'We need to share our experiences'

EDWIN Bogopa believes that if successful black businesspeople and professionals were to share their experiences with fellow blacks, the economic gap between whites and blacks could be reduced substantially.

Bogopa, 38, of Norwood in Johannesburg. is chief executive of Metsana Engineering, based in Parktown.

The company, which is five years old, is growing in leaps and bounds.

Metsana Engineering recently secured a R15million tender from the City of Tshwane to put up 5000 street lights in the area.

The company deals in electrical engineering and waste management and also identifies and maintains mining equipment.

After graduating with a BTech in Mining Engineering from the Wits Technikon in 1997, Bogopa worked for five years as a mining engineer for Lonmin-Western Platinum Karee Mine.

He was responsible for health and safety, operations, production, labour, human resources management and training and development.

"While working there I always hoped to start my own business," he said.

He also worked at other companies on mining software operations and explosives.

He struggled to get funding to start a mining company, so he and five friends got together and formed Tsutsuma Mining.

They later sold half the company because they needed the cash.

After these ups and downs, he established Metsana Engineering. "There is still a long way before we blacks can get it right in mining and engineering . Successful black professionals and business people should give their time and skills to help others .

"We can use churches and schools to share our business experience and life in general. This is what other races did - and they succeeded," he said.

His formula for success?

"Have a passion for what you do and strive to understand all the dynamics of your industry. We will see changes in our country only if black partners in corporates transform the places where they are."

Bogopa is a father of two daughters aged two years and two months old. "My wish is to see Metsana register on AltX and becoming a holding company with firms specialising in waste, energy and engineering," he said.