Acknowledging that the growth of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is integral to the development and transformation of South Africa, WorleyParsons RSA’s Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) initiative seeks to partner with independent, sustainable, small-scale black-owned businesses to jointly deliver engineering services in the minerals & metals, hydrocarbons, power, chemicals and infrastructure sectors.
The initiative, which builds on the success of WorleyParsons RSA’s earlier Enterprise Development programme, aims to be a mutually beneficial collaboration between WorleyParsons RSA and sustainable, empowered SMEs.
Gladwin Mfolo, Executive Manager of Transformation at WorleyParsons RSA, says that the primary aim of the ESD initiative is to encourage skills transfer between WorleyParsons RSA and their ESD partners, and to create more opportunities for their partner companies. While WorleyParsons RSA is able to access specialised services from these businesses and vice versa, the SMEs benefit from increased exposure, a larger operating platform, and access to world-class delivery systems.
“We view our ESD affiliates as partners rather than beneficiaries, as we have as much to gain from the association as they do from us,” says Mfolo.
Three companies that WorleyParsons RSA has already partnered with as part of the ESD initiative are UNN Surveys, MVD Kalahari, and Blacc Engineering Services, all already accomplished in their own right, and who view the partnership as an opportunity to expand their businesses.
UNN surveys is a 100% black women-owned enterprise that specialises in land development, land management and engineering consulting, offering comprehensive solutions in the infrastructure and development sectors. Their resources include aerial and Lidar (light detecting and ranging) services, engineering and land surveys, and project managing and consulting.
Managing Director for UNN Surveys Unathi Ntshuntshe says that WorleyParsons RSA’s ESD initiative has afforded her company the opportunity to gain access to a wider customer base for UNN Survey’s specialised services. In exchange UNN Surveys is providing WorleyParsons RSA services that were not offered in-house before. “WorleyParsons RSA expressed an interest in partnering with us and increasing our visibility. They also did not have services of our nature within their panel of suppliers, so partnering up with us was a natural fit,” says Ntshuntshe.
UNN Surveys has already worked with WorleyParsons RSA on a project and contributed to the bidding process of a number of prospective projects.
MVD Kalahari is a 52% black-owned enterprise that was established in 1959. The Kimberley-based consulting engineering business has been providing civil and structural engineering services to various public and private clients in the central South African region for over 50 years, but Associate Cascar Setlhoke feels that there is much to be gained from partnering with a global company such as WorleyParsons RSA.
“Joining forces on projects with WorleyParsons RSA will allow us to enter the mining space, particularly in the Northern Cape, where we already have a presence and track record of delivering successful projects in the public sector,” says Setlhoke. Blacc Engineering Services is a 100% black-owned business services entity specialising in engineering consulting, impact and infrastructure investments and facilities management in the mining, water, petrochemicals and public sector. The team consists of a group of multi-sector specialists who have in excess of 100 years’ collective experience in the mining and metals, hydrocarbon and municipal industries.
Managing Director Mushir Khan says that Blacc strongly believes in the values of ‘uBuntu’ and the idea of growing together. “We have identified that there is a shortage of entrepreneurs in South Africa so we want to assist people in developing and growing these skills for the benefit of future generations,” says Khan.
His company’s philosophy aligns with WorleyParsons RSA’s ESD initiative and focuses on skills transfer and joint development. Blacc is one of the newest participants in the programme.
WorleyParsons RSA’s ESD partner companies are subdivided into three levels; Level 1 ESD Core Partner companies are full participants in the ESD programme with development outlined specific to their company needs and requirements; Level 2 ESD Extended Partner Companies work with WorleyParsons RSA as suppliers and continue to seek opportunities with them; while Level 3 ESD Alumni Partner Companies are graduates of the ESD programme who express an interest in continuing their partnership with WorleyParsons RSA.
“Although we are still in the initial stages of the ESD roll-out, we believe that the engineering sector and its associated infrastructure in South Africa has much to gain from this initiative,” says Mfolo. “As the programme matures, we expect to see more and more joint delivery of services while exposing our partner SMEs to world-class delivery systems and transferring skills and capabilities to help the industry as a whole grow.”