2013 ISSUE 12
Siya Kolisi SA Rugby’s man of the moment
Spar Zambia 10 years and counting
Superway Construction Driving construction forward
Buhle Waste Revolutionising waste management
The Best Yet Again Foskor President and CEO, Alfred Pitse, tells IndustrySA more about the company’s internal investment after it was, for the second year in a row, certified as one of the country’s best employers.
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EDITORIAL EDITOR Joe Forshaw SUB EDITOR Lauren Grey WRITERS Colin Renton Tim Hands Roland Douglas Christian Jordan RESEARCH DIRECTOR Chris Bolderstone PROJECT MANAGERS Hal Hutchison James Clark Tom Cullum Phil Bird ADVERTISING SALES SALES DIRECTOR Andy Williams SALES MANAGER Daniel Marshall SALES EXECUTIVE Holly Graham SALES EXECUTIVE Mark Leonard STUDIO STUDIO DIRECTOR Martyn Oakley LEAD DESIGNER Dom Thorby OFFICE MANAGER Tricia Plane ACCOUNTS Mike Molloy, Jane Reeder ECP LTD MANAGING DIRECTOR David Hodgson echnically engineered fabrics OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Chris Bolderstone FINANCE DIRECTOR Scott Warman Ferndale Business Centre, 1 Exeter Street, Norwich, NR2 4QB If you would like more information about ways in which IndustrySA can promote your business please call +44 1603 618000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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ment in the markets
Welcome to the twelth issue... There has been a lot to feel down about recently with the passing of former Chief Justice Pius Langa, the continued ailment of Nelson Mandela and the tragic death of Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Nkosiphendule Kolisile. But asides from these issues and all of the other difficulties on-going in the country, August is a month to celebrate. The country has successfully opened the World Transplant Games in Durban with over 1800 athletes from 50 countries and a host of international media flocking to the week-long tournament being staged at various locations across Durban. This competition is yet another example of the country’s ability to successfully host major global events with the eyes of the world watching. South Africa has seen continued success in sports with LeeAnne Pace winning the Spanish Open, Lucas Sithole winning the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championship, Bafana winning bronze in the Cosafa Cup and the Springbok Sevens among the favourites for Gold at the World Games in Colombia. All of these examples are proof of the country’s determination to succeed and willingness to aim high. In business, we have seen major investments announced for Johannesburg (infrastructure development), Durban (Cornubia development) and Limpopo (Exxaro Power Plant) and the start of the roll out of Smart ID Cards with senior politicians the first to receive theirs. It is said that the cards will reduce identity crimes and tighten national security but critics say they are too complicated and difficult to manage. Give us your thoughts on this topic and everything business @industry_sa.
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AUG 13 PAGE 3
3 EDITOR’S PAGE Reasons to celebrate
6 NEWS All that’s happening in South Africa 10 EnTREPRENEUR A Nigerian oil magnate
12 Innovation A lifesaving South African product 14 Destination Director Offshore adventures 18 Siya Kolisi A Hard-hitting Audi Ambassador
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20 Foskor Setting the standard in manufacturing
32 Superway Construction
70 Buhle Waste Testing revolutionary waste management technology
Following the road to success
40 gst/Seton AutoLeather
Looking to become the recognised industry leader
It’s what’s on the inside that counts
46 Alnet 50 years of successful manufacturing
52 Jackson Transport Keeping your produce cold
60 Zimbabwe Power Company Powering Zimbabwe into the future?
84 Realty1 Local and national property experts 88 Spar Zambia Celebrating ten years in business
98 Industry Recommended This month’s showcased organisations
AUG 13 PAGE 5
NEWS All that’s happening in South Africa
Four Seasons luxury for SA and Africa The internationally recognised luxury hotel chain, Four Seasons, has marked its entry into the South African market with the signing of a long-term management agreement with the Westcliff Hotel in Johannesburg. The opening of the Four Seasons Westcliff will mark the group’s second property in Africa, following the opening of the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania last year. The hotel is currently undergoing renovation and refurbishment and is set to re-open as ‘The Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg’ in the second quarter of 2014. The renovations are being overseen by the original architects, RSL Architects, to ensure that the original design is respected. Upgrades will include an expanded outdoor terrace, a new spa, a new outdoor pool and fitness centre and a special new restaurant and bar designed by United Kingdom design firm Blacksheep. “Having a property in Johannesburg - the gateway to the whole of southern Africa - is essential as we explore opportunities for growth in South Africa and across the continent,” executive vice president of worldwide development for Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Scott Woroch, said recently. “Africa’s economic growth, improved stability and ease of travel have made the continent increasingly attractive to luxury travellers and Four Seasons.
“Recognising the property’s prominent location within the city and neighbourhood, Four Seasons and the property’s owners will work closely with local consultants to ensure the design aesthetic of the property is preserved. “With our recently established development office in Dubai, we plan to be much more active in Africa, pursuing both new build developments and conversion opportunities such as the Westcliff and Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti, which opened last year. “We are certain that Four Seasons Hotel Westcliff Johannesburg will soon take its place among the world’s best,” Woroch added. Evidence of the continued rise in the luxury travel market in Africa was further demonstrated recently when six South African hotels were named on US magazine Travel + Leisure’s 50 World’s Best Hotels list. Three of the hotels ranked in the top 10 giving the companies reason to celebrate. The Singita Kruger National Park, on South Africa’s border with Mozambique, ranked at number three with its partner, the Sabi Sand, also located within the greater boundaries of the Kruger National Park, coming in at number ten. The Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve came in at number nine and The Cape Grace in Cape Town was ranked 26th. Lastly, the Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa, a 200-year-old manse in the posh Sandhurst suburbs of Johannesburg, ranked at number 50.
Photo - www.saxon.co.za
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Gas power plant inauguration in Free State Africa’s largest power plant running exclusively on gas engines, and the first of its kind in South Africa, was inaugurated at the Sasolburg, Free State site of petrochemicals company Sasol last month. The 140 MW produced by the plant will be used by Sasol’s adjacent chemicals factory, with about half of the production being fed into South Africa’s national grid. Sasol say that the plant, which has consistently been producing above its operating capacity at 152 MW since commissioning in December 2012, will allow the company to generate 60% of its own power capacity, easing its reliance on the country’s grid. The company’s use of the plant will also have an impact on the environment, reportedly enabling Sasol to eventually reduce its CO2 emissions by a further one-million tonnes per annum. “This plant is a significant milestone for Sasol, as we begin to ease our load on the national grid and contribute to our own energy efficiency targets,” Sasol Senior Group Executive Lean Strauss said in July. The plant has already drawn significant praise for
finishing three months ahead of schedule and almost 20% below budget, with 500 jobs created during construction and 44 permanent jobs created in Sasolburg. “This is a very successful project for Sasol New Energy, below budget and ahead of schedule,” said Sasol New Energy MD Henri Loubser. According to Sasol, gas-powered plants require less time to build and install, taking between 20 to 30 months, opposed to the 40 to 50 months required for a coal-power plant and 60 to 80 months for a nuclear plant. Sasol’s new power plant is being operated and maintained by Finnish energy company Wartsila, which built and installed the plant’s gas engines, under a three-year agreement which includes the training of Sasol New Energy staff members. Wartsila, along with Sasol and Mozambican state power company Electricidade de Moçambique, are also involved in the construction of a similar gas-fuelled power plant in Ressano Garcia in Mozambique. Sasol said this project was on schedule to start generating electricity as early as the second quarter of 2014.
Photo - Sasol
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NEWS All that’s happening in South Africa
Absa service needs of Islamic customers South African bank, Absa has launched the world’s first Shari’ah compliant banking solution to service the needs of its Islamic banking customers. The Islamic cheque value bundle will offer customers a package of transactions and services for a flat monthly fee with cash-back rewards. Head of retail banking at Absa, Arrie Rautenbach says that the Islamic cheque value bundle offering will be the first Shari’ah compliant product of its kind to be marketed in the world. “With the value bundles rebate customers can enjoy monthly savings of up to 70% of their monthly fees depending on the type of account they hold and the number of eligible products they have with us” Rautenbach said in a statement. The Islamic value bundle follows the launch of Absa’s conventional value bundles package in 2012, which was awarded the best value transactional option from South African banks in the annual 2012 Finweek survey of bank fees. The value bundle will offer benefits on Absa’s Rewards programme; allowing customers to earn up to 1% in cash back rewards on all qualifying Absa debit, cheque and credit card purchases. Additional cash rewards are available when members use
their Absa card when shopping at any of the Absa Rewards partners. “Absa Rewards members could build up even more uncapped cash rewards on debit, credit and cheque card spend with the value bundles offering, where customers can earn up to 1% of their spend on any card, regardless of how much they spend,” Rautenbach said. According to Absa, customers with the new Islamic cheque value bundle will receive a free Absa Rewards subscription for one year, free bank switching assistance, cash rebates for taking up several other eligible products and a discount on the monthly fee for keeping a set positive balance. Rautenbach says that the bank has identified the needs of its Islamic customers, which aren’t that different from other customers. “We understand that customers who seek Shar’iahcompliant banking solutions have essentially the same banking requirements as other customers, and our solutions are developed to ensure they are able to manage their personal finances with ease, freedom and flexibility.” “By allowing us the ability to offer these great savings to an interest-free banking model, this offering ensures that Absa Islamic Banking customers’ needs are put first,” he said.
