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New concrete company launches at zone 5 Coega SEZ

Home Infrastructure Construction & Civils New concrete company launches at zone 5 Coega SEZ

THE Coega Development Corporation (CDC) announced the launch of Mhlobiso Concrete in zone 5 of the Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) earlier this week.

Mhlobiso Concrete is the youngest addition to the Mhlobiso Group, which has an existing array of businesses, including Mantishe Construction, Mhlobiso Plant Hire, Mhlobiso Asphalt, Mhlobiso Transport and Mhlobiso Properties. Mhlobiso Concrete is supported by its sister companies, as a strategic fit in the existing group of businesses to deliver an integrated construction service to its customer base.

Mhlobiso Concrete is a South African registered company, owned and managed by Tando Mhlobiso, a dynamic entrepreneur in the Eastern Cape.

Like many fully-fledged enterprises, Mhlobiso started small, with a vision and a plan. He was a CDC SMME development programme recipient. “I registered Mantishe Construction under the Coega SMME development programme in late 2009. Mantishe Construction is now a grade 6CE and recently registered 6SB which is classified to undertake highly specialised work,” he says.

For CDC SMME programme manager, Unathi Maholwana, this is a proud moment. “I remember Mhlobiso when he had a level 1 CIDB grading. He has worked his way up and he has come a full circle,” she says.

“All these things I had to understand very quickly. When the project was done, I knew this was what I wanted to do, and I was ready to take on the world.” – Mhlobiso

Mhlobiso admits he once knew ‘absolutely nothing’ about construction. “The SMME training was aggressive and at times stressful because the site was live and there were timeframes attached to the work. All these things I had to understand very quickly. When the project was done, I knew this was what I wanted to do, and I was ready to take on the world. I was determined to make this work,” he says.

The Coega SMME development programme assists SMMEs to become sustainable through raising awareness and encouraging BBBEE compliance; assisting BEE certificate attainment under the amended codes; and promoting the advancement of suppliers within the CDC’s supply chain.

Mhlobiso Concrete has created 15 permanent jobs with indications of expansion in the future. Mhlobiso also has plans to introduce technical youth training programmes.

“It took me a good 16 years to get to where I am. There are 150 employees across the Mhlobiso Group. All our permanent employees have pension savings and medical aid allowances for financial security in their retirement, as well as health benefits. This is something I’m deeply proud of,” concludes Mhlobiso.

As a word of advice to entrepreneurs, Mhlobiso shares: “Dreams without goals are just dreams. Without commitment, you’ll never start; without consistency, you’ll never finish. Sometimes, it takes certain things to fall apart for better things to fall into place. Regardless of your circumstances, push to be the person you were meant to be. No one said it was going to be easy, but I promise, there is no greater satisfaction than turning nothing into something.”

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