African Business Review - October 2015

Page 1 October 2015

TOP 1a0n Af r i c d s Bran


The Future Of Money Transfers In Africa SPECIAL REPORTS

Tata Communications & Konkola Copper Mines

SHE LEADS AFRICA: Championing Africa’s Female Entrepreneurs


AFRICA: Continent Of Entrepreneurs H E L L O A N D W E L C O M E T O the October Issue

of African Business Review. Our cover story this month features an interview with Western Union’s Vice President for Africa, Aida Diarra who discusses the work of the company as well as the role that remittances are playing across the continent. Also featured is an exclusive profile of Konkola Copper Mines, Zambia’s largest metal mining operation, as well a report on Tata Communications, an Indian-owned global telco with operations in South Africa and beyond. We explore the work of Bigen Africa which has over many decades become the go-to development company for closing the continent’s infrastructure gap while pioneering best industry practices. We also take a look at the operations of Transtech Logistics, which specialises in collection, clearance and delivery between South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique. Last but not least, we look at Prommac, a leading provider of mechanical maintenance and shutdown services to the petrochemical and energy sectors of South Africa. Our Top 10 this month examines the continent’s most admired brands and we also explore the work of She Leads Africa; a start-up fully geared towards helping female entrepreneurs realise their potential through mentoring, networking and financial support.

Nye Longman Editor 3






The Future Of MONEY TRANSFERS In Africa




Championing Africa’s Female Entrepreneurs



40 Konkola Copper Mines Plc

Tata Communications



Transtech Logistics

30 Tata Communications

MINING 40 Konkola Copper Mines Plc

CONSTRUCTION 52 Bigen Africa

MANUFACTURING 66 Transtech Logistics



Bigen Africa



Championing Africa’s Female Entrepreneurs SHE LEADS AFRICA (SLA) is breaking down barriers for the continent’s female-led start-ups W r i t t e n b y : N Y E LO N G M A N



LEADERSHIP SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA HAS the highest rate of female entrepreneurship across the world, with a participation rate of almost 30 percent. While this figure is certainly promising, the number of females engaged in high growth start-ups remains worryingly low. Entrepreneurial activity has the potential to create up to 200 million jobs for young Africans and has been widely recognised to be the main broadbased driver for economic growth on the continent. Recognising this potential, She Leads Africa (SLA) was set up in 2014 to enhance the position

of Africa’s female talent pool, or, as their founding statement says: “Our goal is to jumpstart female entrepreneurs from SMEs to pan-African industry leaders.” Recognising that one of the key general barriers to a successful business is lack of support, SLA uses a variety of methods to achieve its goals including providing support in the form of mentoring and finance, as well as establishing various networks. Barriers to female entrepreneurship SLA has identified four barriers

Video Stream: An interview on ‘Talking Africa’ with Yasmin Belo-Osagie, a co-founder of She Leads Africa.

8 October 2015

S L A : C H A M P I O N I N G A F R I C A’ S F E M A L E E N T R E P R E N E U R S

to full participation facing the continent’s female entrepreneurs which are specific to the continent and interrelated, these are education, finance, stereotypes, and lack of supporting networks. Education is perhaps the most critical barrier to innovation; schooling can often be limited and women are often discouraged from some, sometimes all educational enrolment. Not only does this lack of educational parity affect the level of basic skills attained, but also the ability to obtain crucial work experience. Data collected by the World Bank states that the global ratio for male to female tertiary education enrolment was at 110 percent (this exceeds 100 percent due to the early or late school entrance and grade repetition) compared to SubSaharan Africa’ 73 percent. Numerous studies have also indicated that women across the continent are treated unequally when it comes to obtaining financial support, particularly in the form of loans. Typically, women are more likely to have higher interest rates, be required to collateralise a higher share of their loan and be given loans with shorter terms.

‘Stereotypes and lack of relevant networks are mutually inclusive: a lack of female role models in the business world has been reflected in the prevalence of male dominated entrepreneur networks’ World Bank data shows financial engagement is low irrespective of gender across the continent; formal borrowing, for example stood at only six percent in 2014. 34 percent of Africans aged 15 and over hold an account with a financial institution, while only 16 percent had any formal savings. Stereotypes and lack of relevant networks are mutually inclusive: a lack of female role models in the 9

LEADERSHIP business world has been reflected in the prevalence of male dominated entrepreneur networks. While the trend is slowly changing in some societies, there are still massive barriers in certain countries whose attitude to women as second class citizens remains strong.

‘SLA also hosts the incredibly popular Entrepreneur Showcase; a competition which allows successful participants to pitch their ideas to an experienced business panel, with the chance to win $10,000’ 10 October 2015

Taking action SLA, in recognising these fundamental barriers encountered by the continent’s women, has started about addressing them, using all the capabilities of a start-up. One of the most significant aspects of the company is its website; alongside the usual information on the company’s activities, it provides users with a range of informative articles and videos, as well as a communications hub for people to network with dedicated start-up advisors. In partnership with multinational technology giant Huawei, SLA has held its second annual fellowship competition (known as the Huawei-SLA Fellowship) which seeks to introduce competition winners to Chinese investors. A statement from the company said: “The entrepreneurs selected demonstrated a clear problem they were solving, an innovative solution

S L A : C H A M P I O N I N G A F R I C A’ S F E M A L E E N T R E P R E N E U R S

Video Stream: She Leads Africa 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase Finalists

and how going to China would help them take a critical next step in their businesses. These are some of Africa’s most innovative technology entrepreneurs.” SLA also has a similar partnership with Intel; together they host a workshop aimed at developing tech-oriented start-ups called “Who wants to be a tech billionaire?” SLA also hosts the incredibly popular Entrepreneur Showcase; a competition which allows successful participants to pitch their ideas to an experienced business panel, with the

chance to win $10,000 and receive various non-cash prizes, especially mentorship. Among successful finalists are start-ups which cover everything from curated experiences and car hire, to women’s fashion. The work of start-ups like SLA will become increasingly relevant as countries begin to realise that half of their talent or more lies in its female population; it will soon become hard to ignore as the solid results begin to speak for themselves in an increasingly loud and insistent voice. 11


THE FUTURE OF MONEY TRANSFERS IN AFRICA Western Union recently celebrated 20 years on the continent; we speak to its Vice President for Africa Aida Diarra about the future of remittances W r i t t e n b y : N Y E LO N G M A N


October 2015


FINANCE 1. Could you provide me with your professional background? I was born in Dakar. My father is a university professor from Mali and my mother, a Nigerien diplomat at the united nation economic commission of Africa. My professional career started in 1992 taking on managerial positions in several retail businesses. Prior to that I completed a Bachelor Degree in Finance and Economics from the American Business School in France and a MBA in International Business and Management from the University of Hartford, in the USA. I have been with Western Union since 1999 as an Assistant Marketing Manager. After a couple of years, I was able to take the position of US-based Marketing Director for Africa. I settled in Casablanca in 2004 to take up the position of Marketing Director in Africa. In 2006, I had the opportunity to assume a broader role of Regional Director for West Africa, successively widening the geographic scope of my responsibilities to ECOWAS in 2009 and North, Central and West Africa in 2011. In 2014 I took up the leadership role for the African continent overseeing operations 14

