Wholly black-owned turnkey cooling systems company Lumacon, reports that it has successfully tendered for a number of government sponsored contracts in the past six months.
Lumacon director Derrick Tshivhase says that the company has successfully maintained and grown its public and private sector business since the advent of the democratisation of civil, political and economic rights in 1994, which resulted in increased business opportunities and transformed the company into a significant participant in the mainstream provision of heating ventilation and air conditioning solutions, trading and procurement.
The company is currently carrying out projects to supply and install cooling equipment to the Freedom Square park in Pretoria, the Modderbee prison in Benoni, the Eerstehoek magistrate court, the National Bargaining Council for Roads and Freight, and the Polokwane International airport. In addition, it will also supply maintenance and services to power utility Eskom and Sasol's filling stations.
Tshivhase says the Freedom Square park contract has a total value of almost R6-million. The company will be responsible for the supply of two large chillers of 600 kW each, ten air handling units, ducting, control systems and business management systems.
The company has also signed a three-year contract with Modderbee prison in Benoni for the maintenance of all its mechanical installations, including air conditioning, refrigeration, and boilers in January this year. The contract has an estimated value of about R13-million.
The Eerstehoek magistrate court project started in October last year and will also continue for a three-year period. Tshivhase says that Lumacon will refurbish all the air conditioning and electrical systems at the court, and install new 30-kW to 40-kW units with a contract value of R3-million.
Thirteen similar units were also supplied to the National Bargaining Council for Road and Freight in November last year. Tshivase says that Lumacon consultants decided it would be wiser to divide the large building into different zones and service each zone individually, instead of supplying the client with a single system.
In June 2008, Lumacon began work on a contract for the Polokwane International Airport to supply and install its air conditioning units. The contract, worth R5-million, has just been completed.
Tshivhase says that in the South African context, it is significant that Lumacon is making its contribution towards the democratisation of the industry, which remains largely white owned and managed. He adds that the company's presence in the industry as a wholly black-owned and managed business will possibly inspire other emerging entrepreneurs and increase their awareness of the possibilities in the market sector.
Tshivhase says that Lumacon sets itself apart by being able to offer its clients credits for their broad-based black-economic empowerment scorecard. He points out that the company is fortunately beginning to overcome industry scepticism regarding its capacity to add value to the market. "At first, Lumacon was merely seen as an affirmative action company, however, industry suppliers have now accepted the company and supports it in terms of access to credit lines, and training in new technologies," he adds.
Further, he notes that solutions to the skills shortage in the country must be found. Currently, Lumacon outsources its supplier training and provides in-house training to its employees.
"As far as transformation is concerned, the company has opted out of joint ventures with established companies as they are self serving in their approach with no serious intent on transformation technology and skills transfer," he comments.
Tshivhase says that Lumacon plans to grow its market share and become a competitive industry player that provides meaningful career opportunities.