Issue 79

World of Windows

One Size Doesn’t Fit AllMaintaining a mantra that bespoke is best, World of Windows has risen from humble entrepreneurial beginnings to become a major player in Africa’s construction industry, delivering best-in-class façades  Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Eddie Clinton The dream of being your own boss is a common one.According to the OECD, well over half of 18 to 64 year olds said they would rather take a risk and build their own business than work for someone else. Yet despite the aspirations of many, the same research report shows that roughly just four percent of people are able to identify themselves as entrepreneurs with paid personnel.It’s a stark gap, many unable or unwilling to take the plunge of launching a startup. For Alan Reed, however, the opportunity that presented itself was too good to miss.“The chance to start my own business came in 1985, when WISEPCO, one of the largest building materials suppliers in Africa, decided to solely focus on manufacturing and leave the selling and installation to an agent network.“I grasped this opportunity with two hands, setting up an agency in Johannesburg with two partners. One of them did the selling, the other oversaw the site work and being a chartered accountant, I took care of all financial and administrative matters.“Our business grew quite quickly, and we took on our own manufacturing soon afterwards to accommodate for purpose-made products required by our customers. By 1997, we had established ourselves in Cape Town, which has since become our head office, and haven’t looked back since.”The company in question is

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Umgeni Water

The Hydro Hero Owed to its sound financial health and an innovation-first ethos, Umgeni Water continues to invest in the critical solutions required to quench South Africa’s thirst  Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Lewis Bush Water. Vital to the survival of flora, fauna and humanity alike, it is undoubtedly the world’s most precious resource.Taken at face value it also appears to be the most abundant one, covering 70 percent of the earth’s surface. However, with 97 percent of the world’s water found in our oceans, and a further two percent locked in glaciers and ice at the poles, just one percent of it is fresh, clean and safe. And therein lies the problem.One in nine (785 million) people currently lack access to safe drinking water, while one in three (over two billion) live in areas without proper sanitation.Clearly, the challenge of treating, transporting and providing this most valuable commodity is a monumental undertaking. Yet those tasked with combatting the problem are taking great strides against the odds, and progress has been made.Let’s look at South Africa as an example. Between 2002 and 2017, the percentage of households lacking sanitation decreased from 12.6 percent to 3.1 percent, while the number of people having to fetch water from rivers, streams, wells and springs dropped from 9.5 percent to 3.7 percent.Indeed, a lot still needs to be done, but in the eyes of Thami Hlongwa, CEO of SA’s second largest water utility company Umgeni Water, things are headed in the right direction.“It is a crucial, exciting time for utilities in

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Trevali Perkoa

The Polymetallic PhilanthropistTrevali has hit the sweet spot between extracting polymetallic metals and depositing socioeconomic benefit for local communities at its Perkoa mine  Writer: Jonathan Dyble | Project Manager: Donovan Smith Why is the mining industry exciting? For me, the answer is threefold.“First, it is a sector on the up. The mining industry was not so open 10 or 20 years ago, but times have changed, and it is now a globalised, transparent field that continues to grow with strong prospects.“Second, it has a lot of potential. Look at the geology of West Africa – what do you see? Right now, not a lot in terms of proven mapping. A big, big part of this region is unknown from a geological point of view in the sense that we have an idea of what might be there, but a lot of mystery remains.“Third, it is a catalyst of development. Resource rich areas such as Africa and South America are in need of business, of jobs, of engineers and specialised competencies, and the mining industry can be a fantastic liberator and platform for each of these.”From the age of 12, Daniel Marini had a good idea that a career in the geology and mining industry could be on the cards.“Do you know the poem Les Conquérants from José-Maria de Heredia? Please read it,” he advocates. “It speaks about adventurers who went to mine gold in Cipango (the old name for Japan). I first read it when I was less than 10 years old, and it’s fantastic! It gives you a taste of mining and

Editor Donovan Smith By Editor Donovan Smith

South African National Blood Service (SANBS) 2020

Trusted to Save LivesFrom drones to data to digital journeys, SANBS is leveraging the latest technologies and best practices to ensure it meets the blood-borne needs of South Africa’s healthcare scene Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Callam Waller “Imagine being a regular blood donor. Then imagine receiving an SMS text message telling you that today your blood was used to save the life of a 14-year-old child that was suffering from leukaemia.“Saving a life is the greatest gift that anyone can give, and to let donors know that they are doing this would be truly special. It’s part of the reason why we’re looking to create a digital journey and act as a corridor in better connecting them with patients.”Around the world, almost every industry is tapping into the transformative world of technology. In South Africa’s medical sector, this is no different.The opening quote comes from Jonathan Louw, an individual who has been  the Chief Executive Officer of the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) since January 2018.In the near-two years since, he has helped to make a number of strategic adjustments that have seen the organisation modernise not just technologically but in a vast multitude of ways.“Being a clinician trained in anaesthetics, I have always had a good understanding of transfusion medicine, as well as a number of friends and colleagues who are transfusion specialists themselves,” Louw reveals. “Even before starting here, they would say to me that the good thing about SANBS is the fact that it ensures that blood is safe. But the problem is