October 2015

in over 50 African countries. My connections with the African continent never stopped even during my travels in the US. I was always wishing to work for a company that sees the high potential of Africa and works for adding value to the continent. I am very happy today after spending 16 years in the company. 2. Could you provide a brief summary of your role within the company? What do you bring to your role as Vice President? My role is to bring together the efforts and contributions of a multidisciplinary team and make it converge to meet the company’s vision for Africa. My objectives are, of course, to make our business in the continent grow sustainably, but also to contribute every day to making Africans experiences with remittances easy and accessible. Remittances have always been a major source for financing economies and are a means of social and economic development. For recipients of remittances, often Western Union is their first touchpoint with a formal sector financial institution. The money they receive

“WU locations reached a total of 7000 in 2005. By 2010, we had reached 18,000 locations” – Aida Diarra, WU Vice President for Africa



WU reaches more than 35,000 locations enables them to take the first steps towards more regular engagement with other financial institutions. 3. What does the 20th Anniversary of African operations mean for the company? How has it developed over the years? We are proud of the outstanding work we have been achieving 16

October 2015

with our agents across Africa. WU has reached a high level of Brand awareness and has continued to expand its network over the last 20 years. We have been also working on portfolio diversification, integrating new and innovative services. Throughout the years, Western Union has played a pioneering role in building the money transfer industry in Africa. Our first agent’s agreements


in the continent were signed with Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) in Ghana and Wafacash in Morocco in 1995. We started with 11 agents in Africa (from Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Mali, and Morocco). Network expansion went progressively and grew following various evolutions: between 1995 and 2000, the network had to be built from scratch. Later, it accelerated after ATM services were deployed and WU locations reached a total of 7,000 in 2005. By 2010, we had reached 18,000 locations. Throughout the past two decades we have increased our network to reach more than 35,000 locations; diversified our locations: consumers can send and receive not only from banks, but also post offices and retailers across the continent. We continued the diversification on payment solutions by introducing alternative channels: Account Based Money Transfer (ABMT), Direct to Bank (D2B), online and mobile. 4. How does it feel to be the first woman in Africa to reach this position? I have been with Western Union for

the last 15 years, and I guess this will partially answer your question. In the company, our culture has always been encouraging men and women to evolve based on their competencies, and I am proud to see today many women are now leading regions or functions and are part of the Executive Committee. I am sure this would encourage a lot of young school graduates to join our company and support moving money for the better. 5. What, do you feel, has been the effect of Western Union on the region? Western Union offers more than money transfer possibilities; we are an economic contributor through job creation and training, as well as business support and development. We facilitate business by offering an easy way to move money and contribute to economic growth. Millions of people are employed at least in part to handle Western Union transactions at Agent locations globally. When our business grows, we help the global economy grow by creating economic opportunities in new markets. Entrepreneurs running 17

FINANCE micro-businesses now have easier ways to make and receive international payments, allowing them to participate directly in the global economy, thanks to payment services specifically tailored to their needs. 6. What does the future hold for Western Union in Sub Saharan Africa? Western Union continues to be dedicated to opening more access points and providing customers


October 2015

with the solutions they need in countries across Africa. We are uniquely positioned to connect the digital and physical worlds for money transfer, and we believe these new channels will be a key driver of future growth. We already have a strong presence through the physical agent location network and we know that the large majority of current customers value the ability to send and importantly to pick up cash at these locations.


“Twenty years ago when Western Union came to Africa, the continent lacked adequate infrastructure to develop a business such as ours. Everything had to be built from scratch, which required knowledge of the region, strong relationships with local agents, perseverance and deft business and negotiation skills” – A ida Diarra, WU Vice President for Africa We are also working to create an integrated experience where the power of online, bank transfers and mobile technology to support our retail network capabilities, and give consumers an easy way to send money to nearly anywhere around the world. 7. What are the challenges of working in this region and how does the company strive to meet them? Twenty years ago when Western Union came to Africa, the continent lacked adequate infrastructure to develop a business such as ours. Everything had to be built from scratch, which required knowledge of the region, strong relationships with local agents, perseverance and

deft business and negotiation skills. We have launched a new class of trade. Previously, we were only available in banks, but today our services are available in retail shops, gas stations, and more. We have launched new channels (cash from an ATM machine, mobile, online) and value-added services in some countries (like Senegal, Morocco), such as free SMS notifications informing the receiver that the money is available for withdrawal. Nowadays, we have to adapt to the new ecosystem in which digital footprints are expanding widely in the African continent as well as the non-exclusivity in terms of agent collaboration. Many new products and services as well as new cooperation have been developed. 19

TOP 10

TOP10 Most ADMIRED BRANDS in AFRICA Non-African brands retain strong admiration across the continent

Written by: Nye Longman


TOP 10



SECTOR: Apparel DOMICILE: USA SALES/REVENUES: $25.3 billion (2013; Global) Nike is one of the world’s leading sports clothing and equipment producers and is the most valuable sportswear brand in the world. It currently has stores in South Africa and Somalia. 22

October 2015


LG SECTOR: Telecommunications DOMICILE: South Korea SALES/REVENUES: $143 billion (2012; Global) The South Korean tech giant manufactures everything from mobile handsets to home entertainment systems, kitchen appliances and air conditioning units. The brand has had a particular focus on Nigeria of late, where it has introduced the world’s first Optimus 3D smartphone and first Multi V III Solo commercial air conditioner.



TIGO SECTOR: Telecommunications DOMICILE: Luxembourg SALES/REVENUES: $6.39 billion (2014; Global) Tigo is the operating company through which Millicom offers its range of digital services to over 65 million customers across Africa and Latin America. Alongside mobile telephony services the company offers broadband, TV, and mobile financial services. 23

TOP 10


ADIDAS SECTOR: Apparel DOMICILE: Germany SALES/REVENUES: â‚Ź14.49bn (2013; Global) Adidas is the second largest sportswear producer in the world; its dominance of the global apparel market extends through its Reebok, Adidas and TaylorMadeAdidas custom golf wear brands. It has recently made the news for its leading role in reducing its environmental impact across its supply chain.


October 2015




SECTOR: Telecommunications DOMICILE: Nigeria SALES/REVENUES: $800m (Global; 2014)

Globacom is a home-grown Nigerian telco, founded and owned by Mike Adenuga, one of the continent’s richest and most successful businessmen. It offers the standard range of data, voice, devices and business services and was responsible for building GLO-1 in 2009, an $800 million fibre optic cable running from Nigeria to the United Kingdom.

