Artisans’ success story

Artisans took over ownership of an Engineering workshop and delivered it to great heights.

They both qualified as artisans, worked as foremen, and now, Andre Roux and Leon Olivier, are proud owners of a successful engineering workshop in the Eastern Cape, Queenstown Engineering CC.

Their workshop specialises in engine reconditioning, fitting and turning, engine assembling and mechanical repairs as well as general engineering.

“We took over the business from previous owners who had reached retirement age. And through hard work and going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction, the business has grown from strength to strength,” explains Roux, one of the Managing Directors and partner of Queenstown Engineering CC.

Queenstown Engineering CC recently entered into a partnership with the merSETA. Through the merSETA funding, they will train six apprentices in fitting and turning, automotive machining and diesel mechanics this year.

This, they say, is a great initiative which they welcome with both hands as it will give young people, particularly those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, a chance to obtain valuable skills in engineering fields.

“The previous owners gave us a lifetime opportunity, from the knowledge and skills they imparted to us to trusting us with running this business successfully. We therefore do not only want to continue with their legacy and make them proud, but also give back and share this knowledge with young and upcoming artisans, so that they may also launch their own businesses in the future,” explains Olivier, the other Managing Director and Partner.

Queenstown Engineering CC currently employs 20 people. The pair say they always encourage employees to work hard and show commitment and dedication in their work so that they can achieve their goals and ambitions.

“We started off as apprentices and never in our wildest dreams did we imagine we would make it this far. However, we looked up to the previous owners and constantly drew wisdom from them. This is an indication that with focus, hard work and determination, anything is possible,” they both explain.

Roux is a qualified Automotive Machinist and Olivier qualified as a diesel mechanic. They both went to Molteno High School in the Eastern Cape and studied up to Grade 10, before training as apprentices.

“We both had passion for mechanics and always liked to work with our hands. This is the reason we pursued the fields we are in,” they say. The pair conclude: “The most important strategy when starting or running a business is to ensure customer satisfaction. This is an aspect which we attribute the success of our business because it was through word of mouth that we experienced growth at a fast pace”.