Nthabiseng Molejane, Refilwe Mogale and Mannini Setai are the three ladies who own Ahang Amalmagate Construction and all met in Parys when they started Grade 1. They have been together from Primary school, throughout High School and even attended the same tertiary institution; the University of the Free State where they majored in different degrees namely a B.Soc.Sc, Chemistry and LLB Law respectively. Having been friends for so long and having shared dreams of being successful, it made perfect sense for them to go into business together.
Growing up together and having attended the same schools exposed them to the same social issues and that is how their passion for social responsibility was ignited. They were part of an outreach programme in high school for disadvantaged communities and saw the poor and unsafe housing conditions that most people lived in, but were not sure what they could do to help. It was during that same year when they worked at the Department of Housing and Town Planning for a school project that they were first introduced to the world of construction. While working there, they came to the realization that the houses they had visited were far from being compliant with the rules and regulations for proper housing. This is where they drew inspiration to help with providing proper housing at an affordable price and also how the idea of getting into construction was born. The ultimate aim of the company is to use eco-friendly and recyclable materials which are usually more affordable and they are hoping to turn this into a reality with the help of the industry and the government.
An average day at Ahang Amalmagate Construction usually consists of finding new business ventures, compiling a data base of people with different skills in order to help reduce youth unemployment and overseeing the day to day operations on site, which entails getting physically involved in the construction process. They were previously in charge of and founded an outreach programme which dealt with motivating the youth from poor households and providing them with food parcels and are looking at going back into that soon.
One of the biggest challenges that they are faced with as a small company is getting those big contracts that will allow them to showcase their skills on a bigger scale and grow. In order to not only enter this industry but to thrive in it, they need some assistance from the existing bigger and more experienced companies, who usually get the contracts, to open their doors to them and allow them to be subcontracted under them while they build their company. This will help them grow as company and they too will ultimately be able to help other new businesses just as they have been helped.
2018 has seen them achieve really amazing milestones in their career and put their company on a bigger platform. In this year alone they have won three entrepreneurial competitions in a space of six months. The first one being the CAN DO #UnbreakableS2 where they won R25 000. The second was the #Tabalaza Pitching competition where they walked away with a whopping R150 000, and they just recently won R10 000 at the #UFS Pitch for Student Entrepreneurs.In addition to all these, they say their biggest achievement would have to be the company itself.
“To be able to start something and actually continue working on it even when everything else is against you, just makes us realize how much it means to us. To be able to call this company our own has to be our greatest achievement to date.”
On why they are a team that absolutely rocks, they say that they rock because they are a vibrant, socially aware and optimistic team that is always ready to learn and go the extra mile for their company and their hopes for the future includes sustainable development , which is something they are passionate about.
They are currently in the research and development stages of manufacturing eco-friendly bricks because they want to be a multi-disciplinary construction company that operates across borders and is also a pioneer for sustainable and “green construction”.
“As one of our social injustices project, we want to partner with government, other stakeholders to build and maintain multiple Safety and Development facilities that will house as well as empower survivors of women and child abuse. Accomplishing this will give us hope that we would have done something meaningful in this world.”