unemployment crisis by empowering<br />

businesses to create jobs for our unemployed youth. It is a<br />

non-profit organisation that receives no government funding.<br />

It works with leading businesses in various sectors to provide<br />

12-month quality work experiences for unemployed young<br />

people to become the future managers, skilled professionals<br />

and entrepreneurs who will drive the economy forward.<br />

In return, businesses receive one or two levels up on their<br />

B-BBEE scorecard and can integrate participation into their<br />

ESG strategies. YES does not perform a recruiting role. More<br />

than 1 500 companies have signed on to the YES programme.<br />

Website: www.yes4youth.co.za<br />

36 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Nedbank and YES<br />

Nedbank's Youth Employment Services (YES)<br />

programme is the largest programme in the<br />

financial services sector and has involved<br />

10 000 young people, and counting, with<br />

another two cohorts which started in mid-<br />

2023. This makes Nedbank one of the largest<br />

participating companies, second only to a<br />

national retailer. Nedbank's commitment to<br />

the initiative is also evident in the impressive<br />

absorption rate of YES participants into<br />

permanent roles or continued employment<br />

contracts upon completion of the programme,<br />

which currently stands at an exceptional 12%.<br />

This rate significantly surpasses the statutory<br />

target of 2.5% and highlights the programme's<br />

ability to create meaningful and sustainable<br />

career opportunities for those who participate.<br />

Nedbank’s focus has been on training YESyouth<br />

for the jobs of the future, particularly<br />

focused on our Green Economy strategy,<br />

including training our YES-youth to work on<br />

solar energy projects.<br />

Nedbank is a leader in taking on YES candidates.<br />

Credit: YES4YOUTH<br />

M<br />



Mashobane Advisory Services was founded in 2019 by Anastasia Machobane,<br />

who is an Admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa with over two<br />

decades of legal experience. The company is 100% black-female owned as well<br />

as level 1 B-BBEE compliant. We are a company based in Pretoria and Durban.<br />

Mashobane Advisory Services are expert Company Secretaries and Legal<br />

Advisors and are able to provide turnkey solutions, seamlessly moving<br />

between legal services and corporate governance, which allows the client to<br />

use one service provider with knowledge of their business. Our services are<br />

geared toward directors and executives who demand certainty and efficiency.<br />

The company’s specialised service offering consists of:<br />

Governance advisory<br />

Meeting administration<br />

Legislative compliance<br />

Legal services<br />

Mashobane Advisory Services also has a mentorship programme which<br />

has more than 60 mentees and 10 mentors. The mentorship is offered at no<br />

charge because the core of the business is youth development and giving<br />

back to society.<br />

Contact | Tel: 065 660 0060 | Email: info@mashobane.com | Website: www.mashobane.com


Broadband is breaking<br />

down South Africa’s<br />

digital divide<br />

Fibre providers need to partner and collaborate strategically<br />

with the public and private sectors, says the Chief Sales<br />

and Marketing Officer of DFA, Praveen Govender.<br />

Fibre connectivity is solving some of South Africa’s<br />

most pressing challenges, playing a significant part in<br />

empowering and uplifting communities and contributing<br />

towards building a successful economy. With the right<br />

support and participation from both the private and public sectors,<br />

the telecommunications industry is in a better position to ensure<br />

that the growth of fibre connectivity in South Africa is not only<br />

tangible, but sustainable.<br />

Demand for telecommunications services has grown<br />

significantly in the last seven years, due in great part to the<br />

introduction of new technology, along with the impact of the<br />

Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown, which highlighted the urgency<br />

for wider connectivity access across the country.<br />

In fact, the number of households and businesses in South<br />

Africa with fibre connections has risen by a staggering 4 200%,<br />

with demand for fibre at an all-time high.<br />

Government is also in the process of establishing over 33 000<br />

community Wi-Fi hotspots to provide more South Africans with<br />

access to the Internet by 2025.<br />

What’s more, estimates indicate that the South African telecom<br />

market's revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual<br />

growth rate (CAGR) of 5.32% over the next five years. This trend is<br />

expected to continue in the coming years, driving the growth of<br />

the telecommunications market in South Africa.<br />

South Africa is investing in data and telecommunications<br />

infrastructure, mining, manufacturing, energy, property, logistics<br />

and food and beverages sectors, exceeding the target originally set<br />

in 2018. Structural reforms such as the Rapid Deployment Policy<br />

are being implemented to improve economic competitiveness,<br />

and the National Skills Fund is looking into a new model of training<br />

unemployed young people in digital skills. The digital economy is<br />

proving essential for overall economic growth and job creation,<br />

as well as the provision of key services such as education, social<br />

services and healthcare.<br />

Connecting the continent<br />

This is happening across Africa; for example, the African<br />

Development Bank (AfDB) is facilitating the development of<br />

Internet infrastructure that includes backbone fibre projects<br />

and has pledged a $55-billion investment into this as part of the<br />

Connect Africa initiative. The understanding and goal behind<br />

this project is that expanding access to fibre Internet will create<br />

economic growth and inclusive development in African countries.<br />

A good case study can be found in Singapore, where fibre<br />

infrastructure development and connectivity availability is already<br />

leaps and bounds ahead of Western counterparts. This will boost<br />

the country’s growth potential and contribute greatly towards<br />

economic growth and innovation.<br />

Closer to home, access to high-speed broadband is breaking<br />

down South Africa’s digital divide, creating opportunities for<br />

people living in outlying, emerging and previously disadvantaged<br />

areas. We’re seeing more of our youth develop digital-literacy<br />

skills that boost their employability. Entrepreneurs can tap into<br />

ecommerce opportunities and grow their businesses and local<br />

economies are beginning to thrive as a result.<br />

Access to reliable, high-speed, high-volume connectivity<br />

allows for the deployment of smart technologies in commercial<br />

buildings and cities. This will be a game-changer for South Africa.<br />

38 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Automation and IoT will help optimise electricity and water<br />

consumption, manage traffic levels, streamline public transport,<br />

reduce carbon emissions, and promote good governance and<br />

citizen participation in the well-being of the country. One example<br />

is Eskom’s Demand Side Management (DSM) programme which is<br />

designed to reduce energy consumption to reduce peak demand.<br />

The advent of the Internet has changed how businesses operate<br />

and communicate, transformations which have also impacted the<br />

energy sector. Using the medium of the web as a tool to facilitate<br />

information flow within DSM implementation requires widespread<br />

connectivity, which is enabled by fibre infrastructure – connecting<br />

mobile towers for cellular connectivity, as well as fibre to the home<br />

or business. Fibre will also be critical in the healthcare space, from<br />

managing and securely storing healthcare data to telemedicine<br />

innovations that allow medical professionals to remotely treat<br />

high-risk patients.<br />

Fibre remains our best bet at achieving the future we as South<br />

Africans and Africans dream of attaining. This means that fibre<br />

providers need to partner and collaborate strategically with<br />

both the public and private sectors, not only in terms of fibre<br />

infrastructure rollout, but for the greater good of our industries<br />

and the country.<br />

About DFA<br />

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) is a leading South African wholesale, openaccess<br />

fibre-infrastructure provider to Internet Service Providers<br />

(ISPs) and other ICASA-licensed network operators, including<br />

telecommunications operators, data centres and a wide range of<br />

other service providers.<br />

Praveen Govender, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, DFA<br />

Since the company first began rollout in 2007, it has deployed<br />

fibre infrastructure across major metros, secondary cities and<br />

towns across South Africa, making its world-class fibre network<br />

accessible to more end-users across the country. It offers 24/7<br />

technical support to ensure that the network and all related<br />

connectivity services continue to function without interruption.<br />

This has made DFA a preferred partner for businesses and service<br />

providers seeking reliable and high-speed connectivity solutions.<br />

For more information, visit: dfafrica.co.za<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 39

Total trust, infinite growth<br />

Secure the future of your business<br />

New threat vectors require a different type of<br />

coordinated security response<br />

Cybercrime will cost the global economy around $10.5 billion by 2025. New threats emerge every seven seconds.<br />

Protecting your business and your data requires a different approach to security. BCX Secure can help.<br />

1022336<br />

Traditional approaches to cybersecurity aren’t keeping<br />

up in the face of a sustained onslaught of cybersecurity<br />

attacks.<br />

Ransomware attacks have increased about 435% yearon-year<br />

and new malware or new viruses emerge every<br />

seven seconds 1 . That equates to about a million new<br />

variants every day. Eight years ago, that was around 30 000<br />

a month. And the threats are escalating.<br />

Organisations are increasingly being held to ransom for<br />

their own data through double extortion ransomware<br />

attacks. Hackers breach a network, encrypt the data and<br />

ask for a ransom to unencrypt the data, plus a ransom to<br />

keep the data private and not release it to the public.<br />

Gartner estimates that cybersecurity spending in 2021<br />

totalled $150 billion, up more than 12% from 2020.<br />

Spending in 2022 is likely to continue to grow rapidly as<br />

the number of threats, as well as cybersecurity solutions<br />

and their costs, increase.<br />

At the end of last year, it was estimated globally that there<br />

are four million vacant cybersecurity jobs. Businesses<br />

across the world are engaged in battles they cannot win,<br />

both due to the intensity and frequency of attacks, and the<br />

lack of trained people to deal with them.<br />

Ransomware attacks have increased about<br />

435% year-on-year. New malware or new<br />

viruses emerge every seven seconds.<br />

The BCX Approach<br />

Cybersecurity threat prevention and detection have<br />

traditionally been approached via a combination of<br />

products (toolsets) and Security Information and Event<br />

Management (SIEM). This is where BCX’s approach differs.<br />

At BCX, we are reimagining trust. Trust between you and<br />

your executives, and your business and its stakeholders.<br />

We believe security is a strategic issue that impacts product<br />

capability, organisational effectiveness and customer<br />

relationships. This is why we’re delivering security as a<br />

product-agnostic service.<br />

BCX has broken up its business to cater to all aspects of<br />

cybersecurity: security and risk management, security<br />

architecture and engineering, network security, identity and<br />

access management, security operations, asset security, and<br />

software development security.<br />

At the beginning of any security engagement, our expert<br />

teams conduct a security gap assessment to establish a<br />

business’s current security posture, what tools and services<br />

have been deployed, the gap between the business and<br />

the IT department, and what the organisation’s cybersecurity<br />

strategy dictates.<br />

Once the groundwork has been established, our teams start<br />

monitoring and analysing the environment. IT departments<br />

procure tools and products; add to that the tools that<br />

business units have acquired, and most organisations are<br />

a mishmash of overlapping products that don’t give the<br />

cybersecurity team that one thing it desperately needs –<br />

Safeguard your evolution<br />


visibility. Attackers are well aware of this and use this<br />

knowledge to create a lot of noise across the organisation,<br />

which masks their actual location and distracts defenders<br />

from the hackers’ real target.<br />

BCX’s team considers detection and response, as well as<br />

proactive intelligence and threat hunting. In other words,<br />

rather than waiting for breaches to happen, BCX monitors<br />

the dark web for chatter, scans social media networks for<br />

fake accounts, conducts threat hunting inside the network,<br />

and deploys canary files to tempt and shut down hackers<br />

before they can act.<br />

BCX acts to bring all of these disparate streams of<br />

information and technology into one central point where it<br />

can be monitored, addressed, improved and reported on<br />

as required, using collectors from 119 security vendors.<br />

If you’re looking to partner with a business that<br />

understands and can work to bridge the gap between<br />

IT and your executive team, can hunt down and contain<br />

patient zero within hours, understands your governance<br />

and compliance needs, and can provide real telemetry<br />

using a host of best-in-class tools – call us.<br />

A Threat Detection Centre (TDC) is a<br />

centralised function within an organisation<br />

employing people, processes and<br />

technology to continuously monitor and<br />

improve an organisation’s security posture<br />

while preventing, detecting, analysing and<br />

responding to cybersecurity incidents.<br />

BCX Secure delivers all of these services from its Threat<br />

Detection Centre (TDC). The TDC is a centralised function<br />

within an organisation that employs people, processes<br />

and technology to continuously monitor and improve an<br />

organisation’s security posture.<br />

For BCX’s clients, this means that there is a dedicated team<br />

of experts monitoring what is going on in their environment,<br />

proactively hunting down and neutralising threats, and acting<br />

immediately to address intrusions as they are detected,<br />

irrespective of which vendor or provider is supplying the<br />

various security capabilities or not.<br />

1 1 https://www.av-test.org/en/statistics/malware/<br />

Secure<br />

SD-WAN<br />

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www.bcx.co.za<br />

Our most important customer, is yours.


Keeping the lights on is a priority for business<br />

owners. Credit: Nathalia Rosa on Unsplash<br />

Alternative energy<br />

fund launched<br />

A R400-million Energy Fund designed to cater to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who need to<br />

find ways of keeping their businesses supplied with power has been created by Business Partners Limited.<br />

According to data published by the South African<br />

Reserve Bank, the accumulative loss of Stage Six<br />

loadshedding amounts to between R204-million to<br />

R900-million per day.<br />

A proportion of these losses are incurred by the thousands<br />

of small businesses who simply do not have the resources<br />

to install back-up sources of energy to continue operations<br />

during power cuts.<br />

In a bid to provide business owners with much-needed relief<br />

and finance to invest in viable alternatives, Business Partners<br />

Limited has launched a R400-million Energy Fund for small to<br />

medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).<br />

Commenting on why the time is now right for small businesses<br />

to invest in alternative energy systems is Jeremy Lang, Executive<br />

Director and Chief Investment Officer at Business Partners Limited.<br />

As he suggests: “While the ongoing energy crisis presents many<br />

uncertainties, one thing we do know is that loadshedding will<br />

continue to be a reality for the foreseeable future.<br />

“South African businesses need to mitigate this risk by<br />

decreasing their reliance on the national grid and start investing<br />

in systems that will provide a consistent and reliable source of<br />

power. Not only will this be a vital contributing factor to business<br />

continuity, but it will also bring small businesses one step closer<br />

to realising their sustainability goals.”<br />

42 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


The need in numbers<br />

In the Q4 2022 SME Index, a quarterly survey conducted by<br />

Business Partners Limited, SMEs were asked whether they<br />

have the necessary funds to invest in energy solutions such<br />

as generators, inverters and solar-powered systems. A total of<br />

35% of respondents revealed that they have budgeted for this<br />

investment and 37% reported that plans to divert to alternativeenergy<br />

systems were being put in place. Unfortunately, about<br />

30% of small businesses said that they cannot afford the large<br />

outlay required to make this investment.<br />

“These findings are a strong indicator of a dire and urgent need<br />

that exists within the SME sector,” says Lang. "Small businesses have<br />

been impacted by power cuts in a number of ways including loss<br />

of output, increased overheads, additional capital expenditure,<br />

operational challenges and supply chain disruptions. Ultimately<br />

these consequences result in turnover reduction, margin shrinkage<br />

and long-term financial distress. What we also need to realise is<br />

that the intermittent return of power doesn’t always mean an<br />

immediate return to business as usual. This is particularly true for<br />

SMEs who run manufacturing plants. Some machinery takes an<br />

hour or two to warm up and become fully operational.”<br />

This is compounded by the need to clean machines when the<br />

energy supply is cut off and raw materials are wasted. In the case<br />

of Stage Six loadshedding, getting up and running after a power<br />

cut only to face another blackout a mere two hours later can<br />

have devastating effects on business operations. Finding ways to<br />

access a reliable energy supply is therefore not only a matter of<br />

sustainability but also one of survival.<br />

The Energy Fund<br />

The Business Partners Ltd Energy Fund for SMEs will directly<br />

address this problem. Through it, small businesses will gain<br />

access to loans of between R250 000 and R2-million. These<br />

loans will be offered at a competitive, risk-adjusted interest rate<br />

with a repayment term of up to five years. Business Partners<br />

Limited has optimised the accessibility and affordability of<br />

these loans by offering no repayment obligations for the first<br />

six months.<br />

In preparation for making their application to the Energy Fund<br />

for SMEs, Lang urges small businesses to ensure that their financial<br />

statements are up to date and that they have an equipment quote<br />

from a reputable accredited installer of their choice.<br />

Loans from the Energy Fund for SMEs can be used for the<br />

purpose of purchasing alternative energy solutions such as<br />

solar systems, back-up batteries and inverter systems, dieselpowered<br />

generators as well as other energy generation-related<br />

products. SMEs whose loans are approved may also be able<br />

to take advantage of the latest tax incentive, announced in<br />

the 2023 Budget Speech. The incentive allows businesses to<br />

reduce their taxable income by up to 125% of the cost of their<br />

investment in renewables.<br />

As Lang concludes: “The long-term benefits of running a<br />

more energy-secure business will far outweigh the cost of the<br />

investment. With alternative energy sources, businesses can<br />

futureproof their operations, position themselves as potential<br />

contributors to the impending embedded generation programme<br />

while also reducing the cost of energy.” Loan applications for the<br />

Energy Fund for SMEs can be processed online via the following<br />

portal: www.businesspartners.co.za<br />

About Business Partners Ltd<br />

Business Partners Limited is a specialist risk-finance company for<br />

formal small and medium owner-managed businesses in South<br />

Africa and selected African countries. The company actively<br />

supports entrepreneurial growth by providing financing from<br />

R500 000 to R50-million, specialist sectoral knowledge, business<br />

premises and added-value services for viable small and medium<br />

businesses. Since establishment in 1981, Business Partners Ltd has<br />

provided business finance worth over R20-billion in over 71 600<br />

transactions facilitating over 671 000 jobs.<br />

Jeremy Lang, Business Partners Limited Executive Director<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 43


The Central<br />

Energy Fund is<br />

showing resilience<br />

in response to<br />

unprecedented<br />

challenges<br />

The CEF Group is navigating uncertainty and championing sustainable growth.<br />

