Message from the CEO : 2018 (Q1)
Once again, greetings to all at R&G Group, to our Clients and Associate companies. It’s always such a pleasure when one gets to that moment where he takes a small pause on the journey to reflect on milestones achieved by the company this far.
As a company, we have always had a clear understanding that, in some instances, we will go through some hardships like all other companies that operate in the same business environment do, but what we have not been privy of, is the nature and extent of some of those hardships, some of which we found to be potentially life threatening to our business.
However, what has been common in all those hardship experiences is that, we have always risen above them. Yes, in some of them, you could argue that the gift of wisdom that we have, assisted us in overturning those tides, however there were instances where you could clearly tell that, some super natural intervention came into play, as it could not have been possible for us to think and act at that level, and we thank God for that.
While doing an introspection, one had to respond to a question which sought to understand if R&G Group does impact positively on the lives of those that surround us, and I was particularly impressed with the responses that came out of that, which we are sharing with you below;
- We are a company that strongly believes in mentorship and training. We have mentored individuals, within and outside of the company, small businesses within and outside of our Group of companies. To this end, we have produced a number of professional registered Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers. That to me represents success.
- Some of those professionals who come from our own ranks have opened their own professional practices, most of which are now our strategic alliances. We view that as success that is worth celebrating.
- We have invested a lot in “construction contractor mentorship” skills to an extent that, we have qualified mentors in our midst , who have created and empowered a number of successful contractors, the majority of which are now hovering between CIDB Grades 5 and 7. I remember reading some media publication some time ago, which was insinuated that we had identified cleaners and gardeners for mentorship in construction, something which was supposed to go with a negative connotation, and I still cannot understand what the fuss was about around that, because as a matter of fact, we have converted real nobody’s, who are Lower than cleaners in terms of media’s classification, into good and successful business people.
- As a company, we took a view that, staff welfare is paramount to our success, and to this end, we had to find ways of ensuring that we compare well with any other corporate organization out there, with regards to fringe benefits and other staff incentives. For a private company to have benefits like a Group Medical Aid and Pension Schemes and other fringe benefits is something which is worth applauding.
- Up-skilling and upward movement of staff at R&G Group is limitless, and we are proud of ourselves for that. We have examples of staff who joined the organization at very low levels, worked their way up the ranks through up-skilling and training. Some are now Executives in charge of certain Departments and or Offices, whereas some are Office Administrators, from ranks of Cleaners. Indeed, we do convert cleaners into some respectable individuals, “borrowing from context of that media publication”.
- As you would expect of a company operating at our level, we have an HR policy which requires that, when a staff member exits the company, an exit interview should be conducted. I read those interview results with interest and attention, and what has consistently come out of them is that, as a company, we remunerate our employees reasonably well, which is something which one derives satisfaction from.
- In ensuring that there is continuity with regards to supply of graduates from universities into our industry, our policy requires that each of our offices, houses and train a few students at all times. We further pay tuition and other fees for some of the students. This is also one area where we contribute to the society immensely and industry, through our Training and Development Policy.
- We participate in a number of community empowerment programmes like the annual R&G Group Soccer Challenge, a rotating soccer tournament organized and funded by R&G Group. To this end, we congratulate our current Champions, the “Jabula Football Club” from Holy Cross, Eastern Cape. We wish them the best of luck in defending their trophy this year in October & November in Mthatha, against Mthatha and Libode Teams. We are busy planning for the 2019 Tournament which will be held in the KwaZulu Natal Province, and other provinces will thereafter follow.
At R&G, we remain steadfast towards achieving our vision of becoming a recognizable and formidable professional service provider in the built environment industries of the Southern African Development Community countries. We remain optimistic especially in the light of the new developments in our country, the positive spirit of the whole nation and international community about the country’s prospects, following the ruling party’s last December Conference.
We do acknowledge that our government still needs a lot of help, maybe from stakeholders who have the interests of the majority at heart, as opposed to the status core. We have witnessed situations where own goals are being scored through government policies, which are supposed to be aimed at improving the lives of the poorest and success rate of small and medium sized companies. A typical example of this own goal is the new Treasury’s Central Supplier Database (CSD) which prescribes that, all the companies that intend doing business with the State should be registered with it and be accordingly up to date and compliant.
By being up to date and compliant means that companies must have paid their due taxes on due dates. This is a world class business system but which can only work in a first world country where companies especially those that mainly work with government get paid monthly and within 30 days. Our government is nowhere near that level as it pays even after 120 day at times, and as a result, most of the companies that are supposed to be benefitting from pro BEE policies, are actually being eliminated by this system. One hopes that our government has learnt from devastating effects of policies and will ensure that they consult all affected stakeholders before implementing any policies of similar nature.
So colleagues, let us ride on this positive economic outlook and try as much as possible to convert half opportunities into real opportunities, which is something that we all excel in at R&G. Always remember to “stick to the book, as it is only the book that you can fall back on, should you come across a tide”.
Let me also take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Easter, and safe travel to those who will be traveling to meet their loved ones and families.