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  • Writer's pictureRFS

Our Story

Who is Rural Free State?

We are the only privately owned utility business in Southern Africa, having owned and successfully operated utility generation and distribution assets over the past 30 years and still involved in its core business. We have established ourselves as a reputable service provider in the energy supply market, specialising in metering and verification systems, as well as the private operation and turnaround of municipalities and utility concerns.

We empower businesses and individuals to build towards a more sustainable future – not only by implementing systems and strategies to reduce costs, optimise resources and improve efficiencies, but also through skills transfer, expertise, and funding. Through our involvement, municipalities and communities are well-equipped to continue operating independently with great success even after our contract has come to an end, provided of course they follow the path charted.

Southern Africa, its communities, and businesses have the potential to thrive. However, the burden of unreliable electricity supply and the high cost of traditional utility services, especially in rural areas, impede growth in this region.

Rural Free state puts the power back into the hands of individuals, businesses, and municipalities, by securing affordable and reliable electricity for communities throughout Mafube.

Rural Free state aims to illuminate Southern Africa, one community at a time.

Our Employees

The aim of the project from the onset was to include and upskill the local municipal electrical staff already employed by Mafube Municipality along with developing local talent to service their own community. This was achieved by the contract allowing the municipal staff to be seconded to RFS.

Secondly, RFS appointed electrical assistants with the objective of developing them into qualified technicians to be employed by RFS along with administrative staff to run the local offices.

Here are some of our local staff's stories

Here are some of our employees' stories.

Gugu - General Manager RFS

“My journey with Rural Free State began 10 years ago after Rural was appointed by Mafube Municipality to manage its electricity department. As one of the Municipal employees in the department at the time, I was part of the employees who were seconded to Rural with the aim of ensuring the acquisition of new and improvement of existing skills. Seeing how professionally Rural was conducting its business, and the knowledge and expertise its employees had, motivated me to want to be part of the team.
I have during this period advanced my technical skills, learned leadership, and business skills, and also got exposed to the latest technology in the power utility sector. The most important lesson learned is that in order for institutions to respond to the demands and skills required by the job, education alone is not enough if the right exposure is not there. With the right exposure, one gets to acquire necessary and irreplaceable skills, and an institution is guaranteed to gain the level of competence that is in line with the core business of the organization out of that particular employee.
I am very grateful for the continued mentorship and hope to grow my skills even further”.

“Working at Rural has changed my life in so many ways. The capacity to improve one is very big here with us as it forms part of our company culture. With the training and encouragement from within the company, I gained a lot of experience, discipline, and the ability to do great work. I’m now much wiser and much better organized.”

“I have been working here for the past year and 2 months. The workplace quickly made me realize that I am now part of the real grown-up world. The work has taught me personally many new things. It develops a different ability of mine every day that I didn't know I had. Working at Rural has taught me a lot and is still teaching me about thoroughness, organising, discipline, planning, deadlines, prioritising, patience, kindness, planning, persistence, pushing through, and endurance.
EVERY DAY - a new day - new challenge - new people.”

Tech 1 - Thomas
“It has been a pleasure working at Rural for the past 9 years, Rural has helped me with continued growth as I started as a linesman but today I am an installation electrician. I have been exposed to a lot of training and acquired skills in PV installation, electricity network maintenance, metering, and its technology, etc.”

Tech 2 - Desmond
“Working at Rural Free State has impacted me in many ways. I have learned to deliver high-quality work and to make sure my colleagues and customers know they can trust me to get the job done.
The academic effect has been an opportunity to go back to school and acquire relevant skills to do my work in an effective manner. One of the other things I like about RFS is the flexibility of their technology which allows you to do your work anywhere. I also like the people I work with they're all very talented and passionate about what they do. I also learned to be innovative and come up with new ideas to resolve some of the challenges I have come across. .
Lastly, I am grateful to Rural that I am employed, earning a salary every month and I am therefore able to provide for my family.
Thank you, RFS”

Tech 3 - Samuel Mashiloane

“Since I started working with Rural family, I have learned a lot. It has inspired me to develop a positive attitude about my work. I can now effectively work under pressure and do so independently but also in a team. I feel like I am growing every day. The company has taught me how to be a good team player and collaborate effectively with my colleagues. Personally, working at Rural has been a dream come true for me”.

RFS economic impact

Mafube currently has an unemployment rate of over 40%. Rural contributed to decreasing the unemployment stats by creating employment for 45 local Mafube residents, with the main focus on skills development, upskilling, and training programmes which are offered on a continuous basis. The appointees were trained and placed in different fields such as technical, construction, civil, security, customer care, administrative, and general work.

RFS Social Impact

In February 2022, Philani local clinic in Namahadi lodged a complaint to Rural Free State for not having power for more than 3 days. The power failure was due to a cable fault on the clinic’s premises and could not be located. Philani clinic’s electricity network is not part of the MAfube serviced network. Following the outcry from the staff and the community, Philani clinic’s management reached out to RFS to assist and get the problem resolved. RFS offered to build a 200m LV line from the supply point to the clinic premises at no cost to the taxpayer.It took RFS one day to build the line and restore the power immediately afterward. An additional street light was also installed to ensure adequate lighting in the area.

From March to June 2022 Rural Free State embarked on a safety education campaign aimed at all Mafube schools. The campaign was focused on creating awareness of electrical safety around the communities and at the household level. Part of the campaign was donating school shoes to those needy learners for each school visited. 360 Pairs of shoes were donated to 8 primary schools across Mafube.

The intent from RFS from the onset was to ensure that service delivery is done by persons living within the community. This leads to employees taking ownership as they are held accountable by the communities they live in.

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