In the face of unprecedented global<br />

challenges, the CEF Group, guided by<br />

its newly adopted “strategic investor”<br />

strategy continues to steer its course<br />

with resilience and determination. The<br />

repositioning of the Group marks a<br />

strategic milestone that aligns with the<br />

evolving energy landscape and its growth<br />

agenda in the energy landscape.<br />

This strategy is geared to position<br />

CEF and its subsidiaries to operate as a<br />

trilateral force in the energy landscape<br />

and uniquely to secure energy solutions<br />

for the country.Given the rapidly changing<br />

landscape, the organisation recognises<br />

the urgency to make swift and informed<br />

decisions to help the Group proactively<br />

adapt and be innovative in its quest to<br />

ensure energy security and contribute to<br />

economic growth.<br />

“Tasked with driving economic growth,<br />

CEF group has embarked on an aggressive<br />

acquisition drive focusing on enabling<br />

energy infrastructure geared to position<br />

the group as a credible energy investment<br />

company that will continue to invest in<br />

profitable growth opportunities across<br />

the energy value chain in Southern Africa<br />

to fulfil its mandate,” says Dr Ishmael Poolo,<br />

CEF Group Chief Executive.<br />

Key amongst these groundbreaking<br />

energy projects include the following:<br />

CEF increased its equity in the ACWA<br />

Redstone solar plant by 10% from 15%<br />

to 25%. Located in the Northern Cape<br />

Province, the 100MW solar plant is a first<br />

of its kind in Africa and is equipped with<br />

a 12-hour thermal storage system that<br />

will deliver clean and reliable electricity to<br />

nearly 200 000 households.<br />

SFF acquired 50% equity in the BP Cape<br />

Town Terminal. Through this asset, SFF will<br />

also be able to import finished products<br />

to mitigate risks associated with product<br />

shortage because of the local refining<br />

facility being closed.<br />

The Cape Town BP terminal has a storage<br />

capacity of approximately 86-million<br />

litres which includes diesel, petrol, jet fuel<br />

and illuminating kerosene. This capacity<br />

translates to 1.6 billion-litres per annum<br />

and it represents about 30% of the available<br />

terminal infrastructure capacity for the<br />

high growth of Cape Town’s fuels market.<br />

SFF further acquired a 60% equity<br />

stake in the assets of Avedia Energy, which<br />

includes the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)<br />

terminal in Saldanha on the West Coast.<br />

Through this asset SFF will also be<br />

poised to promote competitiveness<br />

in the downstream LPG market by<br />

enabling the importation of cheaper<br />

liquefied petroleum gas and storing it<br />

for the country’s energy needs as well as<br />

mitigating risks associated with product<br />

44 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


shortage because of the closure of the<br />

local refining plant. This will also allow<br />

previously disadvantaged South Africans<br />

(HDSAs) who want to participate in<br />

the petrochemical sector access to the<br />

infrastructure. iGAS, a subsidiary of the<br />

Central Energy Fund (CEF), partnered<br />

with Companhia Mocambiçana de<br />

Gasoduto (CMG), a subsidiary of the<br />

Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos<br />

(ENH), in acquiring 30% equity stake in<br />

the Republic of Mozambique Pipeline<br />

Company (ROMPCO) pipeline from Sasol,<br />

pursuant to the exercise of their respective<br />

pre-emptive rights.<br />

The successful conclusion of the 30%<br />

equity stake means that iGAS and CMG are<br />

now the majority shareholders, as their<br />

equity shares will increase from 25% each<br />

to 40%, respectively, with Sasol holding a<br />

20% minority shareholding.<br />

This transaction will be fully funded<br />

from past and future dividends generated<br />

by ROMPCO itself. Prior to the conclusion<br />

of this transaction, ROMPCO was a joint<br />

venture between Sasol South Africa<br />

(50%), Companhia Mocambiçana de<br />

Gasoduto (CMG) (25%) and South African<br />

Gas Development Company (SOC)<br />

Limited (iGAS) (25%), which owns the<br />

865-kilometre gas transmission pipeline<br />

from Mozambique to South Africa.<br />

The SFF and South Sudan Ministry<br />

of Petroleum negotiated terms and<br />

conditions which resulted in the signing<br />

of an exploration and productionsharing<br />

agreement (EPSA) to acquire<br />

exploration and production rights in<br />

Block B2 South Sudan.<br />

SFF has commenced with the<br />

exploration activities and a service<br />

provider was appointed end of June<br />

2022 to commence with the acquisition<br />

of Gravity Magnetic Data in Block B2. The<br />

project will also be completing the Scoping<br />

of the Environmental and Social Impact<br />

Assessment (ESIA) which will be submitted<br />

in 2024 for the approval of the Sudanese<br />

Government. The project is forecasting<br />

to finalise its exploration activities by the<br />

drilling of wells in 2026.<br />

Positive results<br />

PetroSA’s key turnaround initiatives are<br />

starting to yield positive results. For the<br />

first time since a recorded net loss of R14-<br />

billion in 2015, PetroSA is projecting a net<br />

profit of R2.4-billion for the period ending<br />

March 2024. PetroSA is fast-tracking its<br />

“Gas to Power” initiative to provide an<br />

early power-generation solution that will<br />

leverage the commercialisation of its tail<br />

gas for power generation for Eskom or an<br />

alternative off-taker. Through this project,<br />

PetroSA will plug approximately 180MW<br />

into the national grid as a long-term<br />

solution to address challenges relating to<br />

loadshedding.<br />

In June 2023, PetroSA acquired the<br />

terminal operatorship to supply jet fuel<br />

for George Airport and King Phalo airport.<br />

Throughput volumes have increased<br />

substantially. In June 2020, Cabinet<br />

approved the request by the Department<br />

of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE),<br />

under the stewardship of Minister<br />

Mantashe, to merge three subsidiaries<br />

of CEF, iGas, SFF and PetroSA to establish<br />

the South African National Petroleum<br />

Company (SANPC). Subsequently, during<br />

the departmental budget vote held in<br />

2023, Minister Mantashe announced that<br />

following the tabling of the Upstream<br />

Petroleum Resources Development Bill<br />

in Parliament, the cabinet approved the<br />

merger of IGas, PetroSA and the Strategic<br />

Fuel Fund to form the South African<br />

National Petroleum Company (SANPC).<br />

A detailed baseline assessment<br />

identified up to R1.5-billion in cost synergy<br />

potential (roughly 8% of total cost today)<br />

typically achievable in three to five years<br />

because of the merger. Additionally,<br />

selectively leveraging the asset base<br />

of the entities will position SANPC for<br />

significant growth with up to 95-billion in<br />

market opportunity identified. Overall, CEF<br />

Group recognises its pivotal role in driving<br />

economic growth and security of energy<br />

supply for South Africa.<br />

The Mossgas oil-to-gas refinery is the key asset of PetroSA, the CEF Group subsidiary<br />

charged with improving security of the supply of fuel, oil and gas and managing the<br />

country’s crude oil reserves.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 45

CEF at a Glance<br />

CEF (SOC) Ltd is the holding company for a number of subsidiaries and associates that operate across the entire energysector<br />

value chain to contribute to security of energy supply for South Africa. This noble responsibility is at the core of<br />

our business operations and defines our existence as we execute our mandate, which flows from the Central Energy<br />

Fund Act, No 38 of 1977 (CEF Act) and successive ministerial directives. The core entities that make up the Group are<br />

the South Africa’s National Oil Company (PetroSA), Petroleum Agency SA (PASA), South African Gas Development<br />

Company (iGas), African Exploration Mining and Finance Corporation (AEMFC), Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) and the<br />

Energy Projects Division (EPD) which is housed under the CEF SOC and focuses on the renewable energy sector.<br />

The CEF Group is a Schedule 2 State Owned Company, incorporated in terms of the Companies Act, No 71 of 2008, and<br />

is governed by the Central Energy Fund Act, No 38 of 1977. The strategic relevance of the Group lies in the execution of its<br />

mandate in support of the broader objectives of the NDP through various strategic initiatives geared to national security<br />

of energy supply. CEF Group through its various initiatives contributes significantly into the South African economy.<br />

CEF (SOC) also administers and manages the Equalisation Fund on behalf of the DMRE and National Treasury for the<br />

collection and administration of petroleum products levies.<br />

Who we are<br />


The Mandate of CEF is derived from the<br />

CEF Act (No 38 of 1977) and the Ministerial<br />

directives issued thereafter. The mandate<br />

is in essence to contribute to the security<br />

of energy supply for the country.<br />

Values:<br />


In Action<br />

VISION<br />

To be a leading diversified energy company<br />

that provides sustainable energy solutions<br />

for Southern Africa. This way CEF<br />

contributes to national energy security.<br />


People First<br />




To grow our footprint in the energy<br />

sector, to be the catalyst for economic<br />

growth and energy poverty alleviation<br />

through security of supply, and access<br />

to acceptable (affordable) energy in<br />

Southern Africa.<br />



The role of CEF group<br />

• Contribute to security of energy supply by providing affordable, reliable, diverse use of primary energy resources<br />

and contribute to economic development and alleviate poverty in an environmentally responsible manner.<br />

• Be a strategic partner to the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy for providing insights in support of<br />

policy development and regulation,<br />

• Be a financially sustainable company that can be relied on to support the implementation of policies and programmes<br />

of the Department.<br />

• Reduce the country’s over dependence on multinationals.<br />

• Align with government’s broad objectives (NDP) and act as a vehicle for economic growth, poverty alleviation and<br />

economic transformation.<br />

This will be done through the acquisition, exploitation and manufacture of appropriate energy solutions [from coal, oil,<br />

gas and renewable energy resources] to meet the future energy needs of South Africa, the SADC and the sub-Saharan<br />

African regions.

The Historical Evolution of the CEF<br />

1950’s<br />

• Political situation leads the SA Government to<br />

invest in securing crude oil<br />

• Investment in Sasol 1<br />

• Moref (1954)<br />

• SAPREF (1956) built in Durban<br />

1960’s<br />

• Levies on liquid fuels managed by SEF/SFF<br />

• Investment in Island View and Milnerton facilities<br />

• Calref built in Milnerton (1960)<br />

• Investment in turning Ogies coal mines into crude<br />

oil containers plus filling over a long period<br />

• Soekor embarked on drilling programme<br />

1970’s<br />

• Petroleum Products Act and CEF Act<br />

• Natref built using Iranian resources in Sasolburg<br />

(1974)<br />

• CEF used as vehicle to invest in Sasol III following<br />

the 1974 and 1979 oil crises<br />

• Gas found offshore<br />

• Continue filling Ogies<br />

• Construction of Saldanha facility<br />

1980’s<br />

• Decision to build Mossgas GTL<br />

• Island View terminal sold<br />

• Some tanks at Milnerton (refinery side) sold to Caltex<br />

1990’s<br />

• Mossgas commissioned<br />

• Sasol loan repaid<br />

• Start of sell-off of Ogies oil<br />

• Publication of White Paperon Energy Policy (1998)<br />

• Decision to create PASA and PetroSA from Mossgas<br />

and Soekor<br />

• Sasol decides to build Mozambique gas pipeline<br />

• Decision to create iGas (1999/2000)<br />

2000’s<br />

• iGas takes up 25% share in Rompco<br />

• 2003 high level business strategy starts move from oil<br />

and gas to renewables through EDC (now EPD)<br />

• Profileration of small subsidiaries (CEF Carbon, CCE,<br />

ETA, SASDA, etc.)<br />

• Liquid Fuels Master Plan guides PetroSA strategic<br />

thinking<br />

• AEMFC created<br />

2010 and beyond<br />

• CEF participates in the REIPP Procurement Programme (land to gas project)<br />

• Capacity of Gas Pipeline from Mozambique to South Africa increased<br />

• AEMFC opens Vlakfontein mine<br />

• PetroSA embarks on a drilling campaign<br />

• PASA lodges a continental shelve claim<br />

• CEF vision 2025 approved<br />

• CEF Solar Park Project Concept approved by Cabinet<br />

• CEF Group rationalisation project initiated

The Group Value Chain<br />

Upstream<br />

Oil & Gas<br />


- Exploration & Production (All<br />

indigenous oil & gas prospects)<br />

• Ghana<br />

PASA<br />

Promotion, licensing and Regulating the<br />

exploration and production of the country’s<br />

natural oils & gas resources<br />

Mid<br />

Stream<br />

SFF<br />

• Trading<br />

• Shipping<br />

• Logistics<br />


• Petroleum<br />

Project<br />

Development<br />

EPD<br />

Investments<br />

in Renewable<br />

Energy Projects<br />

iGas<br />

• Gas Pipelines<br />

• LNG<br />

Terminals<br />

Downstream<br />


Operations<br />

• Exploration<br />

• Field<br />

Development<br />

• Production<br />

Operations<br />

Acquisition of<br />

exploration rights<br />

and research for<br />

hydrocarbons<br />

below earth’s<br />

surface<br />

• Transportation<br />

• Processing<br />

• Storage &<br />

Distribution<br />

• Manufacturing<br />

Petro-Chemicals<br />

• Wholesale &<br />

Marketing<br />

The movement<br />

of storage &<br />

hydrocarbons<br />

Developments using pipeline<br />

& ships & value<br />

processing and<br />

blending of<br />

extraction of chain maximisation hydrocarbons<br />

hydrocarbons & Renewables to make fuels &<br />

from reserves inititaties chemical products<br />


Marketing and supply<br />

to end users to fuel<br />

economic activity<br />

“The CEF Group value chain<br />

is our catalyst for value<br />

creation”<br />

AEMFC - Mining/coal in support of<br />

Power Generation and transition to<br />

clean coal<br />

EPD - Renewable power porjects,<br />

biofuels, clean enrgey projects and clean<br />

energy storage<br />

Global Footprint<br />

As at 31 March 2018, our<br />

business operations, investments<br />

and strategic partnerships<br />

spanned two continents and<br />

four countries. These activities<br />

are in oil and gas, technology<br />

and gas infrastructure, mining<br />

and renewables, and represent<br />

a diversified portfolio in line<br />

with our Group strategy. These<br />

countries are:<br />

1. South Africa<br />

2. Mozambique<br />

3. Ghana<br />

4. Netherlands<br />

Ghanaian Operations<br />

currently produces 100k<br />

to120k bpd<br />

South African Operations<br />

Mining, offshore production,<br />

Netherlands Operations<br />

The joint partnership in the<br />

cooperative venture company,<br />

Gas-to-Liquid (GTL).F1; Petro-<br />

SA, Lurgi<br />

Mozambique Operations<br />

Mozambique to Secunda<br />

Pipeline (MSP); 865km long gas<br />

transmission pipeline from Tein<br />

Mozambique to Secunda in<br />

South Africa

BEYOND<br />


ENERGY<br />

SUPPLY...<br />





CEF SOC Ltd. is involved in the<br />

search for appropriate energy<br />

solutions to meet the<br />

energy needs of South Africa,<br />

the Southern African<br />

Development Community and<br />

the sub-Saharan African region,<br />

including oil, gas, electrical<br />

power, solar energy, low-smoke<br />

fuels, biomass, wind and<br />

renewable energy sources.<br />


• EP&C of the Balance of Plant for Eskom’s four<br />

Gas Turbine Power Stations constructed in<br />

Atlantis and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape,<br />

South Africa.<br />

• Mechanical erection of 14x150MW gas turbines<br />

for Siemens and associated turbine halls.<br />

• Since 1990, Lesedi has successfully completed<br />

projects across Africa, illustrating our expertise.<br />

Technology<br />

Products<br />




Oil & Gas WITH Mining<br />



• Execution of turnkey engineering projects in the<br />

minerals processing and mining industries.<br />

• Through its network of world-class technology<br />

partners, Lesedi offers gas-cleaning and<br />

emissions control plants for its clients.<br />

• Lesedi provides systems for the capture of dust,<br />

tars, acid mists, SO2 and various other acidic<br />

gases and contaminants in the mining sector.<br />

Biomass, Waste to<br />

Energy & Solar<br />

Nuclear<br />

• 30 years of upgrade and maintenance projects<br />

at Eskom’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in<br />

Cape Town, South Africa, including over 150<br />

modifications on the plant.<br />

• International maintenance services contracts in<br />

England, Brazil, China, France and the USA,<br />

including over 75 interventions since 2006.<br />

Thermal<br />

• Lesedi has successfully concluded agency<br />

agreements for several state of the art<br />

products and services such as CONCO<br />

System Inc. and Arkema (DMDS).<br />

LesediNS<br />

Lesedi Nuclear Services<br />

Lesedi__NS<br />


• Lesedi achieved preferential bidding status for<br />

two biomass projects for the South African RIEPPP<br />

(16.5MW - sugar cane & 5MW - wood chip.)<br />

• Lesedi is the local partner for Exosun (singleaxis<br />

tracking).<br />

• More than 20 projects under development in Africa.<br />

• Our global partner has built over 100 bio-energy<br />

power plants, totalling more than 2,650 MW.<br />

• Balance of Plant for Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile<br />

Power Station, the biggest dry-cooled power<br />

stations in the world.<br />

What can we do for you?<br />

Email: info@lesedins.co.za<br />

Phone: +27 21 525 1300<br />

www.lesedins.co.za<br />

The Lesedi Skills Academy (LSA) is the brainchild of Lesedi Nuclear Services. Lesedi is a leading African engineering, procurement, and<br />

The Lesedi The Lesedi Skills Academy (LSA) is the brainchild of Lesedi Nuclear Services.<br />

construction (EPC), and maintenance company with a long history in nuclear, industrial power, mining, oil and gas industries.<br />

Lesedi (amajority executes turnkey shareholder bespoke in the projects academy) from is concept a leading and African basic engineering, design to detailed procurement engineering, and construction procurement, (EPC), project and management,<br />

maintenance company<br />


with installation a long and history commissioning, in nuclear, industrial as well as power, project mining, and contract oil and management gas industries. function. The Lesedi Skills Academy, a private training provider and an<br />

EME (75% BO; 42,62% BFO),<br />

The<br />

opened Lesedi Skills<br />

its doors<br />

The Academy,<br />

in 2015.<br />

Lesedi a private Skills training Academy provider and (LSA) an EME is (75% the BO; brainchild 42,62% BFO), of opened Lesedi its doors Nuclear in 2015. Services. The Academy Lesedi provides (a<br />

skills<br />

majority<br />

development<br />

shareholder<br />

and training<br />

in<br />

(Mechanical<br />

the academy)<br />

Fitting, Boilermaking<br />

is a leading<br />

& Basic<br />

African<br />

Welding),<br />

engineering,<br />

allowing young people,<br />

procurement<br />

and previously<br />

and<br />

disadvantaged<br />

construction<br />

individuals to enter the formal job market. Through focussed quality training, employed and unemployed learners are provided with the<br />

(EPC), and maintenance company with a long history in nuclear, industrial power, mining, oil and gas<br />

The knowledge Academy and provides skills to progress skills development in the Engineering and training and related (Mechanical fields. Fitting, Boilermaking & Basic Welding), allowing young people, and<br />

industries. The Lesedi Skills Academy, a private training provider and an EME (75% BO; 42,62% BFO),<br />

previously disadvantaged individuals to enter the formal job market. Through focussed quality training, employed and unemployed learners are<br />

opened its doors in 2015.<br />

provided with the knowledge and skills to progress in the Engineering and related fields. Follow us:Contact Lesedi Skills Academy:<br />

The Academy provides skills development and training (Mechanical Fitting, Boilermaking & Basic Welding),<br />


allowing young people, and previously disadvantaged individuals to enter the formal job market. Through<br />

Email: info@lesedins.co.za<br />

focussed quality training, employed and unemployed learners are provided with the knowledge Phone: +27 and 21 525 skills 1300<br />

to progress in the Engineering and related fields.<br />

www.lesedins.co.za<br />


Email: info@lesedisa.com | Julian.vanderPoel@lesedisa.com<br />

Phone: +27 21 525 1530<br />












Oil & Gas<br />

Mining<br />

Nuclear<br />

• EP&C of the Balance of Plant for Eskom’s four<br />

Gas Turbine Power Stations constructed in<br />

Atlantis and Mossel Bay in the Western Cape,<br />

South Africa.<br />

• Mechanical erection of 14x150MW gas turbines<br />

for Siemens and associated turbine halls.<br />

• Since 1990, Lesedi has successfully completed<br />

projects across Africa, illustrating our expertise.<br />

• Execution of turnkey engineering projects in the<br />

minerals processing and mining industries.<br />

• Through its network of world-class technology<br />

partners, Lesedi offers gas-cleaning and emissions<br />

control plants for its clients.<br />

• Lesedi provides systems for the capture of dust, tars,<br />

acid mists, SO2 and various other acidic gases and<br />

contaminants in the mining sector.<br />

• 30 years of upgrade and maintenance projects<br />

at Eskom’s Koeberg Nuclear Power Station in<br />

Cape Town, South Africa, including over 150<br />

modifications on the plant.<br />

• International maintenance services contracts in<br />

England, Brazil, China, France and the USA,<br />

resulting in over 75 interventions since 2006.<br />

Technology<br />

Products<br />

Biomass, Waste to<br />

Energy & Solar<br />

Thermal<br />

• Lesedi has successfully concluded agency<br />

agreements for several state of the art products<br />

and services such as CONCO System Inc. and<br />

Arkema (DMDS).<br />

• Lesedi performs Mechanical Heat Exchanger<br />

and Condenser Tube Cleaning as the African<br />

distributor for Conco Services LLC based in the USA.<br />

Conco has cleaned over 100 million condenser and<br />

heat exchanger tubes, making it the number one<br />

condenser and heat exchanger performance<br />

company in the world.<br />

• Lesedi achieved preferential bidding status for<br />

two biomass projects for the South African RIEPPP<br />

(16.5MW - sugar cane & 5MW - wood chip.)<br />

• Lesedi is the local partner for Exosun (singleaxis<br />

tracking).<br />

• More than 20 projects under development in Africa.<br />

• Our global partner has built over 100 bio-energy<br />

power plants, totalling more than 2,650 MW.<br />

• Balance of Plant for Eskom’s Medupi and Kusile<br />

Power Station, the biggest dry-cooled power<br />

stations in the world.<br />

• Turnkey Engineering contracts for plant life<br />

extension and major refurbishments icluding:<br />

- High frequency power supplies<br />

- Electrostatic precipitator<br />

- Ash handling systems<br />

www.lesedins.co.za | info@lesedins.co.za

An African thought leader<br />

Wits Business School leads research in areas critical to the continent’s sustainability.<br />

