BE Africa

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basil read: comair: AFRICAN EDITION Issue No.3


dorce holding:

building a

better world A global business in every sense of the word, DORCE plans to build upon all that it has achieved to date

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business excellence editorial Martin Ashcroft

Will Daynes

Martin has edited business magazines for 15 years and has been editor-in-chief since Business Excellence began in 2006.

Will has been a business writer for three years. He joined the Business Excellence team in September 2012.


Editor In Chief



Matt Johnson

Richard Turner

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Director of sales

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Production Designer

Director of Editorial Research


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Infinity Business Media Ltd

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Administration & Operations

Matt Day Head of technology

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Andy Turner

Š Copyright 2012 Infinity Business Media Ltd.

Chief Executive

Tell us your stor y

If your company has something to talk about then get in touch and find out how to BE seen.

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construction: 8 BASIL READ


An exclusive interview with the project director about the challenges and benefits of the St Helena airport project.


Building a better world

A global business in every sense of the word, DORCE plans to build upon all that it has achieved to date.

Transport & logistics: 34 COMAIR


Running an airline is a deadly serious business, but this South African operator likes to make passengers laugh, too.



Developing its continent-wide American Express franchise network to meet Africa’s requirements.


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A relatively small company is playing a big part in facilitating trade in a country with a troubled past that is gradually getting back on its feet.

contents Mining & Minerals:




Aiming to be the global leader in sustainable gold mining, progressing from compliance to social economic development (SED).

86 Bridgestone South Africa Heavy tread


This South African company is one of few able to supply and support ultra large heavy-duty tyres for underground and open pit mining.


Charles Wells talks about the company’s approach to sustainability and the initiatives it has in place to leave behind a positive legacy.




Swakop Uranium is developing Namibia’s largest uranium deposit, but also protecting the sensitive desert environment.


This South African engineering company is going global with its expertise for solving tough industrial drying problems.

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Digby Wells’ commitment to a comprehensive environmental and social service sees it working for many of Africa’s leading mine houses.


Supply chain: 134 Filcon Filters An ambitious target

This South Africa-based company has set an ambitious target of 25% annual growth over the next three years.



Delivering first-class garment rental and laundry services to industries across Southern Africa.


Energy & Utilities: 150 MWEB Business Virtually perfect

South Africa’s MWEB Business offers a range of services for enterprises that address individual needs, improve efficiency and help save money.

162 Lake Turkana Wind Power Gifted with wind

The Lake Turkana Wind Power project will give a much-needed boost not only to Kenya’s grid but to local communities as well.

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170 City of Cape Town Planning for growth

A city experiencing unprecedented change, but planning to balance growth for the benefit of communities, business and the environment.


Hall Longmore’s 85 year history has seen its steel pipes become the preferred choice.


192 IQS International In the pipeline

A new product emerging onto the world market is setting the bar high for pipe construction, and can deliver significant financial and environmental savings.

202 Vitafoam Foam at fifty

Africa’s largest manufacturer of polyurethane foam products has been very busy extending its products, markets and technology.

food & drink: 214 UAC Foods

Food for thought


UAC Foods is putting in place a firm strategy for creating a world class manufacturing, sales and marketing business in Nigeria.

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The sky’s the limit

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Basil Read Jimmy Johnston, project director for the St Helena airport project, discusses the work being undertaken to deliver the island its own international airport and the benefits this will create written by: Will Daynes research by: Jeff Abbott

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Temporary fuel farm in Rupert’s Bay

Basil Read


ninhabited upon its initial discovery by the Portuguese in 1502, and to this day home to little more than 4000 people, the British overseas territory of St Helena remains one of the most isolated inhabited places on earth. Named after Saint Helena of Constantinople, the island is perhaps most famous for being the home of Napoleon Bonaparte during the final years of his life. Located some 1900 kilometres from the African continent, the island’s only lifeline to the wider world since 1989 has been the RMS St Helena, the only ship to regularly pay a visit to its shores. It wasn’t until 2011 that the UK government announced its plan to invest over £200 million into the building of an international airport on the island. This news was then followed by the confirmation that Basil Read had been awarded the contract to bring this massive, complex project to life. As is common place when it comes to remote parts of the developing world, St Helena has watched as large numbers of its population have left the island to seek opportunities further afield. These same people have then had to experience the logistical difficulties presented in getting to the island when they wish to return. It is hoped that the construction of an airport will open up a whole new world of opportunities for St Helena and its people. “The airport project has been on

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NAMIBIAN PORTS AUTHORITY Namibia and Namport have a special relationship with the island of St. Helena dating back to 1977 when the Royal Mail Ship service replaced the Union-Castle line and again when the current RMS St Helena came into service in 1990. Namibia has many isolated areas in this vast country and we share the same feeling with the Saints as they rely on the regular call of the RMS St Helena. As the service has also become more limited over the past few years by only calling from Cape Town, Namport has missed the regular call of this unique multipurpose vessel. When the news came that an airport would finally be built on the island, with Namport as an important staging area for its construction, it presented an opportunity

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to repay the Saints for their loyal patronage over the past three decades. Despite space limitations that the Port currently experiences due to rapid expansion, Namport has availed the Basil Read Consortium with prime land and facilities to ensure that construction continues unabated. The construction challenges that Basil Read faces on the island itself and the pioneering methods of off-loading at the island provide a case study in improvisation. Namport hopes that we can continue to play a small role in the coming years as this exciting project comes to fruition.

Basil Read

Basil Read ship in Rupert’s Bay

the cards for a number Read company in 1952 as of years,” says Jimmy a humble business that has grown significantly Johnston, project director, since its formation to “with the goal being to make the island more become a powerful brand Population of St. Helena self-sufficient and open known throughout the it up to greater levels of construction, engineering tourism. This will in turn a nd mining sectors boost the economy of St Helena and across southern Africa. Not only is the reduce its dependence on the UK.” company best placed geographically Basil Leonard Read started the Basil to serve St Helena, it also possesses all


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Basil Read

Haul road to the site

“Working in such a unique part of the world also raises a number of social and environmental issues” of the necessary design, construction and engineering capabilities to service such an undertaking. That is not to say that a company as well placed as Basil Read to serve the island hasn’t had to overcome some of the considerable challenges that its location poses. With no harbour, the company first had to create its own jetty before

then overcoming the fact that with no natural beaches it would not be possible to approach the island with normal landing craft. “A site investigation team first arrived on the island in 2007 and it became immediately apparent that getting around the unique logistical features of St Helena was going to be absolutely vital

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Basil Read

Haul road at the top of Rupert’s Valley

to the whole project,� Johnston explains. in the time since the company has Soon after the award of the contract in adapted it by adding additional fuel 2011, Basil Read set about identifying a carrying capabilities and an on-board crane capable of lifting vessel that would suit its requirements, namely the 40 tonne loads. handling of break bulk, Working in such a ability to carry a million unique part of the world litres of fuel per trip also raises a number of and the ability to handle social and environmental conta iner shipment s. issues. With the airport Distance from An offer was then made project bringing about big African mainland to charter a vessel and changes for the island and

1,900 km

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Basil Read

Working at night on the haul road

its people it has been of vital importance to have a strong degree of communication and mutual understanding between Basil Read and the local population. Furthermore, St Helena boasts a unique collection of f lora and fauna. This, together with its cultural heritage, has been taken closely into account

throughout the design and construction phases of the project. “The establishment phase of the project is now nearing completion,” Johnston continues, “with all the logistics and supply chains in place and all transport routes designated. Now the company can commence with the construction phase.”

“The potential for St Helena to achieve significant economic growth and dependency is there for all to see” BE africa | 21

Servicing the International Freight Community Meihuizen International was established 30 years ago, and provides integrated logistic solutions across a wide field of diverse activities. The company is owner managed, and as such offers a hands-on service, with personal responsibility for operational details. Our solutions are focused on service excellence, an open door policy, flexibility to suit specific industry needs and an international network of established agents. This enables us to provide customised solutions and the best of personal service. Telephone: +27 21 440 5400

Our Services Include: • Shipping • Forwarding • Customs Clearing • Air Freight / Sea Freight • Road/Rail Transport • Container Groupage • Ships Agency • Antarctic Logistics & Procurement • Project Cargo

Basil Read The first task at hand is a Meihuizen International programme of major earth Arising out of our lengthy association with the island of St works that will involve the Helena, we approached Basil Read to offer our services in drill blasting and filling respect of the St Helena Airport Project, and were privileged of approximately eight to be nominated as their logistics service provider. We million cubic metres of have worked side by side with them over the last year, and rock. This will be the have found them to be an extremely professional and most agreeable client, which bodes well for our relationship focus of the company over during the contract period. In consequence we would be the next two years, after honoured to be retained by them for any future logistics which it will commence business. We wish Basil Read much success with the the building of a 1950 Airport Project and all their future endeavours. metre concrete runway, a terminal building and an air traffic control tower, and the installation of airport ground lighting and navigational aids. One of the central pillars of the island achieving economic self-dependency will be its ability to attract tourists to St Helena. The potential benefit of bringing in higher volumes of visitors is something that has not been lost on either the local or the UK governments. Together the two are moving forward to First docking of any ship on St Helena put into place programmes that will enable the island Babcock International Group to easily welcome and As the exclusive distributor for Volvo Construction accommodate a projected Equipment in South Africa,Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, 20,000 tourists per year. Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Lesotho, Babcock Various developers are International Group offers a full after market support in the process of planning capability including maintenance, repair and overhaul utilising a network of comprehensively equipped dealers, where to build hotels on branches, workshops and service centres. Babcock the island, while at the back the Volvo brand with experienced staff to support same time great efforts customers quickly and efficiently – wherever they are. and resources are being put Our market-leading reputation is based on one key fact: into improving the entire Babcock is a partner that can be trusted to deliver.t. infrastructure of St Helena. | What the government

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Dry gut - position for main fill

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Basil Read

1952 Basil Leonard Read started the company wants is for those people visiting the island to be able to get around and enjoy the usual luxuries they would experience when on holiday, all against the unique, picturesque backdrop that St Helena creates. Outside of the tourist sector, the very location of the island, halfway across the Atlantic, provides it with the opportunity to act as a stopping point for business air traffic from South America. Opening up the air space around the island could also prove invaluable to business flights making the journey from southern Africa to Europe as it would reduce the potential for delays that occur when flying through another country’s airspace. “The potential for St Helena to achieve significant economic growth and dependency is there for all to see and is clearly linked to the building of its international airport,” Johnston concludes. “It is now the job of DFID, the St Helena government, local businesses and companies like Basil Read to ensure that this potential is realised.” For more information about Basil Read visit:

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DORCE Holding

Building a better

world A global business in every sense of the word, DORCE plans to build upon all that it has achieved to date. Deputy general manager Dr. Ferzat Mercan discusses how it intends to do so written by: Will Daynes research by: Will Kirby BE africa | 27

Eni Life Support Camp - Zubair Oil Field, Basrah, Iraq

DORCE Holding


he legacy of DORCE as a structural works, DORCE also conducts company can be traced back to all manner of engineering tasks required 1982, with the founding of parent for civil and electro-mechanical works on company, ALÇE Prefabricated site. “In addition to its contracting services, Steel Construction Industry and DORCE also owns one of the largest Trade. What began as a small workshop prefabricated, steel structure manufacturing operation based in the Turkish capital of facilities in the world. Ankara producing minor steel construction “As the many hundreds of projects that works and steel furniture, quickly evolved have been successfully realised over the years to become a key supplier of prefabrication prove,” Mercan continues, “we have always steel structures to some of Turkey’s biggest been a company that embraces innovation. construction companies. Nevertheless, what I would identify as The foundations on which DORCE was DORCE’s most important characteristic is built truly began to take shape prior to its its ability to work quickly and effectively establishment in 1989 when under even the most difficult its owners purchased ten of conditions.” acres of land in Saraykoy In destinations across the on which they built its globe DORCE has been able to realise projects under not factory. Initially employing 40 people, it was only five only intense geographical Construction sites years later, in 1994 that environments, but also being simultaneously the company began to in the face of man-made managed at present expand internationally. conditions such as political “As of today,” states deputy instability and civil war. “At general manager, Dr. Ferzat Mercan, “we present,” Mercan states, “we have several are a holding that simultaneously manages large construction projects under way in 32 on-going construction sites in four Iraq. At the same time we continue to take continents. From our 13 branch offices on work in a number of other countries and agencies we manage more than 550 that present complex political and natural engineers and technical supervisors, and conditions, including Sudan, Niger, Nigeria and Mauritania.” some 3500 workers.” DORCE provides engineering, Africa is certainly becoming an ever procurement and construction (EPC) increasing source of work for DORCE, with services for projects that require high the company involved in four on-going EPC quality solutions to operate in extreme and design and build projects. In Mauritania environments. While providing these it is carrying out the 8400 person, Tasiast services to projects that encompass residential village project for mining workers conventional construction and steel and engineers as well as a pre-engineered


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process buildings and concrete office building project. Meanwhile in Guinea DORCE has temporary construction camps being established in 23 different locations and in Niger it is undertaking work on the Imouraren Uranium Plant worker camp project. Such projects are executed through its sub companies and branch offices. These assets have helped contribute towards successful operations in the likes of Algeria, Libya, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo. “Africa is a very important market for us,” Mercan explains, “primarily due to its vast amount of natural resources such as oil and gas and minerals. Across the continent one will find numerous developing countries that are embarking on large construction projects involving mass housing, industrial

facilities and other infrastructure projects. On top of this, many of the world’s leading oil and gas, mining and construction companies operate in these developing nations and that makes Africa a huge market for DORCE.” At the heart of the company’s African growth strategy is an advanced expansion execution plan that encompasses three core themes, those being local manpower, local procurement and local services. When undertaking projects in Africa, DORCE prefers to use local resources as much as possible. “DORCE has always subscribed to the idea of improving local employment and of utilising local manpower,” Mercan enthuses. “Through the appropriate training we integrate local workers with our own qualified personnel and construction technology.” Similarly, DORCE prefers to utilise local

The 8400 person, Tasiast residential village project for mining workers and engineers in Mauritania

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DORCE Holding

“DORCE’s most important characteristic is its ability to work quickly and effectively under even the most difficult of conditions” procurement means and local services when undertaking work in Africa. “When we are awarded a new project,” Mercan says, “basic services that we require to take place at the project site are often provided locally. Such services include the maintenance of tools and the providing of water and electricity, while the personal needs of our employees are sourced from local markets. What our local supply and recruitment business model does is to enable low income individuals to develop themselves and their abilities.

This is something we are understandably proud of.” What it can be equally proud of is the safety excellence award that was presented to DORCE Prefabricated Building and Construction Industry Trade for completing five million man-hours without any accident or incident during its Tasiast project, which in on-going in Mauritania. During the first week of December the company will be turning some of its focus to London where it will be exhibiting at the Mines and Money Exhibition. “We believe this event to be the most important for the global mining industry,” Mercan says, “providing a huge opportunity for companies to promote their own innovative products and services. We exhibited there in 2011 and found it to be a hugely beneficial experience indeed.” With the vast majority of the major decision makers in the mining world expected to attend, Mercan clearly has high hopes for this year’s exhibition. “Our fundamental goal over the course of the five days is to highlight the importance of prefabricated and steel building systems to potential mining customers. Furthermore we intend to spread the word about our own ability to operate in extreme conditions and under the

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Pre-engineered steel process buildings and concrete office buildings, Zouerate, Mauritania

DORCE Holding strictest of government regulations.” If you take a tour through DORCE’s production facilities you will find that the world’s leading manufacturing technologies are being used on a daily basis. “It is unquestionable that as technological developments continue, we will follow these and be one of the first parties to put new innovations to use,” Mercan says. Additionally, the company is aiming to further draw attention to its contracting abilities. Today in Iraq DORCE is involved in a public housing turnkey project that consists of 1416 houses and 11 social facilities. At the same time it has 20 on-going vehicle station projects underway in 18 Iraqi cities and has recently signed a contract with the government of Basra to construct a reinforced concrete university hospital. “As we continue to grow,” Mercan concludes, “South America and Australia are also becoming two of our newest target markets, with serious steps having been taken to establish a visible presence there. We already have four hospital projects under way in Venezuela and these will be an important reference point as we aim to capture new business opportunities. Between our growth in new markets and the increase in projects we expect to see coming from the mining sector, we feel that the future is very bright for DORCE indeed.” For more information about DORCE Holding visit:

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Putting the ease in tease

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Comair Running an airline is normally a deadly serious business but this South African operator has made a name for itself by poking fun at just about everybody written by: Alan Swaby research by: Paul Bradley

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The Comair operations centre



omair in South Africa could just well be the most unusual airline in the world. Operations director Martin Louw doesn’t much care for the term Jekyll & Hyde but it’s hard to deny there is something of the schizophrenic about Comair. It’s not the country’s oldest airline— that distinction rests with the national f lag carrier South African Airways— but it is certainly the longest surviving private commercial flyer. Started in 1945, at the cessation of WWII by a couple of ex-fighter pilots, it had a low key presence for years until the market was deregulated in 1994. “Governments of all shades,” says Louw, “have always been very protective of SAA as it is considered much more than simply an airline. It is a symbol of the country’s status. That meant for years Comair had to feed on the crumbs left over from SAA’s table.” Some would argue that the scales are still heavily weighted in favour of the state airline. Since deregulation 12 airlines have been started and gone bust. In addition to Comair there is one other – 1time – but even that is struggling. While the private companies have had to rely purely on their own resources, SAA has a safety net in the form of funds from central government. At least, though, since deregulation, Comair has been free to compete on routes it was banned from for many years. The real turning point came in 1994 when the turbo prop f leet Comair had been obliged to stick with started to be

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ATM AND THE ENVIRONMENT In the aviation industry, it is glaringly obvious that there is only so much sky. Balancing the increasing demands of air traffic with this finite resource falls to Hennie Marais, executive of air traffic management for Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) “ATM is all about getting things done more efficiently and cost-effectively,” explains Hennie Marais. “The sky is only so big, and yet the need for air travel has increased over the decades as economies around the world have grown. Customers now have heightened expectations from the aviation industry, such as more flights between London and Johannesburg, for example. ATM tries to find better ways of doing things that not only increase capacity but also keep costs affordable. It’s about making the most efficient use of the airspace we have available.” Given this long-term, strategic approach, Marais explains that everything that Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) does with regard to ATM is based on forecasts, taking into account economic growth (or decline), socioeconomic statistics and the resultant anticipated demand. For ATNS, the first draft operations plan for the 2010 FIFA World Cup was ready for evaluation in October 2008, and the planning for King Shaka International Airport took three years. “During the planning, we take into account

aspects such as airport and airspace capacity, and the projected needs of customers. But it’s a fine line, because while you have to create capacity about 12 to 24 months in advance, you cannot create too much capacity because this would incur unnecessary costs,” explains Marais. It is often the small things that make the biggest difference. “Sometimes you can make an operation more efficient without spending a lot of money. Instead of building new runways or taxiways to reduce the amount of time airplanes remain in a holding stack, a small piece of added tarmac in exactly the right spot might allow airplanes to make a quicker turn. If this reduces the time of each airplane on the ground by 10 or 15 seconds, by the end of the day you have an extra hour, which means that 40 additional airplanes can be accommodated.” Marais proudly recounts how, on 5 December 2011 during COP17, ATNS cut 35 minutes of flying time off an airplane flying from Dubai to Durban. “The airplane flew the same distance as always, but we implemented a totally efficient flight trajectory. The result was that we saved approximately 4,500kg of CO2 emissions and over a ton of fuel.” Proof of efficiency? Exactly!

