With R500 in my pocket, a good idea and no tools, an old dented Nissan 1400 bakkie and Pentium 1 PC; our first maintenance business was opened.
In 2005 we started; we took the R500 and placed ads in the newspaper for maintenance building and renovations. It wasn’t long before the first call came in for a quote. We went to see the potential clients and gave them some advice; it wasn’t long before we had won them over and the first quote was accepted. We asked for a deposit which covered our materials and just the necessary tools. Our profits were small for the first 6 months on all our jobs, but we needed to build our tools up. Within no time we had all our tools and equipment, plus a string of clients. We soon realised that word of mouth was the best form of advertising, and we got so busy that we had to stop advertising. Our little idea soon grew and we were able to employ more people and create more work opportunities. In the beginning, it was only my one worker, Oupa and I. The two of us worked very hard to build the business. My motto for the business was and still is perfection, neatness, attention to detail and no short cuts. As the business grew and we had more staff, Oupa moved on to do his own work.
In late 2005, Frans Nkuna started working for me as a brick layer and could only lay bricks. I saw the potential in this young man and his attention to detail. I took him under my wing and taught him over the years everything I had learnt, as my father taught me from reading a plan to plumbing and electrical. He now can do everything in the building business. The thing that I believe in and what the Bible teaches us is to teach a man how to fish.
In 2011 we decided to move out of the building business and open a bakery in Olifantsfontein to feed the masses. I went in to partnership with someone in the bakery. Instead of retrenching my staff, I took all the staff from the building business and had them trained by Sasko and southern bakery to make bread. So we not only had staff that could build but now also could bake bread. The bakery started off well and within a couple of months we were on 7000 loafs of bread a day. For several reasons the partnership went sour and I had to pull out of the bakery. We had lost our investment there and walked out with nothing. Many of the staff remained with me out of loyalty. With no money and no plan in action and really being down and out, they trusted that I would do something for all of us again. There was no time to waste. I had to stand up, dust myself off and make a plan. I now had a big responsibility to my staff and couldn’t let them down.
I called a meeting with Frans explained to him how I started up the first time and we put a plan together that day. That day a partnership and Mbjane Projects was born. I knew this time around it would be easier as we still had all our tools and equipment. We scraped money together placed ads and phoned up all of our old clients. Before we knew it, we had our first job in and our staff members were back at work. The business has grown from strength to strength since then. Our motto at Mbjane projects is to build a respectable, honest, reliable and trustworthy construction business. A business our clients can rely on. Our team strives for perfection and interprets that in our workmanship. We take pride in our work and will respond promptly to our clients call. We work efficiently, giving our clients the best advice and price. We take pride in our work and do not skimp on material or work standards, we always do things right the first time. We have never walked away from a site, but completed plenty of projects that other builders had run away from. We try and take the hassle of building away from our clients. We are members of the NHBRC. No job is too big or too small for us. The only time we don’t accept the work is where client insist to do jobs cheap and use cheap materials. We have a good reputation and want to keep it that way with quality work and quality material.
We are currently developing an all-in-one building package solution. This will offer our clients a complete building package from the start to handing over the keys. Thereby taking the stress and hassle away from the client, and giving a quality guaranteed completion on projects.