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Female-Power Getting On With The Business Of Building The Nation

Dr Thandi Ndlovu of Motheo Construction on her dramatic career change that made her a powerhouse.

Standard Bank

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South Africa is a country where gender and business stereotypes are rapidly disappearing. Although it still comes as a surprise that one of the nation’s leading social housing developers with more than 75 000 units to its credit is owned, managed and run by a woman.

In fact, Motheo Construction has been breaking down stereotypes since opening its doors for business in 1997 under the leadership of Dr Thandi Ndlovu, a medical doctor who has seen the company complete projects valued at more than R5.5 billion.

With headquarters in Randburg and offices in Durban, Kimberley, East London and Johannesburg, Motheo has successfully completed building projects anywhere in the country where their skills have been required.

Related: 13 Female Entrepreneurs Rising To The Top

Clues of how a doctor, once schooled in Soweto, ends up running a successful construction company lie in Dr Ndlovu’s background. She is a woman of strong convictions who, when committed to a course of action, cannot be easily swayed.

While studying and acting as Secretary of the Student’s Representative Council at the University of Fort Hare in 1976, she was forced to abandon her BSc, because of the oppression that followed the Soweto student’s uprising. Her brother, Hastings, fell victim to shots fired at the students on 16 June 1976 – the same day that Hector Pieterson, a symbol of the revolt, died from the violent action.

Dr Ndlovu spent the next few years actively fighting apartheid as part of the ANC’s MK military wing, moving into exile in Angola. She undertook several tasks, including that of running literacy and education programmes, and assisting as a medical officer before moving to the USSR. Later, she moved on to Lusaka in Zambia, where she enrolled at the University of Zambia in 1984 and completed her BSc (Human Biology) and MBchB degrees, finally realising her medical ambitions.

After the regime change, she returned to South Africa and identified a need in Orange Farm informal settlement, where she set up shop as the only doctor assisting a population of about 200 000 people. And there she could have remained, living out what she describes as “her life’s work”, and educating people on the benefits of preventative and community medicine.

The event that changed the direction of her life came when she began working with local health committees, pushing for improved housing to replace the shacks that exacerbated the health problems in the area. Dr Ndlovu’s first challenge was to find suitable premises for her medical practice.

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“I found a half-built shack and began working with some men to replace it with properly built medical rooms from which I could treat people,” she recalls.

She learned a lot about building, but saw her investment rewarded as patients came from other townships to consult and admired her building and facilities.

“I read about a former MD of Premier Milling who was introducing the art of brickmaking to rural communities. After seeing what he was doing, I got excited and phoned government to find out how I could get involved in building houses for the people. Eventually, I received six large files on the processes and rules to be followed to build homes.”

Not knowing the meaning of “impossible”, Dr Ndlovu drove to Pietermaritzburg to meet with a builder, and by the end of a weekend session she knew that what they wanted could be done.

“If you could persuade a professional team to work at their own risk, it was possible to get the drawings and engineering services planned and approved. Then government would provide a subsidy that could finance the required project, and that was the birth of Motheo Construction.

Related: 10 Successful SA Women Entrepreneurs’ Top Advice On Balancing Work And Family

“We began to target chiefs in rural areas of Mpumalanga who could give permission for building. I realised that we needed people of vision to assist us, so I contacted Matthews Phosa, Premier of Mpumalanga, who arranged for us to do presentations. The chiefs were fascinated by our model for building 1 000 units, as we did not only concentrate on building, but used the activity as an opportunity to train and develop people.

“We proposed coming in with a competent professional team to train people in these areas to build houses within the subsidy guidelines. Once we left, they would have the skills necessary to add rooms and improve the houses as needed.”

Phosa responded by asking her to build 10 000 houses. Political pressure and suspicion about Motheo’s model led to auditors being brought in. After a full audit, and three years later than scheduled, Motheo began their work. The medical practice in Orange Farm was sold to another doctor, and Dr Ndlovu began structuring Motheo for the future.

The result is an enterprise where women own 52% of the equity and work in the business on a daily basis. They also represent professionals ranging from quantity surveying, project management, and water and civil engineering disciplines.

“Like their male colleagues, Motheo’s women work on site in both rural and urban environments. The success of our empowerment initiatives can be measured in the achievement of the 20 Motheo Trust beneficiaries who progressed from newly qualified, inexperienced individuals to full members of Motheo. Today they manage projects and departments within the business.”

The agenda to develop and empower those with talent is undertaken by the Dr Thandi Ndlovu Children’s Foundation, which currently supports 20 orphaned and vulnerable children through their schooling and tertiary education. The Foundation covers education fees, accommodation, meals and provides the support that the children would normally have obtained from parents.

