Hillcrest entrepreneur tops power utility’s academy class
30 October 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201812357
NOMPILO Vilakazi (pictured), owner of Sibani Holdings, is the top achiever in the 2018 Eskom Contractor Academy.
With an average 89%, Vilakazi topped the class, which had a total of 176 graduates, who are all either Eskom contractors or suppliers, or entrepreneurs who’ve participated in other Eskom initiatives.
Among other things, Vilakazi’s company does electrical connections, MV/LV line construction, pole changing/installations, electrical maintenance as well as safety campaigns. The company is based in Hillcrest and mainly services Eskom across KwaZulu-Natal.
Vilakazi (28) started the company in 2014 and also uses it to push one of her biggest passions, youth development and empowerment.
Currently studying towards a Business Management degree at Mancosa, the Vilakazi knows the importance of empowering herself first before she can help other young people by motivating and creating jobs for them.
She said the Contractor Academy helped enrich and broaden her knowledge. “I’m happy to be the best student in my class but more than anything else, I hope this excellence can spill into my business. As a young entrepreneur running a small business, I need to able to plan the execution of my projects well and know my way around the project and financial management side of things also. So, this course has really helped in reminding me of how important that is and it is going to help me grow the business.”
The eight-month academy is one of the Eskom Development Foundation’s key initiatives and part of the organisation’s commitment to enterprise development, skills development, job creation and poverty alleviation.
The academy upskills people in project, people and financial management, business sustainability, Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ), supply chain management, legislation and technical acumen, which all form part of the modules.
Eskom Development Foundation CEO, Cecil Ramonotsi, said the academy is an integral part of Eskom’s corporate social investment programme as it seeks to enhance the quality of life for South Africans.
“Many small and medium enterprises have benefitted as a result of their owners getting training from the academy, and some have even gone on to successfully secure contracts with Eskom. Since 2010, 645 contracts worth over R3 billion have been awarded to students/graduates of the academy.
“By equipping entrepreneurs such as Nompilo with the skills they need to build sustainable businesses, we believe that the country can begin to address some of its challenges,” said Ramonotsi.