Khato Civils has established a country office in Botswana, where it has 60-million pula of equipment and has bought a 4 ha site on which to construct its head office in the country. Khato Civils CEO Mongezi Mnyani explains that the building plans are in the last stages of being approved by council, with the development, he says, emphasising the company’s interest in the country for the long term.
In line with its expansion goals, Khato Civils has registered a business in Ghana, where it is focused on bidding on road infrastructure, water and energy projects. “We are finalising a few proposals to be considered by the government of Ghana,” says Mnyani.
“Yes, we are a business, we are here to make a profit, but our approach is to leave a legacy where we operate and help governments achieve their core objectives in line with the sustainable development goals of the United Nations,” he avers.
Mnyani states that Khato Civils has tendered for numerous projects in Botswana, which are currently under evaluation and should be awarded before the end of the year.
“We are confident that, in light of our capabilities and capacity, there are definitely going to be projects coming our way. The Botswana government has made it very clear that companies within the Southern African Development Community should be given the opportunity to participate in projects that have traditionally been awarded to European entities. Botswana has become a much more strategic market for us; it is just two hours away by plane.”
Botswana is one of Africa’s stable democracies, but is also attractive in terms of its financial viability, says Mnyani, highlighting the country’s strong history of diamond mining and Khato Civils ability to serve the needs of mining industry through its solid capabilities in construction.
Khato Civils has also registered a company in Namibia, where it is finalising proposals on housing and road infrastructure projects
In Malawi, the company is working on a $500-million contract in joint venture (JV) with South Zambezi to construct one of the country’s mega water supply projects, namely the Lake Malawi Water Supply Project.
Mnyani says the JV is finalising details with regard to mobilisation and will start construction in December this year or January 2018.
The project will pump and deliver 50-million litres of potable water from Lake Malawi to Lilongwe City every day to address challenges that have affected the lifestyle and livelihoods of the city’s two-million residents.
The water supply project, consisting of about 124 km of pipe, is billed as Africa’s largest water transfer project under construction and is expected to be completed by 2019.
The project will create in excess of 400 jobs and a lot more spin-off opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises, states Khato Civils.
However, the biggest project undertaken by the company to date is the engineering, procurement and construction of the about R3-billion Giyani water and sanitation revitalisation project in Limpopo, South Africa; another JV with South Zambezi.
Mnyani says the project, which will see an estimated 345 km of pipe laid, is about 90% complete, with the company hoping to finalise the project by March next year.
“The programme is required to immediately address the short-term water and sanitation challenges in the Greater Giyani local municipality as well as provide medium- and long-term solutions to the water and sanitation challenges within the Mopani District municipality.”
Mnyani enthuses that the project was initially supposed to take five years to complete, but Khato Civils is on track to finish the project in three years. Khato Holdings employs more than 2 000 labourers through the Giyani project at present.
“We pride ourselves on completing projects in record time. However, we want to make sure that work is carried out with speed while upholding a high standard to ensure that the client is pleased with the results.”
Declaring the future of the company as “very bright”, Mnyani admits, although, that he foresaw resistance from the company’s employees with regard to Khato Civils’ expansion into Africa. However, instead, the company has received an overwhelming response from employees wanting to step out of their comfort zones and be challenged by projects being undertaken by the company in other African countries.