SA’s Sasol in expansion deal with Burger King Global fast-food company Burger King, which opened its first South African restaurant in May, has signed an agreement with Sasol to open restaurants at its petrol-station forecourts. The deal, which will see both sit-down and takeaway services at fuel stations countrywide, includes companyowned outlets as well as franchising opportunities to current and potential Sasol franchisees. Joe Cil, Burger King President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says that the deal will allow the brand to reach more customers and position it ‘across new channels’. “The agreement with Sasol allows us to position our brand across new channels and therefore expand our number of guests and restaurants in South Africa, as well as offering a new way of enjoying our products to clients across the country,” he said in a statement in July. According to Burger King South Africa CEO, Jaye
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Sinclair the deal also supports the company’s expansion plans, “Partnering with Sasol supports our rapid expansion plans and will enable us to increase our growth potential in South Africa in the next few years.” Burger King opened its first South African restaurant in Cape Town in May this year and was formed as a joint venture between Burger King Worldwide and Western Cape-based gaming and leisure firm Grand Parade Investments. The restaurants are set to be rolled-out across the country towards the end of 2013, which Sinclair says will ‘further enhance’ Burger King’s job creation initiative. Sasol also see the agreement as an opportunity to expand its footprint across South Africa, as Alan Cameron, Sasol Oil managing director explains, “Partnering with Burger King, one of the leading quick service restaurant (QSR) brands, is in line with our strategic vision and will allow us to expand our retail
NEWS footprint in South Africa.” “This collaboration will allow two leading brands to leverage each other’s strengths and capabilities.” Burger King is the second-largest hamburger chain in the world and the original “Home of the Whopper”, operating in more than 12,600 locations worldwide, serving an estimated 11 million customers daily in 83 countries.
According to Cil, the local South African market is extremely competitive but the fast-food chain is at a distinct advantage because of its flame-grilled products
and customer service. “Taste, service and cleanliness are key attributes of our business and we think that sets us apart from the rest,” the Burger King President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa said earlier this year. “We have strong plans for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.… Our next frontier as a brand and as a company is here in Africa. We’re just getting started and the growth potential in Africa as a whole is massive,” he said.
Zuma names Smart ID printers after heroines President Jacob Zuma says that the country’s new smart ID cards will provide a sense of citizenship and belonging to all South Africans. Speaking at the Government Printing Works in Pretoria, Zuma announced that the machines printing the new ID cards were to be named after the four women who led the 1956 Women’s March. “This gesture is intended to further immortalise their contribution to the struggle for liberation and of building a better South Africa, which is home to all who live in it, black and white.” “We are thus truly pleased that this Government Printing Works now houses important equipment named after our heroines and leaders; Sophie de Bruyn, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa.” Zuma also said that the women of today could learn from the women of 1956 who marched to the Union Buildings in protest against apartheid’s pass laws. “The pass laws dictated where people should live, where they should work, where their children could go to school, based on the colour of their skin. Carrying a pass then was an insult and an affront to the dignity of our people,” he said. “Given the important role of women in the struggle against pass laws in this country, it is befitting that we name machines printing identity documents after stalwarts who fought for justice, human rights and dignity for all.” According to the Department of Home Affairs, the smart ID cards will be rolled-out across South Africa over a number of years, and the department’s offices are currently being fitted with the technology necessary to process the cards. The cards contain microchips embedded with biometric data unique to each individual, and with the information laser-engraved on the chip to prevent
tampering, the Department says they will be near impossible to forge. Besides cutting down on identity theft and fraud, the smart IDs will speed up the process of establishing a modern, reliable population register. The cost of the new IDs will be the same as the amount paid for the green bar-coded IDs, which currently cost R140, but will be free for first-time applicants. Citizens will also be able to use the new ID cards to vote, starting with next year’s elections, to which Zuma urged those without identity documents to apply, “By the time you vote next year, you must be a smart South African,” he said.
Photo - GCIS
AUG 13 PAGE 9
Building Africa’s first oil major By: Joe Forshaw Wale Tinubu is famous for his spectacular business acumen. He has shown the drive of an entrepreneur throughout his entire life. His story of success in law and the energy industry has seen him work throughout the world and it all started for him in his father’s garage in Nigeria…
Our man in the limelight this month has an abundance of that fearless, entrepreneurial spirit that you need to move to the highest levels of business. On his road to success he has overcome many different challenges and learnt the value of good people. His sector, the energy market, has historically been dominated by a handful of notorious ‘big name players’ so his success is even more special. The man in question is Jubril Adewale Tinubu or Wale. Wale is the group CEO of Oando, Africa’s leading indigenous energy solutions provider listed on the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges. Oando is a Nigerian based company supplying services to all sectors of the energy market and it has a market capitalisation of $1 billion. The company is the first to have a dual listing on both the Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges and Wale is now a world renowned business leader. Where did it all start for the oil mogul? In his early life, Wale had the ambition of following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a lawyer. He left Nigeria at 16 to study at Liverpool University in England and during his time as a student he began to build a talent for deal making. He would
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use his school fees to travel across Europe, buying luxury cars and selling them for a profit on the way back. This tactic earned Wale good money and following his graduation from Liverpool, he earned a Master’s Degree from the London
Entrepreneur School of Economics before returning to Nigeria to work for his father’s legal firm. After a short time in law, Wale decided that he needed to start his own business and he opened his own firm in his father’s garage, with a borrowed phone and second-hand carpet, and began handling small legal jobs until he earned enough money to move into a bigger office, still in the same area. His big break came when a friend, Jite Okoloko, a future director of Oando, secured a contract from governmentowned oil company Unipetrol for the transport of diesel from a refinery to fishing trawlers in Lagos. Wale utilised another one of his close relationships to help with this project. His friend, Omamofe Boyo, also a lawyer, represented an oil firm who owned an old tanker ship, The Carolina, and Wale knew that if they could charter the ship, they could use it to transport the fuel for Unipetrol. After inspecting the vessel in terrible weather conditions and using his deal-making skills to settle a disconcerted crew, Wale clawed the money together, chartered the ship and began transporting for Unipetrol. When the bills started to pile up and debtors began to drag their feet, Wale began to struggle and made the bold decision to attempt to buy the ship. He borrowed $100,000 from a finance company and bartered for the ship. When he eventually gained ownership, business began to pick up although difficulties remained with the transfer of money. The company, now named Ocean and Oil, was growing
and eventually built a portfolio of seven ships becoming the renowned industry leader in the trading of fuel products with Wale aged barely 30. The biggest milestone in this entrepreneur’s career came in 2000 when the government decided to divest its shareholding in Unipetrol and sought a private investor to take over the shares. Wale and his team saw the potential and quickly went about setting up a bid. The BPE (Bureau of Public Enterprises) was impressed by Wale’s flair and enthusiasm and his team won the bid. There was difficulty in the early stages as many Unipetrol employees and union members thought that Wale was too inexperienced to handle a company of this size. Again, his deal making skills came into play as he settled the unions and made deals to make employees feel comfortable at work. In 2002, Unipetrol acquired a 60% stake in Agip Nigeria PLC and subsequently, Agip and Unipetrol merged in 2003 being renamed Oando. The company was now Nigeria’s largest downstream company and has since grown to undertake activities across the whole spectrum including energy services, oil drilling, gas pipe laying and energy distribution to name a few. The company now has offices in Lagos, Johannesburg, London, Abuja, Bermuda, Ghana, Benin and Togo and Wale sits at the helm, using his infectious energy to constantly drive the company forward. Impressive, for a man who started his business in a garage.
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to save lives By: Lauren Grey
Lodox Systems, situated in Sandton, Johannesburg, has recently been recognised worldwide for its contribution to the medical trauma environment. IndustrySA speaks with CEO, Pieter de Beer to find out more about the company’s life changing product…
In the past, IndustrySA has showcased a number of unique innovations designed, built and distributed within South Africa, but none with the potential to save a person’s life. The Lodox body scanner, however, is doing just that; saving people’s lives. Developed in the 1990’s for use in the diamond mines, the Lodox body scanner is a unique, full-body x-ray scanner which produces a high-quality image in just 13 seconds, whilst emitting minimal radiation to the patient. “The origins of the company have a pretty interesting story,” explains CEO, Pieter de Beer, “in the late 80’s, the diamond mines began looking for a solution to find out if there were any losses. They needed to find a quick, safe and efficient way to search the miners because physical searches were out of the question.” The engineering team at De Beers mining started with a concept of x-ray screening, but because repetitive use of x-rays are not safe for humans, they developed a unique device that emitted a very low x-ray dose whilst still producing a large, clear image at a quick speed. “This was the start of the first scanner, the De Beers Security Machine, which is still in commission today. The doctors and bio-chemical faculty at the University of Cape Town, who were also involved in the design process, suggested turning the machine into a medical device; and PAGE 12 AUG 13
that’s where Lodox started” says de Beer. After the company’s first fully-functional medical scanner, Statscan was developed; Lodox Systems broke away from De Beers and was successfully established in 2002. Since the success of its first prototype, Lodox has gone on to develop two versions of Statscan, the VE0 and VE1, one of which was recently featured in American ER drama, Grey’s Anatomy. “The Statscan was featured in Grey’s Anatomy; the difference between our machines and conventional x-ray machines is that our machines utilise Linear Slot Scanning Technology and only emit one tenth of the harmful rays given off by a traditional x-ray machine” says de Beer. “It takes only 13 seconds to do a full body scan and you get a large digital image that you can play around with. So although it’s one image, you can still focus on one part of the body; the hand, knee, elbow and the digital quality of that image is as good as any x-ray. The newest of Lodox’s full-body x-ray scanning systems is the Xmplar-dr, a digital radiography (DR) X-ray scanning system that can produce clear, diagnostic full-body X-ray images, without using stitching or retakes of any kind. The new machine offers a number of technological
“It takes only 13 seconds to do a full body scan”
advances, based on user-feedback that optimise its use and further secure its place as the ideal imaging modality for trauma and forensic pathology centres. “The Xmplar-dr was named so because it is the exemplar for high-speed, low-radiation radiography that all clinicians should aspire too, and the only device in the world that can do what it does” explains de Beer. “The Xmplar-dr has a rotating C-arm which allows images at any angle from 0° (AP) to 90° (Lateral) to be obtained; the AP scan shows the position of injuries and the Lateral scan you can see the depth of injury. For example, a bullet wound; the AP scan shows the position of the bullet, say in the chest of the patient, and the Lateral scan shows how deep it is. “To take both scans, and to have all the information on the screen, it takes a maximum of three minutes.” Due to the scanner’s function and capabilities, emergency rooms using the Xmplar-dr have had to change their emergency procedure, which de Beer says has worked extremely well. “In order to utilise the machine, hospitals need to change their emergency treatment methodology; normally when a patients is bought in, the emergency team conduct the A,B,C,D routine then scan, but with our machine we need them to scan then do the A,B,C,D procedure. For those hospitals that have adopted this
approach, it has worked extremely well.” Although the Lodox Xmplar-dr is primarily targeted at trauma units and forensic pathology centres, it is also particularly suited in paediatrics and the imaging of bariatric patients; other features include automatic weighing of patients, single-touch automatic lifting and lowering of the table and normal (220kg/440lbs) or bariatric (330kg/660lbs) weight capacity. Lodox Systems is constantly exploring new ways to improve and update its machines by utilising new technologies, and once the Xmplar-dr has finished testing in Chicago, it is sure to make a huge difference to medical facilities across the world, much like the Statscan.
