Gauteng-based contractor Pamco Waterproofing and Leaks (PAMCO) is a 100% black-owned business that has operated in the construction sector since 2007. It is a Level 2 B-BBEE contributor with a CIDB Grade 6 rating (achieved in 2021), that undertakes general construction, renovation, maintenance, and waterproofing contracts – in particular for social infrastructure projects – for construction companies, housing and property developmers, the private residential sector, as well as educational institutions, municipalities, and provincial governments.
In 2010 PAMCO completed a waterproofing contract at a Soweto-based University of Johannesburg student hostel, that was being constructed by Stefanutti Stocks at the time. The contractor’s excellent performance on this initial subcontracting project resulted in it becoming a preferred supplier to the Building Business Unit. It also marked the beginning of a mentorship relationship with a Contracts Director, that would culminate in PAMCO’s official inclusion in the Stefanutti Stocks Enterprise Development Programme in 2015.
Over the past seven years, every year, at least four key development areas were targeted, with a focus on those which would address any potential shortcomings or barriers to the contractor growing into a strong and sustainable enterprise. In addition to enterprise development areas actioned, PAMCO also participated in numerous of Stefanutti Stocks’ commercial projects, as well as being sub-contracted to doing construction work on several of the group’s SED initiatives. These included a R500 000 Mandela Day project that focused on repairs and remedial work at 10 Early Childhood Development centres in Tembisa; a R195 000 factory and showroom expansion project for another of Stefanutti Stocks’ ED partners in 2019; the R18 600 tiling of a computer room at the Maserunyane Secondary School in 2020; an essential maintenance and repairs project valued at R115 000 at the Mokhine Secondary School in 2020; a further essential maintenance project, valued at R93 500, also at the Mokhine Secondary School, that saw PAMCO replacing a poorly installed and hazardous septic tank in 2021.
Since PAMCO joined the ED programme in 2015 there has been a strong focus on business skills development; on marketing and branding; operational skills development (tools and welding training courses, as well as excel to support management of budget, SAGE etc.); guidance on the tendering process, procurement skills transfer and negotiation for better pricing; mentorship on establishing strong HR policies (employment contracts, labour law, timesheets, payslips); establishing administrative systems and networking exposure.
In 2021 the development areas included:
- Implementation of an accounting system (SAGE) through a consultant;
- Application for, and award of a higher CIDB grading (i.e. a Level 6);
- Contractual knowledge training;
- Legal advice; and
- Assistance with the contractors first QSE BBBEE verification (as their turnover has gone over the EME threshold).
Plant & equipment
PAMCO’s Managing Director, Petrus Nemurangoni, credits the initial large contracts that PAMCO undertook for the Stefanutti Stocks Building Business Unit as paving the way for his being able to buy the business its first truck. Since then, he has been able to procure more trucks and equipment, as well growing his fleet through equipment procurement that formed a part of the enterprise development programme. This included the purchase of welding equipment as well as a R75 000 HILTI coring drill (and requisite training) from Stefanutti Stocks in 2019. In the same year PAMCO received re-usable site equipment that would assist it in delivering existing services and provide a welcome savings on previously encountered rental costs associated with this type of equipment.
PAMCO also successfully applied for a loan, from the Tirisano Construction Fund, to buy construction plant and equipment. “My successful request was for funding to purchase two 10t tipper trucks, a 25t excavator, a TLB, a four-by-four, and the like, which will help me to further grow my business, and also support us to be able to work on general contracting and civils projects.”
Since joining the Enterprise Development programme in 2015 the business has grown its turnover year-on-year. PAMCO has also grown from operating out of the owner’s garage to a company that has its own business premises in Soweto. A further giant leap in PAMCO’s growth followed the successful completion of a school refurbishment project that PAMCO proposed to the Tirisano Construction Fund in 2018. The successful completion of this R7,2-million project, that included refurbishing, renovating, and revitalising the Maserunyane High School in Limpopo, saw the contractor qualify as a CIDB Grade 6. “When I first started with Stefanutti Stocks, I had never heard of the CIDB and now, with a Grade 6 I am able to tender for the bigger government projects,” says Nemurangoni. “Since I’m with Stefanutti Stocks my turnover is going up, AND we are growing every year.”
PAMCO’s business philosophy articulates why it is highly regarded by its client base, suppliers, and by its own staff:
- Always do things right the first time;
- Never solve a problem tomorrow if it can be solved today; and
- Be punctual and perfect in everything.
“To the young and small contractors who are coming behind us, my advice to them is that they must be honest with their clients, do a quality job, be reliable, and their systems must be in order. Ten years ago, versus today, we were a different organisation, in terms of our systems, our policies and our processes,” explains Nemurangoni. “If we were to measure this difference, I would say it is a 10-hectare distance. We didn’t have a logo. I only had one wooden step ladder, and now I cannot tell you how many stepladders I have…and of course scaffolding and other equipment. We were a team of four – I now employ approximately 25. I have foremen on site, where previously I was foreman, supervisor, driver – all of this on one set of shoulders. I used to do handwritten quotes and invoices, now we use SAGE.
“I feel more confident about my business… I even dream of one day competing with Stefanutti Stocks.”