TOYOTA SECTOR: Automotive DOMICILE: Japan SALES/REVENUES: $252bn (Global; 2014)


Toyota is the largest automobile manufacturer in the world and has produced over 200 million vehicles; its reach extends across the world. Its activitieson the continent began in 1959 when it exported a single Land Cruiser into South Africa; since then it has developed extensive manufacturing capabilities in the country. It has also established vehicle distribution centres, sales networks and assembly facilities covering every single African nation. 25

TOP 10



SECTOR: Electronics DOMICILE: South Korea SALES/REVENUES: $305bn (Global; 2014)



SECTOR: Electronics DOMICILE: Finland SALES/REVENUES: €12.73bn (Global; 2014) Nokia provides a host of products and services to customers seeking world-class solutions to their telephony and IT needs. It is particularly notable for entering into a partnership with Microsoft to develop a series of Windows phones, which the software giant now completely owns. Various studies over the past decade have revealed that Nokia’s handsets consistently rank as some of the most popular on the continent; it operates through networks of partnerships with local and multinational providers. 26

October 2015

Having started out as a small trader back in 1938, Samsung has grown into a massive multinational conglomerate that can boast, through its subsidiaries, the world’s largest IT company, as well as the world’s second largest ship builder. Its main offering to the African consumer market comes in the form of its mobile devices, television, cameras, and home appliances, as well as a range of IT services for homes and business. These brands are all backed up by dedicated support teams. Furthermore, Samsung has used its significant R&D capabilities to produce its “built for Afica” products which are designed for optimal use in regions with high temperatures and humidity, and in communities where power and water supplies are limited.

MTN SECTOR: Telecommunications DOMICILE: South Africa SALES/REVENUES: $12.43bn (Global; 2014)


MTN is a strong contender for Africa’s largest telco, at least in terms of revenues, and is the world’s 15th largest mobile company by its number of subscribers, which not only cover Africa, but also parts of the Middle East and Europe. It is also notable for being one of the few home-grown African companies to make the brand value list. For those who don’t know, MTN primarily supplies its 210 million subscribers with a variety of voice and data capabilities. Furthermore, the company also sells a variety of communications technology including phones, laptops, tablets, modems and routers. The telco has a broad range of CSR activities, which cover everything from healthcare, education and economic empowerment initiatives. 27

TOP 10



SECTOR: Beverages DOMICILE: USA SALES/REVENUES: $45.93bn (Global; 2014) Alongside being Africa’s most admired brand, Coca-Cola is also one of the largest employers on the continent, with some 65,000 employees on its books, spread across 160 processing plants. The brand first entered Africa via imports from the US in the late 1920s and by 1940 Coca Cola was established in Durban, Pretoria, and Cape Town, which was around the time when bottling operations first began on the continent. Its commitment to developing its people and operations on the continent is not only shown through its impressive coverage; the company is planning to make major investments in order to meet its goal of increasing its earnings by between seven and nine percent. It aims to achieve this by investing a total of $17 billion in Africa between 2010 and 2020.


October 2015



Specialising In Value Added Services Written by: Sam Jermy Produced by: Mariana Lee



Its expansion across the African region underscore its innovative path to growth

The global telecoms company is an expert in emerging markets, and is seeing some exciting growth developing within Africa


October 2015


ata Communications is looking forward to expanding upon its success across Africa by offering additional value added services to its wide customer base and partners in the region, based on a proven, vertical approach. The company’s rise to the top of the telecoms industry has been a remarkable one. The firm only began in its current form in 2002, but today an impressive 24 percent of the Internet’s routes are on the Tata network. Part of the $103.3 billion Tata Group and after a period of acquisitions, Tata Communications has flourished to become the largest submarine cable system operator in the world. It is also the world’s largest voice provider, carrying over one billion minutes of traffic per week.


Partly due to these milestones, the global Tier One IP provider is currently ranked in the top five in five continents, by internet routes. These are significant achievements and continued plans for expansion across the African region underscore its highly innovative path to growth. Radwan Moussalli, Senior Vice President for the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa at Tata Communications, said: “We’re now rolling out to Africa and Central Asia one of the successful strategies we adopted in 2008 in the Middle East. This will enable our partners and customers to effectively expand their infrastructure through enterprise offerings.” “This includes the core services of connectivity, IP and voice, but on top of that value added services such as media and managed security services. In Africa we’ve begun to develop partnerships in key select countries. This is to enable our partners to provide complex enterprise solutions for key industries that are tailored to each individual customer’s needs.” Moussalli continued: “I strongly believe selling plain vanilla connectivity is becoming a commodity business and will no longer sustain the market share nor the revenue expectations placed on us. This is the same across the board for the entire telecoms industry. Where the value comes in is when you develop a specific solution for certain verticals.” It is for this reason that Tata Communications has been able to develop a range of scalable

9000 + Number of jobs to be supported by Tata Communications in 2015

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“I strongly believe selling plain vanilla connectivity will no longer sustain the market share nor the revenue expectations placed on us. This is the same across the board for the entire telecoms industry” – Radwan Moussalli, Senior Vice President at Tata Communications


October 2015

solutions for enterprise clients such as the airline and media and entertainment/broadcasting industries. Along with carefully selected partners in the region, the company has opened up these new verticals by offering a package that involves global connectivity layered with a managed service for proactive monitoring capabilities. The multifaceted nature of the airline industry and similarly complex customers such as governmental bodies, drives the need for a comprehensive solution that can easily scale based on the size of the organisation. Competitive advantage Tata Communications’ long term strategy is to go one step beyond the standard offering of local service providers, which Moussalli believes will set the company apart. He said: “Obviously it has always been our intention to continually enhance our strategies to meet complex consumer requirements, and we do this by making sure we create an open infrastructure, ecosystem and platform that is the best fit for the business and service provider in each of our regions. “In the telecoms industry today, particularly where we see growth happening in the Mobile Network Operator (MNO) space, we see dynamic changes. We anticipate these changing market demands ahead of time and meet them with agility and flexibility through a diverse range of services built on our extensive global experience. This is perhaps the main ingredient to our success.”


Radwan Moussalli, Senior Vice President at Tata Communications


THE FASTER HIS DATA LAPS THE WORLD, THE FASTER HE LAPS THE CIRCUIT. There are over 150 sensors on a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula 1® car that capture massive amounts of data every second it's on the circuit. Data that team race engineers continuously analyse to enhance driver and car performance. Tata Communications provides the team with three-times faster trackside connectivity, via our wholly-owned, roundthe-world, fibre-optic ring. This ensures that crucial race data is transferred from the car to the factory back in the UK in less than a quarter of a second – for analysis in time for the next lap. The 'Silver Arrows' are currently at the top of thedrivers’ and constructors’ Championships*, and Tata Communications ensures that MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS continues to have the Speed To Lead.™ How would you use the power of Tata Communications?

*Correct at time of print. © 2015 Tata Communications. All rights reserved. TATA COMMUNICATIONS and TATA are trademarks of Tata Sons Limited in certain countries. Produced by agreement with Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd. “Mercedes”, “AMG” and all sponsors’ names and logos are reproduced under licence. The F1 FORMULA 1 Logo, F1, FORMULA 1, FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, GRAND PRIX and related marks are trademarks of Formula One Licensing BV, a Formula One group company. All rights reserved.


Preperation for laying communication cable onshore

Moussalli explained how in the Middle East, the company has effectively provided solutions for governments in the face of modern day concerns about security. Before, many of these bodies had poor connectivity and were run over the public internet; Tata Communications has been able to offer secure network, VoIP and related services that help alleviate these concerns. Progression Tata Communications is also well guarded against potentially negative market factors such as price erosion. This is where the company’s mobility services, coupled with the rate of technological proliferation play a notable role in offsetting this possible threat.