Pieter de Beer
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Cruising with the best By: Christian Jordan
For your next vacation break, have you considered a cruise? Cruises have gained a tag of being the vacation of choice for the retired but with the destinations offered and on-shore excursions available; a cruise is most definitely suitable for any type of customers, as long as you have a desire for immense relaxation and luxury!
There is something about travelling by boat that sparks a certain ‘romance’ in the imagination. The historic, traditional, adventurous ideals that go with being out on open water are unlike that of air or land travel. Because of this, cruise ships have become extremely popular and in 2011 estimates suggest that over 19 million passengers were carried by some of the world’s finest cruise liners. In modern times, transportation is no longer the
Seabourn Spirit at sea. ©2011 Seabourn
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goal of a cruise and often entertainment is the primary purpose. There are now even cruises to ‘nowhere’ where a ship will sail, without any stops, for around three days and return passengers to their original port. Because we like the best and brightest here at IndustrySA, we have looked into cruise vacations and picked out three of the most impressive journeys from three of the undisputed leaders in the market; Crystal Cruises, Seabourn and Silversea Luxury Cruises.
Photo courtesy of Crystal Cruises
14 Day Caribbean Gems – Seabourn – From R48,000pp The first of our luxury cruise offerings comes from Seabourn, one of the companies known for pioneering the small-ship, ultra luxury cruise market. This offering is made up of a 14 day island-hopping experience around the tranquil, sunshine filled Caribbean. Starting out in Oranjestad, Aruba, the journey includes dockings in Curacao, the Grenadines, St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts/Nevis, St Maarten, Antigua, St Eustatius, Martinique, Bonaire and finally back in Aruba. Aboard the Seabourn Pride, one of the company’s premier vessels, you will experience ultimate luxury with a full portfolio of attractions ranging from a casino and club to a library, computer centre and gym. There are, of course, all the other amenities that you would expect; swimming pool, whirl pools, multiple restaurants, boutique shops and spa facilities and the cabins are well equipped with the Owner’s Suite resembling a New York penthouse complete with balcony and that all important fully stocked bar. There are certain points where you will be in port and have the chance to experience the Caribbean in its entirety, away from the ship. Offshore excursions include scuba diving, snorkelling, city and country tours, submarine tours and beach and natural wonder explorations. This is an exclusive offering with only 208 spots
available, catered for by 164 members of staff. The ship is 440x63 feet and made its maiden voyage in 1998. Refurbished in 2007, it now offers quality, superiority and class – all that you would expect with prices starting at nearly R50,000 per person.
All-Alluring Africa – Crystal Cruises – From R165,000 This mammoth, 21 day excursion, conveniently, starts out in Cape Town and heads straight up the western coast of Africa finishing in London, England. You will experience action, adventure, wilderness and sophistication all from your base, the Crystal Serenity. Serenity is consistently voted as one of the world’s best cruise ships. It has received numerous accolades from Condé Nast Traveller magazine and other luxury guides. On board you can expect nothing but excellence when it comes to facilities and with some packages you can even take up the services of a butler should you require. From Cape Town you will sail to Namibia followed by Angola, Bom Bom Island, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco, Portugal and Southampton, allowing for an in-depth exploration into a host of very different nations. You will spend 10 of the 21 days actually sailing up the coast of Africa, allowing for a real ocean-based feeling of
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Photo courtesy of Seabourn. ©2011 Seabourn
isolation and calmness. This is however broken up with trips onto land where you will undergo activities including helicopter flights, desert discoveries and wilderness reserve experiences, wine tastings, wildlife drives, museums, castle and cathedral tours, historical and market visits, and important cultural experiences. This really is an all-encompassing and all-alluring journey, perfect for someone looking for adventure with added extravagance.
Piraeus to Civitavecchia – Silversea – From R60,000 The Spirit is the newest vessel in the Silversea fleet. It can carry 540 passengers and 376 crew members. It sits at 642 x 86 feet and weighs in at 36,000 tons. The ship contains a vast range of facilities which promote the feeling of high-class hotel rather than ship on the ocean. A particular favourite of previous guests is the famous Asian-styled restaurant. This particular voyage will see you travel from Greece to Italy with nine stops along the way, exploring some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful and historic ports. When you leave Piraeus, you will spend a day at sea and then make various stops in Egypt, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece before arriving in Italy and stopping in PAGE 16 AUG 13
Sicily, Sorrento and eventually Civitavecchia, Rome. On-shore you will be offered unique and intimate experiences that allow you to thoroughly immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, flavours and cultures of the destinations. These historic areas are a must for any world traveller and aboard the Spirit you will be able to see them all while travelling in luxury and catching the majority of the Mediterranean’s beautiful sunshine. 95% of rooms have verandas but the best room is the Owner’s Suite, a stylish apartment with all the conveniences you could imagine. Unfortunately for most, the Owner’s Suite comes with a price tag of R185,000.
Seabourn Pride at sea. ©2011 Seabourn
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SA Rugbyâ€™s man of the moment By Joe Forshaw
Siya Kolisi has been branded as one of South African rugbyâ€™s fearless young guns. He picked up his first Bok cap in June and is now looking to build on his current success. Siya was recently selected as an Audi A3 Ambassador. The 22 year old DHL Stormers loose forward will drive the new A3 Sportback adding further glamour to what has already been a fantastic year for this rising star.
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Siya Kolisi Is your Bok appearance against Scotland the proudest moment of your career so far? All capped off with the Man of the Match award. You must have been delighted? Yes definitely. This was the best moment of my career so far; after playing against Scotland I was ecstatic. Now that you have been capped for the Boks, what is your next ambition in rugby? To have the opportunity to play for the Boks for as long as they will have me. Some have described the best parts of your game to be your ‘ball carrying’ and ‘jolting tackles’. What do you think is the strongest feature of your game? That is a difficult one; you will have to ask my team mates. How does it feel to be named as an Audi Ambassador alongside some of the country’s other top young talent? It is a real privilege. I am looking forward to getting to know them all. I met a few of them at the recent Quattro Cup and they are amazing. How is the A3 Sportback to drive? Which other Audi would you choose apart from the A3? It is such a smooth ride. All the gadgets and accessories inside are stunning. The R8 Spyder is so classy. You have been catapulted into the spotlight since coming on for Schalk Burger in 2012. Do you find it challenging to balance staying fit and match sharp with media commitments and off-field obligations? I like to spend time with family and friends in my off time so it is a challenge sometimes to not over indulge and stay trim and fit. It is my job so it has become a natural habit to eat healthily and to keep my body in the best physical condition possible. Who has been the toughest opponent you’ve played against? Jean Deysel and Ma’a Nonu Who was your sporting hero as you grew up? Joe van Niekerk and Bobby Skinstad.
You have an interesting history, what was your life like as a youngster growing up in the Eastern Cape? Although we struggled financially as a family, I never really knew that growing up as my family was so strong and supportive. My grandmother taught us to always smile in the face of adversity. How did you overcome the challenge of not speaking English when you joined Grey High School? One of my best friends still to this day, Nick Hilton, used to teach me English every day. Without his help it would have been a lot more difficult to adjust. I taught him a bit of Xhosa too. Who is your closest friend in the Stormers squad? Do you think good relationships off the pitch result in positive performances on the pitch? That’s too hard to answer as I have many close friends in the team. I think we are really lucky at the Stormers as we all get on really well off the pitch, which helps us to gel as a team on the pitch. We like to get together for forwards dinners and braais and the whole team gets on well. Away from rugby, do you like to play or follow any other sports? I don’t really have time to play any other sports but I like to watch soccer, cricket and Formula One. What is the news on the ankle injury? When can we expect to see you back on the field? I am well on the road to recovery and with these few weeks off we have now, I expect to play very soon. Finally, what advice would you give to young rugby fans who want to follow in your footsteps? How can they go on to become part of the country’s elite? Firstly, their hearts must be in it and they must be prepared to train very hard and not just during school training sessions but go after school and practice, even if on your own. Stay out of trouble and don’t let others steer you down the wrong road.
“My grandmother taught us to always smile in the face of adversity”
images © Audi South Africa AUG 13 PAGE 19
Another year, another Best Employer title for Foskor Editorial – Christian Jordan Production – Hal Hutchison
In times of recession and credit crunches, the commodity market can be a difficult place to operate. The country’s leading phosphate producer, Foskor, has found this but in these challenging times the company continues to gain international praise for its fantastic CSI and employee development schemes. President and CEO, Alfred Pitse, gives IndustrySA an insight into the company in this, its 62nd year of business.
In the past we have featured a select few companies who have managed to become certified by the CRF Institute as a BEST Employer, companies that excel in HR management and are recognised as front runners in the implementation, monitoring and communication of HR policies. Back in October we looked into the business of Foskor, the South African producer of phosphates and phosphoric acid with international exposure. The company, headquartered in Midrand but with a mining operation in Limpopo and an acid division in KwaZulu-Natal, was then celebrating being certified as a BEST Employer for the year 2011/2012. This year, the company has been recognised again, for the second year running, as a BEST Employer and this is a fantastic achievement for the company who are proving that inward investment does not go unnoticed.
