Seven years after the initial call went out to interested candidates to become Owner Drivers in the EnviroServ Employee Empowerment Scheme, the scheme has been hailed as a success. The company’s ultimate goal was to assist and guide a person to be able to run and manage their own transport company. Despite teething problems along the way, much progress has been made and many independent businesses established.
This project is in line with government’s mission to promote Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment, as all businesses are 100% black owned and operated as sole proprietors with the vehicles registered directly in the Owner Drivers’ name.
“EnviroServ piloted the scheme for two years to find and resolve any issues before we opened up the scheme to more candidates,” said Mark Fisher, EnviroServ General Manager: Logistics. In mid-2012, the search was on to find more candidates and 200 applications were received. Of these, 23 Owner Driver vehicles were deemed credit-worthy and put into operation.
>From April 2014 EnviroServ put an additional 10 Owner Driver vehicles on the road, bringing the total number to 33 vehicles.
Two drivers have successfully started their own business without working with EnviroServ. “One driver has grown his business so much that he has purchased another vehicle, backend and trailer and is employing seven staff members – proving that the ultimate goal that EnviroServ wants to create of small businesses development, is possible.”
Many other Owner Drivers also enjoyed financial success. “Many have paid off their home loans, are paying school fees and other are busy putting their children through university, all thanks to the profit they are generating through their hard work.”
Fisher said the Owner Drivers proved themselves to be hard working individuals and achieved the targets set by EnviroServ. “Due to this, we have improved our customer service levels.”
The scheme created an average of 95 job opportunities nationwide to assist in government’s key priority of job creation. “Each driver has a truck assistant to load the bins. In terms of our succession plan, we groom all the assistants to become Code 14 drivers.”
Fisher said the Owner Driver scheme created loyalty. “There is an industry shortage of good truck drivers, and we have a strong core of long-service drivers with excellent track records”.