By Abram Molelemane
Local engineering firm, Lesedi Consulting Engineers, was voted runner up – Best New Business, in the 2013 Africa SMME awards held in Johannesburg recently.
Lesedi Consulting Engineers (LCE) is an Electrical and Mechanical Design Consulting firm founded in 2010 by two experienced engineers, namely Theo Wilcox and Sibusiso Mncube. The company is 100% Black –owned with a Level 2 BBBEE Value Added rating, and currently operates in KwaZulu- Natal and Eastern Cape.
Lesedi is a Sotho name that means “the light”. The founders, both experienced in the engineering sector, say that they identified a gap in the market for an empowered organization offering services normally associated with huge engineering firms, and invested their retirement monies to fund the company start-up.
Mncube explains that LCE offers the full spectrum of electrical and mechanical engineering consulting services, including cost estimates for clients, design of electrical and mechanical tender documents, assessing tenders submitted, construction and cost monitoring for installations as well as preparing final accounts and close –out reports.
A factor in their strong showing at the recent SMME awards was the fact that Lesedi has contributed significantly in giving black engineers the opportunity to succeed in the industry. The firm provides training opportunities to students from higher learning institutes, and has converted a number of these to full-time employment positions. The company growth has been dramatic, proving that capable- black engineering firms can make an impact in the industry.
The African SMME awards has been established specifically to acknowledge, encourage and celebrate excellence amongst African SMMEs by giving them the opportunity to gain valuable exposure and well- deserved recognition for their national and global expansion ambitions.
Amongst other companies that Lesedi was competing against in the category of Best New Business were Arrero Premium Car, MAMM, Annette Oelofse Mohair products and Sweet Temptations Toffees, which was the overall winner in that category.
Lesedi attributes their success to a number of factors, including the support of the Fetola Legends Programme – a national small business support programme designed to enhance the growth of small businesses, especially those such as Lesedi that are ideally suited to the corporate supply chain.