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The CRF Institute, based in Holland, was founded in 1991 and is now active in over 45 countries and on five continents and the company undertakes important research into HR strategies and reinforces the role that effective HR practise can have on a business. Foskor has over 1900 employees with the majority residing in the Phalaborwa region and President and CEO, Alfred Pitse, tells IndustrySA that although the current economic climate is making business conditions challenging, the company is unwavering in its support and development of the workforce and local community. He says that working with the community is very important and this fosters development of talented staff members resulting in praise from organisations like the CRF Institute. “For many years Foskor has been involved with community projects,” he says. “We are proud of projects
like the Foskor Community Centre in Namakgale and the Foskor Primary School. We are hugely active with CSI (Corporate Social Investment), we own libraries and other facilities and we even used to own bed and breakfasts but as the company has evolved we had to dispose of some of our non-core assets as times are tough but our community involvement remains very important.” Education remains a strong focus with Foskor. Alongside the Foskor Primary School in Namakgale, the company also supports the Kingfisher Private School and Moshate Hotel School in Phalaborwa and the Ntambanana Crèche in Richards Bay. These schools are located on Foskor sites, free of charge, and the company works with the Department of Basic Education to assist with teaching aids and other development programmes. Foskor does not stop its focus on learning and development at early education. The company also
sponsors the University of Zululand’s Science Centre ensuring that Zululand’s communities have access to world-class science and technology apparatus. The company also sponsors a winter school for Grade 12 students in collaboration with the Zululand Sustainable Development Forum.
AUG 13 PAGE 21
COMPANY REPORT The company also embraces science and maths development in young people and fosters the uptake of strong programmes that encourage participation in science and maths. Alongside all of this, Foskor assists many schools with administration activities and supply’s equipment and library services to schools across KZN and Limpopo.
COMMUNITY IMPACT Because of the size of the company, Foskor is bound by law to contribute financially to the communities in which it operates but Pitse suggests that the company like to go beyond its obligation set out by the government. Being a major employer, this is hugely advantageous to the communities in KZN and especially in Limpopo. “As a mine, with the new act surrounding LED (Local Economic Development), every year we have to spend money developing the area in which we operate but over and above that, we have our own budget for CSI,” he says. “If you look at the Foskor business in Phalaborwa, you will see that we are one of the two biggest employers in that region alongside our neighbours PMC (Palabora Mining Company). You cannot underestimate our role in the community especially when it comes to training. Our training scheme is accredited by the Department of Labour. “With BEE enterprise development, we have a budget which we use to develop emerging, local entrepreneurs
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with the basic skills such as complete literacy or bookkeeping. We see our role as more than just an employer.” As stated by the CRF Institute in their report on Foskor: “Foskor Limited has outstanding employee offerings and thus qualified for the exclusive Best Employers certification,” proving that there are opportunities for employees to develop and grow and this is something that is vitally important for the company according to Pitse. “We have succession plans. The first priority for us is to groom our own people and develop them. It is only when we cannot get people internally that we would look elsewhere for employees. The development of our people and their growth in the company is critical for Foskor,” he says.
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To be certified by the CRF Institute for two years in a row is a special achievement for any company and Pitse says that the company’s management is fully behind its HR Department who has been the driving force behind the certification. “This success was driven by our human capital division with the full support of the management. For any company to be successful you have to be able to attract the best skills in the long-term,” he says. Shanilla Chuturgoon, PR and CSI Manager at Foskor told the CRF Institute researchers: “‘Foskor has a reputation for being one of the largest phosphate producers in the world and I am proud to be part of this dynamic organisation. Working in an environment where I am given the freedom to use my skills and experience suits
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me perfectly. I also believe that hard work, commitment and dedication are key to meeting challenges and rising above adversity,” reinforcing the suggestion of a vibrant workplace.
TOUGH MAKET The current state of the economic climate has not been conducive for prosperous business for some time and we have been told by many different businesses that they have felt the effect of the global economic slowdown. Foskor has seen the prices of their products tumble in the last 12 months and trading has become more and more difficult and with the difficulty stemming from the crash of 2008 which caused disruption across all industries in all parts of the world.
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recognised partner due to its ability to focus on the development, engineering, construction and commission of turnkey installations. drytech international also provide sound and innovative consulting services with technical advice on all areas relating to process and plant / Upgrading of existing plant to higher efficiencies / Supply of equipment / Full turnkey project / Supervision of erection / commissioning / Process development. The final objective is to create the perfect balance between price, specification and performance. This includes criteria such ‘availability’ wear, optimising maintenance, operator interaction, and fuel efficiency.
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“If you look at the Foskor business in Phalaborwa, you will see that we are one of the two biggest employers in that region”
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foskor “Unfortunately Foskor has been slightly affected by things that are happening globally,” says Pitse. “The last 12 months have been tough because we are in the commodity business and the demand for our product is less than it was. The problems in the global economy, in the Eurozone and India specifically, have had an impact on us. More than 80% of what we produce is for the export market. “Because demand has fallen, the price has softened. What is helping us a bit is the exchange rate because we are export driven. These are tough testing times for us and for all companies. “The market in terms of prices is very low. Take our main product, phosphoric acid. The price four years ago was $2500 per ton but now it’s selling at around $750 per ton so that gives you an indication of how tough times are.” To improve on the current difficult times, Foskor is enlisting the help of advisors in a bid to formulate a plan for the future, a plan which will see the company expand on its current offerings. “We are in the process of appointing one of the international consulting companies to help us build a road map of what we need to do in the medium to long-term,” says Pitse. “We are also beefing up our new business strategy division mainly to look at product diversification
and possibly market diversification.” Despite the difficult climate, Pitse is optimistic about the future. He explains that the company is looking to other parts of the Southern African region for growth. While Foskor dominates the local market, there are plenty of opportunities arising in neighbouring nations. “We are a phosphate producer and we try to satisfy all the local demand for phosphate,” he says. “We want to make sure that our customers here in South Africa do not have to import. continues on page 30 >
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continued from page 27> “IFA (International Fertilizer Association), the global association of the industry, suggests that, similarly to GDP, the best growth prospects for the market in the whole world are in the SADC region and we as Foskor are best positioned to take advantage of that market.” Phosphate and phosphoric acid are widely used in the production of every day goods and can be used as an additive in foods, medicine and for other scientific purposes. Because of this, Foskor is an important company for the region and Pitse recognises the company has a part to play in food production. “Foskor is government owned; we are aware that we can play a role in terms of food security in the region. There are definitely a lot of opportunities in the SADC region,” he says. It will take some time for the market to recover and when it does it is likely that Foskor will have developed a textbook strategic plan which will see it grow further across the borders of South Africa. Until global demand rises again and the commodity market hits its previous highs, Foskor will look to continue their fruitful inward investment and build on their reputation as one of the country’s best employers. The challenge in this regard is the cost of maintaining such a well-regarded working environment but Pitse remains firmly of the opinion that the company will never neglect the responsibility it has to its employees.
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“We want to be seen as a best employer and this means we do our best to ensure a safe environment for our employees and the communities in which we operate,” he says. “This also costs a lot for us to comply. We are competing with companies in countries where the cost of compliance is not as strict as it is in this country. We understand that we have the responsibility to comply and we know we have to find better ways to be competitive but we cannot abstain from our responsibility.” It is this steadfast commitment to the workforce that has had Foskor recognised as a Best Employer and as long as this focus on employee development remains, it is certain that the company will come through the challenges posed by the stagnant market.
“The development of our people and their growth in the company is critical for Foskor” AUG 13 PAGE 31
All roads lead to success Editorial – Joe Forshaw Production – Hal Hutchison Superway Construction Director, Richard Bengtson, tells IndustrySA that the company has a full order book and huge projects on the horizon. Although the construction industry has seen difficulties, this is one company that is definitely on the up.
In his 2013 budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that R827 billion would be spent on upgrading and improving the country’s infrastructure. From 2013/14, the government will spend three years spending the money on everything from schools and hospitals to roads and railways. The purpose of this investment is to aid the country’s economic growth and to continue creating jobs and improving the delivery of basic services. In May,IndustrySA found out more about the country’s roads and how vital they are for growth; so much so that they are sometimes referred to as the ‘economic arteries’ of South Africa. The government’s investment into infrastructure is clearly welcomed by the transport sector and one of the companies operating at the centre of the movement towards an improved road network is Superway Construction.
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The company is experienced in road construction, road and civil infrastructure, building and civil structures and routine road maintenance. Richard Bengtson tells IndustrySA more about the company’s history and its list of prominent clients. “Superway started in 1988 on the Kroonvaal Routine Road Maintenance project for the Department of Roads, now SANRAL. “Superway Construction was formed in 1995 when the company started to target the building discipline. It was only in 1997 when the company was awarded this type of work. “We’ve now increased our scope of work to include road construction, building construction, building maintenance and heavy civil work. “Our main customers include SANRAL, the National
Department of Public Works and various municipalities and private companies. “We have done work in the telecommunications industry. Our clients include Huawei Technologies, Telkom, and Dark Fibre Africa,” says Bengtson.
DIFFICULT TIMES? We have heard on many different occasions, from many different companies, small and large, that the past few years have produced mixed fortunes for business. The global financial meltdown, the rising cost of raw materials and the construction industry slowdown after the 2010 FIFA World Cup have all played their part in creating uncertainty in the South African construction industry. Since 2010, some companies have thrived while others have struggled or even folded completely.
