From humble beginnings, with five employees and two bakkies, a Cape Town company has grown into a successful construction group that has worked on major road maintenance programmes over the past six years.
Theresa Cupido, founder and managing director of ATN Group, says her company has just completed four contracts for the South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL), to the value of R41-million, on the N1 and N2 in the Western Cape.
Females doing it
With its head office in Stikland, ATN is a 100% black- and female-owned company with a primary focus on routine road maintenance and provides work for 50 permanent employees and up to 200 contract workers at a time.
“The work we do includes the general cleaning of road reserves, culverts, repairing flood damage, upgrading of storm water and sewerage pipes, vegetation control and the construction of gabions,” said Cupido.
She first became aware of opportunities in the construction and civil engineering sectors when South Africa was gearing up for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.
SANRAL’s continued support has helped to grow the company, with contracts enabling ATN to plan ahead for at least three years within a stable environment.
In 2014, Cupido received the award for Job Creator of the Year at the 2014 Sanlam Business Partners Entrepreneur event. The award recognised the significant role she has played in employing and empowering people in the industry.
Paying it forward
“Owning a business and empowering people has always been my dream, as I grew up in a family of business-minded individuals,” said Cupido.
As part of its commitment to training and development, ATN employs both skilled and semi-skilled industry professionals and ensures that there are fixed systems in place to transfer expertise across all levels.
This ensures that 2% of its annual turnover is spent on training and internship programmes.
“In addition, our routine road maintenance contracts are split between local temporary labour and contract employees to encourage job creation within the industry. We assist smaller industry players and subcontractors through an enterprise development programme, which creates opportunities to become industry compliant,” she said.