The construction sector might have hit a slump amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but Golden Rewards, overall winner of the 2020 Eskom Business Investment Competition, was the exception.
The effects of the two-month suspension of work when the country went into a national hard lockdown in March 2020 had a huge impact on businesses, in general, and the construction sector, in particular. The past few months have been geared towards rebuilding and getting back to profitability for those businesses that have survived the rough tide.
Golden Rewards, whose main business is road maintenance, vegetation management, fencing, and road signs, bagged the main prize that saw it walk away with a whopping R300 000,00 in prize money from the Eskom Development Foundation’s annual Business Investment Competition (BIC) last month.
Golden Rewards was among over 600 small business that took their chance and entered the 2020 Business Investment Competition.
“Being the overall winner of the BIC awards, beating nationwide finalists, means a lot to me and my team. I really cannot thank Eskom enough for the contribution it is making to the growth of my company and for its contribution to where we are today as Golden Rewards 1981 cc,” says Nomwethu Sotshongaye, owner of the business.
In its 12th year, the BIC is aimed at capacitating black-owned small businesses through monetary and business training interventions that assist them to become self-sustainable.
The competition targets registered black-owned South African small businesses that have been operating in the manufacturing, agriculture and agri-processing, trade and services, and engineering and construction sectors for a minimum of two years.
The prize money amounted to R1,3 million, with the overall winner walking away with R300 000,00, while category winners scooped R131 250,00 each, first runners-up R75 000,00 each, and second runners-up each receiving R50 000,00.
Golden Rewards’ Brackenfell headquarters in Cape Town are striking, befitting of a business having grown immensely since its launch in 2013 and currently valued at around R10,6 million. Sotshongaye employs 52 people, sometimes more, depending on the duration of her contracts.
Sourcing general labourers from local communities where her projects are being implemented is always top of her strategic objectives, as empowering locals and making an impact on local economic development are her first priority.
Sotshongaye markets her business through tendering, word of mouth, and networking – and does so successfully. Golden Rewards recently landed three new contracts. Her current thrust is to pursue bigger contracts through joint ventures or subcontracting.
Furthermore, she looks forward to more work from national and local government, the South African National Roads Agency SOC Ltd (SANRAL), Eskom, and more.
Sotshongaye comments, “I am a proud Eskom Contractor Academy graduate. Being announced the BIC’s overall winner was unexpected. This encourages me to do more and to continue making a difference in our communities”.
The 2020 BIC winners per category are as follows:
- Winner – K1 Recycling cc
- First runner-up – Basils Business Opportunities
- Second runner-up – NJE Brand
Trade and services
- Winner – Immaculate Cleaning & Hygiene Services Pty Ltd
- First runner-up – Ncumisa Chartered Accountants and Auditors
- Second runner-up – Reactive Maintenance Specialists cc (trading as React24)
Engineering and construction
- Winner – Ilanga Lezintaba Zolwandle Consulting Pty Ltd (trading as ILZ Consulting)
- First runner-up – Mokgoroac Lepoka Trading and Projects
- Second runner-up – Bonema Technologies Pty Ltd
Agriculture and agri-processing
- Winner – Olive Leaf Investments Pty Ltd (trading as Rabbitville)
- First runner-up – Azowel Projects
- Second runner-up – Baaa Enterprises (trading as Baa Health)
BIC finalists participated in a two-day Business Connect workshop on 30 and 31 March 2021, where they interacted with industry leaders and networked with like-minded entrepreneurs.
“The Eskom Development Foundation congratulates all the 2020 winners of its annual Business Investment Competition (BIC). Eskom is cognisant of the role of SMEs in skills development, job creation, and economic growth and seeks to empower SMEs to sustain their contribution to the NDP and government’s Priority 1 of economic transformation and job creation. It is Eskom’s considered view that such interventions are needed, more so now in the face of the prevailing gloomy economic outlook,” says Eskom Development Foundation Chief Executive, Cecil Ramonotsi.