Bonita Botha

Please share some background on yourself and how the business started?

I grew up at Malvern Childrens Home in Queensburgh, Durban. After I matriculated from Werda High School I left the home and rented an outside room. I started working and studying part-time for a B. Com Accounting through Unisa. I got an opportunity to work in the Mining Industry selling chemicals into the Mining and Water Purification Plant.

I was fortunate to have a mentor within the company, who gave me life skills coaching as well as gaining experience — I was subsequently transferred to Johannesburg.

I was offered a position in the self-funded tank industry. I gained as much experience as I could while continuing to study part-time.

I studied Chemistry, Drafting, HR Payroll, Crises Counselling, Life Skills and Counselling to children.

What is your core service?

Manufacturing of fuel storage solutions for Mines in Africa, Construction Sites, Aviation, Fuel Companies. Our product is a self contained unit also known as ‘self-bunded’ or double walled fuel tank. Our company also has an engineering department that designs all the engineering equipment and solutions that we need to transfer fuel for generators and equipment on the sites.

What makes your business unique?

It is 100% woman-owned business — 100% managed by woman in a male dominated industry and we do it exceptionally well as a result of our skills and experience acquired over the last 20 years.

We have an in-depth understanding and compassion for our skilled workers and the conditions and challenges that we are currently facing in our country. We have, as management, taken a personal interest in the lives and development of our staff as well as the education of their children.

In addition we are mentoring and financially supporting numerous students as possible future employees or leaders in our own business and country.

If someone wanted to copy your business model, how would they start?

Business economics is a simple formula that any individual can copy.
Copying our business model would mean that, as a leader, you are going to have to be prepared to sacrifice and uplift others before yourself. That is the choice and decision that we as a company embrace. Our people are the core of our business.

What is the best advice anyone gave you on success?

Success is going from failure to failure with enthusiasm.

I feel successful in our business when I have 100% attendance from my staff. They greet me with a smile every morning. They are happy to be here and share their challenges with me. They confide in me. Success is not how much money you have in the bank. Success is about investing in your people and reaping the rewards of that.

What is your company’s vision?

Our vision is empowering woman in SA, educating children and developing skills.

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