Despite the decline of the Civils sector, which saw a low confidence level of 24% as measured by the FNB/BER Index just before COVID-19, GVK-Siya Zama has tapped into its entrepreneurial spirit and added a dedicated Civils unit to its operational offering. Through this unit, the company aims to create jobs and better society by filling the void left by many companies in the industry that had to close their doors.
This is according to Dumisani Madi, Chairman of GVK-Siya Zama, who says a time of crisis and uncertainty often presents entrepreneurs with good opportunities to grow their businesses. “Adding the Civils component to our services will expand our reach in the market and increase our chance of procuring construction work through exposure to different clients.”
Based in Gauteng, the unit will be structured to enable it to work country-wide from any of GVK-Siya Zama’s regional branches. It will be spearheaded by 35-year industry veteran Anton Botha, who has extensive civils experience at senior board level at some of the foremost construction companies in the country.
Notable Civils projects that Botha completed during his tenure include water and wastewater treatment plants, reservoirs, windshields for power station chimneys, container terminals, wind farms, underground mining infrastructure, mine materials handling services, process plants, the Gautrain Station at Sandton, winder and shaft structures for new mines tunnel construction, production plants, and silos.
When considering the addition of the Civils unit to the company, Botha believes that it is vital that businesses adapt in order to grow and he believes that this is the right time for GVK-Siya Zama to add Civils construction to their portfolio.
Civils is an essential service
The word Civils relates to creating infrastructure and services for civilians and this is exactly where the opportunities currently lie in South Africa. “There is a huge demand for civil work at local or provincial levels, and in industry and mining – which is currently experiencing massive growth,” points out Botha.
Furthermore, the provision of roads, water and sewer infrastructure are key to creating a better environment for South Africans, he continues. “The need for infrastructure is vital for the growth of South Africa and this is acknowledged in the Government’s planned R340 billion infrastructure development plan.”
Civils contractors will always be in demand in developing countries such as South Africa, where governments are obliged to create infrastructure for growing communities. “Along with this, the downturn of the past few years meant there are many skilled staff across most disciplines now available.”
It is also important to note that GVK-Siya Zama is a level 1 BBBEE company, and there are few Civils companies that offer this and have the necessary experience to carry out the work, he explained. “As such, GVK-Siya Zama could bid on almost any kind of project with the reasonable confidence that the requisite skills are there.”
Onwards and upwards
This is an exciting venture for the group, says Madi. “We believe that tough and trying times create excellent opportunities for those who are keen to find them and seize them. While expansion and investment may feel counter-intuitive during a global pandemic, we believe that it’s the best time to seize the moment,” he concludes.