$3.2 bn The amount of revenue generated by Tata Communications

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24 percent of the internet’s routes are on Tata’s networks

“The value is in the partnerships you create: they can target specific verticals where a complex solution can be provided, tailored effectively to meet individualised customer needs” – Radwan Moussalli.


October 2015

Moussalli said: “Mobility services, to include African operators, is another important global component for us, and where we have been the partner of choice for most of the MNOs. Specifically, this helps fuel the rapid growth of IP traffic, which accounts for most of the mobile data revenue for MNOs. Africa, in particular, has been one of the fastest growing regions worldwide for mobile devices, creating the need for MNO access to reliable, affordable IP transit to meet the increased demand of a data-hungry customer base. “Most of them look to future proof the network; while some are still maturing their networks, we expect many to make the move to 3G and 4G/LTE soon. Our extensive global network experience positions us well to be able


to help most MNOs; whether in the LTE area, VoIP, signalling or core mobility services. “The mobility service for us in Africa, and globally, is essential. The end user increasingly uses platforms such as Facebook and Skype to communicate, so we are assisting the MNOs in various countries with innovative solutions, to reinvigorate revenue streams.” Moussalli points out that the sheer volume of demand for data consumption in Africa is compensating for any potential fallout from price erosion. He added that many regional clients are still using outdated 2G technology, positioning Tata as a provider of choice for 4G/LTE, which has the added benefit of being able to carry higher capacity, along with differentiated value added services. In line with its commitment to having the highest quality professional staff, Tata Communications also continues to invest in extensive employee learning and development programs, which are offered through the Tata Management Training Centre. This centre will remain a crucial tool going forward to support staff growth, which has traditionally increased by 15 to 20 percent each year in all Africa and Middle East regions. Moussalli concluded: “The value is in the partnerships you create: they can target specific verticals where a complex solution can be provided, tailored effectively to meet individualised customer needs. For us, Africa is a key market and it will play a pivotal role in driving our growth going forward.”

Company Information INDUSTRY

Telecommunications HEADQUARTERS


9,000+ REVENUE


With a leadership position in emerging markets, Tata Communications leverages its advanced solutions capabilities and domain expertise across its global network to deliver managed solutions to multi-national enterprises, service providers and partners

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Zambia’s Fifty-Year Copper Future Written by: John O’Hanlon Produced by: Kiron Chavda



The bold decision was made to go below with the objective of expanding the production of copper ore at the Konkola mine

Following $3 billion of investment by its majority shareholder, Vedanta and from internal resources, Konkola Copper Mines plc (KCM) wants to extend profitable operation for at least half a century: CEO Steven Din tells us how


October 2015


ambia has been heavily dependent on copper for decades, and its Copperbelt is probably still the best-known deposit. Today the country is internationally recognised as a premier producer of this product, and is ranked as the world’s eighth lar gest producer of copper. One of the largest mining operations in the country is the Konkola Copper Mines plc (KCM). Indeed KCM is the largest integrated copper producer in Zambia. It is a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, a company with its roots in India, though now headquartered in London where it is listed on the LSE. KCM produces finished copper in cathode form which is then sold on the London Metal Exchange (LME). “That is what differentiates us” explained


Steven Din, the company’s CEO. “Many other operations in Zambia don’t take production all the way from the mine to the finished product.” This was Vedanta’s vision when in November 2004, it became the majority shareholder in KCM, increasing its share to nearly 80 percent in 2008. Over this period, Vedanta invested close to $3 billion, with part of the financing raised by KCM to realise that vision, installing assets that included a state of the art smelter with a capacity of 311,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and t hree concentrators (two at the Nchanga mine in Chingola and one at Konkola mine in Chililabombwe) with a combined concentrating capacity of 15.5 million tonnes. When Steven Din took over the leadership of the mine in May 2014, he faced a much changed market for the mine’s products. It’s well known that there had been a slump in world copper prices, and that many projects were stalled or mothballed. However that is a short-term situation, and with the big investments out of the way, KCM was much better placed than most of its peers. Din took the long view. “We are building our vision for the next 50-100 years around the Konkola ore body.” With the open pit at Nchanga virtually mined out, the bold decision was made to go below with the objective of expanding the production of copper ore at the Konkola mine from two million tonnes per annum to 7.5 million tonnes per annum by accessing the rich ore body that lies below. To achieve this the company sank


Number of staff employed by Konkola Copper Mines

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“Last year we mined just under 1.5 million tonnes of ore and this year we expect over 2 million tonnes” – Steven Din, CEO


October 2015

a new mine shaft to a depth of 1,500 metres, making it the deepest new shaft sinking project in Africa. The Konkola Deep Mine Project (KDMP) started to bring copper ore from its mid-level in 2010 and from the bottom of the shaft in 2014. Now the deep mine is ramping up to full production, he said. “Last year we mined just under 1.5 million tonnes of ore and this year we expect over 2 million tonnes.” It’s a busy place with 6,000 people working there. Apart from extracting ore, this mine has the distinction of being one of the wettest mines in the world, and every day 350,000 cubic metres of water is pumped out into settlement beds for purification, and then to the Kafue River. This is equivalent to


the volume of water consumed daily by the 3.5 million populace of Zambia’s capital city Lusaka. The turnaround of KCM from a high volume, low cost mining operation to a long term sustainable business is well under way, with a new management team in place. Knowing the surface deposits were almost exhausted, when Vedanta came to Zambia 10 years ago it had the foresight to assess the Konkola ore body for the next 50100 years, building the assets and investing for the future, Din said. “The main thing we have been able to achieve over the past year is that we have been able to take away some of the complexity associated with moving from the legacy operation into a new construction and operation phase.”

Konkola’s Deeps headgear and conveyor. The turnaround of KCM from a high volume, low cost mining operation to a sustainable business is well underway

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KCM’s Nchanga smelter, part of its operations as the largest integrated copper producer in Zambia


October 2015

Under his watch, three distinct business units have been set up. One is the Konkola mine and its surface facilities (the six million tonne capacity concentrator was built to accompany the 1.5 kilometre deep shaft and the backfill plant unit). Another is the new smelter at Nchanga, together with the Nkana refinery. “We decided this should be operated independently: to the extent that we are unable to fill the smelter with ore mined from our own captive mines we will buy concentrate of appropriate grades on the market,� he explained. The third unit comprises the Nchanga operations, including a profitable reclamation business. The cheapest copper KCM is currently producing is from the old tailings, in which there remains a significant amount of metal.


