Polokwane, Limpopo: For Kate Machaba, the dream of owning and running her own asphalt company came just 24 months after she qualified and started working in the civil engineering space. Machaba kick-started the journey of researching the business as far back as 2008 before putting it into traction with her now business partner and fellow civil engineer, Matshela Maloka. Today marks the official launch of their brain child, Maloka Machaba Surfacing (MM Surfacing), the largest 100% black youth-owned hot mix asphalt manufacturing company in Limpopo.
This one stop surfacing outfit not only manufactures hot mix asphalt, but also does placement, different surface seals and has an onsite logistics offering. The fact that MM Surfacing is associated with a fully-fledged South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) approved lab, Mocha Lab, onsite for quality control and assurance, ensures that they can delivery at a quick turnaround to their clients, saving them time and money.
‘After almost eight years of doing our research, we officially started the process of starting up our company in 2016 with our application for funding being approved by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The process to get our required operating licences took another 24 months resulting in us fully commissioning our plant at the end of October in 2018,’ says Kate Machaba, co-owner and Technical Director at MM Surfacing.
‘Today is a great day for us as it has been long in the making. We are proud of our achievement and wish to thank the IDC for partnering with us and continuing to support us on this journey,’ adds Matshela Maloka who co-owns MM Surfacing.
MM Surfacing boasts one of the few technologically advance, fully automated plants in the country. This closed plant not only offers clients efficient service with its batch plant operation, but is also environmentally friendly as close to 99% of emissions are kept within the plant, limiting air pollution. The plant’s batch system enables it to run different mixes at the same time giving the company the ability to simultaneously service multiple client orders. ‘We are proud of being the only company in the province that has a fully automated batch plant. As opposed to other companies in our space who operate continuous drum plants, we are able to deliver quicker and faster to our clients,’ says Machaba.
‘MM Surfacing is one of those companies that represent all the elements that the IDC looks for in a potential client. Not only are they female owned, but they also are youth making serious inroads as black industrialists,’ says the IDC’s Limpopo Regional Manager Kgampi Bapela.
For Machaba and Maloka, the future is about expanding MM Surfacing’s offering by looking into other products. With most of their client base lying in Limpopo and a few other provinces in the country, MM Surfacing is gearing up to expanding their reach.
‘We are looking at making inroads into the rest of Africa and are ready to take up opportunities outside of the country. With our technologically advance plant and our logistics company, we are looking at exporting other products as well. We can only grow from this point,’ adds Machaba.