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Pirtek Africa

The Fluid Transfer CompanyPirtek Africa is supplying quality fluid transfer products and solutions to all kinds of industrial clients, at the same time empowering local entrepreneurs through its franchise business model Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann Almost every industry requires the transfer of fluid in some shape or form.From the oils and lubricants, chemicals, food, fuel and water, commercial activity all over the world is reliant on fluid transfer solutions, be it mining, construction, manufacturing, energy and everything in between.It is a fact of industry that will never change, and since 1980 Australian-born Pirtek has been an ever-present and market leading supplier of such products and related services, moving into the African continent in 1999 and never looking back.Kieron Goss helped to build up and now leads this African division as Managing Director.“Prior to that I was also involved with Pirtek in Australia,” he recalls. “Our family has roots in South Africa and we took the decision with the support of head office in Australia to start up in South Africa. There was always room in the market for a company such as Pirtek and since 1999 we have had year on year growth.“The African market is one of the largest in the world and also one with the most potential for a company such as ours to grow and flourish – we view Africa as one of the next big markets for Pirtek as a global organisation. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the organisation here, an achievement that highlights how Pirtek is a great brand and also a great company to work for.”Today, Pirtek has presence through multiple channels and

Tom Wadlow Joshua Mann By Tom Wadlow Joshua Mann

Musika Development Initiatives

The Agrarian AcceleratorMusika Development Initiatives continues to enable smallholder farmers across Zambia access to agribusiness and their resources, the collective impact sure to help the country realise its massive agricultural potential  Writer: Tom Wadlow  |  Project Manager: Matthew Selby Zambia, it is fair to say, has enormous agricultural potential.Home to 42 million hectares of suitable farming land and some 40 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s entire water supply, the landlocked East African nation is yet to fully exploit these favourable conditions. Indeed, just 15 percent of the 42 million hectares is being cultivated.  This is not to suggest agriculture is not already a vital economic contributor, however. The sector currently accounts for 19 percent of GDP and employs three quarters of the country’s workforce, with maize, sorghum, millet, and cassava, sugar, soybeans, coffee, groundnuts, rice, and cotton all important crops.But the room to maneuver into is massive. Mechanisation of irrigation and general farming practices represent two clear opportunities for growth, the likes of which are being explored by organisations such as Musika Development Initiatives.Translating to ‘market’ in local dialect, Musika was formed in 2010 to stimulate private market activity in Zambia’s agricultural sector, linking agribusinesses with smallholder farmers who would otherwise have no means of accessing such resources and expertise.“Musika was born out of work with USAID on a project called PROFIT which started in 2005 and ended in 2011,” explains Reuben Banda, the organisation’s Managing Director. “We drove a lot of market and private sector development in Zambia and decided to come up with a local entity called Musika.“This essentially

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Jambo Food Products Ltd 2020

Jambo Food Products continues to upscale its beverage production capabilities at its highly efficient site in Tanzania

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The Value-driven VisionaryFWJK is disrupting the property development market with a revitalised approach to real estate that’s been dubbed co-development at cost. David Williams-Jones, the man behind the method, tells all   Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Eddie Clinton The explosion of discount days continues to take the world by storm.According to analytics from Adobe, consumers spent a record $7.4 billion in the 24-hour window comprising 2019’s edition of Black Friday. Hop across to China, and Single’s Day –the local equivalent led by ecommerce giant Alibaba – raked in an astronomical $38.4 billion on November 11, its first $1 billion in sales having been netted in just 68 seconds.Indeed, the success of these commercialised holidays is entirely reliant upon one simple fact of human nature – people are always on the look out for the next best deal.“There’s a human psyche that one just cannot resist a bargain,” states David Williams-Jones, the CEO of successful South African property development enterprise FWJK Developments that has created its own concept based on this premise and applied it to the real estate market. How does this work? The answer lies in its disruptive methodology, coined co-development at cost, which provides investors with the opportunity to invest in property at its actual cost price, allowing them to enjoy the same profit margins enjoyed by property developers.“Think about buying a brand-new car,” the Chief Exec explains. “Often, you’d have to purchase it from a plush showroom, where 25 percent premiums are added to pay for the salesmen’s wages, commission, and the other costs associated with running such an outlet.“Now

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Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB)

The Sky’s the LimitResponsible for the development of air transport and navigation services, as well as the country’s six key airports, CAAB is playing a crucial role in facilitating sustainable economic diversification efforts Writer: Jonathan Dyble  |  Project Manager: Josh Mann Botswana is a country hailed as a beacon of success when it comes to economic management.Africa’s shining light of development, it moved from being one of the poorest nations in the world in 1966 (the year it achieved independence) to middle-income status by the 1990, largely owed to its abundant mineral wealth.Today, Botswana is stable. Its multi-party democratic system is sound, and GDP continues to rise with a 4.5 percent growth rate having been recorded in 2018.Questions do, however, remain about the country’s future, the World Bank and UN outlining the need for it to diversify away from the limitations of its diamond-led development model to ensure sustainability in the long term.Bolstering water security and electricity generation, strengthening public sector performance and improving transport are all elements to this, the latter deemed particularly crucial in the eyes of Kabo Phutietsile given Botswana’s landlocked status.“Why is aviation such an exciting industry to be involved in right now?” he states. “For me, its the role that it can play in upholding the economy of any country.“Research has shown that aviation brings enormous benefits to communities and economic growth around the globe. It enables social development while providing connectivity and access to markets. As a tourism destination, Botswana can and should tap into the opportunities provided by aviation and its

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