Young Ekurhuleni professionals slay industrialisation game

Mzwandile Masina

By – SAnews.gov.za

Pretoria – Ekurhuleni Mayor Mzwandile Masina has commended a group of young black industrialists, who established a company and turned it into a multimillion rand establishment within three years.

The Mayor recently hosted the founders of United Industrial Cables (UIC), who include Reginald Tshikota, Fhatuwani Belemu, Malwandla Siweya, Themba Mabunda and Mark Horn.

Based in Alrode in Ekurhuleni, UIC came into existence in 2014. The company founders are a group of young black professionals experienced in cable manufacturing, finance and project management.

These black industrialists are investing more than R100 million in this venture to bring immense localisation, transformation and much-needed employment.

UIC specialises in power cables, signalling cables, bonding wire, aluminium overhead conductors and automotive/locomotive cables and flexible wires with UV and heat resistant insulation and sheathing materials, as well as bare copper conductors/wires.

The company currently provides services to Eskom and power utilities in high voltage transmission lines.

Mayor Masina said the founders of UIC are ordinary young people, who live in the same conditions as most young people. He encouraged others to take inspiration from their achievements and move away from a consumption mentality to a production one.

The Mayor said looking at the meteoric rise of these young people, Ekurhuleni youth — which is the majority of the 3.4 million strong town population — should stand up and grab opportunities.

“Our efforts are narrowed into a 10-point plan to revitalise our economy and our emphasis is on manufacturing. This is expected to create jobs while developing industrialists, who will contribute immensely to our regional economy,” he said.

The makings of success

UIC began its journey when its founders approached the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) with a business plan.

Upon review of the business plan, the IDC called on UIC to prove the market by submitting orders, agreements and letters of intent from potential customers.

While this proved to be a challenge, the young professionals worked vigorously to win over a network of distributors through conducting extensive company visits until they met the requirements of the IDC.

This, according to the Mayor, is a story of courage and zeal, whose spirit should inspire the young people of Ekurhuleni and the country.

UIC currently employs 11 Ekurhuleni based employees but has undertaken to employ 221 full-time and 17 part-time employees to contribute to the fight against the scourge of unemployment in Ekurhuleni.