New leadership, a new strategy and international<br />

accreditation – Wits Business School (WBS) is<br />

consolidating its position as a leading African business<br />

school. Two and a half years after Professor Maurice<br />

Radebe took the helm as Director and Head of WBS, the School is<br />

experiencing a turnaround, as evidenced by its growing number<br />

of corporate clients.<br />

For Radebe, a former energy executive at Sasol Oil, leading the<br />

turnaround at WBS was an opportunity for him to give back, not<br />

only to WBS, his alma mater, but to society. “When the opportunity<br />

arose, I realised this is very much in line with my purpose, which<br />

is to develop the next generation of leaders who are ethical and<br />

who have a passion to make a difference.”<br />

Celebrating its 55th birthday in 2023, WBS is one of the oldest<br />

and most well-established schools in Africa and attracts students<br />

from all over the continent. Apart from its flagship Master of<br />

Business Administration (MBA) and newly launched MBA in the<br />

field of Healthcare Leadership, WBS offers a suite of specialist<br />

Master of Management degrees and postgraduate diplomas,<br />

many of which are the first of their kind and set WBS apart from<br />

its competitors. These programmes have specific focus on the<br />

African context, and include philanthropy, digital business and<br />

energy leadership.<br />

Centres of Excellence<br />

The Centre on African Philanthropy and Social Investment (CAPSI),<br />

the WBS Chair in Digital Business and the African Energy Leadership<br />

Centre (AELC) are leaders in new research in these fields, as well as<br />

academic curricula design. All of them offer master’s and doctoral<br />

programmes and focus on addressing scarce skills and issues<br />

threatening the inclusive growth of the Africa’s economy.<br />

“Having impact is at the heart of our strategy and that means<br />

making sure that WBS makes a positive, meaningful difference<br />

to the society we serve. A big part of this is producing relevant<br />

research that has practical application in today’s world. I am<br />

proud of the quality and quantity of our research output, which<br />

includes the award-winning cases that come out of our Case<br />

Centre,” says Radebe.<br />

The WBS Case Centre was the first dedicated business school<br />

case-writing centre to be established in Africa and has produced,<br />

to date, over 350 case studies. Most of these are South African<br />

and African case studies, and with a focus on emerging market<br />

52 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

Professor Maurice Radebe, Director and Head of WBS<br />

business scenarios, they are used at business schools globally as<br />

a highly effective teaching tool. One of its cases won first prize at<br />

the recent Association of Africa Business Schools (AABS)/Emerald<br />

Case Competition and another came second overall at the North<br />

American Case Research Association (NACRA)’s annual conference<br />

in the US in October 2023.<br />

Global partnerships<br />

Having an active role to play in the sustainable growth of our<br />

continent also means collaborating with other thought leaders<br />

and industry experts, and WBS aims to become the partner of<br />

choice for like-minded academic institutions, corporates and other<br />

key organisations not only in Sub-Saharan Africa, but globally.<br />

To this end, the School has signed agreements with, among<br />

others, the University of Namibia Business School, Strathmore<br />

Business School in Kenya and Rabat Business School in Morocco.<br />

Further afield, WBS is collaborating with the CT Bauer School of<br />

Business at the University of Houston on energy-related initiatives,<br />

such as its current series of cross-continental webinars on the<br />

energy transition as experienced by the Global North and South.<br />

The School also has active student exchange programmes with<br />

its Partners in International Management (PIM) partner schools,<br />

including Warwick, St Gallen, Chicago Booth, Duke, HEC Paris<br />

and Melbourne Business Schools, among many others. PIM is an<br />

exclusive network of top global business schools of which WBS<br />

is the only African member. When WBS first opened its doors in<br />

1968, the first course it offered was an Executive Development<br />

Programme, designed in partnership with Stanford University.<br />

Today, the Executive Education division is still on top of its game<br />

when it comes to short courses for leadership development. In the<br />

latest Financial Mail survey on executive education in South Africa,<br />

published in late July 2023, WBS was ranked number one in the<br />

category Schools the employers know well, as well as Schools that<br />

employers consider for executive education.<br />

Wits Business School benchmarks its MBA against the best in<br />

the world through its ongoing AMBA accreditation and became<br />

formally accredited with the Association of African Business<br />

Schools (AABS) for the first time in late 2022.<br />

“Receiving AABS accreditation was a major achievement for<br />

WBS as it means that we are being recognised for the impact we<br />

are having on our continent, and it confirms our position as a<br />

leading African business school,” says Radebe.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 53


Changing the<br />

sustainability course for<br />

the agri-processing sector<br />

The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa has produced a benchmarking study to<br />

guide agri-processing to resource-efficient and cleaner production. By Lesego Hlalethwa<br />

The agri-processing sector is among South Africa’s highimpact<br />

sectors with its value chains contributing 20.3%<br />

to the manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) and<br />

2.7% to the total GDP. While the sector has great growth<br />

potential and is a positive contributor to the economy, it is water<br />

and energy intensive. This impacts on its sustainability and global<br />

competitiveness.The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and<br />

the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA)<br />

have undertaken research which resulted in the “South African<br />

Dairy Processing Resource Efficiency Benchmarking Study”.<br />

The study sought to assess the gaps in the dairy-processing<br />

industry with a focus on the cheese and yoghurt industries,<br />

while identifying practical energy and water measures that can<br />

be adopted to improve resource consumption and management.<br />

The dairy-processing sub-sector was selected as a sample for the<br />

study for two reasons. Firstly, the NCPC-SA previously conducted<br />

assessments and gathered energy and water consumption<br />

data from participating dairy companies. Secondly, the study<br />

cements the collaborative work between the two organisations<br />

in improving efficiencies in the agri-processing sector including<br />

the development of the “Metering and Monitoring Guideline”<br />

aimed at transitioning the sector to better water and resourceefficiency<br />

practices.<br />

The benchmark study specifically highlights the following<br />

potential savings for the dairy sector based on the results of onsite<br />

assessments conducted in line with international best practices:<br />

• A 70% reduction in potable water consumption, reducing overall<br />

water utilisation by approximately one litre or approximately sixmillion<br />

kilolitres per annum nationally, translating into monetary<br />

savings of R138-million to R200-million per annum.<br />

• A 25-50% reduction in electricity consumption and associated<br />

greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions translating into 200 000 to<br />

400 000 megawatt per hour (MWh) per annum and a cost<br />

saving of R250-million to R500-million per annum.<br />

• A 30% reduction in fuel consumption and 50% reduction in<br />

GHG emissions for fossil fuels (assuming 50% uptake in fuel<br />

switching) which could potentially result in R180-million savings<br />

per annum.<br />

Reducing carbon emissions<br />

NCPC-SA Senior Project Manager Lindani Ncwane says, “We<br />

identified many resource-efficient and cleaner production<br />

opportunities that dairy companies can implement with little or<br />

no capital investment.<br />

"It is remarkably easy for companies with smaller operations to<br />

improve their processes and start saving,” he adds.<br />

The implementation of resource-efficient and cleaner<br />

production (RECP) interventions not only improves the efficient<br />

use of resources, reduces waste and saves costs. RECP also plays<br />

a major role in the industry’s ability to reduce carbon emissions<br />

and environmental impact. A strong business case for industry<br />

to operate sustainably is evident. There is increasing pressure<br />

for local and global markets to source and supply sustainably<br />

produced goods to mitigate the impact of carbon emissions.<br />

For instance, in South Africa, the KwaZulu-Natal province was<br />

struck by a natural disaster that can be directly linked to climate<br />

change: it impacted the province’s key economic drivers such<br />

as the damage that was incurred at the Toyota motor plant.<br />

There is also an increase in the global export markets’ demand<br />

for sustainably produced goods.<br />

The South African Dairy Processing Resource Efficiency<br />

Benchmarking Study was conducted through the IFC's Agri-<br />

Processing Resource Efficiency (APRE) programme, launched<br />

in 2019 to improve energy and water efficiency in the agribusiness<br />

sector in South Africa, with support from the Swiss<br />

State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The outcomes<br />

of the study, along with participant input from the workshop<br />

where the results were presented, will be used to produce<br />

another practical guide for the sector. It also promises to<br />

revolutionise the sustainability journey for companies who<br />

follow its recommendations.<br />

Contact<br />

For more information about the Agri-Processing Resource<br />

Efficiency interventions or to gain insight on how your company<br />

can benefit from the interventions at no cost, contact the NCPC-SA<br />

at ncpc@csir.co.za.<br />

54 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

National Cleaner<br />

Production Centre<br />

South Africa<br />

A national industrial<br />

support programme that<br />

partners with industry to<br />

drive the transition towards<br />

a green economy and<br />

save money.


Barriers to entry for<br />

women must be unlocked<br />

The renewable energy sector is powering ahead, but Linda Mabhena-Olagunju of<br />

DLO Energy Resources Group says that more must be done to include women.<br />

According to a report by the International Energy Agency<br />

(IEA), renewable energy is expected to account for<br />

60% of new-build-generation capacity in Sub-Saharan<br />

Africa (excluding South Africa) by 2040. With growing<br />

investment in renewables, it is critical to understand how womenowned<br />

companies can better position themselves to benefit from<br />

the opportunity.<br />

To date, South Africa’s Renewable Independent Power<br />

Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has set a low<br />

threshold for female ownership. Independent power producers<br />

are currently only required to have a 5% female ownership<br />

level and a meagre 3% threshold for procurement from<br />

women-owned companies. Even with these low thresholds<br />

companies are struggling to meet them and women remain<br />

under-represented in the sector even from an employment<br />

perspective, where women currently account for 31% of the<br />

workforce in Eskom and make up 21% of the coal sector.<br />

from the energy sector. Companies want a strong track record and<br />

that in turn makes it exceptionally hard for new entrants.”<br />

To date a total of 123 projects have been awarded under the<br />

REIPPPP, attracting over $17.3-billion in investments and adding<br />

approximately 6 200MW of installed capacity (or 5% of South<br />

Africa's energy supply) to the national grid. It is considered as one<br />

of the leading renewable energy programmes globally.<br />

Says Linda: “The transition to clean energy is here but it remains<br />

crucial that women position themselves to participate in this<br />

transition and this will require funding, upskilling and an increase<br />

in ownership and procurement thresholds.<br />

“But even if the thresholds are raised, we still need to ensure<br />

women participate and this requires an understanding of the<br />

energy value chain and this is one of the areas we focussed on<br />

at the DLO African Women in Leadership that was held in August<br />

in Sandton. One of the initiatives we have as an organisation is to<br />

share as much knowledge as we can with women who want to<br />

participate in the sector. Workshops went into the granular details<br />

of the areas where women-owned companies can participate.”<br />

One of the key challenges identified as a barrier to entry for<br />

women in the energy sector is the lack of information about the<br />

sector and opportunities for participation.<br />

Can the progress made by women in mining be replicated in<br />

renewable energy? Credit: Exxaro<br />

Linda Mabhena-Olagunju’s company, DLO Energy Resources<br />

Group, is one of the few women-owned and operated energy<br />

companies in South Africa and she has been involved in the<br />

REIPPPP since inception. Linda, pictured left, notes: “The key<br />

challenge with the REIPPPP is that the bid requirements are very<br />

high and very few women-led companies are able to comply with<br />

the requirements. Furthermore, the decrease in tariffs has also<br />

made it more difficult for new entrants to secure funding. Many<br />

women do not know how to position their organisations to benefit<br />

56 | www.opportunityonline.co.za



R O A D M A P<br />


Vision<br />

HySA Infrastructure forms a Centre of Competence together with<br />

the North-West University and the CSIR. It is the intention of HySA<br />

Infrastructure COC to be a world leader and commercially relevant<br />

entity in the area of hydrogen production (electrolysis hydrogen<br />

linked to solar resources), in the area of hydrogen compression<br />

and storage and delivery. This will be achieved through securing<br />

IP rights and partnerships with world-leading OEMs, investors<br />

and research institutions.<br />



LOHC<br />




Activities and expertise<br />

• Water electrolysis (WE) and components<br />

• Hydrogen safety, codes and standards<br />

• H 2<br />

storage expertise (LOHC)<br />

• Power-to-X and fuel blending<br />

• Techno-economic expertise<br />

• Ab-initio modelling expertise<br />

• Hydrogen recombination<br />



Projects and competencies<br />

Renewable H 2<br />

production, PEM<br />

electrolyser development, EHC<br />

systems, CCMs for WE<br />

Fundamental understanding,<br />

characterisation tools, development<br />

and testing electrolysers<br />

Biogas upgrade<br />

LOHC systems<br />

hysainfrastructure.com<br />

Power-to-X<br />

Ventilation<br />

mining facility


Career-enhancing skills<br />

are on offer in Kuruman<br />

EduPower and Assmang Black Rock Mine Operations (BRMO) have combined to offer<br />

an innovative community development initiative in the Northern Cape.<br />

The future looks bright for 40 young adults living in<br />

Kuruman in the Northern Cape. These youngsters – all<br />

people with disabilities – have been selected for an<br />

innovative, forward-thinking learnership sponsored by<br />

Assmang Black Rock Mine Operations. Aimed at socio-economic<br />

upliftment in the region, each of these learners will start to build<br />

a sustainable career.<br />

Sean Sharp, Executive Head of Sales at EduPower Skills<br />

Academy, says the learnerships are part of a bespoke solution<br />

that has been developed by the Academy in partnership with<br />

Assmang Black Rock Mine Operations. “We have created a<br />

solution for the mining sector that combines skills, enterprise<br />

and socio-economic development. Using this model, Assmang<br />

Black Rock Mine can contribute to job creation and socioeconomic<br />

advancement while also delivering on their mine<br />

community development,” he explains.<br />

Meaningful impact<br />

Assmang Black Rock Mine Operations is a local mining and minerals<br />

company situated 80km north-west of Kuruman in the Northern<br />

Cape. This remote region faces<br />

many pressing socioeconomic<br />

challenges<br />

including high<br />

unemployment,<br />

poverty and gangsterism. “Assmang Black Rock Mine’s investment<br />

in community development goes beyond compliance. The<br />

company views social upliftment as a strategic priority but the<br />

solutions that have been employed to support the community<br />

in the past have proved to be unsustainable,” says Sean. “When<br />

we first met with them, Assmang Black Rock Mine was therefore<br />

eager to implement a sustainable high-impact initiative that could<br />

deliver and drive meaningful socio-economic growth.”<br />

The solution<br />

EduPower’s skills-development model proved to be a perfect<br />

fit. The tried-and-tested system not only delivers 12-month<br />

learnerships but also serves to incubate small, independent<br />

businesses (SMEs) using Enterprise Development funding.<br />

“Working with Assmang Black Rock Mine and the community,<br />

we’ve set up a small Call Centre in Kuruman town which also serves<br />

as our training facility,” Sean continues.<br />

“We've registered 40 learners who are already busy with<br />

their Contact Centre NQF Level 3 learnerships. Training is both<br />

classroom-based as well as online and our workplace experience<br />

takes place in the Call Centre. ” Working an eight-hour day,<br />

five days a week, the practical experience that EduPower<br />

offers its learners is one of the Academy’s key differentiators.<br />

Candidates have the opportunity to work on live campaigns,<br />

not simulations, developing the learners’ skills and confidence<br />

for a real work environment.<br />

“The learners in our Kuruman Academy are currently working<br />

on two live campaigns, an outbound data management campaign<br />

and a customer-service inbound campaign. Over and above this<br />

work experience and the training, we also mentor our learners to<br />

develop their interpersonal and business skills, all of which ensures<br />

that when our learners graduate, they are job ready,” he adds.<br />

Building a business<br />

While it is running the learnerships, EduPower is also incubating an<br />

independent Call Centre. Working with an entrepreneur from the<br />

community and providing business support as well as assistance<br />

in sourcing campaigns, this business will employ the 40 learners<br />

when they graduate. “Using this model, we can guarantee results<br />

for both the entrepreneur and the learners. When they graduate,<br />

the learners receive long-term employment while the business<br />

owner gains a skilled labour force that will help the business to<br />

scale and grow.”<br />

Credit: ASphotofamily on Freepik<br />

58 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


M84 Geotech<br />

M84 Geotech has established itself as a reliable supplier of services to the mining<br />

industry with a strong reputation for safety as it approaches its 10th anniversary.<br />

