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Khato Civils, the Pride of Black Owned Construction Giants

Khato Civils headquarters at Midrand, Johannesburg
Black Owned Civil Engineering giants, Khato Civils and South Zambezi are officially among the few black owned construction companies to achieve the maximum Construction Industry grading, Grade 9 rating, otherwise known as the CIDB grading in South Africa.

During their recently held  Annual General Meeting in Johannesburg,  the executive chairman of the  two  civil works and engineering companies  Simbi Phiri proudly  announced  that  his companies  have been graded  level 9 in Civil Engineering, general building, mechanical engineering and electrical infrastructure.

To put  the Khato Civils and South Zambezi’s  impressive grading credentials into context , the latest CIDB report released in July says that  most  black owned contractors make grades 2-4. The CIDB report also observes that black ownership  is  lower in  mechanical, electrical and  specialist  engineering contractors and  significantly lower  in grade 9, at around  25-30%.

Khato civils and South Zambezi  are  in that special group making the 25-30 per cent mentioned by the CIDB 2017 report. While the report laments  that most black owned  contractors do not make the grade  in mechanical, electrical and specialist grading, Khato Holdings  are celebrating  grade 9  certification in many areas including mechanical and electrical engineering that is said to be in short supply among the majority of  black owned enterprises in the whole of South Africa.

Khato Civils’ celebrations of their Grade 9 ratings  comes  at a time when the CIDB  report shows that  about 24 per cent  of contractors struggled to maintain  their  cidb grading at three year  renewal during  the period under review due to  poor  economic  conditions and diminishing  work opportunities.

The Khato Civils impressive rating interestingly comes out in a  year when  seven of the leading construction giants were involved in  a scandal of  bid collusion and price fixing, while  the report also observes  that the year under review  exposed poor adherence to safety by  some of the leading companies as shown by  the charlotte  maxele  roof collapse expansion project .

From his  Khato Holdings AGM notes however it is clear that  executive chairman Simbi Phiri’s secret ingredients for success in the cutthroat  industry  has been their recruitment policy which emphasises on recruiting only the best, while their work ethics demand  that  staff  should  act  with  absolute professionalism.

Khato Holdings’ prudent financial management policy  also continues to set them apart from the rest.  As  their finance director Pride Phiri  puts it, “When   funds come, we understand that this money does not belong to our pockets, we are only  paid in trust so that we distribute it to tax authorities, employees,  sub-contractors, to our supply chain, before the shareholders can have their bit.

Khato Holdings CEO Mongezi  Mnyani says  it is not by fluke that  his company  has acquired so many Grade 9 ratings in a short

space of time, saying Khato Holdings had transformed itself into a hungry and  committed force in the industry.

Mnyani  says  the location of their headquaters,  at  Midrand, as well as the size of resources they put towards  erecting their  state of the art headquaters, over R600 million, attest  to their  seriousness.

The CEO also says  that  his company had not been shy to spend  big  on acquiring revolutionary equipment unlike others who prefer to  rent machinery.

Mnyane says Khato Holding made  a statement when they invested in latest technology  equipment  worth about R1.7 billion rand.

According to Mnyane they had made it their mission to complete  their projects  before deadline and within budget. “ We realized our little  profit from  completing projects  on time and within budget and this allowed us  to invest in advanced technology like  tesmic trenchers, also known as rockeaters; each machines  accomplishes in one day,  what would otherwise take 20  excavators;  we have all the machinery we need and  are able to establish a site within one day  after being appointed”, the CEO said proudly.

Meanwhile executive  director Phiri also briefed the AGM that their signature project at Giyani was progressing well with current phase expected to be  completed by December this year, should client  have the funds  to commit to  the last mile of the  project.

The signature project  is a 345km of  bulk pipeline laying, overhauling of existing booster pump stations and sewer pump stations on the pipeline as well as revitalizing existing services.

 Khato Civils  and South Zambezi  have already succeeded in restoring clean and potable water to the local  Nkhensani hospital, as well as solving the  sewer issues in the city.

The project  had been marred by  controversy mainly  due to funding issues that have  seen the contractor sometimes going for  extended period without payment.  The scale of the  project has also  been revised downwards from the initial estimate of R 11 billion.

However it is believed that about R1 billion  would be needed to get water flowing to the people of Giyani by December as this phase of the project  aims to close  on a high.

Khato Civils with South Zambezi and LTE consulting  were  appointed  by Leppelle Northern Water  on an engineering, procurement and construction basis for the  Mopani District Municipality Water and  Sanitation Revitalization programme to address the short term water  and sanitation challenges  in the Greater Giyani municipality as well as provide the medium to long term solutions to the water and sanitation challenges in the area.




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