Always do your best - Phumzile Engineering

December 2021

Proline Trading 101 was established in 2006 and later rebranded to Phumzile Engineering in 2015/2016. Phumzile Martie Mpilo has been the sole director since 2009 after her husband ventured into other industries. He did this with the confidence that Phumzile could handle the business as her own ‘baby’. There is evidence that she has done a sterling job, although it has not been an easy journey for a woman in the earthmoving industry. With several degrees and an MBA under her belt, Phumzile has never given up but continues to look for more business opportunities.

Seeing the need for maintenance services on the motor graders she sells, she opened an engineering shop in Polokwane, Limpopo. That was not the easiest of tasks as the machinery is pricey. Phumzile Engineering now has a boiler-making section that manufactures buckets, pins and bushes. The company also fixes equipment for motor graders and does full engine overhauls on faulty graders.

Though based in Limpopo, that has not stopped Phumzile from reaching out to surrounding provinces like Mpumalanga, where she uses her mobile services and technicians to do maintenance work and servicing of the motor graders.

The growth of Phumzile Engineering has been rather slow over the last four to five years, with the government as her main clientele. However, with Siyakhula assisting the business, Phumzile believes more business will come. Siyakhula has provided financial assistance, coming through for Phumzile Engineering in a big way when delivery of machinery to customers had been halted due to a lack of funds.

Phumzile is grateful for Barloworld Siyakhula’s help and hopes the relationship will allow her to access more markets and develop her employees. Though finances remain a challenge for most companies that survived Covid-19, especially SMMEs, Phumzile still has a solid five-year goal and envisions her company being known in and outside of the perimeters of Barloworld. She aims to deal in the big leagues and grow her engineering outfit to have the capability to service the corporate world by becoming fully automated.

“I will be known in South Africa as the top female-owned and managed earthmoving company,” says Phumzile.

Earning a bit of extra income working as a bus conductor during the holidays and after school, Phumzile learnt from a young age that nothing comes easy in life. She developed a passion for entrepreneurship at a tender age, watching her parents as they handled their businesses. She says she always remembers the words of her grandfather and that is what drives her on a daily basis. “There is no time. Even at your young age, you must work. You must do your best and when you die is when you will rest.” These words keep her on her toes.

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