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COMAIR Comair tempor incididunt ut labore Lorem with ipsum dolor replaced jet powered sit amet, consectetur et dolore magna aliqua. Ut aircraft. On the strength adipisicing elit, Comair sed do enim ad minim veniam, of that move, quis nostrud exercitation entered discussions with eiusmod tempor incididunt ullamco laboris nisi ut ut labore et dolore magna British Airways to become aliquip ex ea commodo aliqua. Ut enim ad minim the internal franchisee of consequat. Duis aute irure veniam, quis routes nostrud BA. Long haul in dolor in reprehenderit in exercitation ulla mco and out of South Africa voluptate velit esse cillum laboris nisi the ut aliquip ex remained province dolore eu fugiat nulla ea British commodo consequat. of Airways but pariatur. Excepteur sint Duis aute irure able dolor to in Coma ir was occaecat cupidatat non reprehenderit in voluptate operate on internal and This is a caption this is a caption Overview of Comair’s training centre proident, sunt in culpa qui velit esseroutes cillumwearing dolore regional eu colours fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint is officia mollit id est laborum. its and for the first time, giving onlydeserunt one other left anim – a very small scale occaecat non proident, sunt in operation SAA somecupidatat competition. in Denmark. To earn the right Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur culpa officia mollit anim id to “Thequi role of BAdeserunt franchisee,” says Louw, adipisicing sed do eiusmod act as BA’selit, representative we paytempor a small est laborum. Lorem ipsum sit amet, incididunt fee ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. “was not uncommon at the dolor time but these franchise and the more successful we in expanding the passenger the consectetur adipisicing elit,we sed do eiusmod Ut enim ad minim veniam, quisbase, nostrud days, apart from Comair, believe there are

THE BOEING COMPANY MAXimizing today’s success for tomorrow Boeing’s 737 MAX provides another chapter for the world’s most successful commercial airplane. The single-aisle airplane accounts for roughly 64 percent of Africa’s airplane demand over the next 20 years. That’s why airplane manufacturers must get their future products right. That’s exactly what Boeing is doing by improving today’s Next-Generation 737 with tomorrow’s 737 MAX. As airlines look to update fleets with the most fuel efficient airplanes to mitigate rising costs in fuel, the 737 MAX becomes the perfect airplane of the future. As the name states, the newest member of the 737 family will maximize efficiency, reliability, and comfort – it’s the total package for single-

aisle airplanes. As with today’s 737, tomorrow’s 737 MAX gives airlines the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment with an 8 percent advantage over its competitor. The airplane’s fuel burn is expected to be 16 percent lower than the competitor’s current offering and 4 percent lower than their future offering. For emissions, when compared to a fleet of 100 of today’s most fuel-efficient airplanes, this new model will emit 277,000 fewer tons of CO2 and save nearly 175 million pounds of fuel per year, that’s $85 million in cost savings! Take this new efficiency coupled with the reliability and maintainability of today’s 737, include the new Boeing Sky Interior, and you truly have an unbeatable airplane.

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Nouveau Monde DDB Toulouse / Pixteur - © ATR.

Environment Its unique aircraft profitability and undivided customers’ and partners’ attention make ATR the leader of regional air transport with more than two thirds of the market share in 2011. 50% less on ATR aircraft have the lowest greenhouse gas emissions, the best technological solutions, FUEL EFFICIENCY fuel consumption optimal comfort designed by Giugiaro and unique commonality, whilst remaining the most cost-effi cient technology. ISO 14 001 INNOVATION certifi cation Now, rely on ATR’s experience and choose the best solution for short haul flights.


Lowest CO2 gas emissions


Comair’s first brand new aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 in livery

lower this fee becomes. Other than this, we “Having BA f lights at our disposal,” L o u w, “a l s o helps have a free hand. We take responsibility s a y s for all running costs but also take all with the other side of our business, giving profit.” us greater operational flexibility.” The other side of the business he refers It’s a win-win situation. British Airways has a South African presence that would to is—the Mr Hyde to British otherwise be prohibitively expensive to Airways’ Dr Jekyll. “The 1990s saw a maintain and a greater chance of picking mushrooming of low cost air travel,” says up long haul passengers Louw, “and our view was by virtue of having routes that we could either watch timed to connect with some other organisation fill that slot in South scheduled flights. Comair carries overseas passengers Africa or take the initiative internally and regionally ourselves.” Airline industry who might otherwise have So in 2001, kulula was deregulated in launched onto the main travelled in some other way South Africa domestic routes linking to their final destination.


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An African Welcome. An amazing experience.

Safe, reliable service into Africa Providing quality ground handling services to more than 20 airlines operating 16 500 ights a month. BidAir Services is the most experienced A380 handler in Africa!

Your answer in Africa, no question!


Tel: +27 11 383 9420 • Fax: +27 11 823 6349


Johannesburg with Cape Last year, between the Tow n, Durban, Port traditional BA and the low Elizabeth and George in cost kulula, Comair had the Western Cape. It has revenue of R4.3 billion. to be remembered that at It operates two fleets of the time, the promise of Boeing 737s – 14 BA Welc An for African amazing e low cost travel under the and 10 for kulula An with a original advertising slogan total of 182 pilots and 420 “now everyone can fly” was cabin crew from a grand workforce of 1800. At its a truly novel proposition. Until then, crossing peak, the schedule contains the hundreds of miles Operations control 130 flights a day. between Johannesburg Low cost competition for and anywhere else by air had been the the dominant SAA would no doubt have privilege of the middle classes. Now been sufficient to make kululaSafe, a success but reliable service into Afr ordinary people could swap the hours on the joint chief executive at the time decided a train or behind the wheel for a one to to make the brand utterly unforgettable byYour answe two hour flight. taking a most un-PC approach to marketing.

Providing quality ground handling services to m airlines operating 16 500 flights a month. BidAir S most experienced A380 handler in Africa!

BidAir Services BidAir Services is an integral member of the Bidvest Travel and Aviation Division of the Bidvest Group. Providing a full spectrum of ground handling services, BidAir Services is in the unique position of being the only wholly South African ground handling company operating in the South African market. BidAir Services provides handling services to more than 20 international and domestic airlines at Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George airports and since March 2008 has handled in excess of 850,000 flights. BidAir Services is proud of the fact that the first three airlines to operate scheduled A380 services to South Africa were all

Tel: +27 11

clients of ours. Having handled in excess of 1,200 A380 turnrounds we can quite proudly say that we are the most experienced handler of this aircraft type on the African continent. Due to the acquisition of Comair’s inhouse ramp handling services provider our association with Comair pre-dates 2008 and we are honoured to play a significant role in the success achieved by the airline. Ramp and grooming services are provided to more than 5,500 Comair flights a month and we are justifiably proud of the sustained high levels of service given to the airline.

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Boeing 737-3/4/500 simulator

“At the front of house, we never take ourselves too seriously and we invite passengers to enjoy the joke with us” “Kulula,” explains Louw, “is the Zulu word for ‘easy.’ We aim to inject this same feeling of ease into the way we run the business. Behind the scenes, kulula is run exactly like any other airline. In our case, all pilots and 50 percent of the cabin crew are interchangeable. But at the front of house, we never take ourselves too seriously and we invite passengers to enjoy the joke with us.” Rather than striving for corporate grandeur in the planes’ livery, kulula’s

fuselages are covered in cheeky captions indicating which are the doors and where the black box (which they point out is actually orange) is located. Passengers are shown that the big cheese is on the left of the cockpit and the other pilot with the PA system is on the right. Working as part of kulula’s cabin crew gives free rein to all wanna-be comedians. The safety instructions they are obliged to recite are sent up mercilessly. Passengers who can’t figure out how to use the seatbelts,

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That’s why we believe in the Old Mutual Superfund: Evergreen, offering optimal benefits tailored to meet the unique needs of both business owners and employees, with a strong focus on equipping employees for financial empowerment through our Financial Wellbeing Programme. Let’s work together to take your business into the next century and beyond. For more information on Old Mutual Superfund: Evergreen, contact us on +27 21 509 1098.

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Old Mutual helping South Africans achieve their retirement goals For over 40 years Old Mutual has partnered with Comair Limited to provide retirement fund solutions for Comair employees, thereby enabling them to take ownership of their retirement planning and finances, creating the futures they desire for themselves and their families. Through Old Mutual’s Financial Wellbeing Programme (FWP), Comair employees are provided with ongoing and comprehensive financial health assessments, educational workshops, financial advice and support, helping them to make informed decisions regarding their financial futures. Modules include risk management, investment and retirement planning and more! As part of FWP, Comair employees also have access to Member Support Services (MSS)—designed to help retirement fund members make good financial and investment decisions at certain life events, such as retirement and resignation. By partnering with SMEs through to large corporate employers in South African industry, Old Mutual Corporate provides leading solutions to help South Africans achieve their financial goals. Our solutions include retirement investments, savings, risk management and retirement fund administration products and services as well as actuarial and consulting services. Through Old Mutual’s SuperFund, we cater for all businesses with Easy Benefit Plan, Orion and Evergreen umbrella funds. For more information about Old Mutual Corporate and the Financial Wellbeing Programme, contact us on 021509 1098. WE HAVE OVER 165 YEARS OF WISDOM TO INVEST IN YOU Contact your Old Mutual Corporate Consultant on +27 21 509 1098 I

JB Old Mutual Evergreen 276X203.indd 1

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Capt Martin Louw, Director Operations of Comair Limited

for example, are told that perhaps they shouldn’t be out alone. The instructions relating to the use of oxygen masks include directions to stop screaming and pick a favourite child to look after. Pilots also get in on the act. They might be heard to urge their plane to “whoa there big fella; whoa!!” There are often jokes about landing in the wrong place and even VIPs aren’t immune. Puppets of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu have been enlisted to help advertise the airline while kulula took the Mickey out of the polygamous President Jacob Zuma by announcing a special offer for the 4th wife to travel free. This kind of irreverent humour goes down well with South Africans but kulula knows it is a difficult act to manage

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AIRPORTS ARE VITAL TO ECONOMIC GROWTH Airports Company South Africa’s nine principal airports play a key role in the broader transport sector, so vital to the health of our economy. Over the years, Airports Company South Africa has successfully transformed its airports into effective global competitors through infrastructure development and efficiencies, and award-winning passenger service levels. This enables South Africa to link people efficiently with their business and leisure destinations, whilst at the same time facilitating trade around the globe. There is no doubt that our airport


services underpin our efforts to drive economic development for all our people. Today, some 51 airlines fly into South Africa, up from a mere 18 in 1993 when the company was formed. Passenger traffic has also grown from 12 million in 1993 to reach some 36 million passengers a year currently.


Lasham The established choice

The best of both worlds for aviation engineering and technical support ATC Lasham is the UK’s leading independent maintenance provider for both Boeing and Airbus families of aircraft. Specialising in narrow bodied aircraft, with 10 bays across our two sites, we’ve been the established choice for local customers and global brands alike since 1995.

ATC Lasham Limited Lasham Airfield Lasham GU34 5SP UK T: +44 (0)1256 825100 London Southend Airport Southend-0n-Sea SS2 6YU UK T: +44 (0)1702 541616

Comair and get right. “We do get Airports Company South Africa complaints from frequent Formed in 1993 to own and operate South Africa’s nine travellers,” admits Louw, principal airports, Airports Company South Africa inherited “that they have heard all aged and basic infrastructure. Over the years, airport the lines too many times. infrastructure has been upgraded, but it was the recent fiveSo our crew will probably year, R17 billion expansion and upgrading programme that turn down the humour on propelled our airports to world-class status. The programme included the building of the greenfield King Shaka early morning business International Airport, which serves the Durban region. flights but lay it on thick for In parallel with this investment was a strong focus on less frequently travelling customer service and this has resulted in numerous awards leisure passengers.” from Airports Council International and SKYTRAX for the Of course, all this talk quality of passenger service. Airports Company South of out of control planes Africa truly lives up to its vision of being a world-leading and bumpy landings can airport business. only work if the airline has absolute faith in the professionalism of its crew and the airworthiness of its aircraft. Here, Comair draws no distinction between the two brands. “Our safety record speaks for itself,” says Louw. Comair is a pilot oriented airline. It was started by pilots and even Captain Louw prefers swapping his administrative duties for the flight deck. All Comair’s pilots are trained in-house and in fact, the company runs quite a profitable side business offering its instructors and four flight simulators to more than 30 airlines throughout Africa and the East.

67 Number of years Comair has been trading Inside Comair’s operations centre

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LANSERIA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT awarded an open tender by the British Government to operate the St Helena international airport from 2015 for a period of 10 years. The high standard of Lanseria International Airport’s emergency service department has resulted in the department launching a service to provide training for emergency staff from various airports in South Africa and other parts of Africa. For the last three years Lanseria International Airport’s fire department has won a national fire fighting competition against teams from municipalities with staff complements of more than 1200 people. One of the challenges being addressed by Lanseria International Airport is the provision of infrastructure to meet both current and anticipated growth in demand.

The ability to rapidly handle arriving and departing aircraft and passengers is one of the core values entrenched in the business model applied by management at Lanseria International Airport. “We focus on the stringent application of management controls,” says Lanseria International Airport manager Gavin Sayce. “Safety and security is of paramount importance and for that reason we adhere meticulously to tried and tested international operational safety and security principles. We focus on training, on certification and on rigorously regulating access to operational areas.” Lanseria International Airport’s ability to maintain international standards can be gauged by the airport’s success in being



• Superb access and location - only 30 minutes from Sandton Midrand and Centurion • Completed new four-lane highway to Lanseria • Ample, secure parking close to terminal building • Terminal with a modern restaurant, café and shops • Business lounge for airline passengers - coffee, magazines & newspapapers on us

• Fast and efficient boarding • No toll roads to Lanseria Airport • Choice of airlines • The preferred international VIP hub for South Africa • Experience travel like you’ve always wanted to


Boeing 737-3/4/500 and Boeing 737-200 simulators

“With fuel accounting for 40 percent of our costs, it is cheaper now for us to buy brand new, more fuel efficient planes” For every one of Comair’s 67 years of trading, it has made a profit although the past 12 months have been as difficult as they have ever been. The recession and global difficulties, together with vastly increased charges, have produced a perfect storm. A breakdown of a typical BA fare to Cape Town reveals the extent of fees and taxes that the airlines have to pay. An R1258 flight, for

example, has an R490 flight component and R768 of charges. “We’ve been hit with a 70 percent increase in airport fees,” says Louw, “and even air traffic control has increased its charges by 35 percent. Such way above inflation charges hit us much harder than the government owned SAA.” To counter these and ever increasing fuel costs, Comair is investing heavily

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Comair’s training centre


20% Cost saving per passenger with a Boeing 737-800 in new aircraft. “For many years,” says Louw, “company policy was to lease preused aircraft. But with fuel accounting for 40 percent of our costs, it is cheaper now for us to buy brand new, more fuel efficient planes than struggle on with the old. The new Boeing 737-800 gives us 20 percent cost saving per passenger. So we’ve ordered eight new replacements – four we’ll get this year and a further four over the next couple of years.” The final link in the efficiency chain has been to replace a mix of computer programs with Sabre – a single IT package to handle everything from reservations to operational matters. BA will continue with its own portal but the two can communicate and it is possible to book a BA flight on the Kulula website. It seems as though the government has no interest in whether or not private airlines survive but with investments on the scale that Comair has made, it’s clear that they intend to give SAA a run for its money for many years to come. For more information about Comair visit:

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American Express Travel Services South Africa


American Express Travel Services South Africa is developing its continent-wide American Express franchise network to meet the unique requirements of Africa’s rapidly growing oil and gas industries written by: john 0’hanlon research by: Jeff Abbott

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American Express Travel Services South Africa forms part of the Tourvest Travel Services division

American Express Travel Services South Africa


his is a company with big resources and a wide umbrella by virtue of its affiliation to Tourvest, Southern Africa’s largest tourism group. American Express Travel Services South Africa forms part of the Tourvest Travel Services division which provides travel management services to many of South Africa’s top 100 companies. Corporate travel is a specialist activity within the organisation as a whole and American Express Travel Services does it well. However it recently took the decision to leverage its network of 23 franchisees across the continent to establish itself in the oil and gas (O&G) industries which are transforming many African economies and promising to bring prosperity to yet more. Nigeria and Angola are the main established oil producing countries in subSaharan Africa while Chad, South Sudan, Uganda, Namibia and South Africa itself are aiming to increase or start production. Recent large scale gas discoveries off the coast of Mozambique and Tanzania have attracted massive overseas investment. “We have recently taken the decision to establish a dedicated team within the American Express Travel Services business in South Africa to focus exclusively on this industry,” says Clive Jones, Chief Operating Officer. “The needs of the corporations bringing in expatriates, and of those individuals, are so complex and special that they need to be delivered through a separate infrastructure with a different value proposition from our normal corporate travel management process.”

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The travel services division does a great deal of work for the mining sector, but being land based, that is a lot easier to manage than O&G clients. The latter tends to work offshore, or in remote places and their travel needs are different, he explains. “These companies depend on expatriates with skills that are scarce in the local markets. Many bookings are not generated in the country in which you are delivering the service.” This is an industry that employs specialist engineers from Canada, Russia, India or Singapore. They are typically paid from the moment they board the plane in their country of origin until they return, so the client companies like to be assured they will spend as little time as possible sitting in transit lounges. There will generally be an outgoing passenger going on leave for every incoming one, and they can’t leave till their replacement arrives. Travel is therefore a highly business critical activity for the exploration, drilling, support services and supplier companies as well as for the main contractor. But the routes, from say Russia to a rig lying off the coast of Angola, are complicated. And the fare structure is equally complex – American Express Travel Services staff have had to be trained to understand the concept of ‘marine and offshore’ fares

offered by airlines to accredited seafarers. These rates are available only to appointed travel management companies. Generally, the traveller should be travelling to or from a cruise ship, private yacht, commercial vessel, port, or offshore rig. Every airline imposes its own eligibility conditions for the use of these fares and some airlines permit travel by land based staff employed in the shipping industry.