This is being extracted using a leach process, solvent extraction and electrowinning. Each of those businesses thus has a different profile. “By setting them up separately under dedicated leadership, we have given them a lot of discipline and focus into how they should be managed today and into the future.” So most of his first year was spent in setting this new direction and aligning 16,000 employees into a new vision. The next phase, he said, will be one of systematisation, through IT and through human capital. “We are very much focused at present on our people, identifying talent, getting the right talent in the right place, the right skills in the key areas and making sure people are communicated to effectively and rewarded as they expect, both in terms of pay and in career development.” Energy is a big issue in the Copperbelt, where all the operators struggle to cope with erratic, and increasingly expensive, supply from an over-stretched national grid. Now there is a suggestion that load shedding, planned outages, will be introduced. KCM has a very large (220MW) energy requirement to keep its mining, smelting, beneficiation and dewatering operations going continuously, and is the largest power user in the country. It has diesel generation, 24MW at Konkola mine in Chililabombwe and a further 10MW at Nchanga, that can be brought into use if there’s a power cut. But backup power is expensive power. Vedanta’s portfolio includes 9,000 MW of

“We have been able to take away some of the complexity associated with moving from the legacy operation into a new construction and operation phase” – Steven Din, CEO

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Konkola’s new East mill concentrator

baseload generation in India, so it made sense to start looking at the possibility of utilising coal deposits in the area. It might make good sense to build a power station that would not only meet its own needs going forward but also generate a surplus that could be offtaken by the national power authority ZESCO. In 2013 KCM started exploration in Sinazongwe near the Zimbabwe border. If the right quantity and quality is established it hopes to build a power station to generate as much as 300 megawatts and transmit it on the network that currently feeds the Copperbelt from the Kariba generation on the Zambezi.

Steel & Iron Founders Manufacturers of Grinding Media, Castings, Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide & Acetylene T +260 212 213933 / 213946 / 213541 F +260 212215432 P.O. Box 20418 • Kitwe • Zambia • Plot 1316 Dr Aggery Ave. Industrial Area


A coal fired power station would benefit the whole country, however in its own backyard KCM is very much more than just a large employer and consumer of goods and services. It supports no fewer than two fully equipped hospitals, eight township clinics and eight mine clinics reaching out to over 63,000 people. That’s in addition to the education system it runs; primary and secondary schools at both Chililabombwe and Chingola, between them serving 2,200 pupils. Steven Din was very proud of KCM’s community work. “We have upgraded the secondary schools to A-level, because the Zambian education system normally relies on universities to deal with that level of preparation in a foundation course. We wanted to give our students the

Konkola’s concentrator. In 2013 KCM started exploration in Sinazongwe, near the Zimbabwe boarder

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Trucking is nowhere as efficient as rail for bulk transport


October 2015

opportunity to go abroad for tertiary education, and for that they need an entry qualification that’s recognised internationally. We have previously sent 42 students to India, South Africa or Namibia studying mainly engineering and medicine.” This energetic CEO is now finding time to revive a former Vedanta policy that has stagnated – getting group companies to second some of their top trainers to Zambia to assist with technical training. “We also want to send Zambians out to our Indian operations.” What else would he like to do? Well he’s working with government and Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) to reintroduce the benefits of the old inter-mine system that used to


link the mines and carry ore to the coast at Dar es Salaam. Trucking is nowhere near as efficient as rail for bulk transport. But his number one priority is safety. Things were not going well, so following a number of fatalities, in November last year KCM launched The Chachilamo safety initiative. Chachilamo means ‘enough is enough,’ in the local language and it aims to entrench a culture of safety awareness and to introduce practical safety standards to the company’s 16,000 employees. “That really inspired the workforce,” he enthused. “It includes all the contractors and the Mines Safety Department too, and we decided to make it a highly visual campaign.” Chachilamo was featured on TV, to popular acclaim, but he still wasn’t satisfied. “We have 100 people working in safety already, but we said we need to take 20 of the best people out of the business and turn them into Chachilamo champions; that was difficult, precisely because they were the best guys!” The Chachilamo champions were taught mentoring skills and set about spreading the safety message in the mines. Shortly, however, they came back and said that teams would be more effective than individuals, so each was given a further five people. Now there are 120 safety ‘evangelists’ throughout the business, workplace mentoring as they do their regular jobs. It has, he says with satisfaction, made a big difference to the company’s safety record this year.

Company Information INDUSTRY


Chingola, Zambia FOUNDED


16,000 REVENUE

Not Disclosed PRODUCTS/ SERVICES Reclamation, Refining, Smelting, Exploration

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GAP Written by: John O’Hanlon Produced by: Richard Deane



Through a holistic approach to operational excellence, Bigen Africa is at the forefront of project development on the continent


igen Africa, a leading infrastructure development group with an established presence in southern Africa and a growing African footprint, continues to play a significant role in closing the infrastructure gap on the continent, despite a troubled global economy. With its vision of improving the quality of life of all through the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions, Bigen Africa provides engineering, management consulting, development finance and advisory services on cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in several African countries. The group has delivered projects with a combined value of R200 billion over the past decade, operating in the health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation, property, housing, energy, road, rail and mining sectors.

Steyn City: Bigen Africa’s superior design and engineering capabilities have been proven and awarded consistently during its 44 years of operation.


October 2015


Bigen Africa’ philosophy of “doing good while doing business” supports the company vision of improving the quality of life of all through the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions.

“With over 40 years of experience, much of it obtained on projects ensuring progressive leaps for African countries, Bigen Africa has an in-depth understanding of the infrastructure development needs experienced on the continent and is committed to supporting the African Union agenda in achieving its infrastructure development goals,” says Dr Snowy Khoza, Chief Executive Officer. Central to the group’s success, in terms of both business achievements and expansion into Africa, is its value proposition to customers, governments and communities – to provide infrastructure development solutions through a holistic approach which encompasses inhouse capabilities, strategic partnerships

500 Number of staff employed by Bigen Africa

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Snowy Khoza

and off-taker needs to optimise project validity and add innovative and sustainable value in integrating the entire value chain in an infrastructure development process. The group’s capabilities range from feasibility studies through project preparation, management and implementation to development finance and ongoing asset management.

Chief Executive Officer Having grown up in poverty in a South African township during the apartheid years, Dr Snowy Khoza has overcome great social and financial challenges, such as being forced to give up her schooling to start work in a factory at the age of 13. Eventually obtaining several bursaries, she completed a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University, USA and an MBA from the University of Cape Town. Her career journey comprises more than 28 years at senior management level. Before joining Bigen Africa in 2010 as Chief Executive Officer, Dr Khoza was Group Executive at the Development Bank of Southern Africa for 12 years, which was the culmination of various positions in information technology, strategy, governance, communications, knowledge management, policy, human resources, research and information analysis.