Lj. Filipović on Unsplash<br />

M84 Geotech is a geohazards-mitigation and ropeaccess<br />

company specialising in rockfall protection,<br />

rockfall barriers, rock scaling, slope stabilisation and<br />

slope-monitor installations for open-pit mines.<br />

Who we are<br />

M84 Geotech is a South African company which was established<br />

in 2014 in the mining town of Mokopane in Limpopo Province. In<br />

the beginning, our goal was simply to trade with local mines to<br />

make a living. We were willing to do whatever work came our way,<br />

seeing each opportunity as a chance to grow and gain experience.<br />

Over time, we settled into our roles and proved ourselves as a<br />

geotechnical contractor for open-pit mines. We are one of the<br />

few contractors who are accredited to install slope stabilisation<br />

and rockfall-mitigation systems for open-pit mines. We are an<br />

accredited member of the Institute For Work At Heights (IWH).<br />

The specialists<br />

For us to stand a chance of being a successful business, we had to<br />

change our way of doing things and shift from being a middleman<br />

to being the main man. As a supplier we were just a middleman<br />

with not much control of our costs and profit margins.<br />

The decision was made that we were going to work on<br />

becoming specialists in our chosen discipline and therefore<br />

increase our value as a partner for mines. We sent two staff<br />

members to train in rope-access techniques and hired another<br />

two experienced rope technicians to make up our first team. That<br />

was how we started as a geohazards-mitigation and rope-access<br />

company. In 2018 we received our first working-at-height contract<br />

at Mogalakwena Mine. The job entailed rock scaling on a high wall<br />

and since then we have been building ourselves up as the best<br />

available partner when it comes to rockfall protection, rockfall<br />

barriers, slope stabilisation and rock scaling for open-pit mines.<br />

Our record<br />

As a company we pride ourselves on having a 100% completion<br />

rate on every project we have done and also in keeping a 100%<br />

on-site safety record. This is extremely important for us because<br />

we do high-risk and high-priority projects and that’s why we say,<br />

“Safety is Our Priority.”<br />

The systems we use to keep open-pit operations safe from<br />

rockfall hazards and slope failures are among the best in the<br />

market and with us as a contractor, the client is guaranteed a<br />

professional service and the safest installation methods. The use<br />

of rope-access techniques makes it possible for us to install the<br />

systems with minimum interruption to production. We can access<br />

high areas using the safest methods while keeping miners and<br />

equipment safe from possible rockfall hazards.<br />

60 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Building the brand<br />

As M84 Geotech, our goal is to build our brand to be associated<br />

with what we do. We want to be a leader in the field of geohazards<br />

mitigation and rockfall protection systems in the mining sector<br />

and other related fields. We want to partner with mining<br />

companies to protect their miners and equipment from rockfall<br />

hazards in open-pit operations as well as in underground mining.<br />

M84 Geotech is the go-to contractor when it comes to slope<br />

stabilisation, rockfall protection, rockfall barriers, rock scaling,<br />

devegetation on high walls and slope-monitoring installation. We<br />

are very experienced when it comes to managing high-pressure<br />

and high-risk projects with a high level of quality and safety. For<br />

all of our mining clients, safety is very important and as a company<br />

that’s what we bring on-site: safety. Rockfalls are a very serious risk<br />

in open-pit mines and if such risk is not managed or controlled,<br />

lives could be lost and equipment damaged.<br />

• Devegetation<br />

If not controlled, vegetation on open-pit high walls can make it<br />

difficult for the Geotech team to monitor slopes. Using rope-access<br />

techniques, vegetation can be removed or trimmed to keep high<br />

walls clear of distractions.<br />

• Prisms installations<br />

Prisms are installed on high walls to monitor any movement on<br />

the slope. No production interference is needed because we do<br />

the work while suspended on ropes.<br />

• Rockfall protection<br />

Depending on the needs or scope required by the client, we have<br />

various systems which we use to protect open-pit mines against<br />

rockfall hazards. Our team will provide the relevant solution<br />

according to the needs and conditions of the site.<br />

• Drilling and anchor installation<br />

Whether on the surface or on a high wall, we have the expertise<br />

to drill and install anchors.<br />

M84 Geotech has the experience, resources and skills to provide<br />

your site with the right solution. The solution can come in the<br />

form of preventative measure such as installing slope monitoring<br />

prisms or through protection systems such as drape mesh, slope<br />

stabilisation or catchfence.<br />

Completed projects<br />

Some of the projects we have competed successfully include:<br />

• Rock scaling<br />

Rock scaling involves moving loose rocks on open-pit mine high<br />

walls to avoid them from free falling to the foot of the slope. We have<br />

moved boulders on high walls to protect miners and equipment.<br />

Addresses<br />

11 Sussex Street, Mokopane 0601<br />

26 Rhodesdrift Street, Building 4, Suite 3 Rhodesdrift Office Park,<br />

Bendor, Polokwane 0699<br />

Contact details<br />

Tel: +27 15 023 1400<br />

Cell: +27 72 203 8405<br />

Email: info@m84geotech.co.za | admin@m84geotech.co.za<br />

Website: www.m84geotech.co.za<br />

Social media<br />

Instagram: m84_geotech<br />

Linkedin: M84 Geotech<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 61


A primary school<br />

born out of necessity<br />

Steinmüller designs classroom in Kriel.<br />

In June 2023 Steinmüller Africa joined Eskom, Seriti, GE and<br />

Exxaro in handing over the Bonginhlanhla Primary School<br />

building at Kriel. Attending the handover was a director of<br />

the company, Moso Bolofo, together with project manager<br />

Tshephisho Nailana and other Steinmüller employees. Steinmüller<br />

Africa’s contribution was the design of the classroom for the school.<br />

Bonginhlanhla Primary school is in Thubelihle township in<br />

Kriel. Recognising the need for education within the community,<br />

company employees residing in Thubelihle took the initiative to<br />

establish a school for their children. Spearheading this project<br />

were Aaron Mkhonza and Jan Mahlangu, elected as committee<br />

members at Matla Power Station in 1992. Though the school<br />

building was not yet constructed, the school began its operations<br />

in January of that year, and was temporarily housed within<br />

Sibongamandla Senior Secondary School.<br />

Initially, Bonginhlanhla School borrowed eight classrooms<br />

and an office from Sibongamandla Senior Secondary School. It<br />

catered to students from SSA to Grade three, boasting a student<br />

population of 240 and a staff of 11. To further support the growing<br />

school, additional teachers were transferred from South Witbank<br />

School in August 1993. Acknowledging the dedication and need<br />

for proper classrooms, Eskom donated school building materials<br />

during this period.<br />

In July 1993, construction commenced on three blocks<br />

comprising 16 classrooms, separate toilet facilities for boys and<br />

girls and an administration block. By 1994, the construction<br />

was complete and Bonginhlanhla School was ready to welcome<br />

its students. On 18 February 1994, the new school opened its<br />

doors, accommodating 540 pupils, 13 teachers, one clerk and<br />

one general worker. The generous contributions from Matla<br />

Mine and Kriel Mine, including financial aid and garden tools,<br />

further reinforced the community's commitment to education.<br />

Since its establishment, Bonginhlanhla School has been an<br />

emblem of resilience, perseverance and community support.<br />

Surrounding power stations and coal mines have consistently<br />

demonstrated their commitment by providing ongoing<br />

donations for the school, which was initially a shack structure.<br />

The collective efforts of Eskom, Steinmüller Africa and other<br />

partnering companies made it possible for the school to have a<br />

proper structure. The contribution from this partnership included<br />

the design of the school and the building materials. This has<br />

nurtured an environment conducive to the learning and personal<br />

growth of children.<br />

The joy of the children and teachers for their new school<br />

cannot be explained in words. There was singing, dancing<br />

and appreciation for the collaborative companies. The event<br />

confirmed the truth and relevance of a statement by Nelson<br />

Rolihlahla Mandela that "education is the great engine of<br />

personal development. It is through education that the daughter<br />

of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker<br />

can become the head of the mine, and that the child of farm<br />

workers can become the president of a great nation".<br />

The partnering companies were pleased to see the impact<br />

their contribution has made in the children’s lives. Former pupils<br />

of Bonginhlanhla School, now in their 30s and 40s, serve as a<br />

testament to the transformative power of education.<br />

62 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Innovation<br />

highlighted<br />

The University of Cape Town scored<br />

a clean sweep of winners in the first<br />

Student Project Fund challenge sponsored<br />

by RS Components South Africa.<br />

Kai Goodall designed and built a self-driving solar car. Here he<br />

shows off his Pedal n Spin washing machine.<br />

Credit: Candice Lowen, UCT<br />

ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash<br />

Held in 2022, the Student Project Fund challenge was<br />

aimed at third- and fourth-year university engineering<br />

students from across the country. Students had to share<br />

their current projects for a chance to win one of three R5<br />

000 vouchers that they could use at RS Components to purchase<br />

components, equipment and tools.<br />

Brian Andrew, Managing Director at RS, said that student<br />

competitions had been an exciting element within the company’s<br />

education offerings.<br />

“We have seen some amazing talent shine through from<br />

local South African students showcasing their passion for<br />

engineering on the global stage. With a strong focus on<br />

sustainable engineering, we have challenged students to<br />

share their designs, projects and prototypes with us, giving<br />

students an opportunity to win some amazing prizes from RS<br />

Components,” he said.<br />

Education forms one of the pillars that make up RS Global’s<br />

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. RS’s<br />

focus is to build skills with young engineers and innovators,<br />

as well as foster innovations that improve lives. There is still a<br />

significant shortage of digital and engineering skills globally,<br />

and there is a need to inspire and encourage the young to<br />

seek careers in this area.<br />

The next generation will need to be equipped to meet the<br />

environmental challenges that the world faces, as well as helping<br />

to ensure that our industry continues to thrive.<br />

Andrew notes that from a South African perspective, RS had<br />

taken a strong focus in supporting future engineers through<br />

various initiatives and offerings throughout the year. “Some of<br />

the major offerings include Super Skills masterclasses which help<br />

to develop students’ interpersonal and people skills, so that they<br />

feel more equipped and ready for the workplace. Volunteering and<br />

partnerships with organisations like Engineers without Borders as<br />

well as Geekulcha and Girlcode allow RS South Africa to provide<br />

unique volunteering opportunities.<br />

“Technical learning can be achieved from our global<br />

DesignSpark website which contains a growing library of<br />

technical resources for learning, also to support societies in<br />

setting up their own mentoring programmes. Lastly, we also host<br />

various challenges such as the Student Project Fund to showcase<br />

the amazing work of the country’s talented engineering students.<br />

These challenges that we host throughout the year also helps<br />

to motivate and inspire the next generation of creators and<br />

tinkerers,” adds Andrew.<br />

The Student Project Fund is a competition that assists<br />

engineering students in becoming work ready. “We believe<br />

hands-on prototyping and experimentation are key to the<br />

64 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


education journey and want to do all we can to help students<br />

develop innovations that may change the world.<br />

“We are excited to have selected our first three Student Project<br />

Fund South Africa winners for 2022 and can’t wait to see how<br />

their project designs and ideas turn into reality using the tools<br />

and components from RS Components SA. The projects will be<br />

shared on our DesignSpark platform.<br />

“I encourage all students to keep an eye out for this, as well<br />

as enter the next Student Project Fund competition to get your<br />

project underway,” said Andrew.<br />

The three winners, all students at the<br />

University of Cape Town, were:<br />

• Nikhil Bejrajh: MSc Electrical Engineering<br />

Implementing a feasible and efficient underwater wireless<br />

charging system for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).<br />

• Kai Goodall: MSc Electrical Engineering<br />

Designing and building an educational self-driving solar<br />

car for educational STEM outreach to excite and encourage<br />

underprivileged high school pupils in South Africa to study<br />

electrical engineering with the hope they will solve problems faced<br />

by their communities.<br />

Andrea Barrett, Vice President for Social Responsibility and<br />

Sustainability at RS Group says that RS’s aim was to reach onemillion<br />

young people in education globally.<br />

“Already, RS Components UK supports more than 200 UK<br />

universities and we will expand our Grass Roots programme<br />

globally. Meanwhile, we are continuing to build digital skills via<br />

our OKdo products and learning content, supporting 400 000<br />

students annually. Through RS Components in the UK, US, South<br />

Africa and Australia we are a partner in Engineers Without Borders<br />

which supports 20 000 future engineers annually. We are aiming to<br />

engage 1.5-million engineers through our DesignSpark community<br />

in activist engineering projects that will promote sustainable and<br />

socially responsible solutions,” added Barrett.<br />

For more information:<br />

Contact RS Components South Africa<br />

Email: education.za@rs-components.com<br />

The winning submission videos can be viewed as follows:<br />

Wireless charging system: https://youtube.com/shorts/SBTt-mlcv-Y<br />

Solar car: https://youtube.com/shorts/HxZhylDhaXg<br />

Mini-grid: https://youtube.com/shorts/wQhoTzeoFrY<br />

• Pitambar Jankee: PhD Electrical Engineering<br />

Investigating the hardware design and application of a physical<br />

GPT-controlled inverter hardware in a self-contained power<br />

system, a mini-grid.<br />

About RS Group<br />

RS Group plc (formerly Electrocomponents plc) is a leading<br />

global omni-channel industrial product and service<br />

solutions provider to customers who are involved in<br />

designing, building and maintaining industrial equipment<br />

and operations, safely and sustainably. We stock more than<br />

700 000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from<br />

over 2 500 leading suppliers, and provide a wide range of<br />

product and service solutions to over 1.2-million customers.<br />

With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple<br />

channels and ship over 60 000 parcels a day.<br />

We support customers across the product life cycle,<br />

whether via innovation and technical support at the design<br />

phase, improving time to market and productivity at the<br />

build phase, or reducing purchasing costs and optimising<br />

inventory in the maintenance phase. We offer our customers<br />

tailored product and service propositions that are essential<br />

for the successful operation of their businesses and help<br />

them save time and money. RS Group plc is listed on the<br />

London Stock Exchange with stock ticker RS1.<br />

For more information, visit: www.rsgroup.com<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 65


Unlocking engineering<br />

excellence<br />

A turnkey approach to innovation and sustainability.<br />

In today's ever-evolving world,<br />

engineering companies play a pivotal<br />

role in shaping the future of society.<br />

With our comprehensive range of<br />

services, NTGR Engineering stands at the<br />

forefront of innovation and sustainability.<br />

NTGR Engineering is an award-winning<br />

multidisciplinary engineering company,<br />

specialising in turnkey engineering services<br />

encompassing civil, mechanical, electrical<br />

and structural engineering, as well as asset<br />

management and environmental, social<br />

and governance services.<br />

Abednico Mkhari, Managing Director<br />

Embracing a turnkey approach<br />

At the heart of our operations lies a turnkey<br />

approach that sets us apart. By offering<br />

a holistic suite of engineering services,<br />

we provide our clients with a seamless<br />

experience from conception to completion.<br />

Whether it's designing and constructing<br />

a state-of-the-art infrastructure project<br />

or implementing innovative solutions<br />

to enhance operational efficiency, our<br />

turnkey approach ensures that all aspects<br />

of a project are expertly managed under<br />

one roof, minimising risks and maximising<br />

cost-effectiveness.<br />

Unleashing engineering expertise<br />

Our team of highly skilled and experienced<br />

engineers is the driving force behind our<br />

success. We have inhouse multidisciplinary<br />

engineering teams that provide<br />

comprehensive EPC services for clients<br />

across diverse industries, delivering capital<br />

efficiency and project certainty. We are<br />

experienced in EPCM/turnkey projectcontract<br />

suites such as FIDIC and NEC4.<br />

From civil engineers who masterfully<br />

navigate complex terrain and design major<br />

transportation and infrastructure projects<br />

to mechanical engineers who optimise<br />

machinery performance, design, alter or<br />

modify systems and components that meet<br />

project needs and eliminate malfunctions,<br />

electrical engineers who design intelligent<br />

energy solutions, to structural engineers<br />

who ensure safety and durability. Our<br />

cross-disciplinary collaboration allows us<br />

to deliver innovative solutions tailored to<br />

each client's unique requirements.<br />

Prioritising sustainability and ESG<br />

In an era of heightened environmental<br />

consciousness, the engineering industry<br />

bears a responsibility to minimise its impact<br />

on the planet. NTGR Engineering takes<br />

this responsibility seriously by embedding<br />

sustainable practices and environmental,<br />

social and governance (ESG) principles<br />

into every project. By utilising cuttingedge<br />

technology, conducting thorough<br />

environmental assessments and<br />

adopting eco-friendly materials and<br />

construction methods, we strive to create<br />

environmentally responsible and energyefficient<br />

solutions.<br />

Strategic asset management<br />

Recognising the importance of longterm<br />

success, we offer comprehensive<br />

asset-management services to optimise<br />

the lifespan and value of infrastructure<br />

investments. We have successfully<br />

implemented Geographic Information<br />

Systems (GIS) to track the location of assets.<br />

By leveraging GIS technology, we<br />

provide our clients with real-time<br />

visibility and accurate asset tracking. This<br />

not only improves security and reduces<br />

the risk of theft or loss but also enables<br />

efficient planning and scheduling of<br />

maintenance activities. By leveraging datadriven<br />

insights and predictive analytics,<br />

we maximise asset performance, reduce<br />

downtime and minimise life-cycle costs,<br />

ultimately ensuring a sustainable return<br />

on investment.<br />

Expanding into oil and gas:<br />

a vision for the future<br />

In line with our growth strategy, we are<br />

proud to announce our foray into the oil<br />

and gas sector. During recent visits to the<br />

United Arab Emirates, the Democratic<br />

Republic of the Congo and Uganda, we<br />

encountered dynamic opportunities<br />

that have inspired us to venture into<br />

this industry. These regions presented<br />

valuable insights, partnerships and<br />

resources that will propel us forward in<br />

this new chapter.<br />

Through strategic collaborations<br />

and partnerships, we aim to bring our<br />

expertise and innovative solutions<br />

to this sector. This expansion reflects<br />

our dedication to contributing to the<br />

continent's energy security, job creation<br />

and economic prosperity. We firmly<br />

believe that by diversifying our services,<br />

we can make a lasting impact on Africa's<br />

overall growth trajectory.<br />

66 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

AN AWARD<br />







ABOUT US<br />

18 years in business<br />

100% black-owned<br />

Building towards iso certification through our own in-house compliance system<br />

Registered level 1 BBBEE contributor<br />

SACPCMP, SAIOS AND HWSETAGIS & model management registered<br />

EPCM/turnkey project contract suites such as FIDIC, NEC4 ETC<br />


Turnkey engineering (civil, structural, electrical & mechanical)<br />

Engineering design<br />

Construction services<br />

Asset management<br />

Environmental Social Governance (ESG)<br />

By choosing us, you are guaranteed:<br />


Commitment to providing quality, value and delivery of services on time.<br />

Committed to profit maximisation at minimal cost.<br />

Committed to ESG goals.<br />

AWARDS<br />

Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2022<br />

Winner: Manufacturing Solutions<br />

Top Empowerment Awards 2023<br />

Winner: Fast Growth Black-Owned SMME of the year<br />

Manufacturing Excellence Awards 2023<br />

Winner: Digitised Services<br />

Contact Us<br />

www.ntgr.co.za<br />

Info@ntgr.co.za<br />

+27 14 5350 066<br />

Footprint<br />

South Af rica | Botswana<br />

Democratic Republic of the Congo<br />

Mozambique | Uganda | Zambia


How to avoid conflicts<br />

over exploration permits<br />

Early engagement with communities and a collaborative approach will serve oil companies well if<br />

they want to avoid costly legal battles and delays. Planning ahead and delivering real benefits will<br />

pre-empt many of the obstacles to securing rights, says Webber Wentzel partner, Bruce Dickinson.<br />

Deepsea Stavanger, the Norwegian<br />

exploration rig, has twice visited South<br />

Africa’s shores in search of oil and gas<br />

resources. Credit: Anton Swanepoel<br />

68 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


International Oil Companies (IOCs) with an appetite for<br />

exploration around South Africa’s turbulent but highly<br />

prospective coast have found it hard going, even before they<br />

have begun to battle the elements.<br />

In September 2022, the Makhanda High Court set aside the<br />

Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE)’s decision<br />

to grant Shell an exploration permit to conduct seismic surveys off<br />

the Wild Coast, after extensive opposition from NGOs and inland<br />

communities. The court ruled the group had not taken relevant<br />

considerations into account or complied with the necessary legal<br />

steps. Shell and the DMRE were given leave to appeal.<br />

TotalEnergies, which faced concerted opposition to its<br />

plans to drill block 5/6/7 on the Cape coast, was granted an<br />

environmental authorisation on 2 October 2023. According to<br />

Reuters, Climate Justice Charter Movement said it would appeal<br />

because Minister Barbara Creecy’s decision was “irrational and<br />

ignores climate science”.<br />

TotalEnergies has another important application in the pipeline,<br />

to commence production on blocks 11B/12B which, if successful,<br />

could reinvigorate the Mossgas GTL complex, ailing parastatal<br />

PetroSA and the Southern Cape region. It could also alleviate the<br />

energy crisis by providing a baseload feedstock for gas-to-power<br />

projects. But in February, Engineering News reported that The Green<br />

Connection and Natural Justice, two civil society organisations,<br />

had opposed the granting of an environmental authorisation<br />

because of “significant and unacceptable” impacts.<br />

This opposition to the granting of permits, though they<br />

may not ultimately be successful, is costly for the IOCs and<br />

causes lengthy delays. A lot of this expense could be saved<br />

if the IOCs took lessons from the experience of South Africa’s<br />

mining companies in securing permits.<br />

Legislative framework<br />

Currently, the Mineral and Petroleum Resources<br />

Development Act (MPRDA) allows IOCs to apply for<br />

various permits, including exploration rights and<br />

production rights. Applications require, among<br />

others, environmental studies, as well as ensuring that<br />

consultations with all interested and affected parties have<br />

taken place. South Africa also has an Upstream Petroleum<br />

Resources Development Bill in the pipeline. The Bill has<br />

moved through public hearings and proposed amendments<br />

have been drafted. It is still being considered by the National<br />

Assembly. This Bill will provide for an integrated Exploration<br />

and Production Right and lays down the procedures that<br />

must be followed by applicants, including a publicparticipation<br />

process.<br />

Applications can be better handled<br />

IOCs have encountered increasing opposition to the granting of<br />

authorisations in various jurisdictions, but they cannot use a “one<br />

size fits all” approach in South Africa. The South African context<br />

brings its own peculiar challenges and applications would run<br />

more smoothly if IOCs prepared thoroughly, anticipated likely<br />

challenges and proactively and pre-emptively put plans in place<br />

to mitigate the risks. South African mining companies have learnt<br />

the hard way.<br />

For example, in respect of potentially impacted<br />

communities, early engagement is essential. In order to do<br />

this, a thorough stakeholder mapping and evaluation exercise<br />

is invaluable (on a local, regional and national basis). In<br />

conjunction with this, needs analyses can be undertaken and<br />

integrated development plans reviewed, with a view to better<br />

understanding impacted communities, their dynamics and<br />

their needs. With these in mind, an appropriate engagement<br />

plan can be developed that will bring all important players<br />

together to discuss real actions that will address issues of most<br />

concern to the impacted community.<br />

The approach should be one of listening and responding,<br />

not “top down” and paternalistic, to ensure that communities<br />

buy into the plans and take ownership of them. Once the<br />

community’s priorities are identified and agreed upon, the IOC<br />

can then proceed to collaboratively put in place solid structures<br />

that will implement these plans and deliver the promised<br />

benefits. This can be undertaken in conjunction with, or as<br />

part of, the requisite introduction of historically disadvantaged<br />

individuals into the rights.<br />

Although offshore oil exploration<br />

does not generate large numbers of<br />

direct jobs, IOCs can be the catalyst<br />

for the creation of enterprises that<br />

provide sustainable jobs that are<br />

not tied to the lifetime of the rights.<br />

Mining community structures, as<br />

we are seeing more and more,<br />

are not sustainable post mine<br />

closure and communities will<br />

need to be transitioned away from<br />

this dependency. IOCs have the<br />

opportunity to do things differently<br />

and to foster sustainability from the<br />

get-go. A collaborative approach<br />

by IOCs would deliver a<br />

better outcome for<br />

everyone.<br />

Bruce Dickinson, partner, Webber Wentzel<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 69


Learning from<br />

incredible success stories<br />

Petroleum Agency South Africa co-hosted the Southern African Oil and Gas Conference 2023.<br />

Executive Manager: Communications & Stakeholder Relations, Sibabalwenathi Magida, stresses<br />

the importance of sharing correct information about the county’s indigenous oil and gas<br />

resources so that they can be sustainably developed in a way that boosts the economy for all.<br />