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American Express Travel Services South Africa

Managing travel services for the oil & gas sector is a complex business

The opportunity is not needed. It is also sensitive to the different cultural simply to provide a service needs that might crop up to the O&G companies, – dietary requirements for says Jones. “They go home example. “We know the to spend time with their Number of Tourvest families or they might travel right questions to ask!” employees in Africa or elsewhere using The job gets even more demanding when things their allowances. We can go wrong for the client. come in at that point and manage their itinerary, accommodation and If someone is injured on a rig and needs leisure time. It takes the kind of specialised to be repatriated, delay is not an option. travel consulting backup that we can give The job is, he says, a combination of the them, as well as an understanding of the routine, complicated as it may be, and the combination of routes and the air fares that unexpected. There is never a dull moment. apply to them.” American Express Travel Services The Cape Town based team is is already carrying out this demanding multilingual and able to send out service for some of the largest oilfield documentation in any language likely to be service companies in the world. Nigeria is


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“We can manage their itinerary, accommodation and leisure time. It takes the kind of specialised travel consulting backup that we can give them� the only franchise market where Tourvest owns a significant part of the business. The remaining franchisees in Africa are entirely locally owned. This local knowledge is something that a service provider, even an American Express Travel Services office, operating outside of Africa could never hope to

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deliver. Tourvest is a level 3 BEE (black economic empowerment) company, and while that does not give it official status in other countries, it does give it a unique understanding of the emphasis African governments place on using local resources. By working with American Express Travel Services South Africa or one of its locally

American Express Travel Services South Africa

Tourvest has become the leading travel group in Africa

owned franchisees the client company stands to improve its scorecard. Tourvest operates businesses which range from travel management companies through to souvenir shops and foreign exchange bureaux, under some 67 sectorleading brands, employing more than 4 000 people. While based in South Africa, it is a global business, with operations in East and West Africa, the United Kingdom and the Caribbean, as well as having principals, associates and clients throughout the world. Tourvest’s expansion has been impressive since its establishment in 1997. “In 15 years we have become the

leading travel group on the continent,” says Jones, “with the vision of catering for every conceivable need the local and international traveller might have: from the duty free on their flight, providing foreign exchange, selling gifts at our airport shops, putting them up at our hotels, feeding them in our restaurants, entertaining them at our game lodges and safaris and managing all their travel from arrival to departure.” For more information about American Express Travel Services South Africa visit:

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Making trade happen

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Freight Mark Services

A relatively small company is playing a big part in facilitating trade in a country with a troubled past that is gradually getting back on its feet written by: Alan Swaby research by: Paul Bradley

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Freight rail is fast moving and low cost

Freight Mark Services


ith God on our side’ is not the official slogan of Freight Mark Services—but it could be. It certainly underlines the guiding principles of how the business operates, as explained by Mandela Katsande, the logistics manager of this Zimbabwean company. “We are a Christianbased business,” he says, “and we conduct ourselves with complete transparency and strong ethics.” Positive statements such as these are good to hear because officially, Zimbabwe doesn’t have the best of reputations. The 2011 survey by Transparency International ranked Zimbabwe 154th out of 182 countries in terms of the level of corruption. “There are two sides to every coin,” says Katsande. “It’s not possible to deny that there isn’t corruption in the country; but since the formation of the Government of National Unity there has been steadily increasing levels of transparency and with them, improvements in the overall economy.” There is certainly a lot of faith in the air when talking with the people from Freight Mark Services. After all, when William Ndava started the business in 2008, it has to be noted that not only was the global economy on the brink of collapse but Zimbabwe was going through its nightmare of hyper-inflation. Nevertheless, Ndava saw an opportunity and a need; and from one man and a single vehicle five years ago, the business has built up to a fleet of 15 self-owned vehicles and a permanent staff of 20.

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But this doesn’t tell half the story. This small company, from its base in Harare, has some of the country’s most important companies on its client list. The biggest by far is Zimbabwe Phosphate Industries (ZIMPHOS), Zimbabwe’s largest fertilizer manufacturing company, and the services offered are typical for many of the other clients involved with gold or diamond mining or from within the manufacturing and farming sector. “One of the services we provide to ensure total customer satisfaction and retention,” says Katsande, “is to manage the movement of goods and materials on behalf of clients. We don’t have the financial resources to provide our own specialist vehicles—dump trucks, wagons or carriers for abnormal loads—so we outsource these to reputable partners we work closely with.” But over the years it has applied the strategy of identifying an opportunity and then acquiring the skills needed to compete for that line of business. As such, it has developed expertise in handling goods in many specialised areas such as dangerous materials, containerised consignments and bulk shipments. On a day-to-day basis, though, it is the clearance of various consignments through

the country’s border posts which provides the bread and butter income. “Zimbabwe is land-locked,” reminds Katsande, “and the government in its search for income has import duties on almost everything. Our job is to facilitate the smooth and efficient movement of goods—mostly inward, especially on surface routes—for the benefit of our valuable clients.” With four neighbouring countries

“Since the formation of the Government of National Unity there has been steadily increasing levels of transparency” 68 | BE africa

Freight Mark Services

Quality, cost effective and efficient air freight services to or from major cities in Zimbabwe

– Za m bi a , S out h into the country. Like many Africa, Botswana and countries, Zimbabwe uses Moza mbique, Freight ASYCUDA—the Automated Mark Services has six System for Customs Data— offices alongside the designed by the United Number of self-owned relevant customs post. Nations Conference on vehicles By far the most busy of Trade and Development these is at Beitbridge— to administer a country’s customs. It is worthy to the connection with South Africa that straddles the Limpopo River— note as well that the Zimbabwe Revenue where there can be 50 trucks or more a Authority is the first Revenue Authority in the COMESA Region to migrate to day passing through. The potential for delays here is enormous ASYCUDA World System and this has and something that Freight Mark Services drawn a lot of interest from other countries works hard to avoid. Among many other within the region. tasks, ZIMRA, or the Zimbabwe Revenue Freight Mark Services’ solution is to Authority, has the responsibility for have dedicated runners with the sole collecting customs duty on goods imported responsibility of processing one of its client’s


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“Our job is to facilitate the smooth and efficient movement of goods—mostly inward, especially on surface routes—for the benefit of our valuable clients” loads. They can’t perform miracles but they can avoid unnecessary delays by avoiding paperwork going on the pending pile. In fact, Freight Mark Services has taken this concept one step further and offers an ‘implant’ to clients who will be the key account manger within a company, dedicated to freeing client staff from the daily hassle of managing freight movements. At no

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additional cost to clients, an implant will deal with queries about customs and duty payments, providing tracking information on import and export charges. “Not having the adequate payment required for customs duty is often a cause of delay when clearing goods at the border,” explains Katsande. “If the client is taking this responsibility, then it is out of our hands and can result in

Freight Mark Services

Effective and efficient movement of cargo throughout sub equatorial Africa and the world

delays and demurrage payments. Give the responsibility to one of our implants and that problem is negated.” In a relatively short time, it is important to note that Freight Mark Services has made a place for itself within the Zimbabwean economy; and it has major plans for the future to ensure the growth of the company. “Within five years,” says Katsande, “we plan to have offices not just in neighbouring countries but globally. We will take the implant concept to the extreme and put offices in key locations to suit our clients’ needs. So, as is the case with Chemplex Animal and Public Health (Zimbabwe’s largest chemical manufacturing company), we will have an office in England where

some of the raw materials and specialist equipment is sourced.” In the meantime, the improved conditions being experienced in Zimbabwe are encouraging many Zimbabweans who had left the troubles behind them to return to their homeland. This is good news for Stuttafords—Freight Mark Services’ international removals partner—but also for the country as a whole, where all the skills and entrepreneurship possible are needed. For more information about Freight Mark Services visit:

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Gold Fields aims to be the global leader in sustainable gold mining. That does not mean staying in business for ever; but rather leaving behind a viable economy, a clean environment and a thriving community written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Vince Kielty

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Gold Fields SA

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Thembelihle Park, Northern Cape

Gold Fields SA


ohannesburg owes its existence to the Witwatersrand gold rush of the 1880s but in those days, mining was governed only by self-interest. The huge short-term capital it generated guaranteed a legislative and regulatory fair wind and in southern Africa little attention was paid to the impact of incoming speculators on the people who had lived there for millennia. Elements of this attitude have persisted into modern times, and gold mining— indeed any kind of mining—is still often associated with environmental pollution, negative social legacy and an opportunistic business model that maximises profit but pays no more than lip service to cleaning things up once the mine is spent. Well, that is changing, and the efforts being made by one of the world’s largest gold mining companies, Gold Fields, promise to be a benchmark for sustainable mining in the future. Gold Fields is headquartered in Sandton and listed on both the Johannesburg and New York Stock Exchanges. It operates four mines in South Africa, further mines in Australia, Ghana and Peru, and has committed itself to becoming the global leader in sustainable gold mining. From compliant to sustainable This is not just a declaration: it is a journey. More than a century of poor mining practice, pollution from abandoned tailings, denuded landscapes and unthought-out population displacement can’t be swept away just by saying that we are going to comply now, just so that we can talk ourselves into gaining a

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licence to mine. Companies must be audited more closely than that, says Phillip Jacobs, Gold Fields’ VP of Sustainable Development for the South Africa region. The image problem is not of Gold Fields’ making; like most of the majors it has complied rigorously with regulations and legislation since it was formed in 1998. As with its peers, if not the entire industry, safety was a priority and remains so. “If we can’t mine safely we won’t mine!” says Jacobs. But he admits that responsible mining was more of a compliance issue in those days. These days, compliance is a starting point. Thinking at Gold Fields has moved progressively from compliance—not breaking the law—through corporate social investment (CSI) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) to sustainable business in the fullest sense. Today it is busy promoting the final step to creating shared value. Shared value will drive the next wave of innovation and productivity growth in the global economy, according to the Harvard Business Review, where the concept was first defined in 2010. “It will also reshape capitalism and its relationship to society. Perhaps most important of all, learning how to create shared value is our best chance to

legitimise business again.” Clearly this is an important goal for the mining industry, and the benefits of shared value flow both ways, Jacobs points out. It is not window dressing—there should always a business case for projects. While there is no standard definition of shared value Gold Fields does measure both its wider economic impact and the amounts dedicated to social economic development

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Gold Fields SA

Tarkwa gold mine, Ghana

(SED) spending. In calendar accom modat ion a nd 2011, the most recent full procurement. But that is just financial year, the company our point of departure.” spent around US$55 million The Sust a inable Development (S D) on SED of which around d epa r t m ent Ja c o b s 80 per cent was spent in heads pulls together South Africa. Gold Fields’ all the corporate plans So what precisely does social development for sa fet y, hea lt h, sustainable development spending in 2011 community development mean to him, and who does it and environmental best involve? “Most of our social practice. “There is a thin development initiatives are integrated with the social and labour plans line between our employees and the (SLPs) that we have to submit to get a mining community—and in many cases no line at licence. That is a useful way to pull together all, as they live in the community.” It could different elements of the business including hardly be otherwise in a company that health and safety, human resources and our employs up to 40,000 people, to which must economic development, environmental, be added the considerable secondary impact



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on the communities near to the mine sites, and in the ‘labour-sending areas’. “Many of our workers migrate from the Eastern Cape or KZN as well as Mozambique and Lesotho to work in the mines. So when we promote community projects we don’t just focus on the ‘host’ communities but also the sending communities.” Gold Fields’ journey has moved the whole organisation from departmentalised

and piecemeal thinking on SD to an integrated approach, says Jacobs. “Instead of just doing ad-hoc projects we have started looking for meaningful, sustainable projects that will make a difference.” The vision for SD is twofold: on the one hand to avoid leaving any residual liabilities, on the other to leave behind an economy that is independent once the mine closes—as it must eventually. The gold resources at the

“When we promote community projects we don’t just focus on the ‘host’ communities but also the sending communities”

Thembelihle Park

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Gold Fields SA

Gold Fields CEO Nicholas J Holland opens Themblihle Park

Kloof Driefontein Complex (KDC), South Africa’s largest mine, could last for around 50 years, but like all mining operations are governed by world demand for gold. So whatever happens, legacies such as ghost towns, communities left without alternative employment, acid pollution and the like must have no part in it. To prepare the community to sustain itself, the first thing is to understand how that community works, he says. “Our ethnographic assessments give us a picture of the community as we collect data on education levels, skills available, literacy, unemployment and the like.” In every case the local municipality will have an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) that identifies wealth creation projects, so

Gold Fields will align its own information gathering process with the IDP as far as possible, improving it where necessary and adding projects it believes will be beneficial to that community. It’s a constant learning process. One of the earliest projects established in 2003 was a rose propagation farm and marketing enterprise near KDC. Gold Fields and the government-run Industrial Development Corporation have invested a total of R160 million (US$22 million) in the Living Gold rose farm over the past few years. To date, this alternative livelihood project has provided jobs and training for over 600 people in the skills of growing, harvesting, sorting and packaging roses for export. Though the venture has been a commercial

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success, one of the most valuable lessons was that the value to the community is not related to the size of the investment. “We have projects where we have spent R10,000 and the impact is proportionately as significant,” he says. Projects for people A good example is the Alien Vegetation Project at KDC, which aims to create jobs and conserve local biodiversity through the clearing of alien vegetation and the production of charcoal. The project’s 45 participants have produced 500 tonnes

of timber since it started in November 2010. South Africa is trying to eradicate exotic species like eucalyptus and wattles that are both invasive and thirsty. Studies showed that an eradication programme could cost R5 million in the first year alone, with follow-on costs to stop the pest vegetation coming back. “Instead we identified people in the community, typically unemployed people, bringing them together in a small business Timber produced at KDC enterprise. We trained them by the Alien Vegetation up to a level where they had Project certificates they could take

Employee housing project in Glenharvie

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Gold Fields SA

“Instead of just doing ad-hoc projects we have started looking for meaningful, sustainable projects that will make a difference” and use elsewhere if required, got them the equipment they needed and supported them through a pilot stage, which expanded to the point that now we have a whole community eradicating alien vegetation. We have even negotiated an offtake agreement for them with a company that will buy the timber. In that way we successfully addressed an environmental issue, an economic issue and

a social issue all in one go and at low cost.” Another project more closely aligned with traditional agriculture, while feeding directly into the tree replacement programme, is still in its pilot phase. The company has created an ‘Agri-Hub’ with the threefold mission of assessing small scale agricultural projects for feasibility and getting them off the ground; training; and production. “The idea is simple,” explains Jacobs. “We started with wormeries where we compost the kitchen waste from our living accommodation. The wormery produces liquid fertiliser and compost. That is used in our tunnels where we produce the seedlings.” The vegetable seedlings are initially given to the community that lives around the KDC mine to plant gardens. To give an idea of the project’s scale, the last time Jacobs checked, about 40,000 plants were growing. The project will be extended to the company’s mines at KDC West, South Deep and possibly Beatrix. From the initial CSI opportunity to provide seedlings to establish food security within a community, Gold Fields has gone a step further, training participants how to plant their seedlings, how to fertilise and how to water them. Some of the plants are used for food, others sold

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“We successfully addressed an environmental issue, an economic issue and a social issue all in one go and at low cost” and the money used to buy more seedlings. As well as cabbages and spinach, the tunnels are propagating saplings, all indigenous South African trees, to replace the invaders as they are removed. A similar project, still at the planning stage but scheduled to be launched before the end of 2012, will address bee keeping and honey production. “Again, the principle is to align environmental benefits with socio-economic

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needs. Beehives can be housed anywhere— each community member could have a few hives and the bees assist pollination in gardens where we are growing trees and rehabilitating the area.” Spirit of enterprise While these initiatives encourage selfsufficiency, the ultimate aim is to leave behind a local economy that works, and

Gold Fields SA

Environmental inititiave at Beatrix mine

for that you need individuals who will invest their money, skills and vision in their community. You need entrepreneurs. These men and women emerge naturally in the project and slowly take over until it is self-sustaining. There are signs that this process is happening in the agri-projects we have looked at, but Gold Fields is also keen to encourage sustainable business like the Futyana Bakery, based at the KDC mine. It is run by an ex-Gold Fields employee, employs 22 local people and supplies the mine with more than 2,000 loaves of bread every working day. Gold Fields supplied loan finance to the enterprise, as well as indefinite rent-free accommodation in an old hostel building. A group of women produce a range of safety attire and equipment at another

enterprise that was established to serve as a hub for independent community businesses. Gold Fields has now started a ‘localisation project’ to support entrepreneurship. It started by creating a database of all existing enterprises in the community and the skills available. The data will be available to the local business community and the municipality. Gold Fields itself will be able to use it to build a supplier community that can supply not only foodstuffs, along the model of the Futyana Bakery, but also craftsmen like plumbers or welders that it may require as well as mining related services like safety clothing, electrical or engineering services. “We will assist them with mentorship to get them to the quality level we need,” Jacobs promises.

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Driefontein headgear, South Africa

Gold Fields SA The next phase will be to create business development centres in all the mine and sending communities to act as a repository for the local database and an incubator for growing businesses. Professionals from the mine’s training facilities will provide basic training in numeracy and literacy. “Once they have passed that stage they can have the opportunity to obtain portable skills in disciplines like animal husbandry, carpentry, metalwork, auto repair and the like.” The company’s procurement policy will help to provide the market. For example if there are houses to be built, instead of getting contractors to tender, the database will be used to source the building skills needed from the local community. The business development centre could help them form a business to do the work; it could provide them with meeting rooms and act as their communications hub, so they will be able to offer their services to other local businesses or municipalities. Though the will has always been there, the progress from a mindset of compliance to one of shared value has not been without pain. But Jacobs says it has been worth every step. “For a mining company to be successful today, cosmetic changes are not enough: it must change its moral fibre, it’s very genetic makeup. We have done that, I believe.” For more information about Gold Fields SA visit:

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Heavy trea Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tyre and rubber company; and its South African subsidiary is one of few able to supply and support the ultra large heavy-duty tyres suitable for underground and open pit mining written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Robert Hodgson

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Bridgestone South Africa

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outh Africa is finally beginning to feel the effects of the global recession. When the banking crisis first hit, the South African economy was sheltered by its relatively low exposure to bad decisions in America and Europe and its own more robust financial sector. But the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Update of January 2012 IMF revised South Africa’s growth rate significantly lower for both 2012 and 2013. For 2012, the IMF’s growth forecast is now down at 2.5 per cent compared with an estimate of 3.6 per cent in September 2011; while for 2013 the growth rate was projected at 3.4 per cent, down from four per cent. The IMF suggested this was mainly due to the negative impact of the global economic slowdown. The good news is that the country’s mining sector continues to expand and attract investment—it has slowed, but unlike construction it can’t grind to a halt in hard times: global demand for coal, manganese, iron ore, gold and all the other resources in which South Africa abounds remains and will increase. Mining and construction are key sectors for Bridgestone South Africa. The latter is merely ticking over, says Jordon San, the multinational rubber and tyre manufacturer’s national operations manager, but his business is sustained by mining. There are changes in the market as the major mining companies add to their current fleets of trucks and excavators to meet their growing production demands;

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Jordan San with a Firestone tyre for the biggest front end loader manufactured

Bridgestone South Africa

BRIDGESTON South SOUTH Africa AFRICA Bridgestone

ENGEN We at Engen are proud of our longstanding supply relationship with Bridgestone, which stretches back over 40 years to the days when the product was supplied by Mobil Oil. By supplying quality industrial products and a consistently high level of service to Bridgestone, Engen has helped to ensure that this relationship has been maintained and will continue long into the future. Engen would like to wish Bridgestone all the best in its endeavours to remain a leader in its industry as it continues to grow its business in Africa. Engen Lubricants is part of the Petronas group, a Malaysia-based global leader in the petroleum sector with strong ambitions for growing its lubricants market share into Africa. Engen currently operates in 19 African countries and continues to seek out further opportunities to grow its footprint and to strive towards its ambition of being a ‘Champion in Africa’. Engen offers a wide range of petroleum products as well as a core of guaranteed quality lubricants. Our strong position as a globally aligned business allows us to satisfy all lubrication needs with applications

ranging from cost effective quality lubricants to top tier synthetic lubricants for the industrial and automotive industry. Stringent quality standards ensure that all our products meet customer needs and exceed manufacturers’ specifications. Engen’s state-of-the-art Lube Oil Blend Plant (LOBP) produces in excess of 72 million litres of finished products every year. By combining global access to high-tech laboratories and our cuttingedge lubrication manufacturing technology, we are able to deliver high quality products designed specifically for the harsh conditions experienced in Africa. For more information on our products and services please contact our customer service centre on 08600 36436 or visit our website at

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and one way or another, all these machines have to be shod. The biggest headache is that there are not enough new tyres of the size and specification needed to keep these fleets going. This is an ongoing problem: the Bridgestone factories at Port Elizabeth and the Brits plant just outside Pretoria don’t manufacture anything bigger than 26.5 x 25 Firestone loader tyres, and they don’t have the capacity to make the large and ultra-large off road radial (ORR) tyres that are currently produced exclusively at Bridgestone Corporation’s Shimonoseki and Kitakyushu plants in Japan. The shortage is forcing Bridgestone’s customers to face much more seriously the challenge to get the maximum life out of the tyres they have, and there is a lot that Bridgestone is trying to do to assist in increasing tyre life, says San. “Basically our job is to assist and advise the customer on how to use his tyres correctly under the right conditions, keep them at the correct pressure and train his operators in techniques that will extend the tyre life.” Simple measures like these can push the life of a tyre working under the most damaging conditions in an underground mine strewn with jagged rock particles

by more than 10 per cent, representing a cost saving to the client and helping to overcome any delay in obtaining replacement tyres. To put that in perspective, the average tyre life can gain a further 500 to 1,000 hours’ extra life, representing two or three months’ operation, simply by keeping the pressures and payload monitored and through sensible driving habits familiar

“The country’s mining sector continues to expand and attract investment—it has slowed, but unlike construction it can’t grind to a halt in hard times” 92 | BE africa

Bridgestone South Africa

Le Tournou L2450 front end loader at Sishen Mine

to good on-road drivers—not accelerating or braking too fast, taking bends wider or more slowly. In a mine with a hundred or more heavy trucks, the cumulative saving is significant, and the same practices have a payoff in fuel efficiency as well, says San. Bridgestone works with its clients to train operators in these techniques, and new technology is about to make it easier for them to get the best out of these giant tyres. A sophisticated tyre pressure and heat monitoring system called B-Tag is being manufactured in Japan and will soon be available to customers. A sensor in each tyre sends information to a control box in the cab, and is also connected to the mine’s monitoring system. If a tyre is showing signs of stress the truck can be called in

1.5 million Ft


Size of Bridgestone’s ORR manufacturing facility being built in Aiken County, South Carolina

for maintenance before actual damage or abnormal wear starts to happen. However, there remains the problem of supply being outstripped by demand. Desperate to get replacements, some companies are prepared to pay silly prices on the ‘grey market’ for tyres sourced from other global markets but Bridgestone

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“Our job is to assist and advise the customer on how to use his tyres correctly under the right conditions” won’t support this type of price inflation, preferring to plan future needs with its clients and making every effort to keep the supply flowing. This has been made easier by recent expansions at the Japan factories and will further improve when a new $1.2 billion factory being built in America comes on stream in 2014.

