Having made it through hard lockdown, entrepreneur Sthembiso Mkansi is extremely pleased to see that his turnover for 2020 has already exceeded that of last year, which almost forced him to close shop.
“As I was looking forward to the end of 2019, I was hijacked in my bakkie and taken across the Mozambiquan border. Of course, this was a setback for both me and my pump business, Liquidflow. Thank goodness I was unharmed although out of pocket,” explained Mkansi.
When the lockdown was announced, Mkansi focused his attention on attracting new clients via social media. The results were excellent! “I received an order for pumps from Eskom and I’m pleased to report that I seem to have been included on their supplier list, because I’ve had subsequent orders as well,” he said.
Liquidflow is currently installing two dewatering pumps at Abram Hlophe Primary School in Katlehong to drain storm and underground water. The company has also been approached by Makro to service the pumps associated with the store’s air conditioning (HVEC System).
“Air conditioning isn’t used during winter and it’s very common for the grease to settle on one side of the bearings, causing the bearings to rust on the ungreased side – my team is trained to repair these issues on pumps,” commented Mkansi.
There’s also demand for pumps in the mining industry, an obvious target for this entrepreneur.
The pump industry has made a significant contribution to job creation and the development of the secondary and tertiary industries in South Africa. Like many other industries, the participation of African entrepreneurs in the industry has largely been marginal, primarily as unskilled workers although in recent years, attempts have been made to bring about changes at the ownership and management levels.
These efforts have resulted in the emergence of a number of African-owned companies but there is still plenty of scope for more small companies to become involved, particularly in the area of pump repairs and sales, which have been neglected in the past.
Liquidflow was established in 2013 as a purely technical advisory support and sales company by two qualified engineers, Sthembiso Mkansi and Ndhuma Ritshuri who have a wealth of experience in pump repairs and associated expertise.