It is not often that one has the privilege of looking back over twenty years to review the growth and development of an organisation.
From very humble beginnings in a back yard room in Mansfield Road Durban, PSA has now grown to an organisation which employs over 40 people spread across four provinces in South Africa.
Participative Solutions Africa, as we were first known, was started in 1996, two years after South Africa transition to democracy. The founding members which included Dumisani Mbanjwa (now sadly deceased), Frank Kantor and Geoff Schreiner focused the organisation on promoting engagement and dialogue between management, workers, community organisation’s and NGOs.
Then from engagement and dialogue we extended this focus to performance improvement and in 2000 changed our name to Performance Solutions Africa to reflect this shift. A growing team which included Bill Campbell, Prof Sineke, Joan Ngqalunga, Mags Shapiro and Saroj Murugan then made the move to new premises in Florida Road. A collaborative partnership was entered into with Competitive Capabilities International and a great deal of development work was undertaken with the KZN province.
Our next period of growth in 2006 involved purchasing our own offices at 94 Florida Road and extending our team to include Barbara Njapha, Rob Wilson and Hennie Hilder. During this period we entered into a close working relationship with the International Labour Organisation and focused on large scale improvement initiatives in clothing and textile, supplier development, game guiding, and hospitality sectors.
In 2009 we were asked by the KZN Provincial structures to assist in supporting improvements in school education and the Principals Management Development Programme was born. This pioneering programme took PSA heavily into the education field where the organisation played a major role in shaping consensus around key improvement levers in the school environment. In this we were ably assisted by the School of Education and in particular Neil Avery who has now joined PSA and by Nomsa Nkosi who, on retiring from the DoE, was appointed as a PSA Director.
Today PSA is ably led by Barbara Njapha who is a beacon of strength, wisdom and principle. Her team now includes Bheki Mthiyane, Khanyie Hlahane, Roy Gasa, Musa Njapha and Phindi Mthiyane.
PSA has worked at over 2000 schools across four provinces and has strong partnerships with a range of delivery organisations including PricewaterhouseCoopers, UEL and Penreach in Mpumalanga. Growth in the organisation has increased by 340% over the period 2011 – 2015.
Reflecting back then some of the things that really stand out for me are:
- The wide range of sectors we have worked in and organizations we have touched
- The impact we have had in terms of process and product in the improvement space and more recently in the education sector
- The fact that we have stayed so true to our principles of always supporting our clients first and of letting the quality of our service drive our financials
Most of all I reflect on the fact that PSA has been such a happy, invigorating supportive home to some many of us for so long. It is a privilege to have been a part of this organisation.
May 1st 2016