Zila Steel: From Pavement to Factory Owner


Zila Steel’s story

The Zila Steel story began in 2012 when Sello Makhamate started his steel manufacturing business on the pavement in Diepsloot, North of Johannesburg – living proof that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

The company – which is level 1 B-BBEE contributor – has the capacity to deliver steel structures for commercial installations as well as everyday items for residential use.

office 10.02.2015
Zila Steel started as a company that was operating from a street pavement

Makhamate picked up the skills to do steel work from his grandfather who had a welding business. At the time, Makhamate didn’t believe welding was good enough as a sustainable, revenue-spinning business but little did he know that the trade would propel him to success. After a few frustrating years in telemarketing and call centres, he turned to what his grandfather taught him. And the rest as they say is history.

From pavement to factory owner

The biggest challenge for Zila Steel at the time was having no formal facilities. Makhamate and his team had no protection from the elements and his materials were also often stolen.

Thanks to the Riversands Incubation Hub near Fourways in Johannesburg, Makhamate has gone from operating on the pavement to a 200m² factory operator. This after he was selected as one of the first beneficiaries to the Hub. Makhamate says the thing that has brought him to where he is today is the belief that: “If you are passionate about what you want to do, go for it.”

He adds that, “with the coaching I’m receiving at Riversands Incubation Hub, my steel manufacturing enterprise is growing.”

With a slogan, “Steel is our business”, Zila Steel has:

  • A track-record of delivering on time;
  • Experienced, trade-tested and skilled workers; and
  • Extremely competitive pricing.

Personal supervision by the owner ensures that everything is made to the highest standards. The company is also able to scale up for large projects through a network of skilled contractors.

Having learnt a valuable skill from his grandfather, this entrepreneur is all about paying it forward.

by: Smangele Mzizi

Courtesy of Riversands Incubation Hub