How is the potential of the South African oil<br />

and gas sector viewed at the moment?<br />

We are observing a growing interest and positive support for<br />

the sustainable development of upstream oil and gas in South<br />

Africa. Research done before the conference showed an impressive<br />

increase in interest in attending this conference and extending it<br />

to more people. The discussions that were scheduled were seen as<br />

very informative and critical for more South Africans to understand.<br />

Why is this conference so important to<br />

Petroleum Agency South Africa?<br />

PASA has realised that it is practically impossible for most South<br />

Africans, especially aspirants in the sector and emerging oil and<br />

gas entrepreneurs, to attend the more expensive conferences<br />

which can cost up to R120 000. As conference hosts, DMRE, PASA<br />

and SAOGA deemed it important that we organise a similar<br />

conference that provides the same quality of information for the<br />

price of R3 500 per ticket, with free access for students studying<br />

the industry or interested in participating. This removes the<br />

affordability barrier and makes the conference accessible.<br />

Why was this year’s conference different?<br />

Each year, we evaluate the stakeholder concerns and structure our<br />

conference to address them. This year’s theme focused on “Oil and<br />

gas development to address Southern Africa’s energy challenges<br />

while ensuring a Just Energy Transition.” It is unfortunate that we<br />

find ourselves with an energy crisis in 2023 when the region is richly<br />

blessed with the biggest indigenous oil and gas resources that can<br />

transform our region into a significant oil and gas-producing area.<br />

We have enough to self-sustain and even export much-needed<br />

oil and gas. We wanted to bring new insight and to ensure that<br />

we observe what other countries are doing. We zoomed into the<br />

success case of Guyana, the fastest-growing economy in the world<br />

on the back of its oil and gas resources.<br />

We invited the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana,<br />

Professor Paloma Martin, a strategist and academic who<br />

contributed to modelling this incredible turnaround growth<br />

path for Guyana. They are doing it sustainably, growing the oil<br />

and gas sector and balancing socio-economic development and<br />

transformation imperatives.<br />

This is an incredible success story that we should learn from.<br />

The Guyanese economy continues to grow rapidly. This includes<br />

the unparalleled expansion of the oil sector, supported by the<br />

government’s modernisation plans. Following record real GDP<br />

growth in 2022 of 62.3%, real GDP is expected to grow in 2023 at<br />

38%. Banks are well-capitalised and liquid.They are implementing<br />

a fast-paced public-investment programme focused on providing<br />

transportation, housing, flood management infrastructure and<br />

raising human capital.<br />

The spillovers from the oil and construction sectors support<br />

growth in the services and supplies sectors, while agriculture,<br />

mining and quarrying are also performing well. It is a no-brainer<br />

that South Africa can do the same. We can no longer sit with high<br />

unemployment, poverty, inequality, lack of skills and growing<br />

despair and indignity when we are richly blessed with natural gas<br />

and oil resources. Our neighbours, Namibia, have decided to follow<br />

Guyana’s example and open Namibia for business. They work<br />

together as government, business, the oil and gas industry, civil<br />

society, the judiciary and academia with an inclusive approach.<br />

They are determined to make a positive change to the course<br />

of their economy and the social destiny of current and future<br />

generations.<br />

So you think South Africa should be learning<br />

those lessons from Guyana?<br />

In my culture, we say “Intaka yakha ngoboya benye” which means<br />

a bird builds its nest with the feathers of other birds.<br />

What are the opportunities and barriers in<br />

developing the upstream petroleum industry in<br />

South Africa and how are they being addressed?<br />

There has been a growing negative sentiment against oil and gas,<br />

which is based on ideological battles often presented as being<br />

concerned about environmental protection, lack of meaningful<br />

consultation and questions about what impact the oil and gas<br />

industry will have on ordinary South Africans to take them out of<br />

poverty, unemployment and exploitation by “foreign investors”.<br />

The conference hosts deemed it necessary to openly discuss how<br />

PASA conscientiously ensures that each licence application is<br />

subjected to rigorous evaluation processes that ensure compliance<br />

70 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


with legislative requirements, the MPRDA<br />

as well as NEMA, to ensure that they<br />

comply with the relevant environmental,<br />

economic and social requirements. It is<br />

also essential for us to lay the cards on the<br />

table about the very same violation of human<br />

rights, if we knowingly deprive South Africans<br />

of their right to access correct information, their<br />

human right of having access to clean energy, their<br />

human right to dignity, their human right to education<br />

and skills development and their human right to employment<br />

and economic development.<br />

What are PASA’s short-term goals as an organisation?<br />

While we continue with our mandate, we want to make sure<br />

that all our stakeholders have the correct information about the<br />

sustainable development of our indigenous oil and gas resource<br />

to support the recovery of our economy and contribute to:<br />

• security of energy supply, thus contributing to the diverse<br />

energy technologies<br />

• contributing to the fiscus<br />

• ensuring sustainable socioeconomic development and<br />

localisation<br />

Therefore, we want to focus on increasing our stakeholder<br />

education and awareness about the oil and gas industry. We<br />

want to correct the narrative and help South Africans decide on<br />

their future.<br />

Is the Upstream Petroleum Resources<br />

Development Bill (UPRD) viewed positively<br />

by industry participants and by PASA?<br />

I believe that the industry and PASA are looking forward to<br />

finalising the Bill, as that will bring much-needed stability and<br />

certainty to the industry. The industry needs certainty in the legal<br />

framework to make investment decisions with certainty. PASA also<br />

needs the same certainty to regulate more effectively.<br />

The Virginia gas project in the Free State has started commercial<br />

production. Credit: Renergen.<br />

What is the view of PASA on the progress of the<br />

Virginia gas project in the Free State?<br />

As the country's first onshore commercial project, the Virginia<br />

gas project is exciting. We are looking forward to seeing some<br />

of the opportunities the industry can provide to the country<br />

being realised through the project. The industry is still in its<br />

infancy in South Africa. By its nature, it is highly specialised and<br />

capital-intensive. This limits opportunities for local content and<br />

businesses and labour to participate and develop.<br />

These challenges are being partially addressed through the<br />

Social and Labour Plan (SLP) framework with the hope that as<br />

the industry grows, more opportunities will open up, as well as<br />

with the upcoming Bill, which proposes a local-content-policy<br />

framework to address these issues. The opportunities lie in the fact<br />

that this is a reasonably new industry with unexplored possibilities<br />

for the country’s growth and development.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 71


World-class hydrocarbon<br />

discoveries confirm potential<br />

Exciting offshore discoveries are not the only areas exciting interest, as David van<br />

der Spuy, Manager: Resource Evaluation Manager at PASA, explains. Biogenic,<br />

coal-bed methane and shale gas are all showing possibilities.<br />

How significant is it that TotalEnergies EP South Africa<br />

has informed PASA of its intention to produce?<br />

It is extremely significant and important to the industry. The<br />

discoveries made by TotalEnergies and its partners at the<br />

Brulpadda and Luiperd wells prove very large deposits and in<br />

terms of size, are the first “world-class” discoveries of hydrocarbons<br />

made in South Africa. The fact that the TotalEnergies partnership<br />

has applied for a Production Right confirms that industry is<br />

confident of the potential that South Africa holds. It is critical for<br />

the development to go ahead, not only because it will avert the<br />

closure of the gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Mossel Bay and the<br />

loss of 1 500 direct jobs, but also because of the economic effects<br />

this will have on the surrounding area. Moving forward depends<br />

on negotiations between the TotalEnergies partnership and gas<br />

offtake customers, in this case PetroSA and Eskom. The gas may<br />

also be used to fuel converted power plants at Gourikwa, Dedisa<br />

and Ankerlig and a new gas powerplant of 3 000MV could also be<br />

supported. This is only from the already proven reserves – further<br />

exploration in the area could increase this potential even further.<br />

It has been shown in Brazil through the GNA project that gas<br />

is critical in supporting the integration of renewables into the<br />

energy mix at large scale.<br />

Are companies doing exploration<br />

obliged to share information?<br />

Yes, all data and information produced through oil and gas<br />

exploration belongs to the state and is archived by the Petroleum<br />

Agency SA in its role as the national repository for such data.<br />

Besides this, explorers are required to report on their progress<br />

to our compliance and technical teams twice a year at least and<br />

share their interpretations and findings. We have built up good<br />

relationships with all our explorers and frequently hold joint<br />

technical workshops with many of them where data, interpretations<br />

and ideas regarding prospectivity are shared.<br />

How does the size and potential of the Block 5/6/7 off<br />

the West Coast compare with the southern Cape coast?<br />

The area under licence is bigger than the licence area of the south<br />

coast and in our opinion holds great potential. TotalEnergies and<br />

its partners have submitted a work programme for initial drilling<br />

of up to five exploration wells in the area.<br />

What is the significance of what Shell<br />

found at the Graff-1 well?<br />

The Graff, Jonker and further discoveries made by Shell north of<br />

South Africa’s border, together with the Venus discovery made by<br />

TotalEnergies, are extremely significant for South Africa. The vast<br />

majority of the Orange Basin lies in South African waters and our<br />

own internal interpretation of data as well as that of our explorers<br />

has highlighted similar prospectivity in the South African sector to<br />

that discovered in Namibia.<br />

Renergen has been attracting a lot of interest. Are<br />

there other parts of South Africa that might have<br />

the same potential as the Virginia Project?<br />

Renergen, through Tetra4, is developing a biogenic gas discovery.<br />

There are other types of unconventional gas onshore, such as<br />

coal-bed methane and shale gas. There is very good potential for<br />

onshore gas: for example, Kinetiko, a subsidiary of AfroEnergy, is<br />

making excellent progress in their determination of gas reserves<br />

in the area between Amersfoort, Volksrust and westwards towards<br />

Frankfort. They have already proven contingent reserves of 6TCF<br />

and have stated a further potential of almost the same amount<br />

across the acreage they hold. There are many active exploration<br />

rights onshore; some other examples include Thungela Resources,<br />

who have a reserve estimate of 1TCF in the Lephalale Basin and<br />

Panoro Energy, who are in the early stages of exploring for biogenic<br />

gas. Then there is the potential for shale gas in the south-central<br />

Karoo. The interpretation work by Petroleum Agency SA indicates<br />

a potential of 209TCF recoverable gas. Our basin-analysis studies<br />

of the area also show indications of potential for conventional<br />

deposits of both dry gas and wet gas in the area.<br />

72 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


A landmark event on<br />

the oil and gas and<br />

energy calendar<br />

The Chief Executive Officer of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance (SAOGA), Adrian Strydom, reflects<br />

on the third annual Southern African Oil and Gas Conference held in Cape Town in September 2023.<br />

Adrian Strydom,<br />


Was the SA Oil & Gas Conference well attended?<br />

The conference was very well attended. We have seen exponential<br />

growth over the three years since its inception in 2021. The growing<br />

interest is encouraging. We expect even greater numbers next year.<br />

SAOGC is fast becoming a landmark event on the oil and gas and<br />

energy calendar.<br />

Which sessions attracted the most interest?<br />

The winning factor is the superb content that was produced. This,<br />

with excellent speakers and brilliant facilitation by experienced<br />

programme directors resulted in a high-quality programme. We<br />

were fortunate to have had a look at Guyana as a new oil and gas<br />

country and its successful example of combining development,<br />

growth and respect for the environment. This was both popular<br />

and timeous. To hear first-hand about the successes of oil and<br />

gas exploration programmes in the Southern African region was<br />

another hit with conference participants.<br />

Was there any discussion at conference about<br />

whether the public participation process is<br />

adequate (given recent court cases)?<br />

The general sense is that more work needs to be done to engage<br />

and communicate adequately with affected communities in<br />

particular and the public in general, to provide credible information<br />

about oil and gas exploration.<br />

What conclusions were drawn by the panel<br />

discussion on what impact the Just Energy<br />

Transition will have on the oil and gas industry?<br />

We heard that the Just Energy Transition is real. That Africa is<br />

unique in terms of its context and energy needs and that this<br />

should be noted. The Just Energy Transition is by definition a<br />

process and not an event. South Africa is under-explored for oil<br />

and gas. We are importing oil and gas products at huge cost. The<br />

cost of loadshedding to our economy is exorbitant. Against the<br />

background of poverty, energy poverty and joblessness this is<br />

irresponsible, to say the least.<br />

Are technologies being developed to help<br />

the industry achieve net zero?<br />

We are in a unique position to derive benefit from lessons learnt<br />

from the technological successes and mistakes made globally.<br />

More work needs to be done to intentionally aggregate global<br />

learnings and to make sure we adapt these to our local context.<br />

South African universities are well placed to play a leading role<br />

here. Watch this space.<br />

What is the view of industry participants about the<br />

potential of the oil and gas sector in SA generally?<br />

Despite the slow progress South Africa is making compared to<br />

neighbouring countries like Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and<br />

Angola, industry players are relatively positive about South African<br />

potentiality. We were, however, warned that there is a limited<br />

window of opportunity to optimise oil and gas exploration and<br />

production in South Africa.<br />

Is the Upstream Petroleum Resources Development<br />

(UPRD) Bill viewed positively by industry participants?<br />

The general sense is that extensive consultation was done.<br />

The final product is generally welcomed, with some concern<br />

from industry participants that the attractiveness to investors<br />

could be improved.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 73


NJM Heat Treatment &<br />

NDE Services - meeting<br />

and exceeding customer<br />

expectations<br />

Committed to excellence, empowerment and transformation, a skilled technical<br />

team is backed by a vastly experienced management group.<br />

Established in 2009, NJM Heat Treatment & NDE Services<br />

is a 100% South African-owned business headquartered<br />

in Gauteng. NJM is a leading provider of heat treatment<br />

services and non-destructive examination to a wide range<br />

of industries, including oil and gas, mining, petrochemical and<br />

pipelines. The company also works on power-generation plants<br />

and manufacturing plants within South Africa and internationally.<br />

Management team<br />

Our management team, with 30-plus years of diverse industrial<br />

experience, boasts a proven track record of success. Alongside<br />

competitive pricing, we offer the leadership and technical<br />

expertise to excel in our operations, exceeding client expectations.<br />

B-BBEE Level 1<br />

As a B-BBEE Level 1, 51% black women-owned company, we<br />

are committed to promoting economic empowerment and<br />

transformation in South Africa. We believe in creating opportunities<br />

for historically disadvantaged individuals and are proud to be<br />

contributing to the growth and development of our country.<br />

Heat Treatment Services<br />

Annealing<br />

Electrical<br />

Gas combustion<br />

Hardening<br />

Normalising<br />

Pre-weld<br />

Refractory dry-out<br />

Stress relieving<br />

Tempering<br />

Non-Destructive<br />

Examination Services<br />

Conventional NDE<br />

Delta ferrite<br />

Hardness<br />

Liquid penetrant<br />

Magnetic particle<br />

Positive material inspection<br />

Surface etching<br />

Ultrasonic<br />

Vacuum box<br />

Our commitment to quality<br />

At NJM Heat Treatment & NDE Services, we are committed to<br />

delivering the highest-quality service to our clients. To achieve<br />

this, we have established a ISO 9001:2008 Management System<br />

which outlines our capacity to meet customer needs and exceed<br />

their expectations. We are currently working towards achieving<br />

certification of ISO 9001:2015, which focuses on a process-driven<br />

approach to quality management, as well as ISO 17020:2012<br />

which is based on the principles of impartiality, independence<br />

and confidentiality.<br />

Experienced technicians<br />

Our team of experienced and certified technicians use the latest<br />

technology and techniques to ensure the highest level of quality<br />

and conformity in all our services. (see table)<br />

Temporary furnaces<br />

Wall thickness<br />

Specialised NDE<br />

3D laser mapping; Phased-array ultrasonic; Radiographic; Tank<br />

floor; Guided ultrasonic inspection; C-scan mapping.<br />

Training<br />

NJM has embarked on a training initiative to up-skill, retrain and<br />

encourage new potential heat-treatment specialists in the South<br />

African market. As a professional heat-treatment service provider, it<br />

is our duty to ensure the best service is given to our clients by using<br />

the latest equipment and the most knowledgeable personnel. To<br />

achieve these goals a serious and hard look had to be given to the<br />

overall quality of heat-treatment technicians who fundamentally<br />

74 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


represent the heat-treatment industry in our country. Management<br />

identified significant areas where improvement was necessary<br />

and a level training system was developed. This was done in<br />

conjunction with an independent training school (UTC), and<br />

it enabled NJM to set a suitable standard that could holistically<br />

improve the quality of service our clients deserve.<br />

In 2022 NJM embarked on an initiative with Sasol, one of our<br />

major clients. Initially we trained up 20 existing technicians which<br />

in turn accelerated their continuous training and qualification<br />

programmes. All of NJM’s heat-treatment technicians were trained,<br />

retrained and qualified using the syllabus and training programme.<br />

This programme is in a constant state of flux as reassessment is<br />

done annually, thus providing improved awareness in the various<br />

techniques employed.<br />

Expansion<br />

NJM recently opened a branch in the Western Cape, located<br />

within the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ)<br />

Access Building from where we will serve the Western Cape and its<br />

surrounding area. This strategic initiative provides us the necessary<br />

infrastructure, along with a vast number of opportunities that will<br />

enhance our visibility and networking in the area aligned with<br />

our strategic objectives. We intend to be a major team player and<br />

partner within the IDZ in support and development of Western<br />

Cape businesses and skills. We recently embarked on an initiative<br />

where we trained 16 heat-treatment technicians (six from Cape<br />

Town and 10 from SBIDZ) via UTC, a Heat Treatment MERSETA<br />

training provider. NJM employed these students and provided an<br />

opportunity for them to earn a salary during their 200 hours of<br />

practical training at the Sasol Secunda Plant for the duration of<br />

that company’s shutdown.<br />

Contact Details<br />

Philly Le Roux, Operations Manager<br />

Tel: +27 82 451 8795<br />

Email: philly@njm-htd.co.za<br />

Company address: Unit 2, Greenway Park, Cnr Sam Green Road and<br />

Flower Close, Tunney, Germiston<br />

Postal address: PO Box 144, Bedfordview 2008<br />

Tel: +27 11 392 6662<br />

Email: info@njm-htd.co.za<br />

Website: www.njm-ht-ndt.co.za<br />

Commercial Director<br />

Vanessa Chungu is the Commercial Director, member of<br />

the board and shareholder in NJM Heat Treatment & NDE<br />

Services, a position she has held since 2018.<br />

In her role, Vanessa oversees administration, internal<br />

marketing, strategic planning, client relationships,<br />

supplier and client contracts, lease agreements and<br />

sub-contractor agreements and the tender selection<br />

and submission process. She is also a member of the<br />

company’s employment equity committee.<br />

Vanessa is tasked with ensuring that the company<br />

maintains its organisational and supplier requirements<br />

and remains compliant. In the past 12 months, Vanessa<br />

has witnessed how perception carries more weight<br />

than reality when challenges arise. This has seen her<br />

prioritising brand and reputation management and<br />

communicating purposefully with stakeholders.<br />

As the first woman to be appointed to the executive<br />

team, she brings fresh and diverse perspectives,<br />

experiences and skills to the team and the business as a<br />

whole. A perfectionist, Vanessa pays attention to detail<br />

and is an expert communicator. She is a firm but fair<br />

leader and is always willing to listen and learn.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 75


Investing for<br />

generational impact<br />

Abdu-Rahman Abrahams Co-Head: Hybrid Equity, a division of Old Mutual Alternative Investments,<br />

shares his experience of a funding model that leaves a legacy for future generations.<br />

