Local businesses applauded

Campaign recognition certificates were awarded to Louise Joubert (St Annes), Bev Beckett (Next Boutique) and Brett Beckett from the Company Man (far right) by Umgungdlovu District Mayor Yusuf Bhamjee and Truman Ngubane

Despite facing challenging conditions on the business front, in keeping with national and international trends, Pietermaritzburg businesses must be applauded for their resilience.

That was the message from Leo Quayle, president of the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business (PCB) at the organisation’s annual banquet that was held recently at the Royal Showgrounds. The event honours the best performing businesses in the City as well as recognises local entrepreneurs.

“It has been a challenging, tough year, especially for those businesses that rely on electricity for their operations. What we have seen though is that businesses are  resilient and that the support from the community also remains paramount for their survival,”  said Quayle.

For the second time in a row, one of the country’s largest brass foundries, Pressure Die Casting, based in Pietermaritzburg, scooped the award as the business of the year in the manufacturing sector. The company’s major products are brass  and aluminium alloy window and door handles, brass components used in high voltage insulator cut-outs, and brass sprinkler heads produced in large volumes, mainly for export to the USA. The company’s ethics, disciplined approach and dedication to its people impressed the judges.

Pressure Die Casting managing director Mike Wolhuter said the award would undoubtedly  boost the company’s image, keeping shareholder’s happy.

“This will be very special to our new shareholders as we changed our ownership recently. This is an awesome achievement not only to the growth of the business but to management and staff who enabled us to get this far. We are very optimistic and plan on holding on to this title to make it a hat trick next year,” said Wolhuter.

City private hospital Mediclinic clinched the award for the best business in the services sector. The hospital was awarded based on its excellent clinical outcomes of patient experience, ability to attract and retain high calibre doctors, nursing and general staff, as well as on strategic investment in cutting edge technology.  Mediclinic was also perceived as an employer of choice, providing healthy work conditions and incentives to nurses and support staff, whose numbers have increased by 27.5%.

State parastal Umgeni Water took the prize for being the Best State Enterprise. CEO  Cyril Gamede said the award was recognition of their leadership effort and the hard work put in by their staff.

“It’s really exciting to be winners of this category. The award itself is dedicated to the staff of Umgeni water who worked tirelessly to produce the demanded outcomes,” said Gamede. The organization, that provides bulk water services to six municipalities in KZN and two in the Eastern Cape, impressed judges by running the state-owned entity as a proper business. The  parastal has seen a 21% increase in profit with revenue sitting at R2,2 billion per annum.

PSG Employee Benefits Midlands was named as the Small Business of the Year. Formed by  Tinus and Ann Havinga, the firm joined the PSG Konsult Group in 2009  and has offices in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Johannesburg. The firm operates in three product areas: high net worth, retirement financial planning and medical schemes. The practice is the second largest employee benefits practice in the PSG Konsult Group and has won the PSG Best Healthcare Practice award four times since 2010.

Shaman Maani of Kishmish, Naeem Sheik of Asiphephe Vehicle testing station and Patrick Lennon of Plan-A-Head, were the three recipients of Entrepreneur awards.

Siso Naile

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