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The 1.5 million-square-foot off-road radial tire (ORR) manufacturing facility is being built on a greenfield site in Aiken County, South Carolina. “We won’t be importing any tyres direct from the States—the ones manufactured there will all be absorbed in the home market—but it will take a lot of pressure off Japan’s

Bridgestone South Africa

Mining trucks in operation

supply lines to the rest of the world,” says San. This is a major strategic investment by the global Bridgestone Group to enhance its supply systems, improve its sourcing flexibility and further strengthen the Bridgestone Group’s position as the global leader in the off-road radial tyre segment. Another ORR plant being built in Thailand and scheduled to start production in 2015 will further improve global supply down the line, but a nearer term boost in supplies to South Africa is expected from a further $600 million expansion at Bridgestone’s Kitakyushu and Saga plants, for large and ultra-large ORR tyres for construction and mining vehicles and for

steel cord used in these tyres respectively. This will enhance daily production at the Kitakyushu plant from 145 to 165 tons per day and will mean that Bridgestone can continue to supply the South African mining industry reliably through its current phase of retrenchment, and will be ready to pick up the baton once investment in fewer, larger machines kicks in. “We are expecting an upsurge in orders in the third quarter of 2012,” says San. For more information about Bridgestone South Africa visit:

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Community service

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Randgold Resources Charles Wells, general manager of sustainability, talks about the company’s approach and the initiatives it has in place to leave behind a positive legacy written by: Will Daynes research by: Robert Hodgson & Jeff Abbott

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perating in the prospective gold belts of Mali, the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Burkina Faso and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Randgold Resources’ approach to sustainability is applied to all stages of a mine’s life. At the core of this approach is the company’s objective to be welcome in the communities in which it operates by not only the local inhabitants but also government bodies, NGOs and those civil and public groups that are active within the region. As recent events across South Africa have proven, the repercussions of companies failing to work well and in harmony with the local community can be severe and widespread. “What Randgold Resources strives to do at every opportunity,” explained Charles Wells, general manager of sustainability, “is to ensure that it is making a difference on the ground.” This statement of intent resonates throughout the company. In place are a series of formal policy documents that cover a wide spectrum of areas, from the environment and health and safety to basic human rights. Although actions are more important than words at Randgold Resources, having these policies in place means that even in the event of a change in management, the company will always be bound to the principles it holds dear. The development of the local communities around its mines has been one of the greatest successes in the company’s history. By embracing the need for a combination of hard work, significant investment and

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Randgold practices a non-discrimination policy, striving to recruit and retain the best people and draw on talent from the populations of the countries in which it operates

Randgold Resources

senet SENET is one of the leading engineering and construction companies in its field of mineral processing. For the last 2 decades it has provided engineering, procurement, project management, and construction services to the mining, mineral processing, infrastructure and materials handling industries. SENET’s experience encompasses every stage of the project life-cycle, from scoping studies through to detailed design, construction and commissioning, training and structured handovers. SENET is a diverse South African based, Design, Engineering and Project Management Company, founded in 1989, SENET’s pro-active management approach, combined with its modest overhead structure gives it the ability to efficiently execute medium and large size projects. SENET has successfully designed and supplied processing plants and materials handling systems across the world and particularly in Africa. SENET has provided pragmatic, customized engineering solutions to the mining and materials handling industries for the past two decades. We have achieved this by adhering to trusted rules, methods and designs whilst being mindful of industry trends, technology developments and the dynamic environment in which we operate. Our relationships with our clients all share the same foundation principles – trust, honesty and professionalism.

SENET have extensive project and construction experience in remote countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Central and South America. The experience gained in these regions has benefitted in the development of SENET’s understanding related to cross border logistics, freighting and construction requirements in countries with limited infrastructure and differing cultural values. SENET’s approach to projects is simple yet flexible; and our success is based on two founding principles. The first is our recognition of proven processes and experience, which has been built-up over several decades of operating throughout Africa. Secondly, through the development and maintaining of client relations on the basis of trust, respect and honestly. These values also form the foundation of SENET’s business approach. E.

Randgold Resources

Randgold has formed alliances with non-government organisations to maximise its numerous sustainable development projects

patience, Randgold Resources can today The benefits connected to this approach proudly claim to be one of largest employers inevitably extend to a business perspective. of local workers and local contractors and It helps ensure that the company forms partnerships with people that fully suppliers on the continent. “While any company can fund the building understand the country in which they are of a school or clinic, the importance of which operating, whether in the context of local can never be understated, it takes a certain regulations or simply how local supply kind of business to be able to maximise routes operate and converge. employment from host communities, impart The health and wellbeing of its people and lasting skills onto workers of the environment are also and generate substantial of great importance to the business opportunities for company. Active malaria, local suppliers,” Wells said. HIV and AIDS programmes “It is this approach to the operate around its mines, concept of sustainability that while locally funded clinics Rise in group production really separates Randgold work to track the rate of such volumes over the Resources from other diseases on a continuous last 12 months basis. Meanwhile, the organisations of its kind.”


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Randgold Resources company strives to ensure and water use efficiency. each and every member Such actions not only benefit of its security personnel is the environment, they also trained to understand and produce significant cost benefits for the company. uphold international human With the majority of its rights principles. This has power being derived from since been extended with the provision of similar diesel it goes without saying training to members of the that reducing consumption DRC police force operating levels also allows it to reduce around its Kibali project. costs. Although the areas in Randgold has upgraded roads The last year has seen the company continue to which Randgold Resources operates are not classed as environmentally bring in a consistent revenue stream from sensitive locations, it has embraced the its Morila mine in Mali, while its Loulo and global drive to reduce greenhouse gas Gounkoto mines in the same country have emissions as well as improve water quality witnessed strong increases in production.

Softline Accpac Sage ERP X3 is a popular software package in the mining industry, but it was not originally designed for any specific sector. A complete web-based integrated management tool, the product has shown such promise that Deloitte’s consulting arm for the mining industry, Deloitte Mining Shared Services (DMSS) has chosen to partner with Sage and Softline Accpac to distribute the X3 system across Africa. Now Sage MMD Africa is on the verge of launching a vertical ‘industry solution for mining’ version of Sage ERP X3. The new version adds mining-related features and configuration to the core product to enhance the performance of the software when used in a mining environment.

The enterprise asset management function has been supplemented to provide an equipment master file enabling all capital equipment items to be monitored in real time. The internal requisition feature has been enhanced to ensure that associated costs can be monitored properly at the relevant time, and the purchasing feature incorporates functionality enabling multiple requests for quotations simultaneously and efficiently. The new version also allows financial and operational budgets to be managed in a single real-time view, ensuring a single version of the truth and instant pinpointing of off-plan activities.

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ADVERT_CSTT_SEPT2012 Friday, September 21, 2012 7:45:21 PM



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Randgold Resources This has contributed to a 58 percent rise in group production volumes over the previous 12 months. It is results like these, coupled with the high price of gold, that have boosted the company’s share price. “Even in the face of the well-publicised geo-political issues that have occurred in Mali in recent times, the company has been able to maintain its approach to business and actually build upon its past successes,” Wells said. “It is the ability to achieve such things that the market really responds to, particularly when it occurs against the backdrop of an increasingly challenging environment.” Over in the DRC, the company’s Kibali

Randgold is committed to providing the safest possible working environment for its employees

mine is continuing to take great strides towards its target of producing gold by the end of 2013. A truly massive project in terms of both scale and future potential, Kibali, together with Randgold Resources’ other targets within Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso, accounts for the company’s positive outlook for the immediate future.

CSTT-AO GROUP CSTT-AO Group, is a truly world class African logistics company which together with its subsidiaries (Afrilog/Multilog) operates throughout the African Continent. With its Senegalese origins the Company established offices in Cote d’Ivoiré, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, France and USA. The group provides a seamless intermediary service between supplier and the end user. We offer integrated supply chain solutions which entails, strategic purchase planning, order management, procurement, project logistics,

transportation and inventory management. This has been achieved through the successful implementation, integration and roll out of SAP. We render services to predominantly mining and infrastructural development companies internationally but with focus on the African continent. Our ability to operate effectively on the continent is reflected in our long standing partnerships with our clients. ADVERT_CSTT_SEPT2012

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Families selecting their homes to be built at the new model town of Kokiza

The company’s focus is

“The goal at the end of the day is to ensure that the company is able to leave a positive mark on the places in which it does business” When it comes to sustainability, the next course of action for the company involves taking the achievements it has made in recent years across Western Africa and incorporating them into its work within the DRC. “Clearly, the DRC presents a number of different challenges to those present in Mali or the Ivory Coast for example,” Wells pointed out, “therefore it is the job of Randgold Resources to adapt appropriately

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to the country and site specific conditions in order to guarantee the local communities around Kibali really do benefit from economic development.” Perhaps the biggest sustainability challenge facing the company, one that if executed to plan could help bring long lasting benefits to the regions in which it operates, is the question of how it can leave behind a legacy that delivers economic

Randgold Resources

on developing local African skills

Kibali donates materials to rebuild the Siloe School at Durban

stimulus. While it recognises it would be near enough impossible to replicate what its mines contribute economically, moves have been made to establish an agricultural business programme within the various operations. At this point in time those efforts are centred on the Morila mine, which is nearing the end of its life. “A great deal of infrastructure exists in place at Morila, a part of the world that has a long history of successful farming land readily accessible to the communities and, due to the mine, now has water and power available,” Wells said. “Rather than simply leaving behind a subsistence farming community, Randgold Resources wants to take that to the next level and help agricultural businesses prosper.”

These plans are also now being developed so as to allow them to be implemented around the company’s other assets when they reach the end of their own lives. “The goal at the end of the day is to ensure that the company is able to leave a positive mark on the places in which it does business by making sure a considerable level of economic activity and employment continues to provide for local communities even after it leaves,” Wells concluded. “It is the ability to leave behind that sort of legacy that represents sustainability in its truest form.” For more information about Randgold Resources visit:

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Swakop Uranium is about to develop Namibia’s larg uranium deposit. CEO Norman Green talks about the challenges of the project and how the company i protecting the sensitive desert environment written by: gay sutton research by: Jeff Abbott

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Swakop Uranium



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he Namib Desert, a mixture of stunning red sand dunes and mountainous rocky areas, extends along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia and South Africa, and at its deepest point in Namibia it extends over 150 kilometres inland. Beneath this environmentally precious landscape can be found a wealth of minerals, in particular uranium. There are already several active uranium mines in the vicinity of Swakopmund, Namibia, and

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these include the well-established Rössing and the Langer Heinrich mines. In just over three years’ time they will be joined by the Husab mine, an exciting new project that will bring Namibia’s largest uranium deposit into production. Located around 70 km inland from Swakopmund, and just south of the Rössing uranium mine, the Husab ore body has been classified as the highest grade granitehosted uranium deposit in Namibia, and is one of the most significant discoveries

Swakop Uranium

The Namib Desert hosts a wealth of minerals, in particular uranium

in the world in recent years. Originally explored by Extract Resources of Australia, using its 100 percent Namibian subsidiary Swakop Uranium, it is now 100 per cent owned by Taurus Minerals Limited, an entity owned by China Guangdong Nuclear Power Corporation and the China-Africa Development Fund. The Husab mine will be developed and operated by Swakop Uranium (SU), now a subsidiary of Taurus in Namibia. SU received notification of the go ahead intended in

October 2012 from its parent company in August this year, and construction will begin post go ahead to bring the mine into operation within 36 months. “This is not a complex project, but it is big,” commented CEO Norman Green. The ore body has an average grade of over 500 parts per million (ppm) of U3O8 (uranium oxide), which will yield around one pound of concentrate per tonne of ore extracted. “The mine will be designed to produce around 15 million

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CEO Norman Green

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pounds of uranium per annum. We will then be mining at a rate of 15 million tonnes of ore a year, and removing around 100 million tonnes of waste rock at an average stripping ratio of 6.2 in order to achieve that. All of this will require large scale extraction and a fleet of massive equipment.” The definitive feasibility study, published in April 2011, delineated the ore body and defined a mine life of some 20 years. However, Husab is surrounded by other prospective uranium areas that SU plans to continue exploring in the future. “So there is every chance that the mine life will be extended beyond this,” said Green. Initially, orders will be placed for all longterm delivery items, including mining and metallurgical equipment, and for laying in permanent power and water as well as telecommunications and an access route. As Husab is located 70 km inland, access is currently not easy. One of the first elements of construction will be a road linking the mine to the highway and then to Swakopmund and the port of Walvis Bay, through which materials and equipment will be imported and uranium concentrate exported to market. Once fully operational, the mine will require a power supply of 110 MW. The Namibian power utility NamPower is scheduled to lay in a temporary connection to the national grid and then begin construction of a permanent distribution line terminating at a 220 kV substation. Construction of the mine and processing plant are then scheduled to come to fruition

Swakop Uranium

Core samples

concurrently with the infrastructure, in a massive three year project employing some 4000 workers at peak. Once the mine comes onstream it will then require around 1200 mine operators, the majority of whom will be selected from the local Namibian population and trained for the job. “Sourcing the skilled operating staff is something of a challenge here, as Namibia has only a small population. However, the Government is very supportive. During the early years we will be able to bring in around 10 percent highly qualified expats.

Then as the Namibian workforce gains the necessary skills they will take over those positions,” said Green. The recruitment drive is likely to begin a few months after constructions starts so that training can take place and the workforce will be ready to begin stripping the overburden around 18 months into the project. Husab’s location in the heart of the desert may make it a beautiful place to operate, but it presents several challenges. Firstly, water is an increasing issue in Namibia. In the past, many companies have relied on

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water from the aquifers. “We plan to bring desalinated seawater to the mine from sites on the coast, and we have several options,” Green said. The seawater desalination plant built for the uranium mining company Areva Resources is located 30 km north of Swakopmund and capable of modular expansion. Meanwhile, NamWater, the Namibian water supply utility, is also considering the construction of a seawater desalination plant north of Swakopmund. “Piping the water to the mine will then be

part of a combined endeavour between NamWater, our mine and others in the area, but it will require a substantial investment.” Secondly, Husab lies at the northern end of a national park, which has a variety of sensitive flora and fauna. “We have developed other projects in Namibia and we have received a number of accolades for our environmental work,” Green explained, “so we are experienced at operating in this environment. We are not only going to do what is required of

“We plan to bring desalinated seawater to the mine from sites on the coast”


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Swakop Uranium

Drill cores

us, but we are initiating some interesting environmental projects of our own.” An example of this is the Welwitschia, a desert plant that is said to live for several thousand years and exists on very little water. “We’ve counted over 50,000 plants in the mining licence area, so this is not a rare or endangered plant, but it’s not very well understood. As we will have to remove some specimens during the construction phase, we’ve used the opportunity to commission some scientific research to increase our understanding of the plant.” As well as furthering environmental understanding, the Husab mine is likely to be of significant benefit to Namibia. “We will be creating quite a bulge in the GDP,” Green said, “through direct and indirect

taxes and royalties.” The mine will not only provide employment for some 1200 people, but for every permanent job it is estimated that there will be another six jobs created elsewhere in the economy. Already SU has created the Swakop Uranium Foundation, which is currently funded by parent company donations. Its objective is to promote education, welfare and health among the local communities and this will come into its own once the mine is up and running and it can be funded from turnover. For more information about Swakop Uranium visit:

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Drytech International

Having established a reputation for solving tough industrial drying problems, particularly in the minerals industry, Drytech is now taking that expertise globally written by: Gay Sutton research by: Marcus Lewis BE africa | 119

Ammonium metavanadate flash dryer and reduction kiln

Drytech International


he higher the value of a process or design a new drying solution, product and the more specific once our team has worked on the problem or challenging the drying we then run the proposed process at our requirement then the more likely pilot plant to investigate, test and validate it. it is that the services of Drytech We will then develop the process flow sheet, will be required. Based in South Africa and and cost and produce the equipment that operating out of Denver, Johannesburg, will solve their problem,” said managing the company specialises in solving thermal director Ryan Carpenter. processing problems for industries as Developing customised and individual diverse as minerals and mining through to solutions requires a considerable degree of trust between Drytech and its clients, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and food. There are no standard off the shelf as most of the work is experimental. This products rolling off a production line in trust has been developed and reinforced Denver. A highly trained team of engineers through years of successful and ground breaking achievements. develops and tests individual The first big success came solutions for each customer, in the early 1980s when adapting or combining a wide the company developed a range of drying technologies and calling on over 30 new flash drying system for years of experience from platinum sulphide ore for Proportion of Drytech past projects. As a result, mining company JCI – later business in the the team is continuously to become Anglo American minerals sector developing and improving Platinum. “The process in use prior to this had been on technologies as diverse as calciners, flash and fluid bed dryers through cumbersome, highly labour intensive and to rotary, spray, and vacuum dryers and very inefficient,” said founder and President fluidized bed combustors. Over those 30 Harry Traub. “The new process worked years some industry changing advancements very well, and launched the company have emerged from the Drytech labs, and into the minerals market.” The minerals the company has developed a reputation as sector continues to account for 80 percent a leader in concentrate drying, particularly of Drytech business while the remaining for the mining and minerals industry. 20 percent is derived from a variety of The Johannesburg facility includes industrial uses ranging from biomass and an extensively equipped pilot plant that chemicals to food. incorporates all the technologies Drytech “One of the reasons we are able to deliver offers, and is continuously being updated such highly customised products and build and reconfigured. “So when a client comes to a personal relationship with our clients is us and asks us to either optimise an existing that we have kept our engineering team