The socio-economic challenges facing South Africa remain<br />

stark. According to StatsSA, South Africa’s youth continues<br />

to bear the burden of unemployment, with more than<br />

60% of those aged 15-24 currently unemployed and more<br />

than 40% of those aged 25-34 years.<br />

Over the last two decades, global and local economic shocks<br />

have put the South African economy on the back foot. The 2008/09<br />

global financial crisis caused our first recession in 20 years, and ever<br />

since, economic growth has been meagre to moderate at best.<br />

Notwithstanding our emergence from the 2021 recession<br />

caused by the Covid-19 crisis, South Africa’s economy still isn’t<br />

growing fast enough. The significant challenges we face are the<br />

energy crisis, rising inflation, rising interest rates and a weakening<br />

domestic exchange rate.<br />

In this context, fortunately, investors are no longer only<br />

concerned about the profit motive but also about the impact their<br />

investments can make in addressing socio-economic challenges<br />

that continue to affect the youth. This realisation has led to<br />

investors’ commitment to impact investing, which focuses on<br />

generating measurable, beneficial social or environmental effects,<br />

such as job creation and a financial return.<br />

Taking the idea further is the need for generational impact<br />

investing, which focuses on long-term, sustainable changes that<br />

will benefit future generations. Generational impact investing takes<br />

a longer view, focusing on investments that will have a lasting,<br />

positive impact over multiple generations, such as infrastructure<br />

and job creation. One of the investment vehicles proving its impact<br />

capability to address challenges such as economic transformation,<br />

youth job creation and access to information, for example, are<br />

alternative investments such as hybrid equity.<br />

Heeding the lessons learned<br />

This success over the past two decades is testimony that the hybrid<br />

equity funding model works and shows that B-BBEE can be done<br />

effectively and profitably for all stakeholders. The achievements<br />

are critical to creating sustained impact.<br />

Many of our investments are B-BBEE transactions where black<br />

industrialists or woman groupings have been funded to buy equity<br />

in established businesses. Alternatively, we have supported blackowned<br />

enterprises to grow through acquisitions or capital to grow<br />

the existing business to a much bigger scale. Below are some of<br />

the lessons we have learned over the past two decades that can<br />

be applied to the next decade, to invest for generational impact.<br />

Lesson 1: Mitigate risk<br />

With volatility and risk always present in markets, it is crucial<br />

that downside protection is incorporated into the investment<br />

strategy to protect investors from capital loss. To reduce risk, we<br />

have developed the expertise and capacity to select investments<br />

with excellent cash flow predictability in very defensive<br />

industries. Among the preferred sectors are infrastructure,<br />

telecommunications, food processing and financial services, as<br />

well as others which have proven resilient in the face of volatile<br />

economic cycles.<br />

Hybrid Equity has sourced, structured, invested, managed and<br />

exited transactions across multiple sectors and capital structures<br />

through various economic cycles.<br />

Lesson 2: Robust business selection<br />

Having an integrated environmental, social and governance (ESG)<br />

unit that’s embedded in the team and part of the decision-making<br />

process, our due diligence process goes beyond just financial<br />

diligence, lending itself to a far more robust due diligence and<br />

selection process. Among our various criteria, a key requirement<br />

is that the businesses we choose must have been operating<br />

successfully for several years; have an experienced management<br />

team in place; have a good performance record; have a high<br />

demand for products that are good for the environment; and be<br />

sustainable in the communities that they operate in.<br />

Our R150-million investment into Enable Capital, a short-term<br />

funder that uses innovative technology as a distribution platform,<br />

is a good example. It provides short-term funding solutions to small<br />

subcontractors who operate in the fibre Internet industry and have<br />

contracts with fibre companies like Vumatel or Metrofibre.<br />

In considering Enable Capital, Hybrid Equity identified that it<br />

had a sound business model; its team had adopted a hands-on<br />

approach and deeply entrenched relationships with its client base.<br />

Often these contractors needed help accessing funding<br />

from traditional sources to fund their execution of capital and<br />

labour-intensive infrastructure projects for their clients. However,<br />

through this investment, Enable has funded many small black<br />

subcontractors to ensure they have the necessary cash flow to run<br />

and grow their businesses. Many of these are young entrepreneurs.<br />

Lesson 3: Add value<br />

As a shareholder, we play an indirect advisory role to the company’s<br />

management on how to grow the business, which assists in<br />

76 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Digital infrastructure has<br />

a long-lasting impact that<br />

goes beyond one generation.<br />

Credit: Lars Kienle on Unsplash<br />

driving a return on investment.<br />

This sets the model apart<br />

from traditional loan funding.<br />

Our advice provides insights<br />

into other industries on capital<br />

structure and lending, bolt-on<br />

investments and how to manage<br />

their treasury. We also contribute<br />

to elements such as governance<br />

and human resources strategy and<br />

formalise ESG data collection, analysis<br />

and continuous monitoring, helping<br />

make companies better.<br />

An example of this success is<br />

evident in the deal concluded in 2021 to<br />

fund the empowerment partner in the<br />

telecoms group MetroFibre Networks.<br />

This deal expanded MetroFibre’s<br />

empowerment credentials and assisted in<br />

its R3-billion capital expansion plan, allowing it to roll out fibre<br />

Internet infrastructure to more parts of the country. It increased<br />

access to more affordable broadband services to more South<br />

African households.<br />

Lesson 4: Focus on impact<br />

Once the investment is secured, we focus on its impact.<br />

Shareholders that we’ve funded would sit on the boards<br />

of these companies. They would also drive transformation<br />

on the ground in that business from a board level. We can<br />

therefore track the status around gender equality, job<br />

creation and demographics of staff, governance and social<br />

responsibility in the businesses that we have invested in over<br />

set timeframes. The Enable Capital transaction, for example,<br />

has fast-tracked the delivery of tangible fibre Internet access<br />

to low-income households. It also resulted in job creation<br />

across the board, helped to build sustainable businesses and<br />

economic transformation.<br />

Impactful enterprises combine their passion with good ideas<br />

that empower the nation through technological advancement,<br />

job creation, infrastructure, critical goods and services, and social<br />

and environmental benefits. The South African and international<br />

and local investment community would do well to heed similar<br />

lessons to leave a legacy for future generations.<br />

Abdu-Rahman Abrahams<br />

Co-Head: Hybrid Equity<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 77


The funding struggle<br />

Cerina Bezuidenhout, co-founder and COO of Future Females Empowerment<br />

Initiatives, lays out the facts about women and inequitable financing, based on<br />

research done in South Africa and four other countries by the organisation.<br />

According to a report published by the International<br />

Financial Corporation (IFC) in 2019, South Africa had<br />

a $49-billion unmet financing demand for female<br />

founders, making it evident that there is a massive<br />

female-founder financing gap. This disparity often leads to low<br />

growth margins for female-founded businesses as they rely on<br />

alternative sources of funding.<br />

For that specific reason, Future Females Empowerment<br />

Initiatives, in partnership the International Tech Hub Network, a<br />

UK government initiative, conducted research on “Why Female<br />

Founders are Still Not Raising Financing Equitably in 2023”.<br />

The overall research, which consisted of surveys with<br />

open-ended and multiple-choice questions, was conducted<br />

with Tech Hubs in five locations: South Africa, Brazil, Kenya,<br />

Indonesia and Nigeria.<br />

Three important questions were identified:<br />

1. What is the current financing gap for female founders globally?<br />

2. What are the barriers faced by female founders in raising<br />

funding?<br />

3. Why have the existing interventions that target these barriers<br />

been unsuccessful?<br />

The survey revealed that female founders across the five<br />

countries are mainly bootstrapping their businesses to keep<br />

them operational and have raised an average of less than $10 000<br />

to date. Furthermore, 95% of female founders are still actively<br />

looking for funding but most of them struggle with identifying<br />

the funding opportunities available and how to connect with<br />

these opportunities. Plus, they are unfamiliar with the fundraising<br />

process and its requirements.<br />

There is a wide gap between the current form of business<br />

financing that female founders use and the type of funding they<br />

need to grow their businesses. The survey data yields extensive<br />

insight into the amount of funding raised to date across business<br />

stages, and the various sectors in which female founders operate.<br />

Key findings<br />

The research identified the following key reasons that inform the<br />

funding gap that female founders face in South Africa:<br />

• Lack of comprehension of the fundraising process: Only 19.5%<br />

of the female founders surveyed reported confidence in their<br />

ability to go through the fundraising process. (This number rises<br />

to 46% of questioned candidates in Kenya.) All other founders<br />

surveyed indicate needing help with the fundraising process,<br />

from grant-proposal writing to pitching, with 30% saying that<br />

they can’t go through the process by themselves.<br />

• Lack of information on investors: There is a gap in information<br />

about the funding opportunities available to female founders<br />

and the types of investors to approach. 42.1% of female founders<br />

report they do not know relevant investors to approach (an<br />

increase of 29.4% from Brazil). In the same vein, 39.6% report<br />

that they choose to stick with their current form of funding<br />

because they do not know how to access any other form of<br />

funding although a high percentage (91.8%) would welcome it.<br />

• Experienced gender bias: Though there is no explicit evidence<br />

of gender bias in our survey, 71.7% of South African female<br />

founders interviewed for the report said that they feel the<br />

fundraising process is more difficult because they are women.<br />

(This is higher than that of Indonesia where 45.6% feel this is<br />

a factor.) Overall, 13.2% say that the biggest challenge is that<br />

investors do not take them seriously.<br />

It is clear that female founders face big challenges globally in<br />

raising funding, especially when it comes to being educated on<br />

the funding process since a big gap for educational programmes<br />

persists. The series, consisting of a white paper for each of the five<br />

participating countries, includes insights on the current funding<br />

needs of female entrepreneurs, how these are or are not matching<br />

the funding that is available in the market, commentary around<br />

"the gap", and why previous interventions failed to close this gap.<br />

Thereafter it provides solutions to target these shortfalls and<br />

how female founders can draw on the resources available to<br />

78 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


them, requiring a multi-dimensional approach. This undertaking<br />

integrates female founders, startups and/or SME enablers such<br />

as incubators, accelerators and investors. The integration allows<br />

for information on funding opportunities to flow freely between<br />

investors and female founders, with enablers working as binding<br />

agents that train them on the fundraising processes and facilitating<br />

investor-founder matchmaking.<br />

After receiving repeated feedback about funding from our<br />

community, we were very excited to finally explore why, after so<br />

many efforts from the entrepreneurial ecosystem, there is still a<br />

gap between male and female funding. We are delighted to share<br />

the findings with everyone, and specifically the key players in the<br />

field, the startup enablers, the entrepreneurs themselves, and the<br />

different funders such as banks, grant originators and investors.<br />

May everyone who reads this feel they know better now how to<br />

close this gap. Future Females vouch, as an education platform,<br />

that we will support women and work with partners to educate<br />

women in the fundraising process, and we are happy to work with<br />

any partner who shares this goal.<br />

You can access the full white paper series on “Why Female Founders<br />

are Still Not Raising Financing Equitably in 2023”:<br />

https://join.futurefemales.co/fundinggapwhitepaper?r_done=1<br />

About Future Females<br />

Future Females is a movement that exists to increase the number<br />

of and support the success of female entrepreneurs globally. We<br />

provide a space digitally, physically and emotionally where women<br />

can connect, inspire and collaborate with each other and access<br />

the resources they need to succeed.<br />

through our structured training programmes across the<br />

world including Brazil, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Indonesia,<br />

Mozambique, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Namibia.<br />

About UK-International Tech Hub Network<br />

The International Tech Hub Network is a UK-government initiative<br />

delivered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport<br />

as part of the Digital Access Programme. It aims to catalyse more<br />

inclusive, affordable, safe and secure digital access for excluded<br />

and underserved communities in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa,<br />

Brazil and Indonesia.<br />

Survey key points:<br />

• Due to lack of financing 57% of South African femaleowned<br />

businesses reinvest their profits into their<br />

company, which effects capital and growth potential<br />

• Nearly all, 91.8%, of business owners have at one stage<br />

actively tried to seek funding<br />

• Only 5.7% of female-owned businesses received funding<br />

from loans or grants<br />

• 71.7% of women surveyed say that they have experienced<br />

a perceived gender bias<br />

About Future Females Empowerment Initiatives<br />

Future Females Empowerment Initiatives exist to support<br />

the development of female entrepreneurs globally. We drive<br />

this empowerment through the digital skills development,<br />

interpersonal support and entrepreneurial activation of women,<br />

Credit: christina@wocintechat on Unsplash<br />

Cerina Bezuidenhout<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 79


Consumer Goods and Services<br />

Ombud celebrates 10 years<br />

Queen Munyai is CEO of the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud (CGSO). She reflects<br />

on how the CGSO has grown beyond all recognition since its founding 10 years ago,<br />

with a current retail footprint of 23 517 stores and outlets across South Africa.<br />

Biography<br />

Queen joined the Consumer Goods and Services Ombud in<br />

2013 as GM: Corporate Services. In 2018, she was appointed<br />

Chief Executive Officer of the CGSO after acting in that position<br />

for a year. An accountant by profession, Queen’s interest in<br />

consumer affairs began when she took on the Internal Audit<br />

and Compliance Officer role for the Consumer Goods Council<br />

of South Africa. Before joining the CGCSA, Queen worked<br />

as a financial consultant to public and private sector clients<br />

specialising in finance, internal audit and compliance. Before<br />

that, she worked for 12 years in financial services, first with<br />

Standard Bank and later at Momentum.<br />

Queen holds a Master of Business Administration from the<br />

University of South Wales and a BCom (Financial Accounting)<br />

from the University of Pretoria, a Forensic and Investigative<br />

Auditing programme and a postgraduate programme in<br />

Advanced Taxation from the University of South Africa<br />

(UNISA). She is a member of the South African Institute of<br />

Professional Accountants (SAIPA) and the Institute of Directors<br />

South Africa (IoDSA).<br />

Queen Munyai, CEO, CGSO<br />

What is the mandate of the CGSO?<br />

Our mandate is to facilitate the mediation of complaints that arise<br />

between consumers and suppliers, where a consumer is unhappy<br />

with the resolution by the supplier.<br />

Is it only consumers who can complain, or do you<br />

play a role with retailers and suppliers as well?<br />

Consumers and suppliers whose annual revenue is below<br />

R2-million can submit their complaints.<br />

What sort of skills does the office of the<br />

CGSO have, and need to have?<br />

Different skills in different departments are needed. For complaints<br />

handling we have a call centre where staff with good customerservice<br />

training and the ability to speak different languages handle<br />

the incoming calls. Among our administrators and adjudicators<br />

some have paralegal training. The majority are LLB graduates and<br />

others are admitted attorneys.<br />

Why is the Annual Report of CGSO such an important event?<br />

• We operate under the industry Code of Conduct which was<br />

promulgated by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition<br />

in 2015. In terms of this Code, we are required to compile a<br />

report which includes complaints type, businesses complained<br />

about, type and frequency of complaints, time taken to deal with<br />

complaints and types of sanctions imposed.<br />

• We are a public-benefit organisation; therefore, part of our<br />

mandate is to raise the standards of good conduct in the<br />

industry which we do through consumer awareness and<br />

supplier education.<br />

• The report plays a role in creating awareness among both<br />

consumers and suppliers.<br />

Has the CGSO been achieving clean audits? What underpins<br />

such achievements?<br />

Our expertise, our culture of accountability and our strong<br />

governance structures have ensured that we have maintained a<br />

80 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


good record. We are governed by the Board of Directors, comprising<br />

different skills sets and with representation from industry players,<br />

including retailers, manufacturers, industry associations, consumer<br />

bodies and independent directors.<br />

What have been highlights in the CGSO’s 10-year history?<br />

Since the Industry Code of Conduct was promulgated in 2015,<br />

our small but dedicated team has fielded over 200 000 queries,<br />

closed over 70 000 complaints, and, in the three years since we<br />

began keeping track of the quantum involved, facilitated refunds<br />

to the value of some R32-million. We have grown from humble<br />

beginnings, with 24 participants to 1 356 participating suppliers<br />

at group level, representing a retail footprint of 23 517 stores and<br />

outlets across South Africa. All major retailers and manufacturers<br />

are on board. The resolution of a five-year legal battle that started<br />

in 2017, where some industry suppliers were challenging our<br />

lawfulness, the process followed in promulgating the Code and<br />

our powers to levy fees.<br />

The idea of an ombud was new to SA in 1993. Has<br />

the country now embraced the concept?<br />

Consumer awareness has grown and the industry players and<br />

suppliers are continuing to sign up. However, there is still more<br />

to be done. The disappointing fact is that we still have industry<br />

players who are still not signed up, despite it being compulsory to<br />

do so. The Code applies to all participants unless they are regulated<br />

elsewhere by other public regulation. This Code is prescribed by<br />

the Minister in terms of Section 82 of the Consumer Protection<br />

Act (CPA) and/or where a complaint falls within the jurisdiction of<br />

an Ombud with Jurisdiction, or an industry ombud accredited in<br />

terms of section 82(6) of the CPA.<br />


Did you know? That If you manufacture, distribute, market or sell goods & services that are covered by the Consumer Protection<br />

Act, you are required to comply with the Consumer Goods and Services Industry Code of conduct. In terms of this code it<br />

is mandatory to register with CGSO and avoid reputational damage that arises from not addressing consumer complaints.<br />

WHO WE ARE?<br />

The Consumer Goods and Services Ombud is an impartial, independent dispute resolution scheme established in 2013 in<br />

terms of section 82(6) of the Consumer Protection Act(CPA) to mediate dispute and ensure that industry players abide by the<br />

Consumer Goods and Services Industry Code of Conduct.<br />

TO SIGN UP<br />

Visit the CGSO website https://www.cgso.za/cgso/register/: to register online or download the application: Fill out the<br />

application form and attach proof of turnover/Revenue when you return the form. This information is mandatory and will be<br />

kept confidential. For more information please call us on 011 781 2607.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 81


Looking out for<br />

bank customers<br />

Reana Steyn, CEO and Ombudsman for Banking Services, is proud that OBS has assisted<br />

thousands of customers—at no cost to the consumer—and recovered millions<br />

of rands, but she warns banking clients to be vigilant against scamsters.<br />

What is a bank customer to do if she feels hard done<br />

by? Is there any recourse if trying to lodge an<br />

objection or complaints have fallen on deaf ears or<br />

if the helpline is being particularly unhelpful?<br />

There is recourse for South African banking consumers. The name<br />

has changed a few times since the Ombud for the banking industry<br />

was set up in 1997, but the Ombudsman for Banking Services today<br />

is a strong and vital part of the financial sector’s architecture.<br />

Reana Steyn, who has held the office of CEO and Ombudsman<br />

for Banking Services since 2017, stresses that the primary role of<br />

her office is “to provide recourse to the aggrieved customers by<br />

putting things right”.<br />

The word “ombudsman” has its origins in Scandinavia and is<br />

linked to the idea of being a representative or proxy for someone<br />

else. In the case of the South Africa office of the Ombudsman for<br />

Banking Services (OBS), this means receiving, investigating and<br />

resolving complaints between banks and their customers relating<br />

to advice, services or products provided to them by the bank. This<br />

only applies to banks that are members of the Banking Association<br />

of South Africa (BASA).<br />

Says Steyn, “Any bank customer who has suffered a loss as a<br />

result of the bank’s mistake, negligence or maladministration or<br />

if the bank has violated a customer’s rights, abused its powers or<br />

made a decision that the customer believes is unfair, the customer<br />

can report the transgression to us.”<br />

Credit: wayhomestudio on Freepik<br />

What the ombud does not do<br />

The OBS cannot assist if a complaint involves the following:<br />

• a bank’s commercial decision about lending or credit,<br />

interest rates or bank charges, unless there has been<br />

maladministration on the part of the bank<br />

• a matter that would more appropriately be dealt with<br />

by a court of law or another dispute resolution process<br />

• a matter which is or has been the subject of litigation,<br />

subject to certain exceptions<br />

• an act or omission which occurred more than three years<br />

prior to the date when the complaint was lodged with<br />

the Ombud. The period of three years commences on the<br />

date on which the complainant became aware, or ought<br />

reasonably to have become aware, of such occurrence,<br />

whichever occurs first<br />

• a claim that has become prescribed by law<br />

The OBSSA is not a court of law, but it can and does, reports<br />

Steyn, act as “an alternative dispute resolution body, which,<br />

free of charge, assists bank customers resolve their queries with<br />

the banks”.<br />

The first objective is to ensure that, where there was<br />

wrongdoing on the part of the bank and the customer suffered<br />

loss as a result, the customer is put in a position he/she would<br />

have been in had there been no wrongdoing by the bank.<br />

But the OBS can impose sanctions. As Steyn says, “We also have<br />

authority to impose a distress and inconvenience award of up to<br />

R50 000.” The amount imposed would depend on the merits of<br />

each case. The intention, notes Steyn, is neither “to enrich the<br />

customer or punish the bank” but to ensure that mistakes are<br />

corrected and where possible, avoided in the future.<br />

Ombud services are free<br />

“We have assisted thousands of customers and recovered millions<br />

of rands for customers,” reports Steyn. In many cases the people<br />

who were helped would not have been able to afford to take the<br />

banks to court.<br />

82 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


“Our successes are published as case summaries in our annual<br />

report, website and press releases with the aim of providing<br />

awareness of our services to the South African banking public.<br />

The case studies also serve to warn the public of the prevalent<br />

scams that they may fall victim to as well as alert them of the<br />

unethical practices from the banks should we identify them,”<br />

adds Steyn.<br />

The independence of the OBS is carefully protected. The<br />

board of the OBS has a majority of directors who are unrelated<br />

to banking and it is that board that appoints the Ombud. Steyn<br />

is clear on the importance of independence: “For any Ombud to<br />

acquire the trust of the community that it serves, it must not only<br />

profess to be independent but must be seen by the community<br />

it is established to assist as being independent.”<br />

The OBS employs admitted attorneys with work experience due<br />

to the legal nature of the work done as well as the professional<br />

services that are offered to South Africans who ordinarily would<br />

not be able to afford to pay for a lawyer.<br />

The staff are expected to possess good ethics, fairness,<br />

good communication skills, be hardworking, team players,<br />

nonjudgmental and have the ability to remain neutral in conflictresolution<br />

situations.<br />

What to watch for<br />

In terms of volumes of complaints to the OBS, fraud normally<br />

provides the highest number. This is followed by service-related<br />

complaints, maladministration and complaints relating to bank<br />

customers being debt stressed.<br />

Steyn is acutely aware of what the country’s scamsters are up<br />

to and cautions, “South Africans should be wary of the phishing,<br />

vishing and smishing scams. These involve the fraudsters sending<br />

deceptive emails (phishing), SMS messages (smishing), or making<br />

phone calls pretending to be from the bank or some other<br />

legitimate organisation or service provider (vishing). Victims are<br />

requested to insert their Internet banking passwords and PINs<br />

into the links sent to them via emails or SMSs purporting to be<br />

from the bank or tricked into sharing their bank card numbers<br />

and/or OTPs as part of a verification process or by claiming that<br />

there is an urgent need for it.“ Unfortunately, the victims fall for the<br />

scam and unwittingly reveal their confidential banking details and<br />

discover once their accounts have been depleted that they were<br />

being defrauded.”<br />

Other scams to watch for are where the fraudsters call their<br />

victims pretending to be from the bank. They then inform the<br />

victims of an alleged fraud taking place in their accounts and<br />

convince them to provide their Internet banking access details.<br />

They then log onto the account of the victim and transfer the funds<br />

into their accounts under the pretext that the funds are being<br />

moved to safety.<br />

The other big one to be wary of, says Steyn, is, “SIM swapping<br />

fraud, where the fraudsters deceive the victim's mobile service<br />

provider and get a new SIM card with the victim's phone number.<br />

With the victim's incoming calls and messages now diverted<br />

to the fraudster's device, they can intercept OTPs and gain<br />

unauthorised access to the victim's online accounts or perform<br />

fraudulent transactions.”<br />

South Africans are advised to remain vigilant and to be aware<br />

that no bank or legitimate organisation will ever send a<br />

customer link requesting them to provide their confidential<br />

banking details, nor would they ever call a customer and<br />

request their confidential details.<br />

Contact details<br />

OBS Call Centre: 0860 800 900<br />

Email: info@obssa.co.za<br />

Whatsapp: +27 66 473 0157<br />

Website: www.obssa.co.za<br />

Reana Steyn, CEO and Ombudsman for Banking Services.<br />

Biography<br />

Before Reana’s appointment as Ombudsman for Banking<br />

Services in 2017, she held positions such as the Deputy<br />

Ombud at the Office of the Credit Ombud, Senior Manager<br />

in the Regulatory and Compliance services division at KPMG<br />

and legal advisor for the National Credit Regulator as well<br />

as for a leading insurance company. Reana holds BCom<br />

(Law) and LLB degrees and is an admitted attorney, having<br />

spent about nine years of her career at the international<br />

firm of Norton Rose Fulbright, specialising in matters<br />

as diverse as aviation and medical negligence. This was<br />

followed by a further decade specialising in insurance<br />

law. She also currently holds the position of Chair of<br />

the International Network of Financial Ombudsman.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 83