October 2015

Partnerships The forging of strategic partnerships is key to Bigen Africa’s business approach and the group collaborates not only with African governments, but also with suppliers and project partners which complement the group’s capability range to ensure that clients have access to a “full-service” offering. “The group’s partnerships strategy is key to its success in achieving technical excellence and innovation,” explains Dr Khoza. “At its annual Partnership Conferences, Bigen Africa strengthens ties with industry delegates from across Africa with a view to forging strategic partnerships. Through these, the group aims to build its capabilities in the renewable energy, development finance, rails, mining and industrial, mechanical engineering and project delivery services.” Industry awards Based on Bigen Africa’s contributions to the advancement of infrastructure development in


South Africa and on the continent, as well as its innovation, quality, outstanding workmanship and professionalism in the consulting engineering sector, the group recently won three of the seven categories at the annual awards event of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA). The categories were Business Excellence, Mentoring Company of the Year and Best International Project, with the latter being awarded for Bigen Africa’s work on the 360km North-South Carrier (NSC-2) regional water transfer system in Botswana. Bigen Africa’s entries in four other categories also qualified for the final round of judging – Mentor of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, the massive Steyn City residential project in Gauteng, South Africa (project value R50 million to R250 million) and the innovative, “green” Wallacedene taxi rank in Cape Town (project value under R50 million). CESA is an organisation committed to furthering engineering excellence and the annual awards are the top highlight on the industry’s calendar. “Bigen Africa is extremely blessed to have received these awards,” says Dr Khoza. “The group is dedicated to ensuring excellence in its operations, changing the lives of millions of Africans and practising its creed of “doing good while doing business” on a daily basis. Receiving accolades such as these is therefore very gratifying and we as a company give all the glory and honour to God Almighty.”

“Building on its extensive experience and carefully sourced expertise, and with the support of well-chosen industry partners, Bigen Africa offers a solutions driven approach to our clients’ infrastructure development needs” – Snowy Khoza, CEO

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“ Excellence in Legal Practice Unveiled” COMPANY/COMMERCIAL/INVETSMENT LAWYERS

Formed as boutique firm which warehoused all the relevant core skills and specialized knowledge, LOGAN & ASSOCIATES was a response by a group of visionary lawyers lead by Maxwell Logan to fill the vacuum created by the sudden and aggressive deregulation and opening up of the Ghanaian business space in the late 1990s. The firm has one objective, TO CREATE A SOFT LANDING FOR FOREIGN BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS WHO WANT TO DO BUSINESS IN GHANA by providing guidance in navigating the mine field of regulations and to help them obtain the optimum benefits from incentive regimes in place. The firm provides a 'CRADDLE to ADULTHOOD' service for foreign clients delivering due diligence services, rendering advise on the regulatory regime for sector of client interest, incorporating and setting up investment portfolios, trusteeship services and project advisory. For most clients, we make Ghana ready for them even before the take their first step towards physical presence here. LOGAN & ASSOCIATES is proud of its partnership with our many international clients and we are particularly delighted to have partnered BIGEN AFRICA in its unfolding huge successful entry into Ghana. AFTER YOU CONSIDER DOING BUSINESS IN GHANA, TALKING TO US IS NEXT. A decade and a half on, we are here; STILL PUNCHING ABOVE OUR WEIGHTS.''

MESSRS LOGAN & ASSOCIATES The KingFisher House| House No. E742/1 | 10th Avenue | Ringway| Osu-Accra P.O. BOX 30566, KIA ACCRA-GHANATEL: +233 302 797168, FAX +233 302 797169 EMAIL: |

AIMING FOR THE SMALL DOT “Whatever thine hands find to do, do it well”



The group has also received many other awards over the years, including previous CESA awards, and has been one of the Top 500 Best Managed South African Companies since 2006. “Doing good while doing business” Bigen Africa’s creed of “doing good while doing business” is practised through the employees’ multiple social investment initiatives and is also embodied in the activities of Intuthuko Foundation, the group’s corporate social investment arm. With support from employees, clients and partners, the group raised R1 million over the past year for donating to several non-profit organisations, both in South Africa and some of the other African countries where it is active. As far as work and supplier contracts on projects are concerned, Bigen Africa adds value to its business activities by extending, where feasible, such opportunities to local companies in the countries where it is active, as a further boost to local economies.

Klarinet Housing Project. The Klarinet Integrated Housing Project in Witbank Mpumalanga was the recipient of the Govan Mbeki housing award in May 2012.

Expansion strategy Besides having 9 well-established branches across South Africa, Bigen Africa has opened offices in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and, most recently, Ghana. From these bases, the group has completed many cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects in these countries as well as Malawi, Swaziland, w w w. b i g e n a f r i c a . c o m


BIGEN AFRICA Mozambique, Ethiopia, Angola, Nigeria, Kenya, Congo, Lesotho, and Tanzania. Some of these projects are the provision of electricity for 100 000 rural villagers in Ethiopia; participation in Namibia’s national mass housing development plan; the construction of 30 000 household units for the Ghanaian security forces; the 200ha Luano City development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and phase 2 of the North-South Carrier water transfer scheme in Botswana. The latter entails the implementation of a 330 kilometre-long regional water transfer pipeline, three remotecontrolled break pressure tanks, four remote-


The number of branches Bigen Africa has across Africa

Quality Assurance Quality Control

Quality Pipe Inspectors provide Quality Inspection Services from pipe fabrication to site installation and commissioning throughout the Southern African Region. Tel 011 455 1976 Fax 011 455 0637 E-mail Web Address 2 Skeen Boulevard, Bedfordview, Johannesburg, 2047


October 2015


controlled feeder tanks, a terminal balancing storage reservoir and three pumping stations. Continuing to expand its African footprint is a major aspect of Bigen Africa’s business strategy, S-Vision 16, which is a five-year guide for both business planning and day-to-day operations. “This expansion strategy is being achieved with the support of Bigen Africa’s business partners, including the various country partners, to support localisation, indigenisation and regionalisation,” explains Dr Khoza. “Bigen Africa intends to expand into East Africa, through Kenya. The growth strategy into West Africa is spearheaded through the establishment of Bigen Africa Ghana Limited with a first office registered in Accra.”

The Bigen Africa Group has delivered various projects geared

Human capital development With its current workforce numbering almost 600, Bigen Africa has a formal employee recruitment, retaining and development strategy in place which is integrated with its growth objectives. The BigenPeople strategy is intended to capacitate the group for growth through building knowledge communities and encouraging multi-skilling, as well as directing employees’ attention towards the group’s S-Vision 16 goals. “Bigen Africa’s biggest asset is its human capital,” says Dr Khoza. “In an industry where engineering talent is at a premium, the group needs to take a longterm view to ensuring capability. One of the key core values is empowerment, which

toward sustainable infrastructure development in several countries on the African continent. The combined value of these projects over the past decade alone has amounted to R200 billion.

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North South Carrier Project Bigen Africa has opened offices in Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and Ghana and has undertaken numerous infrastructure development projects in these countries to ensure an improved quality of life for all. Amongst these projects is the North South Carrier water transfer scheme in Botswana which entails the implementation of a 330km long regional water transfer pipeline. 62

October 2015


focuses on the skills development of all employees and strategic partnerships.” Some of the many programmes in place are study assistance, management and leadership development, succession management, technical expertise development and mentoring. Bigen Africa received industry recognition for its mentoring programme at the CESA Engineering Excellence Awards in 2012, and again in 2015, where it was named Mentoring Company of the Year. At the awards ceremony in 2013, Kobus Viljoen, one of Bigen Africa’s engineers, received the Mentor of the Year Award.

