Current Issue 52
Southern Africa's Strategic Investors
Motseng is a diversified investment holding company with investment and operations in property through the property investment and property services boutiques, as well as diversified strategic investments
Writer Emily Jarvis
Project Manager Donovan Smith
Started by two professionals in 1998, Motseng has grown into a multifaceted organisation employing almost 600 people. Initially specialising in the provision of soft services, Motseng have since diversified into the industrial, textile manufacturing and property sectors, and most recently the telecoms sector via the acquisition of the Selmec Group. With a historic focus on property, Motseng has diversified its offering by creating ten investee companies to provide comprehensive and professional service delivery.
Motseng is invested in a wide portfolio of listed and unlisted companies with key holdings in the property sector. The company investments are targeted at, but not limited to: infrastructure, propertyrelated, diversified industrials, transport, energy, services, manufacturing, telecommunications and financial services-related industries.
“Through the integration of people, places, processes and technology into a single interactive solution, we create an optimal working environment and seek to invest in high quality companies that have strong business franchises, attractive growth prospects, leading market positions and the ability to generate superior returns,” explains Andries Smit, Managing Director of Selmec Group.
2014 saw the company change its name to Motseng-Selmec for the South Africa operations, and Comserv- Selmec for its Mozambique operations. Accompanied by the company ethos to transform and empower employees, Motseng comprises of 100% black South Africans and has enjoyed steady and constant growth over the years; remaining true to its vision to continue providing exceptional management to property owners and telecommunication operators through facilities management. “Our clients need to be kept at the heart of our business, and our service and business offerings need to be translated into responsive solutions that enable operators and management to focus on their core business,” Smit says.
The Choice to Diversify
The last twelve months have seen Motseng-Selmec grow their business significantly, especially on the telecommunications side. Consequently, on the 18th of October 2014, Comserv-Selmec was awarded the Vodacom CEO Award for Business Partner of the Year (International). The choice to diversify into the telecommunications sector was part of a targeted strategy to expand the development and telecommunications activities as part of Motseng’s property investment strategy. “As we had been involved in facilities management, property management, project management for more than ten years - and more recently property investments through acquisitions and developments - we wanted to focus on sustaining company growth and job creation, with preferential procurement of local and blackowned entities and enterprise development partnerships. This was achieved through diversification,” highlights Smit.
Motseng acquired infrastructure services group Selmec in 2012 as well as Unimedia, Selmec’s Mozambican operations, and Smit further explains the reasoning behind this: “The acquisition of Selmec was part of a well-established strategy to grow the company’s asset and services base in property and propertyrelated assets. The acquisition will further strengthen Motseng Facilities Management capabilities both in South Africa and Mozambique.”
Following on from this, Comserv is part of the Selmec Group of companies which was acquired by Motseng Facilities Management (MFM) in 2012, specialising in infrastructure maintenance and facilities management in the built environment, telecommunications and retail sectors. Motseng Facilities Management, a subsidiary of Motseng Investment Holdings, has a 70% stake in Comserv while the 30% remainder is owned by Intelec, the local Mozambican partner. “We are responsible for maintaining Vodacom’s entire active and passive infrastructure in Mozambique,” affirms Smit.
As you can imagine, operating across several different sectors presents its challenges. “Whilst we have seen the development of new retail, residential, commercial and industrial developments, one cannot ignore the challenges experienced by all,” Smit discusses. With the built environment being affected by the economic downturn in South Africa, it remains a difficult trading environment for facilities management and infrastructure maintenance companies alike. Therefore, the intra-dependency between these sectors is critical for the robust growth of each sector.
Furthermore, South Africa’s economy presents a further issue as Smit explains: “We have a high unemployment rate (25.2%) and is known for labour unrest and strikes. Additionally, electricity supply constraints, escalating rates and taxes are just some of the major problems hampering growth.” In the telecoms sector the global impact of convergence between operators and content providers provide additional challenges and opportunities for companies like Motseng. “We operate in a cost-competitive, capital intensive, highly skilled and technologically advanced environment which requires consistently high service quality and agility,” he adds.
On the other side of the coin, there has been an increased focus on energy management and implementing greener building technologies. “This has been a major driver for facilities management services in South Africa. The Green Buildings Council of South Africa aims to promote savings in the property sector where possible. Moreover, the concept of green buildings is a developing initiative in South Africa, which means that most companies align themselves with energy saving by making facilities managers undertake sustainability management functions,” confirms Smit.
Supporter of the Tomorrow Trust
Motseng is committed to occupying an impactful role as a socially responsible corporate citizen. This commitment is rooted in a deep moral conviction and is driven by prudent business sustainability practice. Over the years, Motseng has developed a targeted strategy of growing women-owned micro enterprises in particular. As a result, the strategy of developing Joint Ventures will see many of these businesses establish themselves and continue to flourish independently of the effort and funds invested by the various departmental resources at Motseng. The company have embraced a variety of socially responsible business practices which include a commitment to pro-actively invest in the social development need of the communities in which they operate.