Superway is one of the companies that has blossomed, picking up a host of large contracts. However, Bengtson suggests that there have been challenges. “There has definitely been a slowdown in the last few years,” he says. “It didn’t affect us immediately after 2010 but from the latter part of 2011 we were definitely affected. However, I must say that right now our order book is fairly full but it is full with work that has been obtained at marginal rates so there is no significant growth right now. “Our order book is the best that it has been in many years but that’s just the order book, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good on the bottom line.” Interestingly, even though the construction industry has been surrounded by doubt and concern since the World Cup, the demand for cement has continued
AUG 13 PAGE 33
to rise, possibly down, in part, to the governments infrastructure development plan. Sales of cement jumped up by 3% in 2012 but the problem is that this rising demand has forced up prices and that is a concern for Superway. “There has been a big jump in the price of concrete, bitumen and petroleum related products,” says Bengtson. “We are somewhat compensated as most of our contracts our covered with CPA (Contract Price Adjustment) and the Rise and Fall for the fluctuations in prices of special materials. “The bigger problem is the availability of products, especially bitumen, in South Africa. There are only two main oil refineries in the country and bitumen is a byproduct of oil production so we buy from the refineries and often they have issues such as plant shutdowns and this causes a problem for us as our customers will be upset if their roads are not surfaced in time.”
CURRENT PROJECTS With the drive towards countrywide infrastructure improvement underway, Superway has a number of multi-million Rand contracts in-motion right now as Bengtson explains: “The government’s investments into infrastructure has definitely helped us and given a boost to the industry. “We have been awarded “As and When” contracts by various municipalities which include The City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality and Steve Tshwete Local Municipality. This type of contract is for works required by the client on an as and when (emergency) basis. The term of the contracts range from one to three years. “For SANRAL, we also have a project in Lydenberg, that’s 36 kilometres of road that we are rehabilitating. “We have a number of Routine Road maintenance projects for SANRAL. These are throughout the country. We work nationally, in all the provinces.” Away from the road business, Superway is also active in the markets of building and civil structures and one of the company’s most significant projects is underway now in the Western Cape as Bengtson explains: “Our largest project is for the National Department of Public Works, where we are refurbishing and upgrading the 2-Military Hospital in Wynberg, Cape Town. This will be a flagship project for the company.” This project, when complete in 2017, will be one of the biggest the company has ever undertaken and will act as the newest demonstration of Superway’s ability in a broad portfolio of successfully completed projects.
PAGE 34 AUG 13
“The most significant project we have completed was with what was called the Rea Vaya, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system,” says Bengtson. “We did a full turnkey project, design and construction for the City of Johannesburg of the BRT. This is one of the largest projects we have worked on to date.”
COMMUNITY TIES Superway has a large and strong workforce and Bengtson suggests that the company invests heavily in obtaining the best people available and developing them throughout their careers. “We have around 900 employees,” he says. “We have our own HR department who handle all the recruitment. They will advertise directly as well as work with employment agencies to ensure we get the best people. We outsource our training to accredited training companies. “The majority of our workforce does come from local communities. We would employ suitable people from the communities for any vacant position in the company. We have done this many times in the past, taken professionals from the local community and bought them on-board.” Bengtson recalls personal experience when explaining the opportunities available for promotion and development, suggesting that any employee could work their way up as long as they work hard. “I would like to believe that anyone here could move
PAGE 36 AUG 13
“Our order book is currently full and the best that it has been in many years” up from the bottom of the company right through to the top. I started out at Superway as just one of the workers and I have worked myself up to become a director and shareholder in the company,” he says. These kinds of opportunities, combined with the training and development which is sourced by Superway, mean that the company fosters a loyal and fruitful staff and this creates a competitive advantage. As the amount of projects in the pipeline grows for Superway, the amount of employees will inevitably grow with it. This type of organic expansion is the favourable method of growth for the company right now and they are not currently looking to expand into new markets on the continent, although they have been approached to do so. “Many companies, especially the larger companies,
the public sector companies, have been working across the borders for a number of years now,” says Bengtson. “We have been approached but we are smaller than some of the multi-nationals and we are not looking to those markets at this time, we have enough work in South Africa right now.” Going back to the point made at the start of this article, Superway are demonstrating that they are truly an industry leader when it comes to road, civil and building work. The company’s schedule is full of work in South Africa, allowing them to focus on work at home before looking further afield to build up a pipeline. Some companies look, all too quickly, to neighbouring markets before getting things right in their domestic market and this can be counterproductive. With the push towards infrastructure development set to continue for years to come, it seems that Superway is perfectly positioned to continue making in-roads towards its aim: becoming the preferred construction partner for all stakeholders while fostering the principles of equal opportunities and growing sustainably in the future.
PAGE 38 AUG 13
“I would like to believe that anyone here could move up from the bottom of the company right through to the top”
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It’s what’s on the inside that counts Editorial: Lauren Grey Production: Chris Bolderstone
The age-old saying, “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” rings true in the automotive industry, as a vehicle’s interior speaks volumes about its overall design. This month, IndustrySA takes an in-depth look at South Africa’s leading manufacturer of automotive leather interiors, GST / Seton Autoleather.
Established in 1997, GST / Seton AutoLeather is regarded as a pioneer of automotive leather in South Africa, and remains fully committed in creating a sustainable work environment by maximising the use of local raw materials throughout its operations which in turn supports the local community and beyond. Seton supply’s major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) around the world, delivering its upholstery leather to those who have manufacturing facilities in South Africa as well as those in a wide range of European countries. There are currently seven OEM production facilities in South Africa making vehicles for local and export markets; Seton supplies its leather to five of them, making up only 15% of its total production. The remaining 85% of Seton’s leather production is exported to Europe, either directly in whole hide or cut-kit form, or via South African sewing plants in the form of
PAGE 40 AUG 13
sewn seat covers. At its production facility in Nigel, Gauteng - Seton employs in excess of 750 employees and is the town’s biggest employer, producing quality leathers for BMW, Daimler, Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Mini, among other OEM’s on the customer list. Seton’s facilities cover an impressive 355,000 Sq. Ft and comprise of a stand-alone research and development centre, latest tanning and cutting equipment and a stateof-the-art laboratory with all required equipment for automotive leather testing.
100% SOUTH AFRICAN “As a global supplier of automotive leathers, Seton AutoLeather is committed to utilizing local raw materials and we continuously try an improve our Broad Base Black Economic Program from a level 6 to a level 4 contributor. To give back to the community and the country we operate in, is a GST / Seton Autoleather
GST / Seton AutoLeather
“The leather that we use is currently 100% local, we do have opportunities to import hides but it is very important to us to support the South African community.”
culture” says Managing Director, Shalen Sewnandan. “The leather that we use is currently 100% local, whilst we do have opportunities to import hides, we remain cognisant of the fact that we need to support local government programmes directed to stimulate local production, our customer needs are clear, more local content and more importantly preserve jobs in RSA by becoming more competitive. “Local government have an incentive programme in place that recognises automotive production companies in the country that maximises local content, this is aimed at creating an environment that will enable registered light motor vehicle manufacturers to significantly grow production volumes and component manufacturers to significantly grow value addition, leading to the creation of additional employment opportunities across the automotive value chain, as a foreign company operating in South Africa we support this programme fully and we keep to these requirements” Sewnandan explains.
“Our customers benefit and in turn we grow our customer base, production volumes and do well for the country and its people. So although we have the opportunity to import leather, we tend not to go down that route.” From its South African hides, Seton can produce chrome and chrome free leathers, and its processes include: dyeing and drying of crust leather, 25 different embossing rollers for leather finishing, production of cut leather kits and a full range of side processes required of a modern tannery, such as perforation, lamination, skiving, stamping, laser etching and dry splitting.
INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS The global automotive industry has, and always will be, an extremely competitive market, however Seton continues to succeed and gain momentum in its production volumes even after an ‘unsteady, challenging’ start to the year, as Sewnandan explains.
AUG 13 PAGE 41
“Seton has experienced an unsteady and challenging start to 2013 as the cost of raw materials, such as hides and chemicals has increased substantially. “It’s also a year in which we are launching a lot of new vehicles, so it has been extremely challenging; but so far, so good!” Part of Seton’s success in the automotive industry is down to its comprehensive global footprint and the capabilities it has to offer OEM’s; a benefit of being part of the global group, GST / Seton AutoLeather. “One of our global key strengths is the fact that we can draw on other companies in the GST group; our ability to trade production know-how and technology almost immediately puts us at a great advantage” says Sewnandan. As with many global companies, Sewnandan admits that the economic slowdown had an immediate effect on the business, “but we are a resilient company that works hard to turn things around.
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“Over the last 12 months we lost one third of our production, but coming into 2014 we find ourselves back to where we were 12 months ago, so we see more positive coming out of this than negative. “To maintain our stability and continue our growth over the last two years, we have been in a constant state of change and restructuring; critically evaluating the way we produce through reverse engineering and technology upgrades. “We have also done a lot of capital investment over the last 12 months to reduce our operational costs. We fully acknowledge that process optimisation and technology improvements will not get us there alone and to be truly sustainable we need a highly skilled employee base at the forefront of our business. To this effect, we aggressively develop our skills base with a bottom up approach and we go by saying, we do not give up on you and until you give up on yourself”.
NEW VEHICLE LAUNCHES Seton is currently in the midst of five major vehicle launches; the Facelift Hilux & Fortuner, BMW Coupe Series 2&4, BMW GT Series 3 and the Mini 3 door Hatch, all released this year, “We are very far ahead in these programmes,” says Sewnandan, “and so far so good! We are also working aggressively on new leather types and concepts with most of our OEM customers. “All of these models launch later this year, except the BMW 3 Series GT which was launched in March. We are also preparing for the release of the Daimler C Class Sedan and New Toyota Corolla in January 2014 – so we are very busy!”
TANNERY OF THE YEAR Seton’s hard work and dedication to becoming a leader in the automotive leathers market was recognised this year when the company was awarded the Toyota Supplier Award 2013 and Tannery of the Year Africa 2013. “We have a strong relationship with Toyota, it was an award for value adding, value engineering; it’s a very prestigious award and one that is not easily earned.
