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Q&A with Michael Goldman, author of case study: Tedcor (South Africa)

Michael Goldman is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science in Johannesburg, South Africa. He lectures, researches and consults in the area of Marketing, including topics such as Marketing Strategy & Management, Base of the Pyramid business strategies, Customer Centricity and Strategy, and Sports Marketing and Sponsorship. He is an active member of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded BoP South African Learning Lab. Michael studied for his B.PrimEd degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth before completing the Programme for Management Development and his MBA from GIBS. He is currently completing a doctorate through GIBS in the area of marketing.

Tedcor started its community-based waste removal system in 1992. Today, using Tedcor’s model, over 80 trained entrepreneurs operate their own small businesses in 16 local authorities. They provide employment to more than 1,000 historically disadvantaged people and supply waste removal services to around 400,000 households.

To download the Tedcor case study from the GIM database, please click here.

What is Tedcor’s basic value proposition and what makes its financial model sustainable?

The Tedcor model works because of the strong business and financial capabilities supporting the contractors (entrepreneurs), ensuring quality delivery of the service to communities and local government, and financially engineering the working capital and cash flow arrangements.

What have been the biggest challenges hindering Tedcor’s development and growth?

The Tedcor model works because of capacity constraints and service delivery failures within local government structures.  Equally, the expansion and uptake of the Tedcor model faces delays and hurdles due to the capacity constraints and service delivery failures within local government structures.

What is the importance of effective waste management for a country like South Africa, and how the poor can benefit from such services?

Waste management is a basic public service that is taken for granted in most of the developed world.  It can be regarded as a human right as part of living in a clean and healthy community.  The failure by governments to provide this basic service has a significantly negative impact on the health and wellbeing of poorer communities, as well as encouraging pollution and environmental degradation.  The Tedcor model not only efficiently and effectively addresses this basic need, but does it profitably by employing significant numbers of community members, who gain skills, employment and in some cases financial capital.