Improving the quality of life<br />

by investing in communities<br />

The Rand Water Foundation has an admirable track record of work on school ablution facilities,<br />

the clearing of alien vegetation, food gardening, water harvesting and sanitation.<br />

The Zuurbekom Clinic has received upgrades as part of the "Rand Water Cares" programme.<br />

The United Nations has adopted a resolution recognising<br />

social investment as a driver of inclusive and sustainable<br />

economies. The resolution calls on all member states to<br />

promote social economy through national, regional and<br />

local strategies, policies and programmes.<br />

The resolution further stipulates that to unlock the<br />

potential of a social economy, there is a dire need for public<br />

support and private investment. In a country where most of its<br />

citizens are living below the poverty lines, businesses in South<br />

Africa should embrace Corporate Social Investment (CSI) as<br />

an effective mechanism to improve the living conditions of<br />

ordinary people. Rand Water Foundation (RWF), a legal entity<br />

of Rand Water, was established in 2003 as a way to reach the<br />

underprivileged and to improve the lives of our communities<br />

in the Rand Water service area. Since then, the organisation has<br />

performed exceptionally well. The RWF’s mandate is to carry<br />

out social responsibility initiatives on behalf of Rand Water<br />

to display its good corporate citizenship. Since its inception, it<br />

has accomplished several community-based projects. Some of<br />

those that have been accomplished include, but are not limited<br />

to, refurbishment of school ablution facilities, clearing of alien<br />

vegetation, food gardening, water harvesting, repairment of<br />

domestic water leaks and the eradication of the bucket system<br />

in certain areas.<br />

The RWF was registered in terms of the Companies<br />

Act 71 of 2008 and its responsibility are as follows:<br />

• Promote the delivery of water-related services to communities<br />

within and outside Rand Water’s areas of supply<br />

• Coordinate, administer and manage Rand Water’s CSI resources,<br />

undertaking community development projects in partnership<br />

with donors and relevant stakeholders<br />

• Spearhead strategic development role that may require decisive<br />

contributions to Rand Water’s socio-economic imperatives,<br />

the developmental priorities of the Department of Water and<br />

Sanitation and the government’s broader objectives<br />

In terms of governance, the RWF operates under the auspices of<br />

a Board of Directors, which oversees and determines strategic<br />

direction for the organisation to ensure it exercises prudent<br />

control over its affairs. Its mission is to strategically utilise<br />

Rand Water’s CSI resources to advance the quality of life in<br />

communities and their surrounds through sustainable provision<br />

of water and sanitation solutions.<br />

Addressing development<br />

Currently, the RWF is implementing a wide range of developmental<br />

projects to progressively address the societal issues relating to<br />

water and sanitation, skills shortages, poverty, unemployment<br />

and encourage entrepreneurship. The implementation of these<br />

projects is directly contributing towards sustainable livelihoods<br />

and enabling communities to participate in economic initiatives.<br />

The Foundation Projects Board Committee (FPBC) provides<br />

advice and assists the RWF in facilitating the initiation of socioeconomic<br />

development projects which are then approved by<br />

the RWF Board and the Board of Rand Water. The FPBC also offers<br />

support to existing projects encountering challenges, encourages<br />

the sharing of best practices and lessons learnt in terms of project<br />

implementation and management trends, reviews the project<br />

plans and implementation progress reports for presentation to the<br />

RWF Board. Under a focus area known as “Rand Water Cares”, two<br />

infrastructural development projects have been built in Mogale<br />

City (a Career Centre and a Resources Centre) and a clinic has been<br />

upgraded in Zuurbekom at Rand West.<br />

84 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Some of the RWF’s flagship projects include:<br />

• Domestic water leaks repairs<br />

The project is aimed at enabling municipalities to curb<br />

water losses and save costs so they could be able to pay<br />

for water services rendered by Rand Water. This project is<br />

being implemented in the municipalities of Emfuleni and<br />

Merafong City in Gauteng. When the project was launched,<br />

it enrolled 240 local young people on a programme as part<br />

of skills transfer to train them in plumbing, water leaks<br />

detection, water use efficiency and technical support during<br />

the 2020/21 financial year. It was estimated that these young<br />

people would embark on retrofitting of 4 432 households in<br />

their respective municipalities.<br />

By the end of 2020/21 financial year, 4 161 households had<br />

been retrofitted. Furthermore, 100 young people were trained<br />

as water ambassadors. Their roles were to educate and create<br />

awareness on water-use efficiency in communities.<br />

The initiative to assist municipalities to manage water<br />

losses accordingly is in response to the government’s 2030<br />

vision of the National Development Plan (NDP). An important<br />

programme linked to the NDP as a priority outcome is to<br />

improve the quality of household life through basic services.<br />

Not only did young people benefit from this project, but<br />

temporary jobs were also created for 240 ordinary unemployed<br />

members of the community, whereas 220 local community<br />

members were trained as water conservation ambassadors.<br />

Their responsibilities were to educate and create awareness<br />

about water-use efficiency and significance of paying water<br />

services. A further 160 young people were trained in plumbing,<br />

entrepreneurship and innovation as artisans and 80 more were<br />

trained on end-user computing and technical support as Water<br />

Leaks Detectors (WLD).<br />

The RWF also assisted 10 small, medium and micro enterprises<br />

(SMMEs) to register to trade as plumbing businesses. Between<br />

the 2019/20 and 2021/22 financial years, 8 593 households were<br />

retrofitted according to the Impact Assessment Report issued<br />

by RW Cycle Management Department. Approximately 25%<br />

of water was saved in Emfuleni Local Municipality and 13% in<br />

Merafong Local Municipality.<br />

Career and Resources Centre in Mogale City.<br />

Credit: Enviro Loo<br />

• Schools sanitation and water supply<br />

The project is being implemented in the cities of Johannesburg,<br />

Ekurhuleni and Mogale City in Gauteng. It is also being<br />

implemented in the local municipalities of Thembisile Hani,<br />

eMalahleni and Dr JS Moroka in Mpumalanga Province and<br />

Madibeng in the North West. The focus area of this project<br />

is to eradicate the poorly designed pit latrines systems that<br />

pose a danger to learners. The project entails the construction<br />

and repairing of ablution facilities, drilling and installation<br />

of boreholes in rural schools and raising awareness about<br />

health and hygiene, operations and maintenance. The project<br />

benefited 10 schools with a population of 4 000 and created<br />

218 jobs for members of the local community.<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 85


• Household sanitation and bucket eradication<br />

The main purpose of this project was to eradicate the<br />

bucket sanitation system in Petrus Steyn and Rietz<br />

Farms within Nketoane Local Municipality in the Free<br />

State. The project donated waterless-sanitation facilities<br />

to 140 households and created 119 job opportunities.<br />

The project cost R1.9-million.<br />

• Clearing of alien vegetation<br />

The flagship project had been implemented in partnership with<br />

the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment<br />

(DFFE) in the Thabo Mofutsanyane District Municipality, Free<br />

State. The project was aimed at protecting underground water<br />

supplies. The clearing of alien vegetation was implemented<br />

on all streams flowing into the Ash River catchment, which is<br />

a source of water for Rand Water. The project has cleared 298<br />

hectares of land and created 115 jobs for members of the local<br />

communities. The implementation of this project has benefited<br />

six SMMEs. The project cost was R629 000.<br />

• Water harvesting<br />

The project is implemented in the Mamafubedu, Lindley<br />

and Rietz townships in Nketoane Local Municipality in the<br />

Free State and in Oukasie, Lethlabile, Maboloka and Hebron<br />

townships in Madibeng Local Municipality in the North West<br />

and Siyabuswa, Marapyane and Libangeni townships in Dr<br />

JS Moroka Municipality in Mpumalanga Province.The project<br />

benefited 40 schools and two SMMEs were utilised and 310<br />

local jobs were created. This project contributed immensely<br />

towards water-demand management and conservation.<br />

Water harvesting promotes the collection and storage of<br />

rainwater during high rainfall months for productive use as<br />

an alternative source to municipal water. The project provides<br />

added capacity for water storage for schools. The project cost<br />

the RWF R3.3-million.<br />

Strategic Leadership<br />

Under the leadership of its General Manager, Mohlatleho<br />

Sekoaila, the organisation has brought smiles to thousands of<br />

school learners and created thousands of temporary jobs for<br />

the unskilled and unemployed beyond Rand Water’s areas of<br />

supply. She believes corporate social investment is a programme<br />

that strives to support sustainable initiatives and improve the<br />

living conditions of the poor and marginalised communities.<br />

That, Sekoaila said, would ensure that the programme achieved<br />

short and long-term positive impact in alleviating poverty and<br />

improving the environment.<br />

“The RWF’s corporate social investment is a vehicle which the<br />

organisation utilises to equip ordinary South Africans, schools and<br />

communities with the necessary skills and knowledge so they<br />

could build sustainable and dignified futures for their children,”<br />

she added.<br />

Mohlatleho Sekoaila, who was appointed to<br />

lead the RWF in 2008, is in possession of the<br />

following academic qualifications:<br />

• Bachelor of Social Work (University of Venda)<br />

• Master of Social Sciences in Community Development<br />

(University of the Johannesburg)<br />

• Master of Management in Public Policy (University of the<br />

Witwatersrand)<br />

• Certificate in Advanced Programme and Project<br />

Management in Public and Development Management<br />

(University of the Witwatersrand)<br />

• Certificate in International Executive Leadership Development<br />

Programme (University of the Witwatersrand and London<br />

Business Schools)<br />

• NEXUS VII Leadership Programme Certificate (Gordon Institute<br />

of Business School)<br />

Sekoaila has 27 years’ experience in different sectors under her belt.<br />

She has worked in various sectors including non-governmental<br />

organisations, the local government sector, the water sector and<br />

the Departments of Social Development and Correctional Services.<br />

86 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Money in a bottle<br />

The Glass Recycling Company outlines how best to go about recycling glass.<br />

Many individuals are looking for ways<br />

to earn an additional or informal<br />

income during challenging times.<br />

One such method is by collecting<br />

recyclables and selling to buy-back centres. The<br />

Glass Recycling Company, the national body<br />

encouraging the recycling of glass packaging,<br />

has some helpful tips for would-be recyclers who<br />

are struggling and require additional income via<br />

collecting glass for income in their community.<br />

Five key facts for glass collectors<br />

For anyone interested in collecting glass for<br />

recycling or suggesting this as a method for<br />

someone to make some extra money, it's<br />

important to know the essential facts. This list<br />

provides key points for recycling collectors in<br />

South Africa:<br />

Accepted glass types<br />

As a collector, focus on gathering packaging<br />

glass; this is clear and coloured glass bottles and<br />

jars. These can include beverage bottles, food<br />

containers and cosmetics bottles. Remember,<br />

items like light bulbs, window panes and mirrors<br />

are not accepted with glass bottles and jars!<br />

Earn money by selling<br />

Sell your collected glass to buy-back centres<br />

to earn cash. These centres are interested in<br />

purchasing glass for recycling purposes.<br />

Locate a buy-back centre<br />

Find local buy-back centres in your area. These<br />

centres purchase glass for recycling purposes<br />

and offer monetary rewards. Ask your buy-back<br />

centre to provide you with collection bags. Look<br />

for recycling centres, scrap yards and buy-back<br />

centres that accept glass. You can also contact The<br />

Glass Recycling Company www.tgrc.co.za to find<br />

one in your area.<br />

Preparing glass for recycling<br />

Ensure your collected glass is prepared properly.<br />

Separate metal or plastic lids or caps for separate<br />

recycling. You may crush your glass into cullet<br />

(broken glass pieces) but it’s very important<br />

not to crush your glass too fine. Each piece of<br />

glass should be no smaller than a R5 coin. When<br />

handling broken glass, take precautions to avoid<br />

injuries and secure it during transportation.<br />

Store glass safely<br />

Ensure your glass is kept safely and is not a risk<br />

to those around you. Make sure you are storing<br />

your glass away from children and not on public<br />

land, not in parks or along our rivers and spruits.<br />

Visit www.tgrc.co.za for advice, tips and support.<br />

As a glass collector in South Africa, you have<br />

the opportunity to earn money while making<br />

a positive impact on the environment. By<br />

collecting glass for recycling, you play a vital role<br />

in supporting the recycling industry in South<br />

Africa. Your efforts contribute to conserving<br />

resources and reducing litter and making our<br />

landfills smaller. Remember to focus on accepted<br />

glass types, locate a buy-back centre, and prepare<br />

glass properly to sell your collected glass for to<br />

earn cash. By following these steps, you contribute<br />

to a sustainable recycling industry and help create<br />

a better future for you, and the environment.<br />

About TGRC<br />

The Glass Recycling Company (TGRC) consists of<br />

a team dedicated to increasing glass recycling in<br />

South Africa. We are passionate about ensuring<br />

every South African realises the value of recycling<br />

glass and actively embraces this practice. TGRC<br />

is funded by our loyal member companies who<br />

manufacture glass or package their products<br />

in glass. While we do not physically recycle the<br />

glass, we strive to educate, enable, encourage and<br />

inspire our communities to separate their glass for<br />

recycling daily. We also aim to uplift impoverished<br />

communities through job creation and skills<br />

development in the recycling sector.<br />

TGRC believes in the infinite potential of glass<br />

to make a real and positive contribution to society.<br />

At TGRC we are committed to prove that glass<br />

recycling is worth the effort.<br />

For tips and advice, see Facebook: www.facebook.<br />

com/TheGlassRecyclingCo or visit our website<br />

http://www.tgrc.co.za/<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 87


The status of Rooibos is<br />

internationally protected<br />

The popular tea that is really a herb has a number of surprising qualities. Rooibos<br />

specialist Joekels shares 13 fast facts about South Africa’s beloved brew.<br />

In the Cederberg region of the Western Cape grows one of the<br />

country’s most famous exports, Rooibos. This healthy herb has<br />

been infused in everything from skincare products and ice<br />

cream to undeniably its most popular form, Rooibos tea. But<br />

even the most ardent fans of Rooibos may not be aware of the<br />

rich history and incredible benefits of this homegrown South<br />

African product.<br />

“Rooibos has always been a popular tea among South Africans,<br />

but the growth in the international market has seen a major spike<br />

in the number of Rooibos consumers,” explains Candice Sessions,<br />

Laager Marketing Manager.<br />

“The Rooibos tea industry has grown faster than any other teas<br />

in the last decade because of the incredible taste and long-lasting<br />

health benefits of Rooibos.”<br />

The South African Rooibos Council (SARC), which was<br />

established in 2005 to responsibly promote Rooibos, has compiled<br />

a comprehensive background on the herb and shared several<br />

informative facts.<br />

Needle tea<br />

In bygone days, people of the Cederberg region called Rooibos<br />

naaldetee (needle tea) because of its sharp thin leaves springing<br />

out of the slender branches.<br />

Drought-resistant<br />

Rooibos is hardy and can withstand drought because it stores<br />

nutrients underground in its lignotuber, a woody thickening<br />

around the stem. Because the leaves are so narrow, they can retain<br />

the scarce moisture in the searing heat.<br />

Not a tea<br />

Despite its name, Rooibos is not a true tea but rather a herb. The<br />

tea is a herbal infusion known as a tisane.<br />

Homegrown<br />

Rooibos is only grown in one region in the whole world, the<br />

Cederberg region in the Western Cape. This region provides<br />

the Rooibos plant (aspalathus linearis) with the perfect set of<br />

conditions it needs to thrive.<br />

Job creation<br />

Rooibos is a major contributor to the South African economy.<br />

It’s estimated there are more than 500 Rooibos farmers<br />

with around 5 000 people working on Rooibos tea farms or<br />

processing plants.<br />

Big plantations<br />

The Rooibos tea plantations cover twice as much land as they did<br />

in the mid-1990s, with the expectation that they will cover around<br />

60 000 hectares in future.<br />

Tea for all<br />

In an average year, the Rooibos industry produces around 18 000<br />

tons, enough to make over seven-billion cups of tea.<br />

Local support<br />

Rooibos makes up around a third of the South African tea market.<br />

Rooibos is served at most cafés, restaurants and hotels, with a<br />

variety of Rooibos brands and products found in every grocery<br />

or supermarket.<br />

Geographical Indication<br />

One of SARC’s early achievements was attaining Geographical<br />

Indication (GI) status for Rooibos tea to protect the name<br />

internationally in the interests of the domestic industry. Other<br />

examples of products with GI status include champagne, parma<br />

ham, darjeeling tea, parmesan cheese and kalamata olives.<br />

Skincare celebrities<br />

Rooibos is being used extensively in the skincare industry. When<br />

asked about her beauty routine, South African-born Hollywood<br />

star Charlize Theron says that she favours natural ingredients from<br />

her native country, like marula oil and Rooibos tea to keep her skin<br />

“hydrated and glowy”.<br />

Tata for tea<br />

During former president Nelson Mandela’s 18-year imprisonment<br />

on Robben Island, Rooibos tea was his favourite beverage.<br />

Community benefit<br />

In 2019, an Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) agreement was<br />