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relatively small. This enables us to be a great deal more dynamic and flexible,” explained Carpenter, “and we don’t need a massive bureaucracy to macro manage projects.” Instead of incessant meetings and a time and resource consuming paper trail of minutes and reports, there is a culture of close and continuous communication across the business and with the client, who

is not only informed of the progress of the engineering team and involved in decision making, but also remains in contact with the project leader who originally negotiated the contract. “This continuity is a key contributor to the relationship of trust we build with the client,” Carpenter said. “For us, clients never become just another number. They

“Continuity is a key contributor to the relationship of trust we build with the client”

Silica sand – rotary dryer – Atlantis Foundries

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Drytech International

Chrome sands – rotary dryer - Xstrata

are part of the process of immediately to the location design and development, if any issues arise. To date, the company has from beginning to end.” The Drytech offering completed projects as far is characterised by a afield as Brazil, Venezuela, personal service that the US and Canada in the west, Australia and China extends significantly beyond Drytech experience design, manufacture and in the east, and Europe and in solving engineering installation, and this is Turkey to the north. The problems one of the company’s big strategy going forward is differentiators. For newly to increase the sales and designed equipment a comprehensive marketing campaign overseas and extend programme of hands-on training is the global footprint, thereby reducing the delivered on site by the Drytech engineers, reliance on the South African market and while familiarisation training is given for creating a buffer against the cyclical nature updated or optimised technology. Once of economic growth. “Being based here in South Africa gives the technology is up and running, Drytech engineers are always on call, and will fly us something of a competitive advantage,

30 years

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Chrome sands – fluid bed – Samancor

Twin spr

“Clients never become just another number. They are part of the process of design and development from beginning to end” as our engineering labour costs are lower than in most Western countries,” Carpenter said. Not only are engineering and design carried out at the Denver site but many of the critical components are manufactured there, to ensure the company retains control over its vital intellectual property. Much of the fabrication work is then outsourced to trusted companies in South Africa. “With international projects, we can

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look at using workshops in the country we supply into. Or if it’s more cost effective, we might do the fabrication here and then ship it overseas,” Carpenter said. “This is how we are managing a new vanadium smelter project in Brazil,” Traub took up the story. In this instance, one of the primary concerns was the risk of IP piracy. The company had to overcome significant hurdles to ensure manufacture in South

Drytech International

ray dryer – Platinum Concentrate

Platinum concentrate – flash dryer – Anglo American Platinum

Africa was cost effective for the client. “Taxation on imports into Brazil is very high,” he continued. “However our client has been able to negotiate tax relief because the plant is a good growth opportunity in an under-developed state.” As with so many companies in South Africa, Drytech has to work hard to maintain its pool of highly skilled and experienced engineers. “What we do is highly specialised,” Carpenter said, “and it’s just not possible to find engineers specialised in this discipline, particularly with the ‘brain drain’ this country is suffering from. So what we do is bring in talented new engineering graduates and provide extensive in-house training to bring them up to speed in drying technology.” Drytech has developed its business model

around the quality of its engineers, their capability to innovate and communicate, and their long track record of technology development. “We are selling a concept: that we have the ability, the experience, the tools and the toolbox to develop new concepts and make them work,” Carpenter concluded. “To do that, we have to be consistent, reliable and absolutely honest.” These traits are well developed and have been amply demonstrated during the company’s impressive 30 year history of solving engineering problems. For more information about Drytech International visit:

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CONSCIENTIOUS CONSULTANTS It is Digby Wells’ commitment to providing a comprehensive environmental and social service that today sees it working on behalf of many of Africa’s leading mine houses written by: Will Daynes research by: Liz Jennings

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Digby Wells Environmental

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Digby Wells Environmental aspires to be the premier environmental provider to the mining industry

Digby Wells Environmental


riven by its desire to be the that staff take an active interest in premier environmental and delivering the highest quality services social services provider on a continuous basis. to the mining industry Over the past 17 years, Digby Wells has throughout Africa, Digby Wells not only built up a significant degree of Environmental is a South African company experience when it comes to providing that boasts experience in providing these services to South African clients, but also services to both regional and international to international partners. This experience, clients, with its focus trained predominantly which extends to the Americas, Europe, on the mineral resources and energy sectors. the CIS countries and Asia, has resulted in Formed in January 1995 by three partners, a wide range of projects being undertaken Digby Wells, Ken van Rooyen and Graham and successfully delivered to both countryTrusler, all of whom previously worked specific requirements and to international within the Environmental Management standards. These include the Equator Department of Rand Mines, the company Principles, and International Finance itself is named after the Corporation (IFC) and World former, an individual whose Bank Group Guidelines. name is fondly remembered The services Digby Wells for the significant, lasting provides can be grouped into contributions he made in five core areas, those being, South Africa within the environmental management Formation of Digby Wells field of environmental ser v ices, biophysica l ma nagement. Today, env iron ment , socia l Graham Trusler is the chief executive officer environment, geographical information of Digby Wells & Associates and works to systems (GIS) and environmental legal ensure the company remains inspired by services. These services are provided over the vision it has held since day one. the entire life cycle of an operation, from Always striving to provide a early engagement prior to exploration, comprehensive, ‘one stop shop’ that its securing of exploration rights in the specific clients can rely on to satisfy all of their jurisdiction, services during the exploration individual needs with respect to the phase, pre-feasibility study, construction, biophysical and human environment, the operational phase, closure planning Digby Wells enjoys the benefits of a staff and implementation, as well as post complement of committed, dedicated, closure monitoring. As a business that is highly trained, specialised and skilled acutely aware of the constantly evolving employees. A large majority of these nature of the industry, Digby Wells’ service employees are also shareholders, offering is constantly being developed and which enables the company to ensure fine-tuned, with new services added as and


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A Century of Innovative Solutions 1912

Innovative Performance


Founded in 1912, Fraser Alexander provide innovative solutions to the Mining Industry in the disciplines of Tailings, Discard and Water management, Bulk Materials handling and Mineral Processing, encompassing asset and inventory management as well as Operation and Maintenance. 1 Marlin Road, Jet Park, Boksburg, P O Box 14700, Witfield 1467, South Africa Tel: +27(0)11 929 3600, Telefax: +27(0)11 397 3006 Email:

Show the world what your company has to offer with our tailored packages


Digby Wells Environmental when client and industry Fraser Alexander requirements dictate. Founded in 1912, the company is known across Africa to On 29 August 2012, be amongst the best solution providers to the mining prominent leaders in industry, specialising in the disciplines of tailings dam business, research and and discard dump management, including the construction government converged on of such facilities, water management, rehabilitation, bulk Cape Town in order to attend materials handling and mineral processing, as well as asset and inventory management and 24/7 operation the two-day International and maintenance. Research Forum. It is here that the aforementioned figures arrived with the goal of promoting information exchange that it is hoped will contribute towards national economic development, while also showcasing the economic impacts of international research partnerships and enhancing networking opportunities across the board. In order to achieve these objectives, numerous business professionals presented various themed topics including postharvest technologies, water management technologies, aerospace and satellite application technologies, pharmaceutical technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and waste management technologies. Graham Trusler himself presented on the theme of water management, with a focus on South Africa’s water research needs. As highlighted by Digby Wells’ South Africa’s water supply has many problems

“Rural areas are in increasing need of groundwater resources, and water quality and riverine ecological integrity are largely under threat” BE africa | 131

“Agriculture, manufacturing and urban water use efficiency will have to improve dramatically” presentation, there have been several incidents in recent times that have dominated the headlines when it comes to water in South Africa. These include the residents of Carolina taking the government to court over basic water rights, acid mine drainage becoming a threat to the country’s water resources, fracking operations threatening precious water resources and sewage spills threatening water supplies. What the company’s presentation set out was a number of potential solutions to such

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issues and ways in which the industry could come together and utilise best practices to avoid a repeat of such instances. The realities of South Africa’s water supplies are stark and clear. Most surface water runoff is already being captured and allocated, while there is very little scope for new dams. Rural areas are in increasing need of groundwater resources, water quality and riverine ecological integrity are largely under threat, and while the country does boast a strong legal system,

Digby Wells Environmental

Water supply needs careful management

implementation of regulations is generally considered to be poor. The report also pinpointed several changes that can be expected to occur in the immediate future as it pertains to South Africa’s water use. In order to meet the needs of a growing population some agricultural water will need to be diverted for other uses, while new agricultural customers will have to be allocated a proportion of the current allocation. At the same time that the country will need to increase the use of water as an economic good in order to reduce poverty and inequality, it is also clear that agriculture, manufacturing and urban water use efficiency will have to improve, and do so dramatically. The fundamental outcome of the

company’s presentation highlights the urgent need to educate, train and develop Africa’s water scientists to be able to meet the developmental challenges, which could, at some point in the not-too-distant future, affect the entire continent. It is this forward-thinking, pro-active approach to environmental and social concerns that have seen Digby Wells experience considerable growth in recent times and will undoubtedly see it playing a leading role in the further development of South Africa and Africa as a whole. For more information about Digby Wells Environmental visit:

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An ambitious target South Africa-based Filcon Filters has set an ambitious target of 25 percent annual growth over the next three years. Directors Vernon Clarke, Tony Henfrey and George Canning talk about running a knowledge-based business written by: Gay Sutton research by: Marcus Lewis

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Filcon Filters

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Trevor giving a piece of pipe the evil eye

Filcon Filters


anufacturing, water and waste water, oil and gas, food and beverage, petro-chemical, paint—no matter what business you are in, continuity is essential. Downtime and quality issues cost money. So it’s small wonder that many companies prefer to stick with the brands and suppliers they know and trust. One company supplying top quality proprietary products, but also encouraging customers to break the cycle of inhibition when a custombuilt product would be more effective, is Filcon Filters. Launched in 2000 by owners Tony Henfrey and Vernon Clarke, Filcon initially began trading as an importer and supplier of proprietary filtration products with a distribution licence for Hayward Filtration, now part of Eaton Filtration. From its base in Cape Town, the company quickly expanded and diversified, and today stocks a wide variety of products that include self-cleaning, back washing and centrifugal filters, market, basket and flushing strainers, filter cartridges and bags as well as filter media in the form of materials such as activated carbon. “We are still diversifying,” said sales director Vernon Clarke. “We’re always looking for new types of equipment and technology, and if a new product fits with us we will investigate it.” Vernon drives sales and Tony positions the Filcon brand through press releases and search engine optimisation. Filcon’s aim is to become South Africa’s leading filtration specialist. Over the past 12 years considerable progress has been made towards that goal. “Today, we provide not

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25% Annual growth target from 2012 to 2015

PS250 Auto with brush

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just products,” explained financial director Tony Henfrey, “but we also answer any questions our customers have on filtration, and we will even design filtration systems to solve specific application problems.” Through a combination of in-house technical expertise, reliability and integrity, the company has built a solid reputation for excellence. “Service levels are particularly important to us,” Clarke continued. “If we are able to service the customer to the level that meets with their satisfaction, price is not always the key. People will purchase from us because we have the stock levels, and we deliver on time.” As part of its strategy for growth, the company opened a second office in Johannesburg two years ago, close to South Africa’s industrial heartland. One of the key roles of the new technical centre is to diversify into a new gap in the market. “With the rand weakening against most currencies and imports therefore becoming far more expensive,” Henfrey said, “we realised that manufacturing our own range of products would give us an edge.” The manufacturing arm of Filcon is managed and run by design engineering director George Canning who brings some 30 years’ experience to the business.

Filcon Filters

200GTSSHP in duplex format

The economics of manufacturing custom products in South Africa are, he believes, very persuasive. “Because of the size of the market here and the sheer range of filters that are available on the global market, it’s impractical to hold stocks of them all. So if a customer requires a filter that is in any way non-standard, the freight costs of importing a one-off product are simply prohibitive,” he said. “In the past, plant engineers have had to modify their plant in order to accommodate a filter from the standard range. The service we’re offering means they don’t have to do

that. We will design non-standard filters from scratch to their specification. We then outsource the manufacture to one of three trusted fabricators here in Johannesburg.” With Filcon’s reputation for technical excellence, the service has proved very popular. It saves on freight costs, reduces the downtime, cost and risk associated with adapting production equipment. All Filcon filters are manufactured to ISO 9001:2008 quality standards, and the company retains control of the entire process by providing not only the detailed technical designs but also the raw materials and components.

“We’re always looking for new types of equipment and technology, and if a new product fits with us we will investigate it” BE africa | 139

Since launching the new service, Canning has continuously been refining the design and manufacturing process to increase efficiency and reduce lead time, therefore making custom manufacture even more attractive. For example, where there are components and materials common to several products, the company always holds significant quantities in stock. Custom manufacturing has been very successful, and the unit has made a name for itself with some of its products. Among the more significant is the Dirt Gobbla, a centrifugal filter that is currently unique in South Africa. “We’re also known for our centrifugal strainer, our automatic purging strainer and back washing strainer,” Canning said. “And we’ve developed a popular line of locally manufactured in-line basket strainers.” As Filcon is a knowledge-based enterprise, ensuring business continuity has become a high priority. “This is something we’re very conscious of, and have been planning for,” Clarke said. There are currently two young graduates employed under Canning at the Johannesburg office, and one under Clarke at Cape Town. All three are undergoing a mixture of formal training and continuous in-house coaching where they are learning

skills and gaining experience of the industry, absorbing knowledge almost through a process of osmosis. “One is a young African lady who has a BSc in geology with a chemistry background which should be an aid in water treatment. It’s her first job out of graduation,” Henfrey explained. “She is showing tremendous potential and is probably one of the first black women to

“At this stage, we see mining as a real growth area, and we’re also looking at the oil and gas industry, particularly in Namibia, Mozambique and Tanzania” 140 | BE africa

Filcon Filters

300GTSSLP Strainers

700mm Strainer 3

venture into the filtration industry, so we’re nurturing her.” Alongside this, the company has been working to improve its BEE (broad-based black economic empowerment) score, and has recently raised this to level 2, an achievement that delivers added benefits for the customer. With these achievements under its belt, Filcon has set a challenging target for growth. “We have set ourselves a target of increasing sales by 25 percent per annum from 2012 through to 2015, and we are on target to achieve that this year,” Henfrey continued. “Our next priority is to open an office in Durban as we believe there is a big market in South Africa that we have not yet tapped. But we are also looking into Africa as a whole.” The company has already begun

to make inroads into the wider African market through third party suppliers. “At this stage, we see mining as a real growth area, and we’re also looking at the oil and gas industry, particularly in Namibia, Mozambique and Tanzania. And of course with South Africa being the 20th most water deprived country in the world there is tremendous potential for recycling and reusing water.” With so many new opportunities in a rapidly expanding industry base, the target seems well within range. For more information about Filcon Filters visit:

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BIDDING TO BE THE BEST Quality, communication, consistency and reliability are the four essential qualities that, for more than three decades, have allowed Bidvest Laundry Group to deliver first-class garment rental and laundry services to industries across Southern Africa written by: Will Daynes research by: Paul Bradley

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Bidvest Laundry Group

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Dry cleaning services are provided by Boston Launderers

Bidvest Laundry Group


ble to offer a total solution insect repellent, flame retardant, lint free for garment and work wear and molten metal protective fabrics are also rental, mat rental, bulk available. Other health and safety measures laundry, hotel guest laundry, include covered press studs, extended length on-premise laundries and overall tops and drawstring trousers. industrial laundry equipment sales and Bidvest Laundry Group Mat Rental’s services, Bidvest Laundry Group’s activities activities are focused on tackling the are broken down into several divisions. problems raised by the amount of grime, dirt These include First Garment Rental, and dust that enters a company’s premises Bidvest Laundry Group Mat Rental, Boston through pedestrian traffic. The division’s Launderers, Montana Laundries and primary mission is to spread the word that the cost of keeping dirt out of a building is Montana Equipment Sales. First Garment Rental specialises in the approximately ten percent of what it costs to rental and laundering of work wear to all remove it entirely once it has gained entry. industries, providing the In 1999, Boston Launderers became a highest quality garments and overalls through a first-class part of the Bidvest Group rental system. This includes of companies, opening up entirely new fields of the laundering, mending and replacing of overalls which quality laundry services to Boston Launderers the South African market. have suffered from wear became part of the and tear. With clients from Since becoming part of the Bidvest Group of across all sectors, including Bidvest Group it has strived companies the chemical, food, mining, to improve on a continuous pharmaceutical and retail basis, expanding its range industries, First Garment Rental’s track of high quality services and its processing record shows it provides its customers with of linen, specialised laundry and dry the complete peace of mind that comes from cleaning for the healthcare, hospitality dealing with a stable and reputable business. and mining sectors. Recognising that each customer site is as Custom-made to meet individual workforce needs, all of its garments are individual as the organisation itself, Boston designed to particular specifications Launderers offers a full on-site survey and and made by its garment supplier at one assessment of a customer’s facility in order of two factories. The extended textile to highlight the best laundry solutions, range includes polycotton with a special including possible linen rental and guest finish to ensure all garments are crease laundry provision. resistant, moth proof and anti-static. A further addition to the Bidvest Laundry Highly specialised fabrics, for example Group, Montana Laundries provides


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Bidvest Laundry Group hygienic laundry services, CONDROU MANUFACTURING (PTY) LTD specifically catered for the Condrou is a family run business which specializes healthcare, hospitality, in the supply of Dry Cleaning, laundry and hospitality mining and industrial consumables, chemicals, packaging, dry cleaning sectors. Offering on-premise machinery and finishing equipment. laundry solutions to its We have been working closely together with Bidvest clients, it also provides a Laundry group, for the past 20 years customizing their requirement for packaging and chemicals to their unique and highly advanced individual needs and requirements. rental system throughout We offer a unique and wide range of products for Southern Africa. all our clients. Working in accordance w it h SA NS 10146 specifications, Montana Laundries ensures that all applicable legislation is adhered to at all times. In addition to being able to provide on-going site training as it is required, the company’s highly competent and motivated operations team manages and performs regular site visits and inspections on behalf of its customers. These activities are just a few examples of the way the company works to provide the highest quality service at competitive prices. Bidvest Laundry Group’s strict adherence to SANS standards and procedures helps to ensure a safe and healthy environment for its customers, while the processes used

“Employee development is vital for maintaining a motivated workforce”

Bidvest offers linen rental services

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in its industrial laundries guarantee that disinfection levels are compliant with the most stringent of health and industry standards and that linen is treated with due care. Among the many different systems and procedures the company has in place include quality control, stock control, infection control, garment sorting and identification, secure transportation and waste disposal. Meanwhile, the NOSA MBO management

system, as well as SANS 10146 and Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA) standards are implemented and adhered to in all Bidvest Laundry facilities. Bidvest Laundry Group’s best operating procedures and good manufacturing practices have been extensively researched to ensure that it is able to assist its customers in their efforts to achieve full

“Boston Launderers offers a full on-site survey and assessment of a customer’s facility in order to highlight the best laundry solutions” 148 | BE africa

Bidvest Laundry Group

Bidvest keeps abreast of the latest methods and technologies

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) compliancy. Added customer value is gained through the ability of the HACCP team to advise on good manufacturing practice, supplier quality assurance, basic hygiene and internal disinfection auditing. Priding itself on keeping abreast of the very latest, state-of-the-art methods and technologies available within the garment rental and laundry sectors allows Bidvest Laundry Group to consistently provide its customers with the very best service equipment and technologies. The most recent development involves an RFID system, which utilises a comprehensive high frequency and ultra-high frequency infrastructure for item level tracking across a variety of industries.

