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Doing good while doing business

Bigen Africa finalist in South African “Oscars for business”

Bigen Africa a finalist in two National Business Awards categories

Bigen Africa, a leading infrastructure development group with core capabilities in engineering, management consulting and development finance, is a finalist in two categories of the prestigious 13th National Business Awards, which have been described as “the Oscars of South African Business”.

Amidst steep competition, Bigen Africa was named a finalist in both the Infrastructure Development and National Business Leader of the Year categories. The criteria for nomination were an annual turnover of at least R35 million, strong year-on-year growth and submission of a compelling motivation.

The National Business Awards, organised on an annual basis in collaboration with the Top Performing Companies publication, not only celebrate exceptional business organisations but also inspirational business leaders from various industries for their outstanding performance in the world of business and government.

“These awards recognise the finest talents and organisations that South Africa has to offer,” says Lance Fanaroff, Joint Chief Executive Officer of Integr8 and the Head Judge of the National Business Awards 2015. The nominees include some of the largest South African businesses such as Bigen Africa, the Billion Group, Kumba Iron Ore, Aspen Pharmacare, Alexander Forbes, Woolworths and Absa Bank. The winners will be announced during a gala event at the Emperors Palace in Kempton Park on 19 November 2015.

“The Bigen Africa Group is blessed to have reached the finalist stage of these awards,” says Dr Snowy Khoza, Chief Executive Officer. “The Group’s vision of developing sustainable infrastructure that will improve the quality of life of all and its insistence on the highest standards of performance are in line with the awards’ mission to ‘better our people, planet and profits through excellence’.”

Developing sustainable infrastructure solutions

In its motivation, Bigen Africa demonstrated sustainability, service excellence and innovation in delivering its core service, the development of sustainable infrastructure solutions, by integrating the entire value chain through in-house capabilities and strategic partnerships. The Group is thus empowered to provide engineering, management consulting, development finance and advisory services on cost-effective, sustainable infrastructure projects.

In achieving its business goals of improving quality of life in African countries through infrastructure development as well as ensuring business and organisational growth, Bigen Africa is guided by a well – defined philosophy of “doing good while doing business”.

“The Group has, despite a challenging economic climate, managed to exceed both its revenue and profit targets, and to continue with its Africa expansion strategy by opening new offices in Zambia, Namibia and Ghana over the past year,” says Dr Khoza. “It has also persevered with its growth strategy of building, through strategic partnerships, its capabilities in various sectors such as renewable energy, water and environment, property development, health and transport.”

It is a priority for Bigen Africa that in developing sustainable infrastructure on the Africa continent, it does so in a way which provides social development outcomes such as improved access to services, reduction of poverty, community empowerment, capacity building, regional integration and indigenisation. These goals are aimed at improving quality of life in the countries where the group operates, which in turn reflects its creed of “doing good while doing business”.

With an extensive infrastructure development portfolio in Southern Africa, offices in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Ghana and extensive project experience in more than 15 other African countries, the Group understands the challenges unique to the continent and is therefore qualified to provide “African infrastructure development solutions to African countries”.  It has secured many mega projects in South Africa and elsewhere on the continent including:

  • The 360km North-South Carrier (NSC-2) regional water transfer system in Botswana.
  • Electricity provision for 100 000 rural villagers in Ethiopia.
  • Construction of 30 000 household units for the Ghanaian security forces.
  • Olievenhoutbosch Ministerial Housing Project in South Africa.
  • Site supervision and contract management during Clanwilliam Dam extension.
  • Steyn City residential estate in Gauteng comprising 10 000 residential units and amenities.
  • Wallacedene taxi rank, South Africa’s first “green” taxi rank, which received a four-star rating from Green Star South Africa.

In house, Bigen Africa has management control systems in place to ensure the achievement of strategic objectives and good corporate governance in line with the Group’s values, including the highest standard of business ethics and a well-designed human capital development policy with a strong empowerment focus.  Bigen Africa has developed, implemented and is maintaining a world-class enterprise risk management system in alignment to the international standard ISO 31000:2009. In the implementation of the system, Bigen has developed a fully automated electronic risk management portal across all of its operating divisions and regions, to facilitate the pro-active management of risks in all areas of the business. Bigen Africa are seen as pioneers in the risk management space, and prides itself to be one of the first companies that will receive international certification to the standard based on its electronic risk management platform.

Industry Recognition

Endorsing Bigen Africa’s successes in meeting its business goals are the many industry and employer awards it has amassed over the years, a few of which are:

  • Three PMR Awards in the categories of Civil Consulting Engineers, Structural Consulting Engineers, and Civil and Structural Engineers (2015);
  • Three CESA Aon Awards in the categories of business Excellence, Best Mentoring Company, and Best International Project for the North-South Carrier Project in Botswana (2015);
  • Govan Mbeki Housing Award for the Second Creek integrated development project in Eastern Cape (2014);
  • Impumulelo Award for Top Empowerment Company (2014); and
  • SA Top 2 Best Managed Civil Engineering Consultancy (2014).

Bigen Africa’s dynamic leader, Dr Khoza has personally also received accolades as a business leader, most recently by being nominated and recognised by Unashamedly Ethical Awards in 2015. The awards are aimed at honouring men, women and organisations who/which have exhibited excellent character and commitment to ethical behaviour in a way that has positively impacted the lives of the people around them, or the communities where they live and operate.  In 2014, she was one of 5 South Africans awarded Continental Lifetime Achiever status at a gala dinner honouring Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government.

Under her capable direction, Bigen Africa has prevailed in the most challenging of economic and political climates, and continuously shows growth exceeding even the most optimistic of outlooks during a period of unprecedented market decline.

“At present formulating Bigen Africa’s S-Vision strategy for the five years post 2016, the management team will continue to pursue growth without compromising on accountability, risk management or compliance,” says Dr Khoza. “We will also continue to ensure capacity building through partnering with governments and industry stakeholders so that, together, we can make real progress towards closing the infrastructure gap in Africa.”