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Toyota has around 300 suppliers and we were one of five that received that award” explains Sewnandan. “With regards to the Tannery of the Year Award, we won in the African region; it is a global award that covers manufacturing of leather on all continents. We were judged on our sustainability, green initiatives, production capabilities, product and personnel development, product enhancement and overall business leadership. “We had representatives from World Leather Magazine spend a week with us; in our plants, talking with our employees, and they put their findings to a panel of judges – it was a pretty tough judging panel, from industry experts to non-industry related judges, and in the end we were successful! “We just recently (Friday 26 July 2013) received the Silver Award from Toyota Boshoku South Africa for excellent Delivery Performance, testimony of our hard work and dedicated service given to all our customers.” As competition from within the automotive market continues to rise, Sewnandan says that to maintain the company’s reputation as the industry leader, Seton to
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believe that yesterday’s best is not good enough for today and beyond have to be ‘ten steps ahead’ of the competition. He also says that whilst competition becomes fiercer, there will always be a place for luxury leathers in the automotive market, “Leather looks, feels and smells unique and these three qualities differentiate it from any competitor product out there. It becomes more beautiful with age and it’s the ultimate recycled product.”
50 years and still catching new markets Editorial – Joe Forshaw Production – Phil Bird
Alnet is 50 this year. The Cape Town based business is highly active in the industry of net and rope production and its products are distributed all over the world. IndustrySA looks deeper into this specialist manufacturing company to understand more about its last 50 years of success.
Manufacturing in South Africa is big business. The sector has seen unprecedented growth over the past two decades and the task of manufacturing goods, building them from scratch, is a great business to be in when done correctly. South Africa has highly active and internationally recognised manufacturing businesses in all sectors from clothing and technology to food and minerals. One of the major positives of a thriving manufacturing sector is the constant opportunities that arise for economic growth. Manufacturing is labour intensive, meaning it requires a large workforce in order to meet big orders on time, but other countries, especially the States and certain regions in Europe, now have fully automated manufacturing operations. While this is cost effective and can provide savings for customers, many people are still fond of the
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‘hand-made’ approach claiming that attention to detail and quality are lost in mass production techniques. In reality, very few products are still made solely by hand but having people involved in the production process, overseeing the machines in a partnership rather than trusting an automated robotic zoo, gives the sense of control and flexibility. The manufacturing sector has the ability to create employment and in South Africa Agriprocessing is the largest of the manufacturing industries and is responsible for over 500,000 jobs and a massive financial contribution to the country’s economy. As we have seen in previous editions, the country has a prevalent textile, clothing and synthetics industry, with longstanding companies exporting significant numbers to countries all over the world. Due to technological developments, local textile production has evolved into
a capital-intensive industry, producing synthetic fibres in ever-increasing proportions. Since the mid-90s, about US$900 million has been spent on modernising and upgrading the industry, making it efficient, internationally competitive, and ready to become a major force in the world market. With all of the positives and incentives that are available for working in the manufacturing sector, it is still a difficult market to penetrate. You have to be cost effective, relevant, punctual and flexible and to be all of these things while still managing to be productive and churn out needed products at a profit is a huge challenge. One company that has met that challenge is Alnet. The Cape Town based company was established in 1963 and through its operations in diverse markets has become one of the largest manufacturers of synthetic textiles and
netting in the world. The name Alnet has roots in The Netherlands, made up of a shortening of the name Apeldoorn Lighthouse Net and Twine, one of the prominent Dutch net makers of the 1960s. Established by Apeldoornse Nettenfabrik, the company was recognised as one of the major suppliers of anchovy and pilchard netting to South Africa and Namibia (then South West Africa) at that time. In 1971 the companyâ€™s shareholding was acquired by Rentmeester Investments (Rentbel), (now Rentsure Holdings Ltd) and amalgamated with the activities of another fish net manufacturer, PJ Wolmerans and Kie (Pty) Ltd that was acquired by Rentsure. Alnet has four main divisions; production, finance, national sales and export sales and each has a manager reporting to the Managing Director. Products are sold all
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COMPANY REPORT over the world but the main market, where around 80% of manufactured products are sold, is South Africa. It is estimated that the company owns over half of the market for nets and over a third of the market for ropes in South Africa. In 2013, Alnet is celebrating its 50th anniversary and in the last 50 years the company has come a long way. Now boasting seven outlets, a massive product portfolio, a long list of happy customers and a reputation of being a trusted name in many arenas, Alnet is celebrating and planning its first step into its next 50 years. The company produces netting and related products of all kinds for uses in a range of fields. You will find Alnet products used in the agricultural, industrial, domestic, fishing, mining, civil engineering and defence industries. Their use in fishing is obvious and well reported but in other industries the nets are important factors in daily operations but one of those things that can easily go unnoticed â€“ perhaps a testament to their performance and reliability. Offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Namibia (Southern Cross), Walvis Bay and
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St Helena Bay handle the distribution of Alnet products throughout Southern Africa but the African fishing industry as a whole is a multi-billion Rand industry with ports such as Mombasa, Dar Es Salaam, Beira, Djibouti, Suez Canal and Lagos all continuing to grow. These areas could show potential for Alnet if the company choses to further enter the burgeoning African market. In the mining and industrial sectors, Alnet products are used for safety and storage, in the agricultural sector they are used to protect, shade and cool crops and other plants, in the engineering and defence sectors they are used as support, in the hunting sector they are used for camouflage and in the fishing sector they are used to catch and store fish and separate water ways. Of course, netting is not the only Alnet product and these are not the only uses of the innovative synthetics. The companyâ€™s product portfolio also includes ropes, awnings, cloths, sheets and cords. Importantly, the products are made from High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) polymers which go through a closely scrutinised production process.
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Congratulations to Alnet on reaching their 50th anniversary 93 Springbok Avenue, Henley on Klip, Meyerton PO Box 145577, Bracken Gardens 1452 Tel: +27 16 365 6760 • Fax: +27 16 365 6722 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a matter of principals
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Alnet It begins with the production of extremely thin yarns made out of polymers. These yarns are then bound on bobbins or spindles. In the next department the yarns are rewound on beams and in the last production stage a shade cloth is constructed by knitting these yarns according to a certain pattern. The final product is a fully packaged net, wrapped up in usually a 25 or 50 metre roll. These type of manufacturing operations are imitated in the Far East, regions like China, Thailand and Vietnam, and because of the much reduced labour costs and reduced costs of compliance, the product can be offered at a cheaper price so it is a fantastic achievement for Alnet to have taken up such a strong position in the local and international markets. With 50 years of experience, a strong connection to its customers, planned investments into new equipment and recent CSI (Corporate Social Investment) projects proving very successful and raising the profile of the brand locally and nationally, Alnet is perfectly positioned to continue its growth and take on new markets whilst growing its share in South Africa and satisfying its important local clients.
transport specialists Editorial: Lauren Grey Production: Hal Hutchison
Following last year’s strikes, SA’s agricultural industry is in a state of unrest with many feeling unsettled with the outcome, but Burger Fourie, Marketing and Operations Director at Jackson Transport, says the company was fortunate enough not to be affected, he tells IndustrySA why…
The strikes and accompanying protests in the Western Cape began on the 27th August 2012, after farm workers surrounding De Doorns decided to take action against poor pay, bad living conditions and unfair labour practices. Once news of the strikes spread throughout the province, hundreds of thousands of workers joined the protests and soon almost every rural area in the south Western Cape was involved; affecting agricultural businesses across South Africa. The main focus of the protests was poor pay, with pickets and banners demanding a minimum wage increase from R69 a day, to R150 a day. As a result, what started out as a largely localised strike by De Doorns and other Western Cape farm workers, led to the announcement of a new legally enforced national wage of R105 a day from
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March 1st 2013, across the entire agricultural sector. Whilst many businesses suffered the immediate effects of the strikes, with little or no produce reaching customers, Burger Fourie, Marketing and Operations Director at Jackson Transport says the company was fortunate enough to not be affected due to the company’s ‘excellent workforce’ and relationship with farmers. “We have excellent people working for us and luckily none of them went on strike, they were standing next to us and all of the work got done. Also, when something like this happens, we actually work with farmers on labour related problems to try and find a solution.”
FAMILY HISTORY Jackson Transport specialises in refrigerated road transport; transporting fresh, frozen and dry produce
from farms to its clients. The business was established in 1990 by Managing Director, Jaques du Randt and his wife and Financial Director, Sandra du Randt, their son and daughter have also joined the business recently, making it a real family affair. “Jacques started the business with only two trucks, specialising in refrigerated transport; we now have 58 trucks and transport both refrigerated and frozen goods, as well as some dry goods” explains Fourie. The story behind the Jackson Transport name is also one with close family ties, as Fourie explains, “The name Jackson actually originated from Jacques’ grandfather, who always called him Jack-Son, and so Jacques always said that when he had his own company he would call it Jackson. That’s basically where the name originated!”
Since the company’s very beginnings as a family run business, it has grown rapidly and now has a staff complement of 180, with its two major clients being Simba, Africa’s biggest snack company and Natures Garden, a Nature’s Choice brand. “We supply Pepsi Co’s Simba with potatoes, that’s one of our big contracts; the other major contract is with Natures Choice for whom we also Transport potatoes for the production of frozen chips for their Natures Garden brand.”
CUSTOMER BASE Jackson Transport specialises in the transportation of refrigerated fresh produce across the border to neighbouring countries, but the company also has the facilities to transport frozen and dry goods inland.
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COMPANY REPORT “90% of our clients are fresh fruit farmers and we transport their products for export purposes. Many of our client’s products are being exported to Europe, UK and China, such as avocados, grapes, mangoes and soft citrus, of which we as Jackson Transport need to ensure the products get delivered to the different harbours in South Africa on the correct temperature for export. “A lot of our business is with fresh produce farmers who specialise in exports, but we also do a lot of inland transport to local markets within South Africa, from bananas, mangoes and vegetables for example.” Exports are extremely important for the company, because a big portion of its business is created within this market, however cross-border transport from South Africa into countries such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique generate 65% of the company’s business. “Jackson Transport is based in Johannesburg but for one of our clients in Port Elizabeth we transport goods into Zimbabwe. We’ve also got a big Fruit & Veg Client in Lusaka who we service twice a week and we also take a lot of goods from Cape Town to the Maputo area,” explains Fourie.