Equally as important to Bidvest Laundry Group is employee development, something it sees as vital for maintaining a motivated and competent workforce in the face of South Africa’s current shortage of skilled labour. Key to its focus on skills development is the company’s recognition of its customers’ expectations and requirements. All of Bidvest Laundry Group’s programmes are structured in a way that takes into account the business objectives and employee needs of its customers, as well as their demands for quality and reliability. For more information about Bidvest Laundry Group visit:

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perfect South Africa’s MWEB Business offers a range of affordable, tailored services for small and medium enterprises that address individual needs, improve efficiency and help realise cost savings research by: Jeff Abbott

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MWEB Business

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WEB Business is a different kind of ISP. The company has been around since 1998— effectively the start of the internet era—when its parent company, MWEB, forecast three things. Firstly, that the internet was going to radically change the way business was done; that the connectivity requirements of South Africa’s businesses were going to be very different to those of home users; and that connectivity solutions designed and developed for large corporates would be beyond the reach of most businesses in South Africa. MWEB Business was set up to address all these concerns and requirements. Building on MWEB’s advanced infrastructure, MWEB Business is able to deliver innovative, industrial-strength, quality business solutions at exceptionally competitive rates without compromising on service, security or reliability. “Our solutions cover all aspects of both wired and wireless connectivity; but we also offer hosting services, hosted applications, security and telephony solutions,” explains Andre Joubert, general manager of MWEB Business. “Our capabilities reach right down to the management of internal information between employees as well as between business partners and suppliers. Our vision of what the internet can do for business and our strategy for putting it to work for our customers extends beyond tomorrow. “Because one size never fits all, we have developed the expertise to tailor solutions to each of our customers’ specific needs, ensuring that these add real value and

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General manager Andre Joubert

MWEB Business

insight to their businesses,” he continues. The company has also teamed up with reseller and wholesale partners around the country who work with it to supply endusers with either white-labelled or MWEB Business-branded products. Connectivity—how to be a winner Broadband is currently available in South Africa at exceptionally affordable prices— which is surely good news for consumers and businesses? “Well, yes and no,” says Joubert. “While the highly competitive environment surrounding uncapped broadband solutions means end-users are paying less for their ADSL connectivity than ever before, there are also huge potential pitfalls—particularly for business users.” That’s because not all uncapped ADSL offerings, not even those labelled ‘business uncapped’, offer the same performance. There is a very real danger that a business could find itself trapped into a contract for an uncapped ADSL solution that is totally unsuited to its business requirements. “MWEB Business advises that when choosing uncapped ADSL services, businesses should clearly understand the limits of the service being offered and match this against

their own requirements. Armed with this knowledge, the business would be better placed to make a more informed decision about the service it wants,” says Joubert. Joubert explains that because MWEB Business’s uncapped ADSL offerings are not only uncapped but also unshaped and unthrottled, customers get the best possible performance at all times. In addition, MWEB Business’s uncapped ADSL offerings are

“Our solutions cover all aspects of both wired and wireless connectivity; but we also offer hosting services, hosted applications, security and telephony solutions” 154 | BE africa

MWEB Business

New fibre networks are coming on stream all the time

available in four different speeds—1Mbps, 2Mbps, 4Mbps and 10Mbps—which means that businesses can choose the product that best suits their business requirements and budget. Moving to mainstream Affordable, high speed fibre-optic internet connectivity is rapidly becoming a viable option for South African businesses of all sizes, and is set to become the connectivity option of choice for many within the next few years. Fixed-line, ethernet-based fibre connectivity services provide a highly reliable and continuously available connectivity option with the equivalent of leased line performance, but which scale more easily and affordably should capacity need to increase.

With new fibre networks coming on stream all the time, MWEB Business is partnering with network providers, extending the company’s fibre connectivity offering to businesses across a growing geographical area. For those businesses located in areas in which fibre connectivity is not available—or where the cost of a fibre link is still hard to justify—a bonded ADSL solution remains a viable option. This is where up to four ADSL lines are grouped together to form one logical connection, offering higher speeds and throughput. Driving VPN growth VPN (virtual private network) technology, which has been around for more than a decade, is entering a new boom phase on

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the back of the rapid uptake of mobile, remote and cloud computing services by organisations of all sizes. ADSL VPNs have long found favour among businesses with multiple branches by acting as cost-effective and secure branch connectors. With the advent of uncapped ADSL, VPNs are now uncapped branch connectors. With an ADSL VPN, organisations can establish a secure, encrypted channel through which data can be safely transferred between all

locations across the internet. VPNs also enable crucial business applications such as accounting systems that are designed for use purely in a private network to be used across the public internet. Accessing the corporate database from a public hotspot can be dangerous. In order for employees to gain secure access to servers on the company’s network from home, airport lounges, customers’ offices, hotels or coffee shops anywhere in the world, a VPN

“Our capabilities reach right down to the management of internal information between employees as well as between business partners and suppliers”

VPN connections are secure and robust

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MWEB Business

The most cost-effective solution for businesses requiring more speed is bonded ADSL

is essential. Similarly, as enterprise systems are increasingly hosted on remote cloud servers, and employees work from softwareas-a-service applications, network security will become much more difficult. A VPN considerably reduces security concerns. Joubert points out that a VPN client must be installed on all the devices used by employees to access the internal network— desktops, notebooks and mobile devices—to avoid security breaches. Bonded ADSL The advent of technologies such as fibre has led many to the belief that ADSL has passed its sell-by date and is well due for replacement. “Our contention is that while all connectivity technologies have their

place, ADSL broadband will remain the preferred choice for internet connections for the foreseeable future in South Africa. That’s because, despite its drawbacks, it remains the most affordable, reliable internet access solution for most businesses throughout the country.” However, ADSL doesn’t always deliver the internet connectivity speed required by businesses in today’s fast paced world. “The most cost-effective solution for businesses that require more speed is bonded ADSL, which has the potential to be almost as fast as a leased line but is considerably less expensive.” Barriers to VoIP tumbling Voice over IP, or VoIP, is starting to come into its own in South Africa as the majority of

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obstacles to widespread VoIP adoption have been, or are being addressed. As a result, the uptake of VoIP in South Africa is likely to increase significantly in the next year or two. “With the advent of uncapped, unshaped, unthrottled ADSL, and the rapidly declining cost of quality, high-speed, business-class connectivity, connectivity barriers to VoIP are being addressed,” says Joubert. “Today, we recommend that businesses considering a VoIP solution invest in nothing less than a 4Mbps connection.” Capturing mobility Business mobility has come a long way from the days when it just meant

Server room

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business people remaining in contact with customers, colleagues and suppliers via a cell phone. Any time away from the office can now be highly productive time, thanks to major advances in connectivity technology. “The any where, anytime, secure, fast and affordable ADSL connectivity that’s available today from MWEB Business ensures that your office—your server, your data files, your software applications, your email, everything you would normally access from your desk— is right there with you when you need it,” says Joubert. If you don’t have ADSL access, MWEB

MWEB Business

“Businesses should clearly understand the limits of the service being offered and match this against their own requirements” Business’ 3G APN (access point name) offering delivers the freedom of cellular mobility and the security and robustness of a fixed line, virtual private network (VPN) connection in a single, costeffective package. “Your secure mobile connectivity option can be used for email and to access your company’s local or wide

area network and servers as well as your cloud applications, from locations where landline connectivity isn’t available,” explains Joubert. Server savings Servers are at the heart of a business: they run all the business’s applications as well as its website and email. Businesses can protect their servers by housing them in a custom-built secure, fire-proof, flood-proof, climate-controlled, accesscontrolled data centre on their premises. Alternatively, at a fraction of the cost, MWEB Business can host the servers in its purpose-built, ultrasecure data centre that provides a 24/7 guard service, security alarms, security cameras and high-tech access control; a managed firewall; an uninterruptible power supply from multiple UPSs and back-up generators; a climate controlled environment; and sophisticated fire protection, including fire alarms and a fire suppressant system. “You don’t even have to purchase a server if you don’t want to,” affirms Joubert. “We will rent you the latest, most appropriate model for your needs and, with reliable, fast, uncapped ADSL,

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you no longer have to worry about running out of bandwidth capacity or paying exorbitant top-up fees to access your servers.” No more server overload Uncapped ADSL also makes it possible for businesses to opt for sophisticated solutions such as virtual hosted servers. But why would any business want or need a hosted virtual server? Well, what do you do if your server can’t cope with a high volume of transactions; falls over; or simply can’t cope with the strain from the rapid growth of your business? Instead of doing costly hardware upgrades or replacements, MWEB Business’s Virtual Hosting solutions address these issues quickly, easily and cost-effectively. The company’s Virtual Hosting packages work by partitioning several large physical servers (hosted at the secure MWEB Business Data Centre) into multiple virtual servers, each with its own operating software. “One or more of those virtual servers can be yours, doing precisely what you need it to, in just a few days. Your server and all your data are stored securely in the cloud, meaning your files are in an online environment hosted by MWEB Business, but controlled by you,” says Joubert. Joubert explains that each virtual server can be rebooted independently. Clients can access their virtual machines via a control panel and scale their specs up or down according to their needs, and for as long as the changes are required. “Your virtual server can never be stolen or set on fire,

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Cloud computing does not require major investment in

MWEB Business and thanks to our superb infrastructure in the unlikely event of a failure, our failover mechanisms kick in, guaranteeing that you have 99.9 per cent uptime,” states Joubert. “There really is no downside.” Demystifying the cloud If you use Facebook, Skype, internet banking or Gmail, then you are already a cloud computing user. One of the most compelling benefits of cloud computing is the fact that it delivers when-you-need-it, where-you-need-it data and applications, without the need for any major investment in IT infrastructure and skills. MWEB Business operates multiple data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town from where it has delivered a range of hosted services to South African businesses for years, including Microsoft Exchange Email, VM servers, storage, back-up and collaboration tools. Additional cloud services such as hosted PBX voice and video conferencing are also in the pipeline. “The uptake of business cloud services has been slower in South Africa [than internationally]. However, at MWEB Business, we are starting to see a marked increase in interest from businesses of all sizes that recognise the benefits of the cloud in terms of cost savings, efficiencies, security and convenience,” concludes Joubert. For more information about MWEB Business contact us: T. +27 (0)11 340 8400 IT infrastructure and skills

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Lake Turkana Wind Power

In harnessing the naturally windy conditions near Lake Turkana, north-west Kenya, the Lake Turkana Wind Power project will give a much-needed boost not only to Kenya’s grid but to local communities as well written by: Catherine Dunlop research by: Richard Halfhide BE africa | 163

The site was selected following extensive surveys

Lake Turkana Wind Power


he Lake Turkana Wind Power the basis of its seclusion, wind strength project (LTWP) is set to provide and stability, proven technology, benign 300MW of clean power to environmental setting, low population Kenya’s national electricity density, security, fresh water availability grid— approximately 20 per cent and road accessibility. In addition, in order of the country’s current installed electricity to protect birdlife, the wind farm is sited at generating capacity—by taking advantage least nine kilometres from the shore of Lake of the unique natural wind resource near Turkana. A 12-month ornithological study Lake Turkana in north-west Kenya. At was carried out and annual environmental an estimated cost of Ksh75 billion (€582 audits will be conducted for the entire wind million), the project will be the largest single farm during its 20-year operation period. When completed, output from the wind private investment in Kenya’s history. The wind farm site covers 162 square farm will give Kenya’s installed generation kilometres in Loyangalani District, Marsabit capacity a much-needed shot in the arm. West County, approximately Currently, installed capacity 50 kilometres north of stands at around 1,450MW; South Horr Township. The about 60 per cent of this is hydro-generated, 14 per project will comprise 365 wind turbines (each with cent is geothermal and the a capacity of 850kW), the balance is fossil fuel. Hydro Saving offered by LTWP associated overhead electric is becoming increasingly on current average cost grid collection system and a unreliable due to an increase of Kenyan power high voltage substation. in droughts affecting the region, and the price of The joint venture partners for the project are KP&P BV Africa; Aldwych diesel is spiralling. “At a cost of 7.52 Euro International Limited; the Industrial cents/KWhr, the energy generated by LTWP Development Corporation of South Africa represents approximately a 40 per cent Limited (IDC); the Norwegian Investment saving on the present average cost of the Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund); power mix in the country, so the advantage and the Industrial Fund for Developing is clear,” explains LTWP chairman Carlo Countries (IFU) Denmark. Van Wageningen. Several sites in Marsabit County The project will also benefit Kenya were explored for their suitability, with in a wider economic sense, says Van the eventual site selected following an Wageningen. “LTWP will represent the extensive survey of the region that took largest ever single private investment in into account environmental, social, the region: we hope that this will encourage sustainability, technology and commercial large-scale private investments and assist considerations. The site won through on in mitigating the perception that large


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investments are not possible in this part potential for indirect employment, and this of the world—due to the perceived risks poor region of Kenya stands to gain new that international entrepreneurs and the businesses, employment opportunities, and investor community have about Africa in inevitably, more facilities such as schools general and Kenya in particular.� and health centres. The wind farm alone, though, will bring It is for this reason that local support for economic rejuvenation to the local area. the project has been largely positive; but such The direct employment that expectation brings with it the project will generate the weight of responsibility, during its 30-month says Van Wageningen. “The con st r uc t ion per iod communities living in and stands at approximately around the site are excited 2,500, which will then about the project. LTWP has drop to about 300 during been interacting with them Number of wind turbines in LTWP the 20-year operation at regular intervals during the six-year development period. Add to this the vast


Working together at the site

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Lake Turkana Wind Power

“We must seriously upgrade some 200 kilometres of road from Laisamis to Loiyangalani to safely transport all the heavy and bulky equipment to site” phase of the project, so they now want to see it built and provide the expected results for their wellbeing. Too often have they heard empty promises in the past and they fear that this might just end up being one of the same.” LTWP is committed and so is the government; nonetheless the project is still waiting for the final green light, pending

financial risk guarantees. The unforeseen delay has understandably caused some frustration among the local communities, given their high expectations from the realisation of this important project. The delay is the latest in a series of challenges the project has faced. “We had to overcome mammoth challenges in the development phase; firstly, to convince all stakeholders that the project was viable and indeed a reliable source of power for Kenya. We had to prove that the relatively weak Kenyan grid could effectively accommodate such a large amount of wind power in the system,” explains Van Wageningen. “Then we had the logistics: we must seriously upgrade some 200 kilometres of road from Laisamis to Loiyangalani to safely transport all the heavy and bulky equipment to site; and we must also be able to evacuate the power and connect to the grid—this needs a 428 kilometre high-voltage transmission line. Ketraco will be building this and the funding will come from the Spanish government (80 per cent) and the Kenyan government (20 per cent).” The delay now is related to the credit enhancement that the project lenders (headed by the African Development Bank) require as a prerequisite to release the

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The site has a benign environmental setting

funds. “Here we had reached satisfactory agreements with the government and Kenya Power, but the latter then transferred this onus to the World Bank Group,” says Van Wageningen. “Since then we have been waiting for them to complete their internal processes to issue the needed guarantees. We are still waiting and are not clear when they will be approved; meanwhile Kenya is

spending some US$330,000 a day on diesel fuels to replace our power. This computes to $9 million a month or $108 million a year— expensive to an economy such as Kenya’s. The delays are now also affecting the various supply contracts which LTWP has entered into: these suppliers are also now waiting and may not be able to hold out on the prices previously agreed with

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Lake Turkana Wind Power

Electrical wiring

Measuring the wind

LTWP. Significant changes has generated from all walks in prices could scuttle the of life. The project has also project and may require generated interest with an upward revision of the other investors who are now power price agreed with rushing to Kenya to invest in Size of wind farm site Kenya Power, thereby this industry. inflicting a further blow “Kenya needs power if it on the economy. LTWP is intends to meet its ambitious working hard to maintain the status quo goal of Vision 2030. Only 20 per cent of on this but there are limits as to how much Kenya enjoys the benefits of electrification and this project will be a major contributor we can control it.” However, Van Wageningen remains to achieving that goal,” he concludes. positive. “Having brought the project to this closing stage, notwithstanding the above For more information about challenges, is satisfying,” he says. “We are Lake Turkana Wind Power visit: also now hearing from far and wide the high level of expectation that this project



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Planning for The City of Cape Town is experiencing unprecedented change, but plans are in place to balance growth for the benefit of communities, business and the environment written by: Carl Edison research by: Liz Jenkins

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City of Cape Town


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ape Town is South Africa’s second-largest city in terms of population and economy. Situated on the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town is undoubtedly one the most beautiful places in the world, but while it is famous for attractions such as Table Mountain, the Cape of Good Hope and the Cape Winelands, however, the city is also an important conference, convention and investment centre, competing favourably with other major cities around the world. Conveniently aligned with European time zones, an overnight flight to Cape Town from major European cities is relatively free from jet lag, and it also serves as a handy halfway point between the Americas and the Far East. Cape Town is home to two-thirds of the Western Cape’s population, generates three quarters of the region’s gross value add, and contributes 11 per cent to national gross domestic product (R175 billion), making it an important driver of regional, provincial and national development. It is the region’s major service centre for healthcare, education and shopping, and provides employment to people from across the province and beyond. Cape Town has also proved itself to be particularly suited to business process outsourcing and offshoring (BPO&O) and international contact centres. With a current annual turnover estimated at between R2.5 billion and R3.3 billion (approximately 20 per cent of the national industry), Cape Town and the Western Cape’s BPO&O

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Cape Town is home to two-thirds of the Western Cape’s population

City of Cape Town

Liveable cities, resilient communities

Aurecon assists clients in planning, developing and sustaining liveable communities for a wide range of government and private sector projects globally. The group’s broad-based group of engineers, planners and advisory specialists act as integrated teams to service projects that span multiple markets across Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.


The group’s commitment is to allocate resources and skills aimed at improving the quality of life of the communities in which we operate. This ranges from sophisticated, high-tech solutions to the provision of basic services in rural areas. Aurecon leverages such construction projects as opportunities to foster the development of small contractors and create long term jobs for local teams.

