The largest black women-managed and led construction company in South Africa, Motheo Construction Group, is making inroads into the Western Cape. Active in general building and civils engineering, together with mechanical works and fire and safety, Motheo has specialist teams and companies focusing on electrical reticulation and works, water-management technology for installations and fibreoptic reticulation.
Fully conversant with turnkey design and construct projects, Motheo is a participant of the Public Private Partnership that developed and manages the Department of International Relations Campus in Pretoria. In addition, it also has the flexibility to carry out developments for select clients. All of this is supported by its Academy, which hopes to partner further with the government as it drives skills development as a pillar of economic growth.
Motheo has just completed the Absa Towers multi-storey building in Johannesburg in partnership with WBHO. Other recent successful projects include the R107 million Graaff-Reinet TVET for the Department of Higher Education, a R254 million Breaking Ground new housing project for the Buffalo City Municipality in East London and an R87 million Bus Rapid Transport stations for eThekwini Municipality in Durban. Current infrastructure projects include the N4 upgrade for the Trans African Concessions in a joint venture with WBHO.
The Group’s success is against the background of a construction industry that has undergone a 50% contraction over the last decade, exacerbated by the current Covid-19 pandemic. Despite these unprecedented challenges in a once booming industry, Motheo finds itself growing steadily year-on-year, with an estimated secured order book of R1 billion.
“I believe the Motheo story is unique in South Africa, especially in the construction space. We have looked at each region to determine what structural changes needed to be made. We not only strive to maintain contact with our clients on the ground, but to look at the provinces holistically in terms of their growth potential,” comments Motheo CEO Lettie Mashau. This follows the appointment of Director Nontu Chiluvane as Regional Manager heading up the KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape divisions, pending the retirement of Trevor Griffiths.
In addition, the current management has embarked on a diversification strategy in order to achieve balanced growth based on organic vertical integration. Its newly-established divisions have been designed to tap into markets that represent significant growth areas in the construction industry value chain. These new divisions are expected to make a meaningful contribution towards the company’s bottom line, and will form strategic pillars for its next level of growth.
“Looking at the next five years, we can easily double our current turnover. We have bedded down the foundation. It is easy to say you want to grow, but are you prepared for that growth? I think we used 2020, which was a quiet year, to position ourselves for this future growth. Yes, it is exciting times. As much as Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the construction industry, we remain positive and on the lookout for opportunities,” elaborates Mashau.
“We operate in a sector where women have hit a ceiling. Motheo has always made a conscious decision to support women, because we know they have got what it takes. At times there is opposition because of the unwillingness to change. In our case you do not have to convince anyone in our structure that women need to be afforded opportunities. We have embraced it wholeheartedly,” concludes Mashau.
“As much as Covid-19 has had a negative impact on the construction industry, we remain positive and on the lookout for opportunities.” – Lettie Mashau
Motheo finds itself growing steadily year-on-year, with an estimated secured order book of R1 billion.