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Although export and cross-border transport of refrigerated goods are the two main markets for Jackson Transport, the company does not discount business within the frozen and dry goods market, and makes arrangements for such clients. “We are also involved in the transportation of frozen goods, such as fish,” explains Fourie, “and if a client wants to transport refrigerated and dry goods at the same time we can do that by partitioning the truck, but our dry produce customer base is relatively small.”
EFFICIENT FLEET MANAGMENT Jackson’s fleet of trucks are all supplied by Volvo and serviced and maintained by Jackson’s own workshop, but to ensure a break-down doesn’t affect the quality of produce, the trailers operate completely separate, as Fourie explains. “We have a South African trailer company which assist us with the trailer which is separate to the Volvo truck, we then combine the two. This gives us the edge because the truck does not supply the trailer with diesel to make the
unit work, so should you have a truck break down, your fresh produce will still be refrigerated and your goods will not spoil. All of our trailers are 30 pallets and can carry a load up to 28.5 tonnes.” When the company was first established, Managing Director, Jacques du Randt started by importing long-nose freight liners from America, but due to length restrictions imposed by South African regulations, he was unable to do so for the foreseeable future. Instead, du Randt started using a mixture of flat-nosed trucks some of which came from Volvo, eventually due to the blossoming relationship between Jackson Transport and Volvo, du Randt standardised all of his trucks and chose only to use Volvo in his fleet. “Volvo is now a big part of us and we are a big part of them; they treat us very well in terms of serviceability and maintenance; we know that should we need them, they are only a phone call away,” says Fourie. “Although Jackson Transport is an accredited Volvo service dealer and can service its fleet without sending the Truck to a Volvo Truck dealer, we stick to Volvo regulations by sending the truck at specific kilometres back to Volvo for a computerised service check and calibrating the settings of the vehicle,” he says. Aside from this Volvo also has a good distribution of workshops across South Africa and neighbouring countries,
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which makes the transition to a Volvo-only fleet a much more obvious choice. “In the past two to three years Volvo has opened up a workshop in Lusaka and they also have people in Zimbabwe who can assist with Volvo trucks and also trailer repairs. Therefore in the event that we have a problem with a truck cross-border we always have knowledgeable available support.”
EXPANSION PLANS Maintenance and servicing of the company’s trucks in the instance of a cross-border break-down is vital, particularly as Jackson Transport intends to increase business in Southern Africa as a whole. “We know how it works at the borders of Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique and that’s why we have decided to concentrate on growth in those markets,” explains Fourie. “Zimbabwe is one of the most important routes going to the African countries, most of the guys from DRC and Malawi for example will come down to Zambia or Zimbabwe or even Lusaka to buy their fresh produce.” One of the more effective ways of growing business in Southern Africa for Jackson Transport is by servicing its clients and growing alongside their businesses, as Fourie explains.
“Our vision and mission is that if our clients grow, we
Jackson Transport grow with them; the guys may not take a full load, but they may decide to take 18-20 pallets of fresh produce or even frozen goods cross-border to Zimbabwe, Zambia or Mozambique, and we are happy to go with them” says Fourie. “As their business starts to pick up in those countries and they decide to transport bigger loads of produce, our business in those areas will also grow.”
STRONG RELATIONSHIPS Possibly the biggest contribution to Jackson Transport’s success, is its dedication to providing an unrivalled service to both its customer and supplier. Fourie explains that the most important aspect of the business is to work closely with farmers and clients to ensure that the process is cost effective to both parties. We strive for total transport, rendering our utmost best service. We are fortunate to have disciplined and dedicated drivers without whom the wheels will not roll. This single initiative is one of the main reasons as to why Jackson Transport was not affected by the farm workers strikes in 2012, and Fourie says that the company will
continue to build on its strong relationships to ensure they are not affected by future upheavals. “We work in a triangular structure between the farmer and client; so we are the middle point between the two and it is important that we continue to work with both to create a cost effective and strong transport relationship. “Should there be any future problems within the agricultural industry, we will work alongside our farmers to make sure we are providing them the best possible service and help them in any way we can to ensure the work gets done.”
“We have excellent people working for us and luckily none of them went on strike, they were standing next to us and all of the work got done”
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Harnessing Zimbabweâ€™s raw power Editorial â€“ Tim Hands Production â€“ Chris Bolderstone
With five power stations of varying sizes currently under its management, Zimbabwe Power Company has a huge role to play in powering the region towards a bright energy future. Some of its most important work is in the form of its forays into both hydro and solar energy, with the company focussing significant efforts on developing these cleaner and more sustainable energies alongside its existing coal-fired plants
Incorporated in 1996, originally as an investment vehicle in generating electricity, Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) became operational in 1999, and has since faced the ever more difficult task of generating electricity for a constantly growing domestic market. The company is a subsidiary of ZESA Holdings, whose own vision is to be among the leading and most dynamic providers, committed to offering quality electricity, engineering and telecommunication services to customers throughout Zimbabwe and the region. ZPC itself also holds its own clear mission, with a stated aim of being the leading supplier of energy and related services in the region. In order to fulfil this mandate the company is authorised to construct, own, operate and maintain power stations, currently holding four coal fired
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sites and one harnessing hydro power. ZPC strives to fulfil its vision through working to a set of core values which inform its operations. These are central to its success as a company, and perhaps most vital among them is its consideration of the environmental impact of its operations and crucially, how this can be managed and diminished while powering Zimbabwe into the future. It is understandable therefore that ZPC also places such a high value on creativity, ensuring that innovative energy solutions are on hand to meet demand, and implemented in order to have the greatest effect. At the root of its focus on the importance of both professionalism and teamwork is the ultimate goal of providing for its customers, not merely contenting itself with delivering a service adequate to the demands of today, but striving to power both the economy and the homes of
Zimbabwe Power Company
the public into the future. ZPC operates five business units currently, these being the Hwange, Munyati, Harare, Bulawayo and Kariba power stations. Of these five, Kariba South is at present the only hydro power station, with the rest being thermal stations which generate using coal. Among these, it is the Hwange station which receives top billing from the company, and for good reason. Situated in the North Western part of Zimbabwe and adjacent to Wankie Colliery Open Cast Mine, this is the largest coal-fired power station, with its 920MW installed capacity made up of 4x120MW and 2x220 MW units. Hwange is the 14th largest thermal station in the Southern African region, having been built in two stages. The original commission involved the four 120MW units, between 1983 and 1986, while the two 220MW completed the project in
1986 and 1987. Its importance to the countryâ€™s electricity supply cannot be overstated, with these six operational units generating around 40% of the energy requirements of the population. To even reach the stage where it is ready to generate energy is a huge task and requires every ounce of ZPCâ€™s considerable expertise. A large proportion of the coal is delivered to the station by an overland conveyor belt, travelling six kilometres from Hwange Colliery Company Limited, as well as by trucks from Makomo and Coalbrick mines. Another of its key resources, water, is piped along a 44 kilometre stretch from the Zambezi River and pumped into two reservoirs next to the station, where gravity takes over in order to convey it to its point of use. The raw materials face a similar journey at the much smaller Munyati Power Station, situated five kilometres off the Harare-Bulawayo Road and
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currently holding a staff complement of 147 employees. Here, the “washed peas” coal that the boilers are designed to burn is railed along a distance of around 618 kilometres from the Hwange Colliery. Water provisions are drawn from two sources: one through a 23 kilometre long canal from the Sebakwe River, the other a more diminutive three kilometre pipeline from the Munyati Weir. ZPC took over the management of the Hwange Power Station in 2001, when it was transferred from ZESA. It was the first station to be a part of the restructuring exercise undertaken by the electricity sector at the time and as such has been subject to a complete review of its practices. Always looking to improve its efficiency and the service offered by its employees, both on-the-job and external training is being offered and has led to a near-immediate increase in the output from the station. With a staff base of nearly 700, similarly to the provisions found at the Munyati site which finds itself a fair distance from any city centre, the station also acts as a community for all these personnel, providing access
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to schooling, healthcare and social facilities for the workforce and its dependants. Of the smaller coal-fired stations currently managed by ZPC, Bulawayo Power Station is another site striving to uphold ZPC’s operational corporate objectives, namely achieving operational excellence by improving plant availability, reliability and efficiency to international standards. The plant joined the ranks of the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority in 1987 and received an extensive refurbishment in 1999 to see it currently possess a capacity of 90MW. It is in fact the Bulawayo plant that is the centre of ZPC’s search for funding at present, with the company having approached the Indian government in its quest to refurbish and improve the productivity possible at the station, seeking to double its actual average output from 30 to 60MW. It was the damming of the Zambezi River in 1955 at the Kariba Gorge that, three years later and in spite of record floods, brought about the formation of Lake Kariba and the
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COMPANY REPORT possibility of supplying power to Zimbabwe and Zambia. The damming of the river came as the result of a huge technical operation, with engineers in 1956 mining a vast cavern that would eventually house a power station, this taking place about 174 metres below the ground. All six of its generators were in operation by 1962, initially with a generation capacity of 666MW which has since been uprated to 125MW per unit, making the total installed capacity 750MW. The generation of the electricity produced by the station is made possible by drawing water from Lake Kariba. This passes through a short horizontal intake via a radial gate and through a vertical penstock to the turbine spiral casing. Then, after passing through the turbine and producing power in the coupled generator, water at reduced pressure is passed through a suction cone and draft tube to the tailrace. This is then finally discharged downstream of the dam, back into the Zambezi River. This is all overseen by the Zambezi River Authority, a body responsible for the effective allocation of water used by Zimbabwe’s Kariba South and Zambia’s Kariba North Power Stations. An extension of the Kairba South plant, next to the existing 750 MW installed capacity station, has been granted
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and joins a host of similar projects proposed by ZPC which look to boost the company’s harnessing of hydro power. Among these is the Batoka Gorge Hydro Electric Scheme, a proposal set to be located along the Zambezi River, downstream of the Victoria Falls. With an estimated construction period of six years, this colossal development would produce a station capable of an output of 800MW, and would be supplemented by both Devil’s Gorge and Gairezi Hydro Electric Schemes, aiming
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COMPANY REPORT to harness the potential power of the Zambezi and Gairezi Rivers respectively. This year in particular has held many difficulties for ZPC, some of which are outlined by its Chairman, Victor Gapare, who speaks of, “the number of challenges which we have been facing in terms of coal supply and maintenance works.” Despite this, Gapare does in fact report steady operations in all five of its stations, even seeing a monthly increase in the total energy produced by its ensemble of generators. Keeping in mind the stated aims of ZPC - namely acquiring the status of Zimbabwe’s leading supplier of energy and related services - it aims to tackle what it has identified as a series of gaps following a strategic review of its business on which it will focus over the next five years. Conquering the current gap between the potential power output and that currently being generated at its stations is clearly vital to its aim of powering Zimbabwe into the future, allowing a growth which will be able to support the everincreasing demand of its customers. An additional 520MW will be extracted from the plants at Harare, Bulawayo, Munyati and Hwange, either through the re-powering of small thermals or life extension, with work already underway to resolve this shortfall. The expansions and new projects being undertaken by ZPC aim
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in a similar way to increase its capacity to install, and will be strengthened even further by the development of the company’s hydro and solar efforts. Perhaps most importantly for a company striving to become a world class power utility is what Gabare labels a drastic, “change of culture within the organisation.” A particular focus on the safety, health and environment aspects of the business, alongside upgrading the skills of the personnel within ZPC, will allow it to deliver on the strict promises it has made and as a result, realise its aim of clean and sustainable energy generation for the economy and homes of the region.
