Black economic-empowerment (BEE) company Virgo Business Consulting says that the corrosion painting market will continue to be viable into the future as a result of the ongoing requirements for steel structure maintenance for mines and para- statals.
MD Angie Mabena says that this ensures that the underground and on-land pipelines that become corroded are continuously maintained.
Virgo currently targets the engineering and mining industries, where highly corrosive environments are encountered. “These industries cannot afford to halt operations as a result of a leaking pipeline as the cost implications of such actions are much higher than would be the case in other industries,” she says.
She adds that this market is still growing in South Africa and that the introduction of BEE companies into the market will make it a more challenging market for current players.
Operational manager Ivy Mudzusi says that a challenge in the market is that some of the small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) enter the market for financial gain only and fail to provide quality in service delivery.
“What is required are SMMEs that have the ability to learn and provide quality to ensure that this market is one that is considered to be reliable, and this will ensure success and growth for small businesses that will ensure sustainability of such companies in future,” says Mudzusi.
Established in 2007, Virgo Business last year implemented training and development pro- cesses with the guidance of State-owned power utility Eskom’s corrosion department. The company currently employs 20 corrosion painters.
There are a few projects in the pipeline and the company is currently marketing its services to mines and to Eskom. Mabena says that the company aims to expand into the hot-dip galvanising market in the future but still specialising in the paint industry.