Khato’s aggressive expansion 

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 01 November 2017   |   By Staff Writer
Group Financial Director Pride Phiri Group Financial Director Pride Phiri

Khato Civils outlook is rosy – the company is contending with a growing demand for its services and expertise across the continent. It’s looking at improving efficiency and plans to go public by listing in on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). Executive chairman, Simbi Phiri, sees a world where his company’s footprint, with its brand of excellent service, will be felt everywhere in the continent; bringing to all a convenient water service. “Our Africa strategy is in full swing. We are doing much engineering work for many African countries. We are physically present in Ghana, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia. Very, very shortly we will be in South Sudan, Tanzania, Cameroon and Mozambique. We are streaming ahead and shall face whatever obstacles head-on. Once you have Tesmec, who will want an excavator,” he declares enthusiastically. This is being made easier by the fact that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has given the company the foreign direct investment certification – which has eased off constraints in investing in other countries. The company has also started preliminary work of paving the way towards listing on the JSE. “We are already working with auditors and consultants to prepare ground for listing,” he said. Pride Phiri, the company’s Finance Director, acclaims their backward vertical integration as a key operational strategy going forward. “We shall be looking into manufacturing of pipes, concrete pre-casts products etc. and hence cutting costs while at the same time making it cheaper for the client. We’ll be able to achieve our project delivery timeline without being delayed by suppliers,” he says. 

The company is also looking at changing its contract models from general contracting to EPCMF – engineering, procurement, construction, management and finance. “As the contractors, we will bring funds, and do collections as part of maintenance. We want to build for example using funds from some of our partners while requiring government to cede the asset until that time when we would have collected tolls to recover our costs,” he declares.He insists that their vision is to be a strategic player in the continent’s construction industry. “As an African company, we understand the climate and conditions we are working under, hence our offerings. Most importantly, we don’t abandon those we do projects for – if there is any problem we are available to address it,” he maintains. The Financial Director says further: “When a contract in Africa is awarded to a European, Asian or American company, money flows out of Africa. When it’s awarded to an African company, it gets reinvested in Africa, to build the African economy, transfer skills to Africans and empower local SMMEs. Money then circulates within Africa for the empowerment of Africans. This is plausible solution for poverty alleviation in Africa”.   “Where-ever we build our headquarters it results with an increase of the value of the area. We empower locals by creating jobs and boosting local businesses. There is also skills transfer to citizens from our highly experienced personnel. We offer people a slice of the cake.” Simbi Phiri complains that while his company stands to transform economies foreigners have taken over the continent because governments tend to deploy their most brilliant minds into the civil service instead of assisting and encouraging them to go into business. “The business world should not be left to school dropouts because we choose to deploy our best minds in petty work where there is even an oversupply,” he charges, maintaining that his business is doing its share of turning things around.        

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KHATO CIVILS MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

• Improve intrinsic and potential project value

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• Enhance customer/employee/company values

• Improve the efficiency of management resources through rapid management

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• Nurture personnel, strengthen internal structures, establish research and development, and strengthen the salesforce while improving productivity

 KHATO CIVILS SERVICES

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• Preconstruction services

• General contracting

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• Construction

• Programme management

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• Human and commercial settlement development

• Major pipe works

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• Mass earth works

• Pipe jacking

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• Roads and traffic infrastructure development and maintenance

• Existing condition surveys

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• Research and cost estimation

• Renovations and remodelling

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• Programme and project management

• Concrete speciality

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 SOUTH ZAMBEZI IN NUMBERS

• Eight years in business

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• Level 2 broad-based black economic- empowerment rating

• Forty permanent staff members

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• Average of 30 temporary workers and contractors

• ISO 9001:2008 certified

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[Additional contribution: Engineering News 29 August, 2017] 

      



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