PBF: Progressive Youth in Business

PBF: Progressive Youth in Business

Paying tribute to the youth of South Africa: A message from ANC Treasurer-General, Paul Mashatile

June is a special month in the South African calendar. It is a month in which as a nation we take time to reflect, remember and honour the role played by young people in our struggle for liberation and in the ongoing effort to reconstruct and develop our country. 

History records that Enoch Sontonga, at the age of 24 years, composed Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika. It was a group of young people that brought to life the African National Congress Youth League — that became a powerful force behind the ANC and was at the forefront of the militant and mass-driven Defiance Campaign of the 1950s. We will never forget the fighting youth generation of 1976, who were prepared to lay down their lives for us to enjoy the freedom and democracy we have today. And it was the youth of the 1980s who responded to the call to render South Africa ungovernable and apartheid unworkable.

Like those young people who came before them, the young people of today have a responsibility to lead society and to propel our nation to greater heights. They must be given space to do this, they must be supported, and most importantly they must be given meaningful responsibilities in society and within our movement. 

Young people are clear that political freedom on its own is not sufficient. They have chosen to take the lead in the struggle for radical socioeconomic transformation. The whole nation has a responsibility to rally behind our young people as they undertake this important task. We dare not fail them.


Black Torres 96 is a multi-disciplinary civil engineering construction company, with proven capabilities in many technical fields in the civil engineering industry since 2010. It is registered with the Construction Industry Development Board as a contractor with the ability to perform work within the 4CE PE, 4GB scope, and is a BBBEE Level One Contributor that is 100% black owned.

Services include: water supply systems; roads and earthworks; stormwater systems; sanitation; plant hire; fuel management and security systems. It has an extensive modern plant fleet and a purpose-built workshop, and has done work for several major clients.

The company employs in excess of 150 permanent staff and annually in excess of 400 part-time staff are sourced from the local communities. Black Torres 96 supports schools and local communities with the necessary tools to build their future. It has a dynamic development plan to involve, train and uplift local SMME contractors, suppliers and community members in its operations. 

Write to: [email protected]


Mettle Corporate Communications is a black youth-owned full-service corporate communications consultancy founded in 2016, focusing on niche industrial sectors, including the mining and resource industries of South Africa. 

By integrating strategy, media relations, social media management, branding and overall stakeholder engagement, the company proactively shapes the perceptions of its clients. Mettle recognises the importance for industry to integrate impactful communication and PR strategies to advance their overall business goals.

The company provides these services: communication and PR strategy development; financial PR; stakeholder engagement; digital marketing; media relations; social media management; graphic design, web development and branding event management; and media and presentation training.

Mettle is small enough to provide each client with individual attention, has the BBBEE credentials to maximise business development opportunities for its clients, and has a core team of consultants that has vast experience in different roles in the industrial sectors, particularly mining.

Write to: [email protected]


Jordaan and Sons is a 100% black youth-owned South African entity that specialises in mining, civil construction and logistics services. The company is unique because it has qualified black engineers with vast experience in the mining and civil industry and exceptional professionalism. It aims to ultimately diversify into a formidable services company.

Managing Director Mike Mohalala has 14 years of experience in mining and construction and has worked for companies such as BHP Billiton and Glencore.

Services offered include: construction (roads, stormwater, dams), logistics (stockpile and siding management, material hauling) mining (topsoil stripping, mine rehabilitation, load and haul, drill and blasting, mine road maintenance) and underground mining services (ventilations walls, air crossings, refuge bay construction and secondary roof support).

Write to: [email protected]


Zarsom is a 100% black female-owned entity managed by two sisters who offer specialised skills in the hospitality, construction, supply chains and project management. The sisters realised that what could just be seen as chores of a housewife could be something that the women of this country can use to initiate business ideas and take economic transformation to the next level.

With skills in many Industries, the sisters are able to provide multiple services. The company’s objectives include decreasing unemployment, enhancing the economy and providing relevant skills to other like-minded women so they can start their own businesses.

The Zarsom team has worked with big corporations and is able to multitask in demanding environments. Services include supply of fuel, tanks and bowsers; contractor management, training and planning; textiles, embroidery, silk screening and sublimation; school uniforms and sport gear; events; and a variety of catering services.

Write to: [email protected]

By Sipho Mbele, Convenor of the Progressive Business Forum

Young people in South Africa face the challenges of unemployment, poverty and lack of access to economic opportunities. They remain vulnerable in the labour market, with only 24 000 gaining employment in the first quarter of 2022.

Sipho Mbele, Convenor of the Progressive Business Forum. (Photo: Luca Barausse Photography)

Studies have shown that the average lifespan of an SMME in South Africa is three years, due to lack of access to finance and markets for their products. Some of the challenges faced by SMMEs and emerging youth businesses are: red tape caused by late payment of their invoices; demands for bribery to process invoices by state employees; the rigid regulatory environment for business permits; and lack of infrastructure with which to do business. 

The  PBF has a programme focused on youth called Progressive Youth in Business (PYB), which is aimed at mobilising youth-owned companies to make a difference in the economy and to be able to shape the economic policies of our country.

The PYB is designed to be future focused and strives to be a home for the youth in business. It creates a platform for young people in business to engage with leaders in government and to participate in trade promotion and investment. 

Through PYB, subscribers can participate in policy processes, networking sessions, round table and research work. The PYB also offers training programmes for its subscribers.

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