Launched recently, RSC Avelo is a black-woman-youth-owned and managed reinforcing steel (REBAR) Rebar Mesh And Construction Supplies manufacturer.

The company is a qualifying small enterprise (QSE) and is set to produce at least 12,000 tons of steel per year. The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has welcomed the launch of RSC Avelo as a big step towards industry transformation. “It is encouraging to see young black women such as Ms. Mayleen Kyster, MD of RCS Avelo, doing such great work in the industry, especially given the challenges in the manufacturing, engineering and metals industry.

“It is refreshing to see new players with a more transformative agenda entering the industry,” said Kaizer Nyatsumba, CEO SEIFSA, speaking at the official launch event held at Avelo’s manufacturing facility in Roodeport.

“Kyster together with partners Dorothy Mokgadi and Nkholo Komape’s entrepreneurial spirit has seen them leaving comfortable jobs in the sector to take on the risk of raising capital to venture into the brave world of business ownership, doing so in an industry that is not known for transformation and less renowned for its friendliness or ability to accommodate women, and for this we are pleased,” said Nyatsumba.

Most Transformed Company Award

He highlighted that, within a relatively short space of time, Kyster has made her presence felt in the industry by winning the Most Transformed Company Award in the 2015 SEIFSA Awards for Excellence and by being invited to be one of the speakers at the inaugural Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba in 2015.

Avelo currently employs 25 full-time employees, and contracts up to 50 employees on site through four SMMEs which form part of their enterprise development initiatives. Avelo is set to introduce night shifts sometime in the new year in line with anticipated demand, said Komape RSC Avelo operations director.

33-year-old Kyster said, “It has been a tough journey, and it is pleasing to see the progress made by the company. In just a year, we have moved swiftly from an EME (exempted micro enterprise) to a QSE.

Multinational company

“RSC is a multinational with 15 businesses across the African continent as well as business in Mauritius. They are shareholders in Avelo with a minority stake in the organisation. The rest of the shares are held by black men, women and youth, with an impressive 58% shareholding held by women. RSC involvement is to provide working capital to the extent that it is needed and this contributes positively to the group’s enterprise development initiatives.

“The steel manufacturing space is a very competitive industry, and our first year has been very challenging and rewarding at the same time. We are finding our feet, and trying to navigate our way in the industry. We are thrilled that we made it in the first year, and look forward to growing the business,” Mokgadi, director for sales explained.

Transforming the manufacturing landscape

“RSC Avelo was nominated as one of four black industrialists at the fourth Annual SA Premier Business Awards 2016, an awards function which is a collaboration between Proudly SA, Brand South Africa and the Department of Trade and Industry. We appreciate the nomination and acknowledgement as contributors to transforming the manufacturing landscape. We look forward to creating new relationships and further building current relationships to sustain production and create much needed employment, especially given the current depressing economic landscape,” Kyster said.