SUSTAINABLE SMME DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DONE RIGHT
A local commuter transport company given the tools they need to succeed
“With the steady income from Sephaku Cement, I was able to buy another vehicle.”
A real partnership, with real volumes and long-term commitment – this is how Sephaku Cement’s Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) makes emerging small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) development a priority in local communities.
Believe it or not, although cement is produced en-masse around the world, it is one of the most complex substances known in materials science. We still don’t quite understand the scientific details of what happens once water touches cement powder.
As a successful, proudly South African company, Dangote Cement SA (Pty) Ltd T/A Sephaku Cement recognises its responsibility to aid job creation and small business development to uplift and develop the communities in which it operates. The EDP was born to address this need in a sensible and sustainable manner. One of the many emerging businesses supported by the EDP is Molefe & Sons Transport Services, owned and managed by Abram Molefe.
Molefe started working as a taxi driver in 1986, later buying his own taxi and starting his transport business, Molefe & Sons. His relationship with Sephaku Cement began in 2009, the clinker and cement producer’s early days, when investors were coming to the site to assess the potential of the new venture.
Pieter Fourie, the CEO of Sephaku Cement, contacted Molefe and asked him to transport a delegation of VIPs around the area for a site inspection. “That’s when the relationship started,” Molefe remembers. “Since then, they call on me to assist with all transport needs especially employee transportation.”
And Molefe is kept busy: “I work morning, afternoon and night, starting at 6am in the morning. My next round is at 3:30pm, transporting more employees to the Sephaku Cement plant, with another shuttle at 10.30pm. Then at midnight I fetch them.”
The healthy working relationship with Sephaku Cement’s EDP has allowed Molefe & Sons Transport Services to grow significantly since 2009. The business now has three vehicles – two 22-seaters and a smaller 13-seater vehicle.
Says Molefe: “With the steady income from Sephaku Cement, I was able to buy another vehicle. I needed financial assistance and the company helped me with a letter that I took to the bank to secure the loan. Because I have a business relationship valued at R78 000 with Sephaku Cement, I was able to secure a loan of R850 000. I was also able to do much-needed maintenance on the first vehicle I was using.”
Molefe & Sons Transport Services now employs five shift-working employees, and is also able to hire a vehicle out to Bodibeng Trading, another Sephaku EDP success story. This kind of business cooperation is exactly what the EDP strives for, creating a circle of businesses that can work together, which, in turn, increases the number of job opportunities that are being created in surrounding communities.
“If I was not working with Sephaku Cement, I wouldn’t be where I am presently. I’m happy to be doing what I am doing,” Molefe says. But his aspirations don’t end there: “I want to be healthy and financially secure when I retire. Before then, I’d like to grow my business further and get one or two trucks and enter the trucking business.”
With the help of Sephaku Cement’s management support and steady stream of business, Molefe & Sons Transport Services are well on their way on their journey to sustainable success.
Read how a local businessman grew his transport business from one taxi to a transport triumph with the help of Sephaku Cement’s EDP.