The career paths chosen by the children are as diverse as their backgrounds; they are pursuing professions as chartered accountants, musicians, chemical engineers and agricultural economists.

The development of small- to medium-sized enterprises is another passion that is served by Motheo, assisting identified companies with bridging finance, technical skills and guarantee facilities so they can undertake projects on their own account.

Going into the future with a full order book, Dr Ndlovu’s company is benefitting from her belief in investing in people and expanding their skills. Although Motheo’s activities still centre around housing, about a third of the projects they have successfully completed involve building facilities that range from the R60 million Orlando station in Soweto, rail refurbishment projects valued at R100 million to a R35 million administrative building for the eThekwini municipality.

Dr Ndlovu herself goes into the future with strong views about strengthening her own company: “This is a truly South African company. It is built on a model where everybody works together for its benefit. We are still true to our original model. We send in the professionals and work with young people to carry things forward and leave skills behind.

“Motheo believes that there is room for everybody to benefit and grow in our country,” she says.

Dr Thandi talks more on how Motheo Construction came about – watch the below video.

Visit the Standard Bank Community page more on Dr Ndlovu’s inspirational story.

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Standard Bank SA is the largest operating entity of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets. Standard Bank SA provides the full spectrum of financial services, with more than 720 branches and over 7 100 ATMs. Independent surveys of customer satisfaction consistently place Standard Bank at or near the top of their rankings. The personal and business banking unit offers banking and other financial services to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises. For further information, go to community.standardbank.co.za

Company Posts

Buy Or Invest In The Next Futuredev Properties Sandton Development

Looking to buy or invest in the next up and coming Sandton residential development? Futerdev Properties are currently developing Full-Title Free standing units, perfectly located just a few km’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s Central Business District.

Futuredev Properties

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Nearly half of all the office development taking place in South Africa right now is happening in Sandton. Sandton Central is the epicentre of this development, which includes many of the most cutting-edge, exciting and innovative new buildings on the continent.

Sandton Central is well established as Africa’s financial and business capital and continues to grow with developments that embody its vibrant, high-energy ‘live, work, play’ environment. It also currently holds the title of Africa’s Riches Square Mile.

With more people looking to be part of this live, work, play environment and the number of foreigners travelling to Johannesburg for business and work, the demand for residential property around Sandton Central has grown exponentially.

Live, Work And Play: Your Home Away From Home

Futuredev Properties specialises in developing Full-Title Residential Homes in the Sandton Area – Morningside and Bryanston to be specific. The most recent surveys have listed Bryanston as one of the better performing suburbs in terms of Capital Growth.

Our properties offer family living and a home-away-from-home feeling for those working in and around Sandton on longer or shorter assignments.

FutureDev Properties was founded by Akbar Hassim. We have established ourselves not only as an independent, but also a Turnkey Developer – being able to buy Land, Finance the Real Estate Deals, Create, Control and Orchestrate the process of the Development from beginning to end.+

“Our approach to Property Development and Investment therein involves thorough financial and delivery risk analysis, thereafter followed by focused and efficient delivery.”

This approach is underpinned by many years of experience, and an impeccable entrepreneurial spirit.

Buy And Invest In The Latest Residential Developments

We have a number of Residential Developments currently underway, each at various stages. These Full-Title Free standing units, afford residents space and comfort within the security of cluster/ estate living. Perfectly located just a few km’s away from the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s Central Business District, and within close proximity to all major Malls & Shopping Centres, Schools, Hospitals, Gyms and places of worship.

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We afford buyers and investors an opportunity to buy or invest in Prim Residential Real Estate, that provide the perfect balance of Excellent Capital Growth and Steady Income Yields.

Our Offering For Investors & Buyers

  • Full-Title Free-Hold Residential Cluster Developments
  • Prime locations, close to all essential amenities
  • Perfect balance of high Capital Appreciation and Steady Income Yields
  • Investor buyers can purchase with Rental Guarantees

*Limited number of investor units available

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Company Posts

Smoothie Franchise Opportunity: Puré Frooty Is A One-Of-A-Kind Smoothie Franchise Business

Looking for the next greatest franchise opportunity? Puré Frooty Smoothie is a highly perfected Australian business model launching in the South African market that doesn’t require extensive shop fitting or a large workforce.

Pure Frooty Smoothie

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Vital Stats

Puré Frooty Smoothie is a unique business model to the South African market. A delicious, fruit filled smoothie will be created at the touch of a few buttons.

An Innovative Franchising Concept

This innovation in the healthy smoothie industry is ground breaking for South Africa. The machine is manufactured in Australia by a highly skilled team. It took six years to perfect this business model for the consumer market.