Green Star South Africa awarded

Thought leader With Bigen Africa’s mission being “to become a thought-leading, multinational infrastructure development consultancy with core capabilities in engineering, management consulting and development finance”, Bigen Africa aims to be progressive in all areas of its business, and this includes environmental responsibility. “The group’s involvement in South Africa’s first ‘green’ taxi rank, as provider of design and engineering services, is a highlight in its portfolio,” says Dr Khoza enthusiastically. “Bigen Africa utilised innovative conservation principles to render the facility largely selfsufficient in terms of water and energy use – while being able to accommodate some 5 000 commuters and 50 taxi drivers.”

the Wallacedene taxi rank a fourstar rating which recognises that the facility adheres to the body’s “best practice” guidelines

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Bigen Africa provided the full spectrum of infrastructure services for Luano City. This included design, planning, construction supervision, roads and access as well as structural and sanitation services on the multi use commercial, residential and industrial Luano city development in the DRC.

As a part of the expansion strategy, Bigen recently opened their Ghana Office.


October 2015

The taxi rank uses alternative energy and water provision systems to ensure considerable savings for the local municipality, such as a rooftop solar photovoltaic panel system, rainwater harvesting and recycling of up to 70 percent of water used. These innovations have culminated in Green Star South Africa awarding the Wallacedene taxi rank a four-star rating which recognises that the facility adheres to the body’s “best practice” guidelines. With the group’s capabilities ranging from the provision of basic, essential infrastructure to innovation on unique projects – such as Wallacedene and the massive, prestigious Steyn City residential project – Bigen Africa has proven itself up to every design and


Company Information INDUSTRY

Infrastructure Development HEADQUARTERS




engineering challenge it has encountered. “Building on its extensive experience and carefully sourced expertise, and with the support of well-chosen industry partners, Bigen Africa offers a solutions driven approach to clients seeking effective solutions to infrastructure development needs,” affirms Dr Khoza. “The group will continue to strengthen its position as a leader in the industry, covering business development, strategic partnerships, geographical expansion, corporate restructure, human capital development and financial objectives, thereby ensuring its efficiency in assisting African countries to address key emerging public policy priorities.”



Engineering; Managment Consulting and Development Finance

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CONNECTING THE AFRICAN CONTINENT Written by: Lucy Dixon Produced by: Richard Deane


T R A N S T E C H L O G I S T I C S ( P T Y ) LT D

Transtech Logistics explains why its strategy of offering clients a complete freight solution sets it apart from the rest

130 Number of staff employed by Transtech Logistics 68

October 2015

We don’t look at ourselves as simply a transporter or a logistics firm, we are a complete service provider,” said Transtech Logistics’ business manager, Chokani Mhango, describing the company’s philosophy and one of the biggest factors behind its success. Founded in 1997 in Malawi, Transtech Logistics is a freight specialist, offering comprehensive and integrated solutions throughout South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and, of course, Malawi. The company operates a fleet of just under 100 Freightliner trucks, employing the same number of drivers and 40 additional staff at its offices in Lilongwe (Malawi), Lusaka (Zambia), Harare (Zimbabwe) and Johannesburg (South Africa). The South African office, which is now also the head office, is a relatively recent addition, opening in 2013. He explained: “I am an economics scholar and started my career in banking. But after six years I was ready for a new challenge and Transtech’s Managing Director approached me with his plans to open an independent office in South Africa. The rest, as they say, is history.” Transtech’s vision is to facilitate its customers’ entire supply chain, meeting the demand for both manufactured products from South Africa and beyond and various raw materials and agricultural products from southern Africa. Mhango said: “We are positioning ourselves in this very exciting space, being able to


connect our southern African clientèle, with both SA and international manufacturers, and at the same time connecting agricultural exporters in Malawi, Zimbabwe and so on with our international customers. That’s why our slogan is ‘Connecting the African Continent’.” And as the South African office starts its third year, it’s an exciting time for the company. “While the business as a whole has been operating for 18 years, this office is the ‘newbie’, so the first three years have been very important in the getting the right personnel in, getting the right structures in place and getting the right client base - building a structure for business,” said Mhango. Attracting the right personnel is a key element of the company’s strategy, particularly as

Transtech’s vision is to facilitate its customers’ entire supply chain

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T R A N S T E C H L O G I S T I C S ( P T Y ) LT D

“People are the heart and soul of Transtech” - Chokani Mhango

the logistics industry is very labour intensive. People are the heart and soul of Transtech and all our personnel are critical to the vision of the organisation in order to cohesively run the fleet on a daily basis. “As management, we strive to create a corporate work environment that is second to none. Our recruitment policy endeavours to attract highly qualified individuals with a passion for this industry and we, in turn, strive to provide our personnel with a very exciting and challenging corporate environment that promotes free thinking, career growth and self-improvement.” Transtech understands the importance

Customs Clearing • Forwarding Air Freight • Expertise Advise Hyperclass Investments T/ A Asante Sana freight Services is a locally registered company according to Zimbabwe regulations, specializing in other if not all aspects of shipping based on client’s requirements. These are, but not limited to Customs clearing, forwarding, transport, tracking, monitoring. T +263 286 22217 / 286 23210 F +263 286 23055 Skype Mahlahla.panganai2 +263 783 729554 / 7165 75509

Stand No.540 Pound Road, Next to Peter’s Motel, P.O Box 104, Beitbridge


of training and education for its staff, with some of the office team taking part in postgraduate programmes and regular training for all employees. Mhango said: “As a very wise person once told me, a person who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after. And in the global economy that we’re in today, we’re faced with new ways of conducting business on a daily basis and it is therefore critical that our teams are up-to-date with latest systems, the new procedures, the different regulations and all the new opportunities that business of today demands.” This policy really helps when it comes to retaining great staff too, as they recognise Transtech as an employer that can satisfy their needs beyond a salary. In addition to a professional and dedicated staff, Mhango also believes that technology is crucial to Transtech’s success as he believes that, in the transportation industry, technology can set you aside from everyone else. An example is how the company makes use of tracking technology. “One of the premier needs of our clients is tracking; they want to know where their cargo is at any time,” he said. “There is an automated tracking alert that goes out to clients twice a day, at 7am and 4pm. In addition to this, our operations team provide our clients with a more comprehensive report detailing all the events occurring on the date in question.” Transtech Logistics also has a new website in development that will allow its clients to log in at any time of day

“While the business as a whole has been operating for 18 years, this office is the ‘newbie’, so the first three years have been very important in the getting the right personnel in, getting the right structures in place and getting the right client base - building a structure for business” – Chokani Mhango, Business Manager

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T R A N S T E C H L O G I S T I C S ( P T Y ) LT D

“In the global economy that we’re in today, we’re faced with new ways of conducting business on a daily basis and it is therefore critical that our teams are up-todate with latest systems, the new procedures, the different regulations and all the new opportunities that business of today demands.” – Chokani Mhango, Business Manager