Advisory and management

Integrated planning Municipal infrastructure development Roads and transport Water and electricity Solid waste Asset management

Environmental studies Disaster management

Make Aurecon your partner in meeting today’s most critical service delivery challenges. Aurecon South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a certified Level 2 BBBEE contributor. For more information, contact us at tel: +27 21 526 9400 or email:


City of Cape Town

Commercial buildings consume about 40 per cent of Cape Town’s electricity

industry is fast becoming a major force in Government of the Western Cape in November 2010, with the aim of unlocking the local economy. A leader in the renewable-energy sector, the manufacturing and employment potential the Western Cape was the first province in the green economy in the Western Cape to have a sustainable energy strategy. The and coordinating industry development on province’s annual energy consumption is the renewable energy subsectors of wind and around 3,500 MW, and it has set itself a solar, among others. renewable energy target of 15 per cent of Globally, buildings use about 40 per total energy by 2014. Cape Town’s Energy and cent of the world’s energy and 20 per cent of its water, and are Climate Change Action Plan responsible for producing (ECAP) has promoted various up to 33 per cent of global energy-efficient initiatives, carbon (CO2) emissions some looking at stimulating and 30 per cent of waste. demand in the local solar water-heater manufacturing In Cape Town, commercial Western Cape’s sector. A new sector body buildings use about 40 per target for renewable called GreenCape was cent of electricity and are energy by 2014 launched by the Provincial responsible for about 28 per


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AURECON: liveable cities, Resilient communi Aurecon provides engineering, management and specialist technical services for public and private sector clients globally. The group’s government industry team supports cities and regional and national governments in providing a comprehensive range of services. The team’s technical competencies span the entire infrastructure life cycle – from planning, design and construction to operations and maintenance – and encompass services related to energy, housing, transport, solid waste, and sanitation, as well as water and wastewater. Aurecon’s integrated, one-stop approach to meeting service delivery challenges extends beyond engineering solutions and includes in-depth expertise on a range of operational, institutional and environmental aspects of infrastructure delivery. In the planning phase, attention is given to optimising long-term costs and the available resources towards sound infrastructure investment decisions, positioning assets to meet long-term service delivery priorities and accommodating long-term growth. Specific competencies include: • Integrated planning which involves spatial, transportation and infrastructure services, and ensures that consumers are provided with the comprehensive range of essential services

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• Land and ownership issues • Community engagement and stakeholder management • Disaster and risk management • Environmental management The sustainable design and planning services include the following skills: • Transportation engineering, including road, rail, airport and port developments • Water and wastewater treatment • Bulk water supply and outfall sewers • Energy transmission and distribution • All reticulation services • Housing development • Buildings and facilities Clients are assisted in managing their assets and services by offering: • Infrastructure asset assessment, planning and management • Operations of assets and facilities (e.g. treatment works, etc.) Aurecon also recognises that many clients need to develop their organisations by optimising their processes and structures, and training their staff. To facilitate this, the group provides: • Organisational development and advisory services • Financial management • Planning and implementation of asset focused information systems • Training and development of staff

City of Cape Town


The group is renowned for its ability to partner with government entities, whether cities and other municipalities, regional or national government bodies, who are committed to providing communities with high quality, costeffective and sustainable services. These agencies require integrated, cost-effective solutions that take account of their broadbased project and policy objectives. Aurecon is recognised for planning and community consultation that leads to successful development outcomes and has developed a number of consultation techniques to support this, including community surveys, workshops, public meetings, forums and focus groups.

The group also has world-class expertise across the entire social infrastructure market. In the education sector, for instance, our services extend from engineering sustainable buildings, to planning the long-term investment needed to provide new schools and refurbish and maintain existing facilities. Similarly, Aurecon regularly manages and administers large healthcare projects starting with the initial briefing, design, documentation, and implementation of hospitals, aged care, community health and research facilities. E. government@

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cent of carbon emissions. Electricity tariffs are rising steeply, there is a medium-term national power shortage and large power users like commercial buildings need to address their impact on the environment. For all these reasons, not least the financial savings, a concerted effort is needed to maximise the potential of energy efficiency in the commercial sector of the local economy. The City of Cape Town, Eskom and the South African Property Owners’ Association (SAPOA) collaborated to launch the Energy Efficiency Forum for Commercial Buildings in 2009, the latest meeting of which took place on 31 August this year. The Forum provides owners and managers of offices, shopping centres, hotels and other commercial and public buildings with practical knowledge on energy efficiency solutions, and serves as a platform for collective action and shared learning. Regular forum meetings offer case studies of energy efficiency retrofits and updates on financing options, policy issues and training opportunities. Innovations like ‘green leasing’ are explored, to find ways of overcoming barriers and scaling up energy efficiency action. There is also an annual ‘marketplace’ event where suppliers of energy efficiency products and services showcase their offerings.

Cape Town is rich in natural assets, diverse ecosystems, landscapes, heritage, cultural and social diversity. You could say it epitomises the global challenge to find a sustainable balance between environmental protection and the on-going economic and social development needs of a growing population. Unless steps are taken to reverse the current environmental decline and resource consumption patterns, however, the City

“In Cape Town, commercial buildings use about 40 per cent of electricity and are responsible for about 28 per cent of carbon emissions” 178 | BE africa

City of Cape Town

The Cape Town Spatial Development Framework has now been approved

recognises that the social and poverty reduction measures. It does this via and economic cost and risk a range of projects and to Cape Town and its citizens programmes, such as Small will increase significantly. Therefore, in recognition of Business Week, the Business Members of the the value and importance Voucher Support Programme Cape Town Regional of Cape Town’s natural and and the Smart City Strategy. Chamber of Commerce heritage assets, the City The Cape Town Regional and Industry aims to enhance, manage, Chamber of Commerce and utilise and protect these Industry has over 4,500 assets, to grow the economy, extend social members and is the largest institution of its opportunity, develop its communities and kind in South Africa. The Chamber’s portal build a more equitable and resilient society. provides commercial, industrial and corporate The City’s Economic and Human information for all business needs. Development (EHD) Department is The four branches of the Strategic responsible for monitoring Cape Town’s Development Information (SDI) and socio-economic inequalities, promoting local Geographic Information System (GIS) economic growth and initiating job creation Department supply the City with the


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knowledge and information change; its land area has almost doubled since the it needs to develop the strategic plans necessary mid-1980s and its population to address Cape Town’s is expected to reach 4.2 wide ranging development million in the next 15 years. needs. The strategic Rapid urban growth has unfortunate consequences, information branch provides Estimated population however. Cape Town’s information, research, of Cape Town in fresh water resources are surveys and policy support next 15 years for the City’s strategic dwindling, landfill sites are and urban development reaching their capacity, roads are congested, and processes and projects, such as the Integrated Development Plan (IDP). It ecological systems are under threat. The also develops indicators and compiles socio- Cape Town Spatial Development Framework economic and demographic information sets out guidelines about how and where as it relates to the city. These reports are Cape Town should grow in the future. These available for download on the City’s website. spatial plans guide new investment, give Cape Town is experiencing unprecedented effect to the principles and priorities of the



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City of Cape Town

Cape Town is one the most beautiful cities in the world

city’s development strategies, and identify priority areas for strategic intervention. The preparation of the Cape Town SDF was a collaborative process which took six years, but it has now been approved. The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic, Environment and Spatial Planning, Alderman Belinda Walker, welcomed the announcement. “We are delighted that the Cape Town SDF has been approved. The City would especially like to thank the residents of Cape Town for their valuable contributions to the SDF drafting process. Many diverse comments were received on how the City needs to manage urban growth. This placed the City in an important mediation role in finding the most fair and sustainable compromise to serve the

public interest in the long-term. We think we have managed to strike a good balance between the interests of communities, property developers, built environment professionals, and the environmental sector. The City now has the first building block of its rationalised, policy-driven land use management system in place. We hope the other two key building blocks, namely the eight District Spatial Development Frameworks and the Integrated Zoning Scheme will be approved in the next few months,” she said. For more information about City of Cape Town visit:

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Hall Longmore

In for the long haul Renowned for its manufacturing of large bore welded steel pipe, Hall Longmore’s 85 year history has seen its steel pipes ranked among the best in the world and become the preferred choice with pipeline designers and end users written by: Will Daynes research by: Paul Bradley

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Hall Longmore is an industry leader in steel pipes

Hall Longmore


he steel pipe manufactured by Hall Longmore can be found stretching across thousands of kilometres of Southern Africa, conveying water, petrochemicals and gas to major metropolitan cities and towns. A wholly owned Murray & Roberts company, Hall Longmore first began manufacturing welded steel pipes in 1924. This soon paved the way for the development of a major engineering enterprise that today exists as the largest operation of its kind in Africa, south of the Sahara, exporting to more than 30 countries globally. As the owner of manufacturing facilities that offer modern, industry-leading equipment and process controls for the production of large-bore welded steel pipes, the company’s success is based on its proud legacy of delivering only the highest quality products and excellent service. Applications range from the transportation of water, gas, petrochemical products and slurries to piling and structural steel fabrication. Electric resistance welding (ERW) and submerged arc welding (SAW) technologies are used to produce pipes from different grades of carbon, or special alloy steels, and can be supplied square ended, bevelled, belled or with specialised jointing methods depending on customer requirements. Hall Longmore is an industry leader in the application of protective and anticorrosion coatings and linings to steel pipes, in accordance with international standards. Such external protective coatings

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Hall Longmore

Hall Longmore’s steel pipe can be found across thousands of kilometres of southern Africa

include fusion bonded customers’ representatives epoxy coatings, fusion and regular audits of bonded medium density procedures, controls and records are undertaken by polyethylene coating, threelayer coatings and liquid independent bodies. Steel pipe supplied for epoxy coatings and linings. Able to conform to the Transnet’s Durban to specifications of major Internal linings on the other Johannesburg New hand comprise traditional energy providers, this helps Multi-Products cement mortar or concrete ensure that the company’s Pipeline (NMPP) and solvent free epoxies. products are of the highest A prog ramme of quality available. In quality assurance in accordance with the addition, its mills are equipped with staterequirements of the American Petroleum of-the-art non-destructive testing and edge Institute and International Standards mining equipment in order to meet the Organisation (ISO 9001:2000), is stringent requirements of international entrenched in Hall Longmore’s process and oil and gas customers. management systems. Trained and qualified The company’s well equipped laboratories personnel perform tests in partnership with and sophisticated range of equipment


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GROWING SEEDS OF EXCELLENCE We provide a complete range of pumps and spares to the Industry. As approved importers, we are not limited to the local market, but can source products from all over the world. By designing custom built control solutions, we offer a value added service not only to the pumping industry, but to the entire industry.

T: +27 16 423 3212 / 3097 | F: +27 86 512 9613 | E:

Hall Longmore are regularly put to use in Target Transport SA cc the inspection and testing Target Transport SA cc has a proud history as transport of materials, welding contractor for several well-known operators in the pipeline processes, dimensions, industry for close to 30 years. The company has been hydrostatic pressure and of involved in most major pipeline projects, conveying pipes for water, petrochemical, and gas pipelines such as: Mossgass, the quality of coatings and Richards Bay; NMPP Fuel Line; VRESAP, Vaal River; Sastech linings. Furthermore, for Temane Gas Line; Petronet; and eThekwini Water. both local and international Target Transport SA cc prides itself on its reputation for assignments, arrangements customer satisfaction and competitive rates. We have a can be made for independent proven track record for dependable service and are always quality surveillance to be prepared to go that extra mile. undertaken on behalf of any customer by authorities such as SABS, TÜV, Lloyd’s Technical Services, Société Génerale de Surveillance and Moody’s International. Hall Longmore ranks among the most reputable ERW pipe producers internationally and satisfies specifications set by leading oil and gas companies. Its Wadeville manufacturing facility, from which the company produces some 120,000 tonnes of ERW welding per year, holds the The company’s pipes have assisted distinction of being the only facility of its countless developments kind in South Africa, and one of only 15 boasting such Xilo Technology (Pty) Ltd capabilities across the globe. Providing pumps and spares is easy, right? But providing Using a high frequency complete solutions? We are a dynamic team that induction (HFI) heating specialises in designing integrated monitoring and control process, Hall Longmore solutions for industry. is able to manufacture Systems are designed to suit customer requirements. Having control over flow rates, product levels and pump performance pipes that range in means complete peace of mind. The system can be as simple nominal diameter from or as advanced as required, with data logging viewed in real 219 millimetres to 610 time from a control room, or stored for future use. millimetres. Edge milled We are proud to be associated with Hall Longmore, having had steel coil is then mechanically a longstanding relationship as a major supplier of its pumps. formed into pipe, after which a high-frequency

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electrical current is applied to fuse pipe skelp to form a weld. Unlike during the arcwelding process, no filler material is added with the weld joint ultimately becoming a homogeneous part of the completed pipe. To ensure completely smooth pipes are produced, welds are scarfed both internally and externally. Subsequently these welds are immediately confirmed and assured as the pipes in question pass through a multiprobe ultrasonic inspection system located after the welding and scarfing stations. Following this assessment, weld joints are induction heated to normalise the metallic structure of the actual weld. This also works to improve the toughness of the steel in the region, while also significantly decreasing the effects of weld line corrosion. Prior to hydrostatic testing the pipes are sized to their required tolerances before then being cut to length and having their ends bevelled. To complete the process the pipes are inspected and weighed, and can be varnished and marked prior to their final inspection and dispatch. In some cases pipes are at this point transferred to the company’s coating and lining plants for corrosion protection treatment. Renowned both locally and internationally for its world class ability to fulfil the needs

of its customers and the industry as a whole, Hall Longmore boasts a proud history of delivering product solutions to all manner of locations. Internationally, projects that have benefitted substantially from its expertise and efficiency can be found in Australia, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Closer to home, Hall Longmore has also been responsible for assisting in countless

“Hall Longmore’s Wadesville manufacturing facility holds the distinction of being the only facility of its kind in South Africa” 190 | BE africa

Hall Longmore

The Wadeville manufacturing facility is the only facility of its kind in South Africa

developments across Designed to transport petrol, diesel and jet fuel, Southern Africa. From water the NMPP replaces the pipelines and fuel lines to existing 40-year old 350 onshore and offshore oil, gas millimet re dia meter and petrochemical lines, the development of the region multi-products pipeline. has been indelibly linked to It is with such a track Annual ERW welding the work of the company. record under its belt produced at Wadesville that Hall Longmore is One project it has taken now looking towards the considerable pride in bringing to fruition was the manufacture future, with expansion plans due to be and supply of 720 kilometres of steel pipe based around its results over the coming for Transnet’s Durban to Johannesburg financial year. New Multi-Products Pipeline (NMPP). Manufactured from X65 steel with low For more information about sulphur content, the specification called Hall Longmore visit: for the pipes to be coated with a high performance, three-layer external coating.

120,000 tonnes

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In the pipeline 192 | BE africa

IQS International

A new product emerging onto the world market is setting the bar much higher for pipe construction. Huachuang steel reinforced HDPE pipe can deliver significant financial and environmental savings written by: Gay Sutton research by: Marcus Lewis BE africa | 193

Sulfuric acid pipeline

IQS International


quiet revolution in technology has been emerging from China over the last few years. Huachuang steel reinforced high density polyethylene (SR HDPE) pipe has become a standard product across Asia for construction projects, oil and gas installations, mining, manufacturing, water and sewerage applications—in fact anywhere where fluids and gases need transporting from A to B. Because of its unique structure and design, it is lighter and more durable than either traditional steel pipe or HDPE pipe. It is quicker and easier to handle and install, significantly cheaper than the traditional alternatives and has the added benefit of having a much smaller impact on the environment. So what is special about Huachuang SR HDPE pipe? “It’s a new kind of high density polyethylene pipe which is reinforced by a steel wire mesh skeleton,” explains Alan Stothard, managing director of IQS International, the company that is introducing the product into Africa. “This combination makes the pipe far stronger than standard HDPE pipe and more flexible and corrosion-resistant than steel pipe.” Many of its inherent characteristics are far superior to those of HDPE or steel pipe. The product complies with the South African SANS 370 and 371 standard for steel mesh reinforced polyethylene (PE) pipes and fittings for water supply. This is the only product currently able to meet these rigorous standards. Exhaustive testing demonstrates a product range which performs perfectly at

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Sulfuric acid pipeline for copper mining

10 bar working pressure, has a maximum operating pressure of 40 bar and a safety factor up to 120 bar depending on pipe diameter. It has excellent anti-corrosion and anti-abrasion characteristics and does not warp out of shape in extreme temperatures ranging from -20 to 80oC. This versatility and durability make it eminently suitable for even the most challenging applications and it’s already proving its worth carrying

sulphuric acid in China, sulphuric acid for copper processing in the Democratic Republic of Congo and transporting highly abrasive ore slurry in the mining sector. It is, however, the sheer ease of handling and installation combined with its low cost and good environmental performance that makes this the product of choice in so many projects in Asia and Africa. “The steel reinforcement gives the product its strength.

