It’s been a long journey to success for Northern Cape entrepreneurs Paul and Marvin Oss. This father and son team have been running a small building and civil works company in Danielskuil for many years but struggled to secure consistent business in a tough economy.
Their company, P&E Artisans, provides jobs for 35 people in the local community, with a five-year goal of growing their employee numbers to more than 100 as they pursue their vision of becoming an established civil works resource in the mining industry.
Life changed dramatically for P&E when they started working with Anglo American’s iron ore business unit’s Kolomela Mine in 2015 as part of Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore’s inclusive procurement initiative in the region. They have since completed several projects successfully, mainly building steel structures and manufacturing brackets, and continue to go from strength to strength.
“Kumba Iron Ore’s involvement has made all the difference to our business,” says Marvin Oss. “Kumba Iron Ore has not only given us opportunities, but more importantly, they have helped us improve our business management skills: how to structure and run our business better, do tax and VAT registrations correctly and get the administrative side of our business running smoothly.”
P&E Artisans is one of hundreds of small companies across South Africa to benefit from Anglo American’s Kumba Iron Ore’s Inclusive Procurement approach, which creates meaningful entrepreneurial and employment opportunities in the communities surrounding its mining operations.
Kumba Iron Ore has been helping entrepreneurs build small businesses for years, and recently focused its efforts to build the capacity of local suppliers in its host communities with an emphasis on black-owned, youth-owned and women-owned suppliers. Through its inclusive procurement and enterprise development initiatives, the company spent more than R36-billion with BEE-compliant companies in 2017.
“A core element of our vision of re-imagining mining is to create thriving communities that are empowered and self-sufficient. We’re seeing a growing number of success stories that highlight how entrepreneur development and sustainable inclusive procurement activity can create a lasting impact through skills development, job creation, thriving businesses, and more prosperous communities,” says Kumba Iron Ore’s general manager, Supply Chain, Vusi Maseko.
For Paul and Marvin Oss, the next step is to play their good fortune forward. “Kumba Iron Ore took our hand when we needed it the most. In the next five years, we want to grow not only for ourselves, but for our people. We employ only local people from the community and we’re helping a couple of micro-businesses with sub-contracting work as well. Our extended relationship with Anglo American will give us the chance to uplift others too, as they did for us.”