Johannesburg, Gauteng, 20 July 2017 – Servest recognises that small businesses are vital contributors to the health of the economy and to diversity of opportunity in our society. Small businesses boost productivity, increases competition and innovation; create employment and prosperity, and revitalises communities.
Youth unemployment having risen in the first quarter puts South Africa’s youth unemployment rates are now at a chronic stage. The latest figures show that about 52% of South Africans between 15 and 34 were unemployed in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Servest recognised that it has the perfect tool within their structure to make a difference and impact positively on the youth unemployment pandemic.
This tool is enterprise development. Economic growth is critical to addressing unemployment, gender equality, health and other poverty-related issues worldwide. Enterprise development (ED) is an important tool and essential element to economic growth.
In an article entitled Enterprise Development Made Easy by Raizcorp in 2011, they define enterprise development as investing time, knowledge and capital to help Small and Medium Enterprises establish, expand or improve businesses including empowering modest income-generating informal activities to grow and contribute to the local economy.
In 2014, Servest established a Trust Fund and Non Profit Organisation, the Lesipho Trust which seeks to provide opportunities and Economic advancement to qualifying black South Africans, enterprises and communities thereby enabling them to become self-reliant and sustainable. It links enterprises to markets and to being preferred suppliers to Servest and Servest clients.
Employees of Servest are actively involved in the development of beneficiaries in which they spend some of their time assisting the beneficiaries with training, development, coaching and mentoring.
Through the Lesipho Trust there is an opportunity to establish black youth owned businesses [Enterprise Development beneficiary] as special purpose vehicles which can be trained, developed, provided with equipment and staff as well as a grant to take over from Servest contracts when their contracts expire with current clients. This is great example of transformation in the facilities management sector to grow future black owned facilities management companies.
At Servest, Peter Walsh, CFO “We take the view, that transformation is about sustainability, With KTH as a majority shareholder, Servest is the largest black-owned integrated solutions company in Africa. And, Servest’s story is one of true transformation. “
Bursary opportunities are provided previously disadvantaged individuals. These bursaries are offered to children of employees for tertiary education. Upon completion of the Bursary, the beneficiary is offered permanent employment at Servest.
Abukhar Hattas was awarded a bursary for his 3 year National Diploma in Management Studies and has just been appointed permanently at Servest as project lead for major a compliance project within a multi-national organisation and involved in national multi-disciplinary projects, after graduating with honours.
Servest assigns a percentage of client work to enterprise supplier development beneficiaries providing them with the opportunity of client lead and networking opportunities for expansion.
All enterprise development and enterprise supplier development beneficiaries are taken to the Smart Procurement Expo on an annual basis providing them with an opportunity to market their business and access to potential clients.
Two of the beneficiaries, Yugesh Dhoorgalu (Image Auto) and Nomfundo Shozi (Mpilwenhle Health Services), of the Leshipo Trust development programme have just completed their 2 year mentoring programme and now have only great things to say about how the support and guidance from the trust and the team have helped them succeed.
Image Auto is a car wash and detailing business servicing the corporate and business sector. Their services are mainly aimed at fleets and corporate vehicles. Yugesh has this to say “The support Servest provided us this has given me comfort. Just knowing I have a corporate giant rooting for me to succeed, has this motivated me to keep pushing myself and my team when days are tough.
“Servest provided not just financial support but also provided me with skills to ensure I can run Mpilwenhle efficiently and we comply with all rules and regulations that govern our industry. I am grateful and owe the success of my company to Servest and the Leshipo Trust” says Nomfundo Shozi.
For more information regarding opportunities for youth owned businesses to participate and be mentored by the Servest Management team through the Leshipo Trust go to www.servest.co.za or www.leshipotrust.co.za
Following a landmark black economic empowerment deal with investment Holding company Kagiso Tiso Holdings, Servest is the largest, majority black-owned facilities management company on the African continent.
The company has a significant presence in Africa and the United Kingdom with multicurrency earnings. Servest’s African operations are headquartered in Johannesburg and have a footprint in 10 African countries.
The Group employs 50,000 staff; at over 20,000 sites ; our services, which include cleaning, parking, catering, hygiene, office services and landscaping, touch the working lives of thousands of people employed by eminent entities such as Transnet, Netcare Group, Anglo Platinum, De Beers, Sasol, Sainsbury’s, the BBC and the British Houses of Parliament.
A feature of the Servest Group strategy is the extension of empowerment into its African markets through training, associations, partnerships and joint ventures. The aim is to create a foundation for sustainable growth through local capacity building.