“SR HDPE pipe is a new kind of high density polyethylene pipe which is reinforced by a steel wire mesh skeleton” 196 | BE africa

IQS International

Oil and water separator

Alkali pipeline

This in turn enables the labour intensive and energy manufacturers to reduce the hungry. “We use electrofusion coupling to bond pipe wall thickness and save on raw material of HDPE, segments of pipe together,” reducing the weight of the Stothard continues. “The Length of Hauchuang product so that it can be two sections of pipe are pipe used in Terminal handled much more easily pulled together inside the 3 extension to Beijing coupling, which is then and quickly.” Capital International Th e cost a nd programmed automatically Airport environmental benefits using a barcode system. flow directly from this. It heats the joint to the Transporting significantly lighter loads required temperature and then releases it reduces fuel consumption while handling after about 20 minutes for example for the the pipe in transit and on site requires 400ND pipe, when the bond is complete. significant less craneage, time and labour. That’s a great time, energy and labour Installing and joining sections of pipe is saving over standard HDPE which requires very different with SR HDPE. Steel pipe, a heavy portable bonding machine that for example, requires welding which is heats both segments of pipe and has to be


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moved out of the way before the segments can be pulled together and held until the bond is formed. This complete process can take up to two hours.” The bonding process with SR HDPE can also be carried out quickly in-situ at height, whereas conventional steel or HDPE pipe is bonded and tested before being manoeuvred into its final position. “The actual joint area with SR HDPE can

be up to 300mm of reinforced joint, which is much greater than the 10mm butt joint on a standard HDPE pipe, and doesn’t require non-destructive testing on each joint. We simply do a pressure test on the pipe at the end of installation.” Some of the biggest benefits of SR HDPE over steel piping are linked to its anticorrosion and anti-abrasion properties. Steel piping requires corrosion protection,

“Huachuang is the largest manufacturer of SR HDPE pipe in China and in the world with almost 80 per cent of the market share”

Brine pipeline

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IQS International

Phosphorous acid pipeline

which can take a week to apply depending on the situation in which it is going to operate. This is costly, time consuming and has environmental implications. The inner wall of a steel pipe is also far rougher than HDPE and either needs lining to reduce wear and erosion, or the piping system life can be extended by using thicker wall pipe. With SR HDPE the smooth inner wall enhances flow, and the stronger structure can withstand higher pressure compared with that of the standard HDPE pipe. It can result in a fewer number of pumping stations being required. “So we can achieve better equipment, power, labour and maintenance efficiency,” confirms Stothard. Developed and produced in China by

Huachuang Tianyuan, part of CASIC (China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation), the pipe is manufactured continuously on an automated extrusion line. “At any one time there is at least five kilometres of each size of pipe available in stock,” Stothard says. And this can be delivered to customers in the growing African market within five weeks of receipt of order. In Asia, the Huachuang brand pipe is in use in many prestigious industrial and civil developments. The vast Terminal 3 extension to Beijing Capital International Airport, built for the 2008 Olympic Games, incorporates about 100 kilometres of Hauchuang pipe. The product supplies water to the population of more than 20

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Tailings pipeline

IQS International cities in China and is now used for the same purpose in Sumatra. It’s widely in used in new mining applications, carrying water, ore pulp and chemicals, and can be seen in the nickel mines of Burma and those of the Jin Chuan Group in China, and in the salt mines of the Chong Qing municipality, and a very large beer plant in Angola. In the oil and gas industry the Chinese petroleum company Sinopec uses it for long distance gas and chemical piping, oil collection, and oil and water separation, as well as for municipal gas supply in over 20 cities. At the moment, IQS is the authorised representative for Huachuang SR HDPE in southern Africa, and its offices can be found in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Namibia and Botswana. This footprint will soon be extended to include Tanzania and Mozambique, and the company is exploring the possibilities in Ghana and further afield. Of course, should the market take off in Africa as it has in Asia, there will be a great demand for the pipe. “Huachuang is the largest manufacturer of SR HDPE pipe in China and in the world with almost 80 per cent of the market share. With a large yearly output capability of 3,000 kilometres of differentsized pipes, Huachuang is well-prepared for market growth and to meet the potential demand from all over the world,” Stothard concludes. For more information about IQS International visit: |

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Foam at fifty Africa’s largest manufacturer of polyurethane foam products has been very busy extending its products, markets and technology— and supporting new businesses as part of its growth strategy written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Paul Bradley

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Vitafoam is the largest supplier of flexible foam products to the Nigerian market



itafoam is 50 this year, are health conscious; and finally ‘Leisure’, but showing no sign of designed to address the outdoor and leisure middle age as it drives needs of the young at heart. Lately it forward the introduction introduced into the Nigerian market innerof new technologies and core spring mattresses, packaged beds, manufacturing methods and brings to West duvets and bed spreads (fitted and plain African consumers the international levels sheets), thereby offering the consumer a of service they desire today. The company total solution for a comfortable sleep. was founded in 1962, listed on the Nigerian The majority of Nigerians today sleep Stock Exchange in 1978, and has become on Vitafoam mattresses, says Vitafoam’s established as by far the largest supplier CEO Bamidele Makanjuola, but demand is of flexible foam products to the Nigerian shifting towards the kind of internal coil market—itself the largest in Africa with a spring mattresses that are almost universal in population of over 160 million North America and Europe. people. But there’s hardly In 2011 Vitafoam built an space here to talk in detail extension to its Ikeja plant about Vitafoam’s dominance and equipped it with statein the high quality flexible of-the-art spring making foam products manufactured machinery from Manchester from four factory locations in the UK and became the at Ikeja, Lagos in the southfirst manufacturer of spring Population of Nigeria west; Aba in the south-east; mattresses in the West African region, marketing Kano in the north-west; and Jos in the north-east of Nigeria. Suffice to them under the Vita Spring brand. Vita say that the company is universally known Spring Flex and Vita Spring Firm are often for its mattresses, fibre pillows, upholstery demanded by top brand hotels. sheetings, reconstituted foam for orthopaedic This has been a great success, he says. Until mattresses and lifestyle products. now spring mattresses had to be imported, Vitafoam’s vast array of quality products but Vita Spring brings them within the have been grouped under four segments: reach of average income consumers for the ‘Early Days’, which caters for nursing first time. “We aim to lead the market to the mothers, babies and children before the standard enjoyed in the rest of the world. teenage years; ‘Lifestyle’, a trend-changing Our intention over the next three years is and innovative category with products that to expand production and marketing so that reflect modern tastes in the household; Nigerians will acquire the taste for them, ‘Premium Health’, which focuses on the and up to 80 per cent of the mattresses we provision of products that cater for the sell will be spring mattresses.” upwardly mobile and ageing class who The new products still have foam elements



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VITAFOAM Vitafoam was theincididunt facility set up in tempor ut labore Lorem ipsum dolor ‘sandwiching’ the foam and 2009 to process polyester sit inner-core amet, consectetur et dolore magna aliqua. Ut the spring, but fibre andminim manufacture adipisicing enim ad veniam, the amount ofelit, foamsed useddo is quis nostrudproducts exercitation eiusmod tempormaking incididunt vastly reduced, the downstream from ullamco nisi is uta ut labore et dolore whole product muchmagna more it. Also inlaboris Ikeja, this aliquip ex ea commodo aliqua. Ut enim minim separate factory and since sustainable. “The ad reduction consequat. Duis aute irure veniam, nostrud of CFCs andquis other chemicals the process is quite different dolor foam in reprehenderit exercitation ulla mco is one of our key drivers. It is from production, in it voluptate cillum laboris nisi ut aliquip ex an environmentally friendly was set up velit underesse a separate dolore euVitablom fugiat Nigeria nulla ea commodo consequat. process, and the cost of company, pariatur.80Excepteur sint Duis aute is irure dolor too in The Early Days range ownership cheaper Limited, per cent owned occaecat cupidatat reprehenderit in voluptate is for a caption this is a caption by because the spring mattress This Vitafoam. “Almostnon all caters children proident, sunt in culpa qui velit much esse longer.” cillum dolore lasts Vitablom’s production of euThe fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur officia deserunt mollit id est laborum spring mattress facility is just sint the hollow siliconised fibreanim pillows, duvets and occaecat cupidatat nononproident, sunt in cushions Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur latest expansion to come stream following is sold alongside our Vitafoam qui officia anim of id product adipisicing elit,We sed eiusmod aculpa N2 billion ($120deserunt million) mollit programme range. aredoselling fibre tempor pillows est laborum.over Lorem dolor sit amet, incididunt ut labore dolore investment theipsum last five years. One all over Nigeria now,et and into magna Ghana,aliqua. which of the principal fruits elit, of that consectetur adipisicing sed investment do eiusmod is Utone enim ad major minimexport veniam, quis and nostrud of our markets, also

INSIGHT COMMUNICATIONS Insight is an award-winning marketing communications agency based in Lagos that believes in creatively turning knowledge into value for businesses. Founded in 1980, the agency proffers integrated marketing solutions to clients, working closely with organisations to bring to life product innovation ideas, developing marketing strategies and designing marketentry plans for brands looking to launch into Africa’s largest market. Insight is responsible for strategic planning, market identification and segmentation, product development, positioning, branding, and creating advertising for some of Nigeria’s leading brands and multinationals including

Jimi Awosika, CEO Insight, receives the 2012 Golden Europe Award for Quality and Commercial Prestige

Heineken, MTN, Flour Mills, PepsiCo, Cadbury Foods and Vitafoam. Insight is part of Grey Global Group and WPP—a world leader in advertising and marketing services. t: 0700-INSIGHT e: w:

AUGUST 2012| 207 |2 BE africa

“We aim to lead the market to the standard enjoyed in the rest of the world” to Sierra Leone.” With a population of about 5.5 million Sierra Leone is a fast growing economy based on its mineral resources, and is now rebuilding its economy 10 years after the end of a civil war that destroyed most of the country’s infrastructure. Vitafoam’s plan to establish a flexible foam and fibre pillow processing plant there is at an advanced stage of preparation, says Makanjuola. “We

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secured a $2.8 million loan from the World Bank subsidiary International Finance Corporation (IFC)—its first investment in Sierra Leone’s manufacturing industry since the civil war ended—to set up this factory. We were able to convince the IFC that the project is viable and we are hoping the factory in Sierra Leone will upgrade industrial activity and add to the living standards of the average Sierra


High quality flexible foam products are manufactured in four factory locations

Leonean.” Vitafoam will retain a 60 per cent controlling interest in the project with local investors picking up the remaining equity, he says. Construction at the site, 15 miles east of Freetown, started earlier this year, and first production there will be expected in March 2013, he says. Back in Nigeria, Vitafoam is introducing big changes to the way Nigerians furnish their houses, not just through product innovation but also through the chain of Comfort Centres it is rolling out across the nation. “It is one of the ways we want to expand our market share in the country,” says Makanjuola. “We want to change the buying process of Nigerians—how they purchase foam and foam-related household items—so we aim to set up showrooms on

high streets all over the country.” Eventually every major city will have its Comfort Centre, but they are already present at six locations in the Lagos area: Warri, Ife, Abuja, Jos and Kano. Generally, the form in Nigeria is that you go to the retailer, purchase your furniture, then make your own arrangements to get it home. Comfort Centres introduced the concept of a one-stop-shop, where the consumer can choose from a range of related products and have them delivered free. It is a big step for retail, and is being enhanced by the addition of online purchasing through its response (call/contact) centre via its website. In July 2011 Vitafoam entered a strategic alliance with the well-known bed manufacturer Vono that brought together

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VITAFOAM Vitafoam the largest volumes Vitafoam article leading text to Vitafoam article text to for go two of the nation’s some Vitafoam time to come, go here.. Vitafoam article here.. articlerigid text players in the beddings and polyurethane foam, text to goindustry. here.. Vitafoam to go here.. Vitafoam articlea furniture Vitafoam closely allied technology, article text to go of here.. text to go here.. Vitafoam acquired a quarter the yields text higher margins. Vitafoam text rival, to go article to go here.. equity in article its former Vitafoam article text to go and access to itsarticle powerful here.. Vitafoam text Chiefly used for insulation, brand. TheVitafoam synergyarticle was to go here.. here.. Vitafoam article text whether in buildings for apparent, Makanjuola heat and Vitafoam soundproofing text to go here.. Vitafoam to go here.. article or for cladding article here.. text to pipework go here.. Vitafoam observes:text Vonotohasgosuperior in industrial applications, Vitafoam to go article text to go here.. capabilityarticle in thetext area of especiallyarticle the oiltext andtogas Vitafoam go furniture-making while here.. Vitafoam article text Customers can choose from Vitafoam the largest to go here..has Vitafoam article This is aofcaption this is a caption here.. Vitafoam text industry. All thearticle rigid foam a range products foamtomanufacturing and text go here.. Vitafoam to goin here.. Vitafoam article used Nigeria was imported article text tonetwork, go here..which Vitafoam text text to Vitafoam go here.. Vitafoam article Nigeria text to distribution will article vastly help before set up Vitapur to go here.. Vitafoam article text to go here.. go Vitafoam article text tospecialises go here.. Vono to deliver its products in and outside Limited 2009. The company the country—and in particular through the Vitafoam Vitafoam article text to go here.. Vitafoam article text go here.. Vitafoam in polyurethane and to polyisocyanate rigid growing network of Comfort Centres. article text to go here.. Vitafoam article text article text to go“Rigid here.. Vitafoam text foam products. foam wasarticle a natural to While go here..flexible Vitafoam article textamount to go here.. go here.. article text toheavily go here.. foam will for to move for us,Vitafoam and we are investing in

LAGETRONIX Lagetronix, your information technology company, was founded in 1993 by a group of experienced and innovative information technology professionals. Our corporate objective is to provide our customers with cutting edge technology, proven performance, knowledgeable advice, and prompt, courteous service, all with the aim of allowing you to reap the best from your investment. In less than one year of operations, Lagetronix has enlisted many high profile clients among which is Vitafoam Nig Plc. We offer a range of innovative products and services in various facets of the information technology and power industry. Our value propositions are: SAGE ERP X3; Norming; human resource management; School

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it. There’s a large market for these products in general construction, insulation panels for portakabins and agricultural buildings like chicken houses as well as cold stores for the food and foodservice industries.” He is expecting great things from Vitapur as its capacity as the only manufacturer in West Africa is recognised. Meanwhile he is advancing with deliberation into this very technical market, hiring expertise from abroad to train and support the local staff. In time Vitapur hopes to have the confidence to tackle large pipe insulation projects for Nigeria’s oil and gas industry: to this end it has signed partnership agreements with two specialist Italian gas and oil pipeline insulation companies. These are all exciting projects, but undoubtedly the most visionary strategy from Vitafoam is the seed capital it is putting into feeder industries that complement its core foam offering. We have seen a taster in the setting up of Vitablom; however Makanjuola wants to see no fewer than 20 independent associate companies set up across Nigeria by 2015. “We could manufacture a more diverse range of products under our own umbrella of course, but we would prefer to finance a number of SMEs to manufacture products for our

Comfort Centres and distributor chain pan Nigeria.” Nigeria, he says, contains a pool of would-be entrepreneurs held back by lack of capital and the reluctance of banks to support them. Vitafoam is keen to make its resources available to suitable individuals or groups. The success of Vitablom was encouraging. Another venture called Vitavisco was incorporated very recently to manufacture

“Rigid foam was a natural move for us, and we are investing heavily in it. There’s a large market for these products” 212 | BE africa


Reflecting modern tastes

moulded seats for office boost to the private sector, furniture, pillows, special Vitafoam will benefit if these neck supports and the like ventures are successful. Its from viscoelastic foam. equity holding will secure a further revenue stream, This is a specialised product Vitafoam’s stake in and every additional marketed as ‘memory Vitablom Nigeria product will add to the foam’—it is pressure sensitive Comfort Centres’ range. and moulds itself to the For consumers, Nigeriabody. A third company will be established in a different manufactured products will part of Nigeria by the middle of next year. be available without the delay and inflated Investors have already been identified, and price of imported goods: it’s a three-way win the plan is to manufacture shoe soles. “There situation, according to Makanjuola. are so many opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and the difficulty they have For more information about in accessing funding. This means that our Vitafoam visit: scheme is very attractive to them.” While the scheme will be an undoubted


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UAC Foods

Food for thought Dr Tawanda Mushuku, managing director of UAC Foods, is putting in place a firm strategy for creating a world class manufacturing, sales and marketing business in Nigeria written by: Gay Sutton research by: Paul Bradley

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roviding the most densely populated country in Africa with an exciting, appetising and nourishing array of snack foods, ice creams and beverages is the work of UAC Foods, which can trace its roots back to the United African Company, established in 1874 before Nigeria emerged as a nation. It is a large company employing over 1,000 people and produces brands that are household names the length and breadth of Nigeria, including Snaps, Funtime, Gala, Supreme and Swan. UAC Foods carries forward the acronym of the original company, yet it is an exciting new joint venture formed in January 2011 between UAC of Nigeria and Tiger Brands of South Africa, its shareholding split 51 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. The vision behind the joint venture is to bring together the strong product portfolio, manufacturing and marketing capacity of UAC Nigeria and combine it with the technical and business expertise of Tiger Brands, to create a vigorous new company capable of moving forward to world class status and supporting the unprecedented growth and change in the marketplace. The Nigerian economy has been growing on average by nearly seven per cent per annum from 2005 to 2012 and its population by some 2.5 per cent year-on-year. As part of the joint venture agreement, Dr Tawanda Mushuku was seconded from Tiger Brands to head up the new company as its managing director. “We didn’t come into Nigeria for what it is, we came into it for what it could be,” he says. “We have strong brands here

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The company manufactures baked maize snacks

UAC Foods

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UAC Foods in Nigeria, into which we BevPak (Nigeria) Limited will bring innovation and BevPak (Nigeria) Limited was established in 2008, and renovation. Our vision is to has rapidly become recognised as a leading supplier of PET grow this business to even preforms in West Africa and beyond. greater heights.” BevPak specialises in advanced technology and superior The strategy for achieving technical support. Its multilayer technology facilitates this vision has three PET’s use in non-traditional PET applications such as beer. Bevpak offers a range of technical support services for major elements: bringing customers with difficult applications. in technical expertise as a foundation for business improvement; leveraging the partnership with Tiger Brands to make use of its knowledge, experience and existing brands; and finally to create a strong skills base through extensive training. These changes are already well underway. Mushuku is using a standard Tiger Brands approach to improvement which the company uses when entering into a new market. “We give this the acronym FOG, which is around fixing what we find, optimising it and then growing the business,” he explains. Although this is a long term process, progress has already been achieved across all elements of the business. The three product lines—snacks, beverages and ice cream—are manufactured in Nigeria in three well established manufacturing facilities. Since taking over, Mushuku has begun to improve efficiency Soft drinks form part of the product range

“We have been sending our staff for training in South Africa, and we are also bringing some of the trainers to us in Nigeria” BE africa | 219

inspired Your weekly digest of business news and views

Fruithill Foods delivers quality services in maintenance, importation and installation of catering, food processing, packaging and preservation equipment. Fruithill Foods is the sole representative of fatosa meat processing machines in Nigeria.

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and reliability by implementing standard maintenance procedures: bringing in the original equipment manufacturers for scheduled maintenance. In parallel with this, old and obsolete equipment is being progressively replaced. A number of activity tools are also being implemented on the shop floor to increase productivity. “We are looking at process optimisation, installing automation where it actually makes sense, and right-sizing the operation.� All of this centres on establishing best practice across all disciplines of the organisation, from manufacturing and supply chain through to sales, marketing and administration. From the very beginning, Mushuku introduced new recruitment practices and a clear training strategy that

UAC Foods

The company manufactures high-quality ice cream

takes advantage of the strong link with Tiger Brands. “We have training programmes running in Tiger Brands South Africa across various disciplines, so we have been sending our staff for training in South Africa, and we are also bringing some of the trainers to us in Nigeria,” he explains. “At the moment we are establishing the basics and putting in place all the procedures, processes and standards that we need.”

The supply chain and distribution arms of the company are also set to benefit from synergies with Tiger Brands. From the procurement perspective, the company is currently looking at global sourcing opportunities through contacts in South Africa. It is bringing in the necessary knowledge and expertise from Tiger Brands to help improve distribution in Nigeria, particularly for frozen products. “We have

“Understanding what drives the business environment is critical if we are to accurately define our product portfolio” BE africa | 221

Manufacturing equipment

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UAC Foods

“We believe the future is going to be from formalised retail outlets, so we will be working closely with them” also been playing with a number of options for logistics. Most of the infrastructure in Nigeria is quite poor, so running our own fleet of trucks creates challenges, particularly around security. Most of our transport is currently outsourced. And we are thinking that our future will also be in outsourcing that aspect of the business.” From the sales and marketing perspective, the last 18 months has also been a period of significant change. “We have established a robust innovation agenda which is underpinned by clear segmentation models that we have introduced as a toolkit in marketing,” he explains. The company has launched a ‘brand health check’: a marketing and customer care questionnaire that is used as standard within Tiger Brands. It tracks the health of the brand by establishing customer needs, the extent to which the existing brands satisfy those needs, and then examines changing consumption patterns and requirements. “Understanding what drives the business environment is critical if we are to accurately define our product portfolio,” he says. “So the principle behind this is that we focus on channel development and brand availability for a selective channel.” The company is also working closely with one of South Africa’s biggest retail chains,

ShopRite, which is currently investing in expanding its footprint in Nigeria. “We believe the future is going to be from formalised retail outlets, so we will be working closely with them to make our products available to their outlets.” Looking further into the future, Tiger Brands has an extensive portfolio of products in South Africa that may become relevant to the Nigerian market and can be introduced if appropriate. “If we can build critical mass, we will then look to introduce production into this country to complement our current portfolio here,” Mushuku says. The UAC Foods joint venture looks set to bring tremendous benefits to UAC Nigeria in terms of technical and business expertise which can be shared across the group, while for Tiger Brands it creates a smooth and relatively risk-free route for entering this rapidly expanding marketplace. “This is a huge market,” Mushuku concludes, “and most of the growth here will be organic. So it’s all about achieving economies of scale. This will be a volume driven business.” For more information about UAC Foods visit:

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