Tuesday, 10 November 2020

Woman-owned engineering business proves the value of seeing opportunities among challenges

Written by
Lionesses of Africa - Pumza Ndlotyeni, CEO of black-woman-owned Gebane Engineering Services (GES)

Entrepreneur Pumza Ndlotyeni, CEO of black-woman-owned Gebane Engineering Services (GES), has long had a keen eye for opportunities that cross her path, and the passion and perseverance to pursue them.

In 2019, Pumza, as CEO of GES, joined the Lionesses of Africa, a Public Benefit Corporation that empowers and celebrates leading women entrepreneurs of Africa to create game-changing impact for the continent. This came at an opportune moment as the business was soon to face the devastating challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Thursday, 29 October 2020, Pumza and GES will be among over 100 Lionesses of Africa showcasing their products and services to potential buyers on the Absa Lionesses Xpo virtual exhibition which will continue to run for several months following the launch. Pumza says, “The Xpo presents a valuable opportunity for us, and for all the Lionesses of Africa exhibiting, to demonstrate our abilities to deliver and adapt to new market demands. It’s a professional platform that will attract leaders in the private and public sectors – giving them access to a wide range of products and services from women-owned businesses. Investing in women-owned businesses and integrating them into corporate supply chains is ‘smart economics’ and good for business.”

Pumza is no stranger to overcoming the odds stacked against her as a black woman in a male-dominated engineering sector. GES has made a strong name for itself since it launched in 2007, delivering services in several electrical engineering sectors, and achieving a long list of accomplishments.

GES’s specialist services include substation construction and maintenance; civil works; mv & lv construction and maintenance; and live works up to 132 kV. The company has expertise in substation construction from 6.6kV to 765kV and is one of few service providers appointed by Eskom to handle distribution and transmission work for substations up to 765kV. The company also offers distribution services live work and gloving, stick, and bare live work methods on distribution networks of up to 132kV.

The challenges of 2020 have seen Pumza and GES exploring the opportunity to branch out into the renewable energy sector, and in markets in the private sector, potentially with international investors who are looking for good technical partners in Africa. She notes that funding provided by Absa when she joined Lionesses of Africa gave her business a boost. “Absa provided project funding to GES in January for one of the critical projects that we’re currently finishing off in the Western Cape. We’re confident that our track record will encourage further support and partnerships by industry.”

Pumza’s qualifications include a BCom Financial Accounting, Certificate in Project Management and a Business Management for Entrepreneurs Programme through GIBS, and extensive experience in electrical engineering and civil engineering projects within the power industry.

Pumza says she co-founded GES for a variety of reasons. “I wanted to take on a new challenge, skill and invest in myself. I wanted to live a meaningful life and play a role in reducing youth unemployment in South Africa by providing skills, training and jobs. I saw an opportunity to make a difference and add value to people's lives through work and community involvement.”

She adds that what makes GES different is multi-faceted: “We build good relationships with our clients; we help them clarify their needs and define solutions to key challenges. Our skilled and experienced team provides a quality service and our in-house resources enable us to execute and complete jobs on time. We work well under pressure and are always available for emergency jobs. Importantly too, we know our pricing and understand what's negotiable.”

Pumza’s advice to other women looking to start up in business is never give up on your dreams, maintain a positive attitude, see opportunities among the challenges, and above all, have passion, patience, perseverance, and resilience. “Don’t overthink it, just do it!”

To find out more about GES and to engage directly with Pumza Ndlotyeni in the Absa Lionesses Xpo interactive web-based ‘e-exhibition’ experience from Thursday, 29 October (runs for several months after launch), go to https://www.lionessesxpo.com. Participants will have the opportunity to network with Pumza at the GES stand, enabled by WhatsApp via 1-1 chat, video call, or chat room, along with women-owned businesses in a variety of industry sectors.…ENDS

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF ABSA LIONESSES XPO BY STRATEGIC PUBLIC RELATIONS. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT VANESSA NAUDE ON 083 271 6000 OR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or DALLACE RICKSON JOLLY ON 083 629 1823 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 Lionesses of Africa - The Pride of Africa’s Women Entrepreneurs

Launched on 19 November 2014 on the first-ever Global Women Entrepreneurship Day.Lionesses of Africa’s mission is to drive large-scale change so that Africa's women entrepreneurs have an opportunity to achieve their start-up dreams.Lionesses of Africa Public Benefit Corporation is a social enterprise working to advance Africa’s women entrepreneurs, by building and delivering entrepreneur development programmes, mentoring programmes, business tools, digital media channels, community platforms, networking events and information resources. Delivered at scale to women entrepreneurs, always free of charge.Lionesses of Africa creates impact by growing the next generation of women entrepreneurs across Africa. By supporting women to achieve their start-up dreams, we empower them to generate economic prosperity, to improve their communities, and to become game-changers Africa needs to solve pressing socio-economic problems.Lionesses of Africa has over one million users across 54 African countries and reaches tens of thousands of users in the Diaspora in Europe and North America.

About Absa Group LimitedAbsa Group Limited (‘Absa Group’) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and is one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups. Absa Group offers an integrated set of products and services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management and insurance. Absa Group has a presence in 12 countries in Africa.The Group’s registered head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it owns majority stakes in banks in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa (Absa Bank), Tanzania (Absa Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce), Uganda and Zambia. The Group also has representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria, as well as insurance operations in Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, and an international Representative Office in London and New York.For further information about Absa, please visit our website www.absa.africa

Published in Energy and Environment