Coega opportunities for SMMEs

Two small businesses boosted by roles in construction of new Hella facility in special economic zone

Two Port Elizabeth SMMEs are providing fundamental construction components at Hella’s new facility at the Coega special economic zone (SEZ).
The German-based lighting and electronics specialist company will be moving its Nelson Mandela Bay operations to the R30m facility, from its current location in Uitenhage.
Hella is set to start operating out of its new facility in June 2019, in line with its new financial year.
Hella Automotive South Africa is still in Uitenhage and has been operating in the Bay for more than 40 years.
SMME Sikuphiwe Trading, owned by 28-year-old Ncebakazi Mhlaba, is responsible for the brickwork and plastering at the new building.
Mhlaba, who hails from Motherwell, said opportunities such as this had enabled her to move out of a shack and buy a house for her family.
“It has not only contributed to my own growth but even that of my family,” she said.
“What I have also realised is that being determined and focused on your goals plays an important part in achieving success.”
Mhlaba established Sikuphiwe Trading in 2013.
“We were living in the NU10 informal settlement in Motherwell, but I bought a home in Charlo and I live there with my family now.”
Mhlaba said she had developed a love for construction when she starting working at her mother’s company, Nomatshayina Kinana, as a technical manager after matriculating.
While starting her own business in a male-dominated industry had its challenges, Mhlaba says she has come into her own and can stand her ground.
“In the past, my views were often undermined,” she said.
“But now I am confident with what I am doing,
“I am so much better than I was before.”
But she said the struggle for many SMMEs was continuous due to a lack of work.
“It’s not always easy.
“I want my company to grow and to be able to secure contracts and customers on a regular basis.
“We cannot just rely on the municipality for work, we need to approach the private sector and places like Coega,” she said.
When construction is close to completion, Sadick Hendricks, 60, and his team at Dicky’s Electrical will be responsible for the facility’s electrical fittings.
Hendricks, who is a father of six children, said the business had contributed towards a foundation for his children.
“My daughter, who is also responsible for the administration of the company, virtually runs everything,” Hendricks said.
“I want to leave behind a legacy for my kids so that they can pick up the baton one day.”
Speaking on behalf of the SMME, Hendricks’s daughter, Tasneem Hendricks, 35, said her father had started Dicky’s Electrical in 1983.
“My dad is so hard-working and passionate about what he does.
“We currently permanently employ six people, and depending on the size of the contracts we get, we will contract temporary workers for the different jobs.”
Tasneem said the project was expected to be complete by March 2019 so the electrical fittings process was likely to take place towards the end of February 2019.
Dicky’s Electrical has two Port Elizabeth branches, one in North End and another in Parkside.
Coega Development Corporation SMME programme manager Unathi Maholwana said: “The involvement and participation of small, medium and micro enterprises [SMMEs] in various projects in the SEZ is an important step in reimagining our social strata.”..

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