New BBBEE Partnership to Ensure Long-term Sustainability for Company, Benefits For Employees

Motors, controls, electrical products and solutions provider Zest WEG Electric South Africa introduced a new broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) partner to the group last month.

Zest WEG Group CEO Louis Meiring explains that the group, in its aim to ensure long-term sustainability, created the partnership through an employee trust, comprising owners that add value to and impact on the business on a daily basis.

“The Zest Empowerment Company will own 25.1% of Zest WEG Electric in South Africa, and will be responsible for the employee trust,” he tells Engineering News.

The beneficiaries of the trust will include all previously disadvantaged employees of the Zest WEG Group in South Africa, which amounts to about 400 of the group’s 710 employees, Meiring says, emphasising that this significant step in the structure of the partnership distributes the benefit throughout the entire group in South Africa
These employees will benefit from financial proceeds derived from the dividends.

“We are pleased with this decision and are excited about moving forward. While we have responded to the requirements of BBBEE in the past, with a former company called Medu Capital, Zest WEG Group aimed for a structure that would speak to the longevity of the benefits for the employees directly involved in the group,” he points out.

Zest WEG Electric also appointed three trustees, including a new director, to manage the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries.

While Meiring acknowledges the challenges a multinational group faces in understanding the needs and requirements of BBBEE in South Africa, he highlights that Zest WEG Electric’s parent company, Brazilian motors and controls manufacturer WEG, has provided “phenomenal support, including accepting the dynamics of the South African industry”.

Efficiency, Skills Drive
Meiring further notes that the introduction of Zest WEG Electric’s new premium efficiency (IE) 3 motors, with a three-year warrantee period as a standard offering across its entire product range, effective as from January this year, has been well received by the mining and industrial industries, and will assist the company in regaining market share.

He reiterates that the change from IE1 and IE2 product ranges to the IE3 product range occurred at no additional cost to end-users.

Zest WEG Electric understands the pressures that end-users are facing in terms of electricity and those that State-owned electricity entity Eskom is facing to produce electricity; therefore, the company introduced the IE3 motors to reduce the total cost of ownership by saving on electricity, Meiring explains.

He further highlights that there is increasing interest for training from significant end-user customers, which have identified the need for skills upliftment, owing to the dwindling of skills at operations and in maintaining electrical equipment.

All eight courses offered on the Zest WEG Group training programme are accredited for continuous professional development points from the Engineering Council of South Africa, the company can facilitate and provide maintenance training and related support services. “These services assist in lowering the total cost of ownership in acquiring, installing, operating and maintaining products, such as electric motors – particularly in progressing the skills base of the new motor technologies,” Meiring concludes.

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