31 March 2022

Subtech South Africa (Pty) Ltd, completes major BBBEE transaction, delivering on commitment to transformation in South Africa’s marine economy

Subtech South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a subsidiary of James Fisher Subtech – the global specialist provider of innovative marine (offshore and nearshore) solutions, has completed a major Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) transaction, transferring a 51% stake in the business to South African black owned consortium, Tacenda Consulting (Pty) Ltd (100% black female owned) and Thembani Shipping (Pty) Ltd.

South Africa introduced B-BBEE policy in 2003 to redress the unjust effects of the apartheid past. Aligned with the goals of B-BBEE, James Fisher Subtech has invested in and is committed to the socio-economic development of black South Africans through employment, management, and ownership opportunities within Subtech South Africa.

This transaction marks a major milestone in Subtech South Africa’s transition to become a proudly black-owned and managed South African marine services company specializing in marine construction, diving, survey, non-destructive testing and salvage. Tacenda and Thembani through their respective owners, Nomkhitha Mbele and Nhlakanipho Thamsanqa Gcaba, will support and drive the transformation agenda with renewed energy both internally through continued skills development of employees, and externally with clients to impact positively on the communities and environments in which Subtech South Africa operates.

Nomkhitha Mbele, Director at Subtech South Africa, said,

“I am delighted to see the completion of this deal, which now allows us to fully support our clients with their marine projects and the planned port infrastructure development in South Africa. Our clients can now benefit from our full suite of services backed by our industry-leading expertise and highest safety standards, whilst at the same time supporting a black-owned business and honoring local procurement commitments. This is a powerful example of what can be achieved through meaningful Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment, which is crucial for equitable growth in South Africa.”

Mbele brings 17 years’ experience in the marine sector to the business, with Gcaba (Director at Subtech South Africa), bringing 14, running the country’s only black-owned shipping agency. Newly appointed Subtech South Africa Managing Director, Anton Van Zyl, has been at Subtech since 2008, and brings 15 years of diving and marine experience. Van Zyl’s intimate knowledge of the Subtech business, in particular his commitment to operational excellence, will ensure Subtech South Africa continues to deliver best in class marine solutions to its clients.

Giovanni Corbetta, Managing Director at James Fisher Subtech, said:

“South Africa has long been one of our key markets, based on its geographic location and growing marine economy. The conclusion of this transaction is part of our vision to achieve transformation and grow Subtech South Africa in a meaningful and sustainable way. It was crucial for us that this was more than just a transaction and that it was done meaningfully and with the right partners, which we have found in Tacenda and Thembani. As a result, we are proud to have partners that strengthen the business with their industry experience and networks, and who will add real impetus to our ongoing transformation initiatives.”

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