Providing engineering, project management and development services in South Africa – a market in which such services are already plentiful – requires a novel approach. If clients are to search for a service provider and have your business’s name come out tops, like wheat from chaff, you need to be properly differentiated.
Over the past few years, Leoka Engineering has established itself as a forerunner in these fields. An ISO 9001:2015-certified business and a Level 1 BEE contributor, Leoka has been actively developing its capacity and capabilities. Today it specialises in capital projects in the mining, mineral ore processing, infrastructure, aviation and heavy industry sectors, and counts among its clients such heavyweights as Anglo-American Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Resources, Exxaro, Palabora Mining Company (PCM) and Airports Company South Africa. In contrast to the typically clinical approach adopted by its peers, Leoka is nurturing a reputation for doing things differently.
When asked what sets Leoka apart, Managing Director Katlego Makgata has an immediate answer: “We’re client-centric. We exercise a lot of empathy and compassion for our clients. We integrate ourselves within their businesses so that we can better understand their challenges, and we work side by side with them to find solutions.” “We’ve learnt that it’s almost impossible for our clients to communicate all their needs in at tender or enquiry stage, and we understand that the initial scope of work is likely to evolve once work begins,” Makgata adds. “By being flexible and adaptable, we’re able to keep up with these changing circumstances and deliver results.”
Makgata’s team is relatively small and lean for the number and complexity of projects it manages, but this is deliberate. By maintaining a manageable and agile team, Leoka is able to respond quickly to the needs of its clients and to deliver fast and successful solutions. Although most of its engineers wear many hats, however, they still receive concerted support from their experienced colleagues. At every step, their focus is delivering work of the highest quality. Leoka also nurtures close ties with other engineering and consulting companies. Collaboration with these entities is a key part of its modus operandi.
A long-term view
Leoka’s work with PMC has been intensive. The project involves extending the life of PMC’s underground mining operations, and includes project management services, and the design and implementation of the appropriate infrastructure required to support the mine. Inevitably, the project has experienced some challenges along the way – throughout, Leoka has demonstrated its commitment and staying power.
“When we embark on any given project, we adopt a long-term view,” says Makgata. “We are available to navigate unexpected difficulties or uncertainties, and to implement new and fresh solutions wherever they may be required. Our focus is always on providing technical expertise, prioritising quality work, and maintaining strong and productive working relationships.”
This approach has defined Leoka’s work at Anglo American Platinum’s Rustenburg Base Metals Refinery, where it has been replacing and optimising aging electrical infrastructure, and rehabilitating damaged roads. And at Arnot OpCo Coal Mine, Leoka has been managing the rehabilitation of old opencast workings and stormwater systems. “While we pride ourselves on our technical knowledge and skill sets, and our ability to execute projects safely, smartly and by implementing the latest technological innovations,” Makgata adds, “we understand that our relationships with our clients are first and foremost human relationships. This understanding consistently guides us.”
With its human-focused approach to engineering, procurement and construction projects, Leoka bridges the gap between its clients, partners and suppliers. The results are successful projects that are sure to succeed, and professional relationships that are likely to continue long into the future.