established between the Rooibos Industry, represented by the SA<br />

Rooibos Council (SARC), and the Khoi-Khoi and San, represented<br />

by the National Khoi-San Council (NKC) and the South African<br />

San Council (SASC). This agreement will see the Khoi-Khoi and<br />

San communities benefit from the commercialisation of Rooibos.<br />

88 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


Rooibos for children<br />

Laager pioneered the concept of a Rooibos<br />

brand specifically geared towards children<br />

in the early 2000s. Laager Tea4Kidz is<br />

available in five flavours with all the<br />

associated benefits of Rooibos, including<br />

boosting immunity and relieving<br />

symptoms of allergies.<br />


One of the biggest reasons that Rooibos<br />

tea continues to gain popularity – beyond<br />

its great taste – is its many health benefits.<br />

In 1968, Annekie Theron discovered her<br />

youngest child would finally settle after<br />

drinking Rooibos tea, despite suffering from<br />

stomach issues for years. Theron discovered<br />

that Rooibos tea was able to soothe colicky<br />

babies. She recalled: “It all started in 1968<br />

when I discovered by chance that Rooibos had<br />

therapeutic value. Until that stage, nothing unusual<br />

about Rooibos had been known.”<br />

Further research has revealed a number<br />

of other health benefits including:<br />

• Rooibos tea is a good source of antioxidants and is the only<br />

known source of a potent antioxidant aspalathin, which could<br />

play a role in combating several lifestyle diseases.<br />

• Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it suitable for<br />

children, infants and breastfeeding mothers.<br />

• Rooibos tea has proven cancer-fighting properties in animal<br />

research studies, and exciting new research points towards<br />

the role that Rooibos can play in promoting heart health and<br />

preventing diabetes.<br />

• Rooibos tea has low amounts of tannins which are the bittertasting<br />

plant polyphenols that bind and precipitate proteins,<br />

interfering with iron absorption in the body.<br />

No negative side effects of Rooibos have ever been recorded.<br />

Find out more about Laager Rooibos, including Rooibos-infused<br />

recipes, by visiting www.joekels.co.za or @LaagerRooibosTea on<br />

Facebook and Instagram.<br />


Joekels packs, blends and distributes some of South Africa’s most<br />

popular household tea brands including Tetley, Laager, Tea Time,<br />

Tea4Kidz and Society Coffee. Started in 1994 by businessman Joe<br />

Swart and Master Tea Blender Jonathan Kelsey, Joekels is an awardwinning<br />

business with both Halaal and Kosher accreditation, as<br />

well as the highest global-food safety and quality certification,<br />

FSSC 22000. The Laager Rooibos brand is accredited by the Heart<br />

& Stroke Foundation of South Africa.<br />

Visit www.joekels.co.za<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 89


Protecting the land<br />

for generations to come<br />

SAMIL CEO Michael Brosnahan explains that sustainability is much<br />

more than a project for mohair farmers and producers.<br />

What are the main planks of SAMIL’s sustainability policy?<br />

Our core values are honesty and integrity which translate into<br />

looking after our small piece of the world and everything and<br />

everybody in it. To this end, everything we do is questioned as<br />

to whether it will have a detrimental effect on our environment<br />

or our people, whether it be how we farm our goats on the land<br />

or how we process the material in our factories. We only use<br />

chemicals that have been certified by OEKO-TEX or an equivalent<br />

certification proving that they cause no harm to humans or<br />

animals. We have created a work environment on our farms and<br />

in our factories and offices where all employees are viewed as<br />

assets and are treated as such.<br />

How can more jobs be created in the mohair industry?<br />

More jobs in the mohair industry can really only be created by<br />

creating awareness of this wonderful fibre around the world. The<br />

price of mohair limits its general use so the main end uses are<br />

high-fashion items with exclusive big-name brands.<br />

Are your farmers working on projects to protect the land?<br />

Our farmers are not working on “projects” to protect the land – this<br />

is a constant part of everyday life on the farms. The farmer needs<br />

to protect his livelihood, not just for himself but for his children<br />

and his children’s children. Many of our Angora farmers have been<br />

farming goats on the land for more than 100 years, some into the<br />

second and third generation.<br />

What is the Responsible Mohair Standard? Has its introduction<br />

had the desired effect?<br />

The Responsible Mohair Standard or RMS is an international<br />

voluntary standard that addresses animal welfare on goat farms as<br />

well as managing the “chain of custody” of mohair from the certified<br />

farms through to the final products purchased by the consumer.<br />

The key values of RMS are:<br />

• protecting animal welfare<br />

• regenerative agriculture<br />

• social responsibility<br />

• traceability<br />

Its introduction has definitely had the desired effect – mohair is<br />

once again globally desired which helps to protect the more than<br />

30 000 people employed in the industry in South Africa<br />

Do you see growth prospects for mohair globally?<br />

There are no doubt growth prospects for mohair globally as it is such<br />

a versatile fibre. We have to strike a balance, though, between the<br />

price that the farmer needs to ensure his mohair clip is an economic<br />

product to farm and the price that the consumer is prepared to pay<br />

for mohair products in the marketplace.<br />

48 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

yarns@samil.co.za | sales@samil.co.za | www.samil.co.za

ESG<br />

Making ESG work<br />

for the agricultural sector<br />

Agribusinesses can maximise opportunities and promote resilience by adopting ESG strategies,<br />

according to Lerato Molefi, Associate, and Dalit Anstey, Knowledge Lawyer, from Webber Wentzel.<br />

While some businesses in the agricultural sector are<br />

embracing Environmental, Social and Governance<br />

(ESG) and are benefitting from global ESG trends,<br />

such as ESG and impact investing, the agricultural<br />

sector in Africa has been slow to adopt ESG strategies. There is also<br />

cynicism among some agribusinesses with respect to the question<br />

of whether ESG is really a necessary or useful tool in their contexts.<br />

ESG Africa Conference recently hosted a webinar titled “ESG<br />

in Agriculture – A Distraction or the Solution?”, which considered<br />

whether ESG is a distraction from the core business activities<br />

of the agricultural sector, or a solution to the challenges faced<br />

by the sector.<br />

There appears to be a widely held view that when it comes to the<br />

agricultural sector, ESG is onerous. It appears that the agricultural<br />

sector finds it difficult to be profitable and green simultaneously.<br />

This criticism of ESG is not unique to the agricultural sector. ESG<br />

proposes an integrated approach to the triple bottom line, namely<br />

people, planet and prosperity. Older models of shareholder primacy<br />

emphasise profit over all else. Buy-in to ESG therefore requires a<br />

paradigm shift. On a closer look, the criticism appears to emerge<br />

from the experiences of many agribusinesses in trying to access<br />

green finance, which has proven to be difficult. Obtaining finance<br />

such as green bonds often comes at an additional cost to farmers,<br />

such as developing and marketing instruments and employing<br />

professional advisers. Again, this is not unique to the agricultural<br />

sector. This concern is valid and points to a challenge consistently<br />

being raised by developing countries/emerging markets, namely<br />

how do we incentivise ESG initiatives and funding, as opposed to<br />

simply creating more red tape?<br />

The reality is that ESG risks affect businesses across all sectors,<br />

including the agricultural sector.<br />

The agricultural sector's vulnerability to climate change is<br />

heightened by its reliance on water, land and favourable or<br />

reliable climate conditions, which are already being destabilised<br />

by climate change. When it comes to the social aspect of ESG,<br />

the agricultural sector in South Africa has had to transition away<br />

from racially discriminatory practices. A lot of progress has been<br />

made. However, there is still a long way to go to ensure that fair<br />

opportunities exist for black farmers with respect to resources,<br />

including land, water and equipment. One of the challenges for<br />

the industry is improving its stance on providing a living, rather<br />

than a minimum wage.<br />

Globally, we are seeing changing consumer and customer<br />

preferences for products which affect the agricultural industry.<br />

For example, regulators and consumers are demanding that<br />

products have a lower carbon footprint and that packaging is<br />

designed having regard to its end-of-life to ensure that it does not<br />

become waste. This may affect how fresh produce is treated or the<br />

product choice itself. Integrating ESG into the agricultural sector is<br />

not only important to deal with ESG risks, but also to ensure that<br />

opportunities are maximised.<br />

There are already some interesting and impactful ESG initiatives<br />

in the agricultural sector especially in regenerating ecosystems,<br />

farming methods and transformative partnerships. For example,<br />

farmers who are switching their farming methods to more<br />

sustainable practices are selling carbon or biodiversity credits.<br />

Collaboration among industry players and information<br />

sharing is key to building successful ESG<br />

initiatives. ESG could create significant<br />

revenue generation to complement<br />

farmers' existing sources of revenue.<br />

Resilience and adaptation are familiar<br />

concepts in the agricultural sector, which is<br />

no stranger to natural disasters. Given that<br />

ESG is ultimately a tool to promote resilience<br />

within organisations, among other things,<br />

the agricultural sector is well placed to grasp<br />

and adopt ESG.<br />

Credit: Fredox Carvalho on Pexels<br />

92 | www.opportunityonline.co.za

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The Border<br />

Management Authority<br />

aims to improve security<br />

and streamline processes<br />

The first Commissioner and CEO of the newly appointed Border Management<br />

Authority, Dr NM Masiapato, shares his thoughts on how integrating<br />

functions will lead to improved security and better conditions for trade.<br />

South Africa’s rapid transition from global pariah under<br />

apartheid to a welcomed member of the global community<br />

under the country’s first democratically elected president,<br />

Nelson Mandela, brought with it many benefits. It<br />

also opened up the country to a range of threats ranging from<br />

intercontinental drug networks and arms smuggling to human<br />

trafficking. The country’s improved status also greatly increased the<br />

amount of trade that started flowing through the nation’s ports,<br />

airports and border posts. This was another benefit that brought<br />

with it some complications: greater volumes of trade created huge<br />

amounts of work for officials for a range of departments tasked<br />

with various aspects of border management and increased the<br />

possibilities for criminal activity. In response to these challenges<br />

South Africa’s newest entity, the Border Management Authority<br />

(BMA), was officially launched in the northern Limpopo town of<br />

Musina in October 2023.<br />

Musina is a border town with a busy crossing into neighbouring<br />

Zimbabwe, one of 53 ports of entry into the country that are on<br />

land. In addition, there are 11 international airports and eight<br />

seaports. The land border alone is more than 4 800km long and<br />

so the task of policing and administering the border is a big one.<br />

Because the Border Management Authority is a third national<br />

armed law enforcement authority (after the South African National<br />

Defence Force and the South African Police Service) it had to be<br />

formally launched by the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces<br />

of the Republic, President Cyril Ramaphosa. And that is why a<br />

formal sword of command was officially presented to the Border<br />

Management Authority’s first Commissioner and CEO, Dr Nakampe<br />

Michael Masiapato.<br />

Integration<br />

The process of bringing the BMA into being was not done<br />

overnight. Months of preparation have seen various officials<br />

being moved from various departments to the new, integrated<br />

operation. As Dr NM Masiapato describes the process, “We had to<br />

Dr NM Masiapato, Commissioner and CEO of the Border<br />

Management Authority<br />

integrate officials who were actually working at the ports of entry<br />

who were deployed by these various government departments.<br />

We had to move them out of those departments into the Border<br />

Management Authority so that it becomes an integrated border<br />

management platform for the implementation of border laws of<br />

the Republic under a single command and control.”<br />

Among the entities involved in border management are the<br />

police, the South African National Defence Force, South African<br />

Revenue Service (customs and revenue collection) and various<br />

government departments dealing with health, agriculture and<br />

the environment. Dr Masiapato notes that there was a level of<br />

complexity because it was necessary to “integrate various systems<br />

that had been deployed by various government departments<br />

94 | www.opportunityonline.co.za


President Cyril Ramaphosa formally invests Dr Masiapato with<br />

the authority to lead the Border Management Authority.<br />

Three leaders: General David Chilembe, Deputy Commissioner:<br />

Operations (left), with fellow Deputy Commissioner: Corporate<br />

Services, MJJ Thupana, and Commissioner Dr Masiapato.<br />

which were operating in silos”. The goal entailed “moving away<br />

from the implementation of border management through a multiagency<br />

approach” and creating a single, integrated model, “with a<br />

single command and control across the ports of entry”.<br />

The key aspect involves the BMA working closely with “three<br />

critical organs of State and those are the South African National<br />

Defence Force, the South African Police Service as well as the South<br />

African Revenue Service” but could include any other agency or<br />

body whose work might relate to border issues. The BMA operates<br />

under guidelines which specify that it is “a Schedule 3A public entity<br />

that is supposed to be operating autonomously and it operates<br />

outside the public service but within public administration”.<br />

In welcoming the establishment of the BMA, President<br />

Ramaphosa wrote, “The Border Management Authority is tasked<br />

with ensuring that our country’s immigration laws are enforced,<br />

and that our borders are well-protected and ports of entry<br />

well-managed.”<br />

Tasks<br />

Among the critical functions of the BMA are:<br />

• access control<br />

• environmental bio-security<br />

• protection of human health<br />

• agricultural bio-security<br />

Commissioner Masiapato has highlighted that the method<br />

deployed by agents at ports of entry will be a “risk-based model<br />

that would be able to identify individuals that would be intercepted<br />

and prevented from committing criminal activities”.<br />

A number of successes have already been achieved by the BMA.<br />

The large and complex gathering which was the 15th BRICS<br />

Summit 2023 went off without a hitch, with the BMA contributing<br />

to that success by processing journalists, participating officials and<br />

more than 60 heads of state.<br />

Since the BMA started functioning as a separate entity, the<br />

following interceptions have been made:<br />

• 141 vehicles which were stolen or hijacked<br />

• more than 5 500 counterfeit goods prevented from entering<br />

• 95 217 people trying to enter the country with no documentation<br />

• 35 944 people trying to enter the country who were declared<br />

undesirable<br />

Trade and efficiency<br />

One of the biggest upsides of an efficiently functioning border<br />

management authority will be to improve trade between South<br />

Africa and its neighbours. Dr Masiapato wants to “make sure<br />

that we streamline the movement of trade between us and<br />

our neighbouring jurisdictions and among the broader global<br />

community of nations”.<br />

Work has begun on tightening border control with Zimbabwe<br />

and improving trade relations and synchronising systems with<br />

Mozambique. Instead of slow movement of trucks and port<br />

backlogs, Dr Masiapato wants to “make sure there is a better<br />

movement of trade”. Exporters and importers must see results,<br />

he says. Working on the efficiency of trade movement must<br />

not detract border operations from the security mission. Dr<br />

Masiapato stresses: “We also had to make sure that we look after<br />

the country’s national security and also its national interest and<br />

make sure that we are able to protect the Republic.” President<br />

Ramaphosa sums it up as follows: “The establishment of the<br />

BMA is a significant step towards safer communities, better law<br />

enforcement and the growth of our economy through greater<br />

trade with our neighbours.”<br />

For more information on the Border Management Authority,<br />

contact www.bma.gov.za<br />

www.opportunityonline.co.za | 95


Listing in Cape Town<br />

Small and medium-sized companies looking for alternatives<br />

to list their stock now have more options than ever before.<br />

From 2017, a number of stock exchanges obtained licences<br />

to trade, replicating a trend in the issuing of new licences<br />

to banks. This is indicative of a trend towards more competition<br />

in the financial sector generally, with new entrants looking for<br />

ways to create new customers, whether it be via mobile phones<br />

or banking booths in retail stores.<br />

Most of the new stock exchanges took names that had a “tech”<br />

ring about them, and 4AX was no exception. Except that stock<br />

exchange decided to rebrand as the Cape Town Stock Exchange.<br />

Operations moved to a building, coincidentally called the<br />

“Exchange Building”, directly opposite the Stock Exchange Hotel<br />

in trendy Woodstock. If one were a person interested in odds, one<br />

might ask, “What are the odds of all those exchanges ending up<br />

next to or in one another?”<br />

But the bet on Cape Town was no shot in the dark. Cape Town<br />

was recently ranked second in Africa for competitiveness as a<br />

financial centre, according to the Global Financial Centres Index.<br />

Mauritius was top. Many asset managers are now located in greater<br />

Cape Town, joining the insurance companies and the financialservices<br />

groups.<br />

According to Tracxn, there are currently 173 fintech startups in<br />

Cape Town, including Jumo and Yoco.<br />

One of CTSE’s 2023 listings fitted in well with the idea of a<br />

new exchange catering to a new economy. In August, Gaia Fund<br />

Managers announced the listing of an initial tranche of preference<br />

shares of the Gaia Renewables REIT on the CTSE. This kind of fund<br />

allows investors to have a stake in the burgeoning renewable<br />

energy economy. CTSE CEO Eugene Booysen says that it helps<br />

that the bond investment community and “decision-makers” are<br />

in Cape Town. Says Booysen: “Our model closely aligns with the<br />

region’s digital drive, investment strategy and marketing."<br />

On the same floor as the CTSE is the Bandwidth Barn, a tech<br />

incubator run by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative<br />

(CiTi). Booysen was full<br />

of praise for the Western<br />

Cape’s investment agency,<br />

Wesgro, and the province’s<br />

premier, Alan Winde,<br />

who smoothed the way<br />

for the new exchange<br />

and welcomed the new<br />

business to the province.

Economic data<br />

The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) regularly publishes economic data<br />

relating to business confidence and trade, the SACCI Business Confidence Index and the Trade Conditions<br />

Survey. As of 2023, SACCI has been collaborating with the Bureau of Market Research (BMR) in producing<br />

the Small Business Growth Index. For more statistics, see www.sacci.org.za and www.bmr.co.za<br />

SACCI Business Confidence Index Business confidence remains passive<br />

The SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) recorded a reading of 108.6 in<br />

August 2023, followed by 108.2 in September 2023, with the base year set<br />

at 2020=100. This represents a slight increase from the July 2023 figure of<br />

<strong>107</strong>.3 but the BCI has been lacking substantial upward momentum, hovering<br />

around an average level of <strong>107</strong>.5. In comparison, the BCI for September 2023<br />

stands 2.7 index points below the corresponding level in September 2022.<br />

From an average level of 112.5 in the 4th quarter of 2022, the BCI declined to<br />

112.0 in the 1st quarter of 2023, further dropping to <strong>107</strong>.6 in the 2nd quarter<br />

of 2023, before rebounding to 108.0 in the 3rd quarter of 2023. Despite the<br />

absence of a strong upward trend in business confidence, the BCI appears<br />

SACCI Trade Conditions Survey August 2023<br />

to have stabilised, with an average of 109.2 in the first nine months of 2023.<br />

In the South short term, African foreign Chamber business-related of Commerce factors, and Industry including merchandise<br />

imports, exports Trade and inward Conditions tourism, Survey had the most positive impact on<br />

business confidence in September August 2023 2023. Over the medium term, increased<br />

inward tourism and higher precious-metal prices made notable positive<br />

contributions. Conversely, the unpredictability of the weaker rand against<br />

major trading currencies, increased real cost of credit and reduced<br />

merchandise export volumes had the most notable negative impact on<br />

business confidence in September 2023.<br />

The SACCI Business Confidence Index (BCI) 2020=100<br />

Current Trade Conditions Index (TAI)*<br />

Activity Mar-23 Apr-23 May-23 Jun-23 Jul-23 Aug-23<br />

Sales volumes 50 50 45 42 50 40<br />

New orders 56 42 42 42 53 48<br />

Backlog on orders received 35 33 32 39 39 33<br />

Supplier deliveries 32 44 42 50 47 45<br />

Inventory level 35 42 61 63 47 45<br />

Selling prices 74 72 66 61 56 58<br />

Input prices 79 83 79 79 81 78<br />

Employment 29 33 37 42 42 35<br />

TAI 44 43 44 45 48 43<br />

TAI seasonally adjusted 42 41 43 46 48 41<br />

Note: The indices are diffusion indices and vary between 0 and 100. At 50 an index reflects<br />

a 'no change' situation and above or below 50 implies a positive or a negative reading<br />

depending on the trade component.<br />

* The TAI is the composite index of sales volumes, new orders, supplier deliveries,<br />

inventory levels and employment.<br />

Expected Trade Conditions Index (TEI)*<br />

Activity Mar-23 Apr-23 May-23 Jun-23 Jul-23 Aug-23<br />

Sales volumes 65 58 55 66 67 60<br />

New orders 62 61 55 63 67 60<br />

Backlog on orders received 44 47 32 37 36 33<br />

Supplier deliveries 50 44 47 50 53 53<br />

Inventory level 50 42 45 45 44 48<br />

Selling prices 76 72 63 61 67 70<br />

Input prices 85 92 87 84 78 73<br />

Employment 38 36 39 39 47 53<br />

TEI 55 51 50 55 58 56<br />

TEI seasonally adjusted 55 49 50 53 60 56<br />

* The TEI is the composite index of expectations on sales volumes, new orders, supplier<br />

deliveries, inventory levels and employment.<br />

The expectations are for six months ahead<br />

Trade Conditions Survey, SACCI<br />

Unsteady and constrained trade environment<br />

Cautionary note: A number of regular respondents went out of business<br />

in this period so results should be interpreted with circumspection.<br />

Trade conditions remain tight and unsteady. The composite<br />

index (TAI) of the survey, August 2023, represents the up-to-date<br />

performance of a number of trade elements, while the TEI measures<br />

expectations on trade elements in six months’ time. The present trade<br />

milieu remains difficult with 57% of the respondents experiencing<br />

negative trade conditions. Despite negative considerations, 56% of<br />

respondents are nonetheless positive about trade conditions six<br />

months from now. Except for a slight easing in input costs, all the other<br />

trade elements deteriorated. Input costs remain high, with 78% of<br />

respondents experiencing rising input costs in August 2023. With only<br />

58% of respondents reporting rising sales prices, inflationary pressures<br />

might ease further. Sales volumes and employment weakened the<br />

most of all the trade elements. The wholesale and retail trade (hotels<br />

and restaurants sector) contracted by 1.2% in the 1st half of 2023.<br />

Regardless of the current inhibited trade conditions, the positive<br />

expectations for the next six months support a positive outlook on<br />

trade. The number of visiting tourists increased by about 30%, but<br />

the number was still 35% below pre-Covid levels of February 2020.

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