A NEW CONSULTING FIRM IN SOUTH AFRICA, ZITHOLELE CONSULTING (PTY) LTD., IS HELPING BUILD A MORE SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY BY SUPPORTING GREATER PARTICIPATION IN BUSINESS BY THE COUNTRY’S BLACK POPULATION.
Although almost 80 percent of the country’s 44 million people are black, this group has long been disadvantaged and played only a marginal role in the country’s economy. Through its Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) initiative, the federal government aims to redress this imbalance. Public-sector institutions and many companies now give preference to black-owned companies in their procurement practices.
In 2003, to support BEE aims, Golder Associates Africa (Pty) Ltd. assisted in setting up Zitholele Consulting, with a majority black shareholding. Zitholele operates independently of Golder, but, when necessary, it draws on Golder for technical expertise, resources, management systems and administrative support. Zitholele Consulting is an empowerment company that provides specialist consulting services to the public sector in public participation, social development, environmental services, engineering (environmental, water, structural), agri-business and project management.
Since its formation in mid-2003, the company has steadily expanded its services to the public sector. Zitholele provides environmental assessment, waste management, policy and strategy consultation and local government capacity building for projects ranging from water and sanitation services supply to municipal infrastructure. The company has grown to a staff of 11 black professionals and technical specialists.
Zitholele Consulting is an encouraging example of a successful small business enterprise that is black owned and managed. And through the work the company does on public sector improvement projects, the firm is helping to build an economic system that is self-sustaining.