October 2015

Transtech understands the importance of training and education for its staff

and track the cargo themselves, making use of the state-of-the-art tracking units. Furthermore this software can also asses the performances of the trucks, including fuel consumption, which then allows the workshop team to identify any concerns and defects as the trucks are coming in and thus turn them around very quickly. Road transport is a critical component for any sort of business in southern Africa and this is reflected in the type of projects Transtech is currently working on, which include a coal mine in Mozambique and a new railway connecting Malawi and Mozambique. It is also working on a road construction project in Malawi, transporting raw materials such as bitumen. A diverse range of projects and clients again points back to Transtech’s determination to provide a holistic solution for anyone who has cargo to move,


incorporating every aspect of the supply chain. Mhango added: “Transportation is just the first step of what we do here at Transtech. We strive to provide our clientele with a more comprehensive solution. All cargo transported on our trucks is considered bonded which then allows our clients to defer duty payments until the consignment arrives at its final destination.” This means that cargo doesn’t get delayed by customs officials which may in turn incur storage costs. So, with its 20th anniversary approaching in 2017, what does the future hold for Transtech? As well as growing its fleet in the next few months, the company is also focusing on other markets, including domestic routes and consolidated work. A new department focusing on consolidation has been opened, as Mhango explained: “We have started to target private clients who may only have five or 10 tonnes of cargo to move. We have a warehouse on our premises and can consolidate all their products and once we secure enough cargo to make a full truck load we are good to go. We are currently dispatching two consolidated trucks a week but we are looking to improve that statistic to at least five a week by 2016.” In a difficult economic environment, it seems that Transtech is rising to the challenge. Mhango concluded: “We are a growing organisation but we cannot just be a single-solution firm, we have to stand out from the rest, that is the only way we can achieve growth.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


Johannesburg, SA FOUNDED




Air Cargo, Logistics

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Prommac Continues To Grow Its Reputation In Energy Written by Sheree Hanna Produced by: Anthony Munatswa


P R O M M A C ( P T Y ) LT D

A South African provider of maintenance solutions is winning big deals from big players both at home and abroad with an aggressive growth strategy


aintenance and shutdown contractor Prommac has undergone something of a transformation in the past three years having grown from a R30 million turnover business in 2011 to R200 million in 2015. Founded in 2005, the private South African company’s growth strategy has seen peak employee levels rise from 200 to in excess of 1,500 over the past three years fuelled not only by acquisition and expansion, but also the determination of its owner-manager team to be the very best in its field. With an enviable safety record and a rubber stamp of approval from global clients such as Chevron and Sasol, Prommac boasts vast experience in the petrochemical, oil and gas, and Power sectors, and now has its eye firmly set on the mining industry as a prospective and lucrative market for its top-notch services. Earlier this year Prommac acquired a Rustenburg mining company as part of its drive towards persuading the sector’s leaders that outsourcing maintenance is an efficient and productive step to take. Mining for new business Prommac’s Chief Executive Officer, Jason English, said: “The oil and gas industry transitioned to outsourcers many years ago as they realised it was not only cost effective, but allowed them to concentrate on the core business of making petrol.


October 2015


Prommac boasts vast experience in the petrochemical, oil and gas, and power sectors, and now has its eye firmly set on the mining industry

“We recently did a case study which showed a coal mine substantially increased its productivity and plant availability by outsourcing. “At the start of the case study in 2012, productivity was at 28 percent and the mine was using 88 people to perform maintenance. After 2 years, a snap shot was taken and we were doing exactly the same job with 44 people and the plants availability was up to 78 percent.” In short, Prommac offers complete solutions for plant maintenance, shutdown execution, commissioning and small project execution.

1,500 Number of staff employed by Prommac

Sweeping changes English, who has extensive experience in oil and gas, joined Prommac in 2012. Since his arrival, some sweeping changes have been made including new company branding and the appointment of several high profiled key individuals including an internationally w w w. p r o m m a c . c o m


P R O M M A C ( P T Y ) LT D

Looking after its people is first and foremost

experienced shutdown specialist and a highly qualified and experienced Chief Operating Officer. In 2013, the board was restructured and Prommac won its first major contract in South Africa. The following year the Prommac Electrical and Instrumentation division was established as a 51 percent black-owned business and this was swiftly followed with a welcome shareholding investment made by CG Energy who is owned by the founders of South Africa’s leading community-based investment house, Royal Bafokeng Holdings. Prommac’s reputation further soared in 2014

“The deal with Chevron was a significant milestone for us as it is one of the major players in the world and thus quite an achievement” – Jason English, CEO


when it secured its first major international deal with global player Chevron. “The deal with Chevron was a significant milestone for us as it is one of the major players in the world and thus quite an achievement,” said English. Success fuelled success with Johannesburgbased, integrated energy and chemical company, Sasol, awarding Prommac a five-year contract. Thus the maintenance and shut down specialist continued on its expansion trail with the acquisition of a manpower resources division and enabled its overseas growth by establishing operations in Abu Dhabi, in the Middle East.

We are big enough to deliver and small

Putting people first Looking after its people first and foremost is evident in the time and investment Prommac has made both in its training schemes and its outstanding safety record. “We are currently investing in building new head offices in South Africa where we will have our own training unit,” explained English. “One of the most significant things we have done is invest in stateof-the-art, online training materials, which are way ahead of what most other companies have and will assist us in creating a more skilled workforce.” On the safety side, Prommac has in excess of 10 million lost time-free work hours and has been recognised by NOSA, a global leader in health, safety, environmental and quality risk management, as the second best performing contractor in

enough to care

Prommac has reached 95 percent safety for three consecutive years

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P R O M M A C ( P T Y ) LT D

Prommac has been recognised by NOSA as the second best performing contractor in the construction sector

Mpumalanga in the construction sector. “We have received 3 consecutive special NOSCAR ratings for reaching 95 percent in our safety audits for the past successive three years,” said English.

Prommac is a Black Economic Empowerment Employer


October 2015

Going nuclear Attaining such a strong safety record has benchmarked Prommac as a contractor able to service the nuclear power industry after it was selected to carry out valve maintenance works for one of two nuclear power stations in South Africa. “Working in the nuclear arena is really the pinnacle of the power space in terms of safety and quality regulation,” said English. “We have an outstanding safety record. As a private entity we are effective at keeping our overheads to a minimum. Our slogan is ‘we are big enough to deliver and small enough to care’”.


Prommac is a Black Economic Empowerment employer and has established education and key persons’ trusts to support its efforts and it also supports local communities through a variety of ways including using suppliers local to its operations. “We are involved in various sponsorships and are currently backing a young female athlete who has broken South African records and is set to run in the Olympics. We help to raise funds and have set up employee schemes where our workers get benefits from the profits of the business,” he said. Shoulder to the wheel English believes the company’s success has also been inspired by its owner-manager shareholders, who not only run the show but continue to work alongside employees. “We believe in giving clients access to us 365 days of the year. If you look at the back of our business cards the number given is the CEOs, which just goes to show to what extent we will go to resolve clients’ problems,” said English. Prommac is most certainly primed for a prosperous and rosy future as it aims to take its growth strategy further on in the years to come. English concluded: “We are a technically-strong business with a client centric approach along with robust planning and development systems in place. We have never lost a term contract and that must say something about the overall culture and performance of our business.”

Company Information INDUSTRY


Johannesburg, SA FOUNDED




Plant maintenance, shutdown execution, commissioning, small project execution

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