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( P T Y )



Everyday Touching

Goba is a name that seems to crop up in connection with almost every major project in South Africa. Craig Simmer, business development director of Goba (Pty) Limited, talks to South Africa Magazine about Goba’s momentous 2010 and plans for the future. By Ian Armitage


Goba (Pty) Limited FEATURE


ast year was a momentous one for Goba (Pty) Limited. The independent, progressive South African consulting engineering firm was involved in the development of no less than four of the World Cup stadia - the multiple award-winning Moses Mabidha Stadium; the Greenpoint Stadium; the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium; and the Mbombela Stadium. Goba was also involved in the preparation of transport operational plans for the World Cup event in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Mbombela, as well as a host of other projects. “We offer multidisciplinary services packaged to meet each client’s project requirements,” says business development director of Goba, Craig Simmer. “We commit ourselves to working closely with clients, creating cost-effective solutions and enabling the acquisition of new quality assets.” Goba is a name that seems to crop up in connection with almost every major project in South Africa, from mines and tunnels to transportation, roads, dams and pipelines and port development. Founded in 2001 through the merger of two established companies, Goba Moahloli & Associates and Keeve Steyn Incorporated, it has built up a unique reputation for professional integrity linked with the ability to deliver complex specialised projects effectively. “We have worked on projects vital to national growth, such as the Berg River Dam that brings water to Cape Town, and the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP), and the widening and deepening of the entrance to the Port of Durban,” Simmer says. “In addition, the company is part of a consortium that is managing the implementation of the Mokolo-Crocodile and VRESAP pipelines and pump stations major bulk water supply projects required to drive industrial growth in Lepalale and Mpumulanga respectively.”


Goba (Pty) Limited FEATURE

“We see a lot of future growth coming from within the Transport Division,” Simmer explains. With over 35 years of experience, the objective of the Goba Transportation Division has been to provide clients with work and advice of the highest quality that adds value to projects. This has resulted in this Division being acknowledged as one of the best in the field, Simmer says. “We also do a lot of work on mine surface infrastructure on things like materials handling, haul roads, water and power reticulation, polluted water dams and control systems, as well as the offices, workshops and buildings on the surface,” he adds. “That is a big part of our business also, as is Water.” Goba is linked up with the likes of Sasol, working in a joint venture with RSV Enco, for instance, providing EPCM services for the multi-billion rand Thubelisha and Most of the firm’s turnover comes from the Transportation Division, the largest of Goba’s four divisions, he adds. “Our four divisions are Transport, Mining and Industrial, Water and Structures and Bridges,” Simmer explains. “On the Transport side, we have been involved in several multi-billion rand projects throughout the country, including, as I said, the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project, a R30 billion project, which saw a major upgrading of the main freeway network in Gauteng and the introduction of electronic toll collection in the country.” Goba, he says, is also at the forefront of the national initiative to restructure public transport services within South Africa and is involved in the planning and operation design of integrated rapid public transport networks in three of the five major metropolitan areas in the country, including Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya.


UNIPLAS PRODUCTS Uniplas Products cc is a young black owned company based in Johannesburg, Gauteng. As part of Goba Mining’s commitment to local procurement and enterprise development Uniplas was engaged to provide procurement and commercial services for two of their Coal Mine Projects in Secunda. Over the past three years Uniplas has established a great working relationship with Goba and I can proudly say that Goba have shown exceptional commitment and support throughout this time. I do believe that successful and sustainable partnerships are the key to sustainable development.

Thank you Goba!

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Goba (Pty) Limited FEATURE

THE TRAVEL LINK The Travel Link was established on 01 June 2000 with a vision of catering to the ever growing needs and expectations of today’s traveller, by bringing a higher level of personal service to both the corporate and leisure traveller. We are a boutique agency with world class client service standards and our team provides customised and personalised travel solutions. The Travel Link is committed to being a truly South African company that contributes to the economy and empowerment through skills development. We value diversity as a key business imperative as demonstrated in our diverse team. We are proud to be the preferred travel management provider for Goba, and wish them well for all future ventures.

Impumelelo mines. But growth really is everywhere. “I’m sure Goba will continue to expand. We expect the government to continue to put funds into infrastructure. There are a number of big projects we have our eyes on,” Simmer says. Goba, he continues, has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy designed to increase the range and detail of the services it offers clients. The multi-faceted strategy allows for organic growth, he says. “The strategy also allows for targeted acquisitions and mergers with companies that are entirely in tune with Goba’s current service offerings as well as the overall strategy.


I’m sure Goba will continue to expand

“We have recently acquired consulting engineers and development managers, Crosswell Engineers, who have been in existence for a number of years and have successfully undertaken numerous projects in the civil infrastructure, electrical and commercial development sectors.” As well as business development, Simmer is responsible for overseeing Goba’s excellent mentorship programme, set up to assist graduates towards obtaining professional registration. “It is aimed at retaining and training new talent,” he says. “It shows our commitment to investing in the future of the company by mentoring young blood.

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“We’ve had mentoring programmes for many years however they have been applied on a less formal basis. It is all now a lot more formal and mentorship committees have been set up in every regional office and they work closely with an external mentor. The programme is supported by senior management and we think the success of the programme speaks for itself - a number of professionals gained registration from this.” The South African market is competitive; many of the large infrastructure projects are yet to gain momentum. In response, most of the major players are creating new integrated services offerings or expanding overseas to increase market opportunities. Indeed, South African construction companies are looking to the rest of Africa for growth and opportunities, Simmer says, and Goba is no different. “The business has been performing

surprisingly well,” he explains. “It is resilient. “We had a bit of a hangover from the World Cup, with slow pickup with new projects, and because there has been a bit of overspend within the municipalities there have been a lot of cutbacks. But we have managed to retain market share and we are remaining profitable where other companies aren’t. “We are willing to move into new markets, for example gaining greater exposure in Sub Saharan Africa, and are evolving our value proposition, as I said before. “One of the growth areas going forward is public transport almost certainly and most of the State Owned Entities such as Transnet and Eskom have substantial build out programmes and are major opportunities,” Simmer says. “We are looking at new geographic areas, with Sub Saharan Africa a major focus. At this stage we are targeting around 10-15 percent of our business to come out of those countries,” he concludes. END

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SA Mag - Issue 17 - GOBA FEATURE


SA Mag - Issue 17 - GOBA FEATURE