Passion for traffic management and road safety encouraged Thabo Gwebu from Barberton in Mpumalanga to quit his job as a junior chartered accountant at one of the biggest accounting and auditing firms in the country.
His decision opened doors for the 35-year-old, whose Pretoria-based business, Traffic Barricade, has helped him roll up his sleeves to establish a multimillion-rand company.
Gwebu took a decision to pilot Traffic Barricade before the 2010 Fifa World Cup, to contribute to the traffic management and road safety of football fans.
He says it all started as a dream. His love for managing people and vehicle movements was overwhelming.
After quitting his job as an accountant, Gwebu went to study at the South African Road Federation (SARF), an organization dedicated to the promotion of the road industry in South Africa through the dissemination of information, and the promotion of sound policies and education and training.
At SARF, Gwebu studied courses on road traffic management, such as being trained as a traffic safety officer, road safety engineering as well as road safety management auditing.
He then established and officially registered his company, Traffic Barricade in 2013.
He said he had no capital at the time to invest in his newly formed business, however. His first client gave him a helping hand in launching his business.
“As a youngster, I was always fascinated by the road and traffic safety projects while growing up in Mpumalanga.
“There would be a lot of civil projects taking place in my area and I would see this signage and people controlling traffic during the process of the projects.
“I felt that this was a cool job as the colourful signage and people working on these projects would easily and effectively control the traffic.
“This is what inspired me, but I thought that to do this kind of a job a person would need investments.
“I kept on bouncing the idea, while I studied accounting. After three years, I took a decision to give it a try.”
Gwebu said he is grateful to his first client who helped him acquire his first signage equipment.
“I had no capital to start the business, but my first client, Regent Insurance, came in handy for my first gig as they pumped in funds into the project, and that enabled me to buy signage equipment and also train employees in road safety and traffic control management,” he said.
He started to get more business from construction and mining companies, Eskom, and events management companies, and that helped him grow his company.
Traffic Barricade clients include Group Five, Umso Construction, Rainbow Civils, Black Media Inc, Jet Demolition, Eskom, WBHO Construction, Stefanutti Stocks, Khatho Civils and Ndungane Construction, among a multiple clients-base now serviced by the business.
Traffic Barricades also has offices in Nieuw Muckleneuk in Tshwane, Gauteng, Port Alfred in Eastern Cape and Glen Anil, Durban in KwaZulu-Natal.
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