The vision of Puré Frooty Smoothie is to offer convenient on-the-go smoothies for anyone. The experience and quality will always be of the highest standard. We aim to be a staple convenience in malls, schools, office parks and hospitals. This is a platform that will allow for self-growth for passionate entrepreneurs.

Our mission is to create a unique customer experience. We want to satisfy the nutritional needs of customers by providing quality smoothies. Puré Frooty Smoothie will be packed with all the goodness a smoothie should offer.

Related: Why Your Franchise Should Adopt A Shared Value Business Model

The four values we pride ourselves in are:

  1. Convenience
  2. Consistency
  3. Quality
  4. Customer Satisfaction.

Why Consider This Franchising Opportunity

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Extensive research into the business model and market

Puré Frooty Smoothie was an idea, researched widely, by people looking to simplify the business process for the consumer and business owner. There was a gap in the market for simplified customer service and a demand for a quicker turnaround time.

Simplified process for setting up a business

For an entrepreneur it can be very overwhelming to start or buy a new or existing business. There are so many crucial decisions that need to be made from the beginning and new concepts to adapt to.

Puré Frooty Smoothie simplifies that drastically:

  • Free-standing machines: The business model revolves around a free-standing vending machine which needs to be visited to refill and maintenance.
  • No shop-fitting required: There is no need for shop fittings or a large work force. All that is required is an inside space for the machine with a power supply.
  • Minimal human resources needed: In terms of a work force, you could either do it yourself or have one person to assist you. There is also a part time involvement where refill station teams can refill and maintain the machine.
  • Cashless business: The business is completely cashless so there are no worries of a note jam, full cash canister or insufficient denomination rand values. More importantly the machines would do a higher turnover than an ordinary vending machine so safety of no cash is important.
  • Easy tracking of stock and performance: A cloud-based system is linked to the point of sale which allows you to monitor your performance and stock from the back-office platform at any given time.
  • Efficient handling of maintenance: With a live point of sale system, the business is linked to a software which monitors the operations of the machine. Should anything malfunction an immediate notification will be sent with a diagnostics report.
  • Human error is eliminated: Everything is done with a computer which leaves little to no room for errors. It is self-order and very user friendly.

Related: SA Fast Food Franchising On The Rise

Why Will Customers Love It

Puré Frooty Smoothie offers a vending machine that can produce a delicious smoothie in forty seconds. An informative touch screen ordering panel which displays all the nutritional information of the smoothie ordered and has the current news and weather.

No time wasted for the consumer. In fact, it’s a learning session disguised as a waiting period. The machine has two wash cycles after every smoothie is made to be freshly prepared for the next smoothie, business hygiene is important.

Consumers live in the fast lane. We are looking for something quick and most times we would like to be healthier. With the hustle and bustle of today’s life every little bit helps. Puré Frooty Smoothie fills that gap in the market.

Interested in Becoming A Franchisee?

Visit our Franchise Info Page for everything you need to know about how to become information a Puré Frooty Smoothie Franchisee owner.

You can also call or write to us:

Phone / 012-942 6360
Email / info@purefrooty.co.za 

Want to know more about this franchise? Watch the video below for more.

 

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Company Posts

Enter The Total Startupper Of The Year Challenge

Are you a young entrepreneur? Do you have a project you believe in? Is it innovative and does it address a social or community challenge in your country or for your fellow citizens? Register and apply now. You could be the Startupper of the Year!

Total South Africa

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Startupper of the year challenge

After the success of the first Challenge in 34 African countries, this year’s has been extended to a total of 55 countries around the world.

3 winners from each country will receive financial support, extensive publicity and coaching. From among these 3 winners per country, we will select grand winners by region, who will be provided with exposure.

This year, a Top Female Entrepreneur category has been introduced. During the first Challenge, women accounted for almost 25% of the winners, even though they only made up 13% of the applicants.

Related: Business Plan Format Guide

With this special award this year, we hope to give the women entrepreneurs an extra push to take part. It is also aligned with other Total initiatives for women.

The 2018/19 Challenge

We aim to support good ideas and projects that help address a widespread problem affecting communities in your country. It could be about providing educational opportunities, reducing child mortality, improving public health, developing access to electricity in rural areas, improving road safety on the roads or building houses with eco-friendly materials — in fact, anything that could make life better in your country.

Tell us how your project will help more and more people over time, at home or even abroad. Tell us how it empowers people, improves living conditions, and contributes to overall economic well-being.

Anyone can change the world — teenagers or graduates, men or women. As long as you believe in your project and want to make things better, take this opportunity to participate. You could be the next Startupper of the Year or the Top Female Entrepreneur!

Enter the Total Startupper Of The Year Challenge Here

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