Bell Equipment Sales South Africa (BESSA) and the Overlooked Group (OVL) joined the Govan Mbeki Local Municipality last week to handover of four houses that have been built for indigent families as part of an approved low-cost housing project in the Municipality’s eMzinoni area.
OVL, a 100% black-owned diversified South African-based resources company with vast experience in housing projects of this nature, facilitated and provided project management expertise. BESSA provided over R1 million in funding for the project as part of its socio-economic development initiatives.
Councillor Thandi Mtsweni, a Member of the Mayoral Committee for Planning and Development at the Govan Mbeki Municipality, commended OVL and BESA for their commitment and hard work. The construction of the houses has assisted in reducing the backlog and shortage of housing units for beneficiaries on the municipal housing waiting list.
Tiaan Swanepoel, Overlooked Mining Group’s Compliance Manager, recognised the “true intent” shown by Bell Equipment. He said: “Our belief is when we plough back into the community it’s not just about the project. There is a lot more to it; we look holistically at the community. We use a local contractor for service delivery and employ local subcontractors and labourers. There are also small businesses, and we use local suppliers for materials.”
In his address, Bell Equipment Group Chairman, Gary Bell, said: “Bell Equipment appreciates the opportunity to work together with the Overlooked Group and the Govan Mbeki Local Municipality to create change for the betterment of people in South Africa.
“Some people don’t realise that Bell Equipment is a fully South African company; our products are designed and built here from the ground up with our team of around 4 000 people. This type of project fits in well with what we do around the country. We work in hundreds of different regions and have many such projects.”
However, he explained that more important is the development and people empowerment achieved through the Bell supply chain. About 1 250 local businesses help to produce the components used in Bell machines that are sold across South Africa and worldwide. With the multiplier effect, this translates to around 30 000 jobs. “The Overlooked Group has a choice of 18 to 20 imported options but by choosing Bell machines some 30 000 South Africans got to benefit. A lot of people don’t understand the importance of us working together as a team in South Africa. Whether it’s our municipal partners, our mining partners, or our supply partners, it’s critical that we work together to develop the country as a whole. We saw it recently in the Rugby World Cup what can be achieved when we work together.”