Servest chief executive Steven Wallbanks, right, congratulates Fahried Barendse, the main contractor, on completion of the firm’s new head office, which has relocated to Ndabeni in Cape Town.
Cape Town - Integrated facilities management firm Servest is confident it can double its workforce of 4 500 in Cape Town within the next three years.

This is according to Steve Wallbanks, the chief executive of Servest, who was speaking at the launch of the firm’s new head office in Ndabeni, Cape Town, on Tuesday.

Servest chose to open its new offices in Ndabeni as part of the Pinelands Development corridor and believes the new office development will assist in making the area safer and stimulate local economic development by creating jobs.

All the fittings and fixtures for the new building were completed by local SMMEs (small, medium and micro enterprises) and craftsmen.

“We spent a lot of time looking around Cape Town, we probably looked for a location for 16 months and built the building in 11 months. We were pretty choosy as to where we wanted our location to be and to get a workforce from where we operate,” said Wallbanks.

The firm employs more than 50 000 people around the world, about 25 000 in South Africa and another 25 000 mainly in the UK and 11 countries in Africa.

Wallbanks said the firm was looking into expanding into Europe and the US.

He said Servest employed 4 500 people in Cape Town and hoped to double that number within the next three years.

“You can see the developments taking place in Cape Town. You see a lot of companies migrating down to Cape Town, we need to be with our clients as we are in the service business. You have to give them the right service and the right support that they need. You can’t do that sitting remotely.”

Wallbanks added that the firm’s goal was to be a one-stop service provider to its client. He pointed out that the firm had recently been awarded a BEE Level 2.

Alex Berndl, Servest’s newly appointed director for coastal regions, said the firm had noticed within the business environment and within its own organisation a shift with a lot of new businesses moving to Cape Town, as a destination of choice.

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Berndl said this gave the firm an opportunity to support these businesses when it moved to the Cape.

“It also gives us a great opportunity for growing employment and developing people, while giving them new opportunities across a wide range of skills. The list of services that we do gives us great career opportunities for people to join the business with various sets of skills - from low skills, semi-skills, supervisory, through to management both in the Cape Town environment and the rest of the country, as well as our international presence.”

Farhaana Mohdien, the group's head of marketing and sales, said the Cape Town economy was growing rapidly and Servest was proud to be an active contributor to the region.

She said the opening of the new Servest headquarters would provide positive benefits related to economic growth and employment opportunities and a vibrant urban environment for local businesses.