Published to www.bday.co.za on 25 November 2011.
BLACK-empowered Sekunjalo Investments has won a five-year, R800m government contract it says will improve profitability and broad-based participation in SA’s maritime sector.
Sekunjalo led a consortium including ship-builder KND to maintain eight state-owned research and patrol vessels, including the Algoa, the Ellen Khuzwayo and the Sarah Baartman.
The contract, awarded by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, is expected to accelerate broad-based participation in Cape Town’s highly concentrated maritime industry.
Sekunjalo said yesterday the contract would significantly improve the group’s profitability and cash flow through subsidiary Sekunjalo Industrial.
Sekunjalo CEO Khalid Abdulla said the unit was one of the only black-owned companies in Africa with the technical and engineering expertise to manage a contract of this magnitude.
"Today, Sekunjalo not only manages technical maintenance of its own fleet, but conducts maintenance and provides technical services to vessels from around the world," he said.
Sekunjalo chairman Iqbal Survé said the deal would accelerate enterprise development and skills transfer in SA’s maritime industry. "Our goal is to provide as many job opportunities through this deal as possible," he said.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the contract was the first of its kind awarded to a black-owned company.
"I am confident that Sekunjalo Industrial Holdings has the requisite skills and capabilities to fulfil this contract based on its fleet management experience, and its experience in managing maintenance projects on international vessels," she said.
The company last week came under fire from some of its shareholders after it announced it would sue two former executives for R65m for losses relating to major subsidiary Premier Fishing, which accounts for about half of group revenue.