4 months ago

Opportunity Issue 103

  • Text
  • Infrastructure
  • Research
  • Survey
  • Business
  • Africa
  • Investment
  • Trade
  • South africa
  • Green energy
  • Mining
  • Wwwglobalafricanetworkcom
  • Samsung
  • Global
  • Programme
  • Hydrogen
  • Digital
  • Businesses
  • Innovation
  • Economic
  • Sacci
Opportunity magazine is a niche business-to-business publication that explores various investment opportunities within Southern Africa’s economic sectors. The publication is endorsed by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI).

A coal sampling and

A coal sampling and analysis company records astonishing growth Umzamo Analytical Services, which has its head office in Emalahleni, is set to continue its upward trajectory with the addition of a new laboratory, as founder and CEO Audrey Ndlovu reports. Could you have imagined when you left school that this is where you would be now? My dream was to become a medical doctor, but I got cold feet due to the seven-year training period and opted to pursue a career in chemical analysis. Have there been specific obstacles you have encountered as a woman in your entrepreneurial journey? Being female is a major obstacle because mostly, senior management comprises of males, who mostly don’t take females seriously as they assume females will not cope in the very dynamic and highly-demanding entrepreneurial space. One’s competency is constantly tested. What sort of growth has UAS experienced? It’s been a remarkable 10 years in operation with UAS achieving an astounding 400% growth in its first five years of being in business. Today, the company has a proven track record of success within the coal analysis and preparation sector of coal mining and recently added high-profile companies to its list of clients based on its reputation for offering a comprehensive suite of analytical services to meet the needs of local coal producers across South Africa. What accounts for that growth? Our management team, committed and loyal employees and a strong company value system. What capabilities will your new coal-testing laboratory have and how will this expand your offering? The new lab is fully equipped with technology that will continue to ensure our clients receive seamless analytical support. Opening a new analytic laboratory is a tribute to the collaboration between the mining sector and the success of UAS. The new facility has broadened the scope of work for UAS as the environment is conducive to the use of modernised equipment, specifically the Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP), Atomic Absorption and Emission 20 |

ANALYTICAL SERVICES Spectrometers and XRF to mention just a few. What services does UAS provide? UAS offers a diverse range of coal sampling and preparation services as well as laboratory services that include several industry-specific coal sample measurement tests. What does it mean to be SANAS approved? The company is South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) approved, which includes ISO 17025 for laboratory management as well as ISO and ASTM methods for coal sampling and analysis – the highest international quality standards that can be attained. The new laboratory What is your market? We strive to go global and continue to provide laboratory services nationwide to private and mining sectors. How many employees does UAS have? 260 permanent employees. Is training available to staff? A skilled workforce is paramount to the company’s success. UAS offers ongoing training that has enabled employees to grow within the company. Recently, a few employees were given the opportunity to travel to Morupule Colliery in Botswana to learn how to prepare samples and effect float and sink structures. Does UAS offer internships? UAS is committed to uplifting communities by offering job opportunities and in-service training to chemistry students and matriculants in need of laboratory exposure. In addition, the company looks to employ local people. A containerised laboratory has been opened at Overlooked Colliery. Please give an example of a successful employee who has risen in the ranks. Nqobile Ntuli – Current position, Laboratory Manager. Nqobile joined UAS in 2015 as an operator from Leeuw Coal Mine in Vryheid. She relocated to Witbank and over the years has been promoted to Process Coordinator based at Overlooked Coal Mine in 2018. In 2019 she was again promoted to supervisor at Londani Coal Mine but returned to Overlooked Coal Mine in 2020. In 2020, while on maternity leave, she received a call to inform her that she was being promoted to laboratory manager in Witbank, and the rest is history. What is the future path for UAS? We are keen to build on the success of the company and are actively eyeing other growth opportunities. This includes the establishment of coal sampling and analysis in other countries in Southern Africa and the establishment of soil-testing and minerals-processing support laboratories in the region. The company is also aiming to offer technical support (quality consultancy, training and audits) to stakeholders conducting work relevant to the UAS scope of work. Biography Audrey Ndlovu’s decision to switch her educational focus from the dream of becoming a medical doctor to a career in chemical analysis has paid off. With more than 26 years of laboratory experience, she now heads a thriving and growing business offering coal sampling and chemical analysis to a range of companies. In 2012, she used her vast experience and knowledge and identified an opportunity in the coal industry and from this Umzamo Analytical Services was born. Audrey Ndlovu, founder and CEO | 21

Other recent publications by Global Africa Network: