I’ve recently returned from a trip to Hazyview in Mpumalanga to help an organisation with BBBEE consulting. I was very impressed with the growth in the area. Hazyview, as well as Nelspruit, is growing – building operations are evident throughout the town/city. I remembered Hazyview as a small “one-horse” town. It is no longer. Shopping centres, with big chains have invested in the area. On Saturday morning, the queues into the banks and the ATMs were 50m long.
Our task in Hazyview was to help a hotel/country estate with BBBEE education and to advise them on various BBBEE initiatives. The manager spent some time explaining to me how the estate operates and what he is doing to grow the business. We usually tell clients that they are probably more BEE compliant than they realise, and this was a case in point. The hotel is already BEE compliant! Decisions made were good business decisions, but they also made BEE sense.
What impressed me the most was the excellent quality of the staff – from the security to cleaners to waiters. The estate has made a concerted effort to get the best staff – and invested money in training and on-going mentoring. The money and effort spent on training and skills development has resulted in better service, and they have reached, or rather exceeded, the BEE targets for skills development.
The estate has various initiatives that made good business sense to them – like starting a hotel school and assisting students in obtaining jobs. They assist the local orphanage and the local community security forum. This new, refreshing attitude is not confined only to the estate. We saw many new businesses that have sprung up en-route to the game reserve – not just road-side hawkers – large businesses, small businesses, law firms and shopping centres. Enterprise development is alive and thriving.
It’s no wonder that it turns out that the estate is probably a level 3 BEE contributor.
It is also a nice place to stay – very close to the Kruger National Park and the scenic Mpumalanga region. Visit www.hippohollow.co.za if you want a really relaxing holiday and to see how BBBEE is working.