“It was the damming of the Zambezi River in 1955 at the Kariba Gorge that, three years later and in spite of record floods, brought about the formation of Lake Kariba and the possibility of supplying power to Zimbabwe and Zambia”
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AUG 12 PAGE 67
ZIMBABWE ELECTRICITY TRANSMISSION & DISTRIBUTION COMPANY SUPPORT SERVICES In addition to transmitting and distributing electricity within the country, the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company (ZETDC) also offers support services to the mining and other sectors of the economy. The company being the leading Electrical Power Company in the country it has qualified, committed and competent staff to execute their assignments diligently. These support services are in two categories: Condition monitoring (transformer oil analysis and infra-red thermography) 2. Protection system services.
The company provides oil testing and analysis to current and prospective customers making results of the sample analysis available within the shortest period possible depending on the tests that are required by the customer at very competitive prices. By analysing the gases dissolved in transformer oil, potential transformer faults can be avoided. The distribution of these gases can be related to the type of electrical fault and the rate of gas generation can indicate the severity of the fault. The identity of the gases being generated by a particular unit can be useful
information in any preventive maintenance program. Oil condition monitoring is useful as a diagnostic tool. The technique can be used to prevent unplanned outages and catastrophic failures, which besides causing exposure to equipment failure results in business interruptions and losses to the company. Through the Dissolved Gas Analysis Technique ZETDC will provide its clients with professional technical reports on samples provided and give recommendations on further action to be taken. The regular monitoring of the condition of transformer oil in an energised transformer facilitates the following:
Insulating integrity monitoring and Defect monitoring Advantages for analysing transformer oil gases are as follows:
.. .. .. .
Advance warning of developing faults Determining the improper use of units Status checks on new and repaired units Convenient scheduling of repairs Monitoring of units under overload It helps to reduce the heavy cost on replacement of material. Quality of insulation can be checked out.
The routine condition monitoring of transformer oil in energised transformers also involves testing for Moisture, Acidity, PCBs, Flash Point, Tan Delta, Dielectric Strength and Interfacial Tension to give a complete comprehensive analysis of the equipment condition. The well-equipped ZETDC laboratory has performs transformer oil analysis throughout the transmission and distribution networks and for other clients locally and across the borders of the country.
ZETDC also uses Infra-red thermography in condition monitoring which is a unique nondestructive, non-contact, predictive maintenance technique which monitors thermal signatures of plant machinery and electrical equipment. The technique detects abnormal temperatures on:
.. .. .. .. .
Electric panel boards Electric motors Furnaces Transformers Switchgear Boilers Power cables Refrigeration systems Generators among other equipment.
The thermal signatures captured are used for detecting â€œhot spotsâ€? or thermal differences that indicate potential problems with equipment in full operation so that production is not interrupted. Some faults can be detected up to 3 months before they can halt production. The comprehensive thermal information can then be used to:
.. .. .
Evaluate the scope of the problem Predicting when to take preventive action Prepare repair/cost estimates Plan to have repair materials on the site prior to starting repairs Perform repairs effectively in order to return equipment to service quickly As with transformer oil analysis clients are given professional technical reports on what needs to be done. In cases of abnormalities clients are informed on the spot so that corrective measures can be taken immediately.
ZETDC, through its Power System Protection Business Unit, also offers specialist services on electrical power systems protection in Zimbabwe and the SADC region.
The company has the equipment and skill to maintain all types and forms of relays from electromechanical to numeric relays and from simple auxiliary relays to complex distanceprotection schemes. Recent installations and commissioning have involved numeric relays e.g. REL, SEL, and SIPROTEC IEDs. ZETDC tests primary equipment such as: Current and voltage transformers Circuit breakers Power transformers Generators among other related equipment after maintenance or before being put into service. The company also carries out site commissioning of substation equipment, generation and industrial plant and protective systems up to 420kV. State of the art technology is used with automatic reports generated in software e.g. OMICRONCMC256, MEGGER Transformer Turns Ratio Test Equipment. Design and modifications of protection and control schemes for distribution, sub-transmission and transmission substations, generation stations and industrial plant is also done by ZETDC. Specification of protection and control for transformers, static var compensators, capacitor banks, transmission lines, bus bars, motors and switchgear of any size and type. Protective systems can also be installed on behalf of the customer.
ZETDC does facets associated with power system analysis such as fault level calculations, stability fault and transient analysis, power quality and systems refurbishment and spares recommendations. Protective relay co-ordination and determination of relay settings. We can also manage customer databases with respect to protective systems. The organisation offers Engineering Services including factory acceptance tests. ZETDC uses state-of-the-art analysis, design, measurement and test equipment and tools. Key features of our protection services includes:
. . . .
Responding to requests for testing and breakdown and maintenance within the shortest period possible Flexibility allowing us to fit well in projects scheduling A well-documented quality control and assurance program Test Centres distributed throughout Zimbabwe.
Revolutionising waste management Editorial – Roland Douglas Production – James Clark
Buhle Waste is currently developing innovative new technology that will change the way we look at medical waste disposal. The company is also looking to bring its successful brand of waste management to other markets in the SADC. and Contracts and Communications Manager, Thabang Sekete, tells IndustrySA that expansion is currently one of the key targets.
Have you ever thought about where your company’s waste goes after it leaves your site? Securely sealed in bags or boxes in the back of a waste truck, but where does this waste actually go and what exactly happens to it? This is a key question, especially for organisations that produce hazardous waste, in particular medical waste, and a question that IndustrySA put to Thabang Sekete, Contracts and Communications Manager for Buhle Waste. He explains that medical waste is a problem for society and burning it in incinerators is not the sustainable, long-term solution. “The thing about waste” says Sekete “is that we all create it and everything, every process has a by-product or waste.” Sekete gives us an example of how the Buhle Waste
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services are utilised by the third largest hospital in the world. “At the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, we have a daily collection as the hospital generates a large amount of medical waste; around four to five tons on a daily basis. We have a truck which goes to the hospital every day. “One of our staff members, overseen by one of the Chris Hani representatives, will collect the waste and from there, take the waste to a treatment facility, either WasteMan in Klerksdorp or Enviro Serve in Roodepoort, and there the waste will be treated. These are both incinerators and burn waste in temperatures up to around 700 degrees. “The by-product of the waste from the treatment facility is ash and that is transported to a landfill site. By turning the waste to ash, you have a reduction of the actual waste by 95-98%.
“We have part ownership of a treatment facility, BioMed Disposal Services, near our head office in Benoni and they have an incinerator service.”
NEW TECHNOLOGY The safe, hygienic, environmentally friendly disposal of waste is one of the longest standing issues facing society and in a developing nation such as South Africa, where infrastructure sees continued investment, dealing with waste has significant difficulties. Alluding back to the question above, where does all the waste go? Buhle Waste recognises that incinerating medical waste is effective but not eco-friendly and so has started to roll out new technology which has the potential to transform the way we deal with medical waste and the by-products of its disposal.
“After a long process of removing red tape with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), we have managed to get a waste management license to open our own treatment facility and we are going to be installing that in the next six months,” says Sekete. “When that is up and running, we will be bringing in new technology, the likes of which this country has never seen. It is Italian technology, a machine called the Convertor, which converts all medical waste to a by-product which is like a foam. “It is difficult to describe but is like a foam that would go into a mattress. We are hoping that it might revolutionise the way in which medical waste is treated in the country as incinerators are still pretty harmful to the environment. Non-burn technology is definitely the future.” As well as reducing the company’s impact on the environment, this new technology could help in other
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“Non-burn technology is definitely the future”
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Buhle Waste areas, most notably as it has the potential to be used as an energy source. Although this is still in the development phases, Sekete is excited about the prospect and hoping to partner with the DEA to drive the idea upwards. “One of the things which is soon to become part of our research and development is the utilisation of that by-product as an energy source” he says. “This is still in the research phase but when all the testing is done we hope to work closely with the DEA to move forward with technology.” Buhle Waste further proves its status as a technology pioneer during its day-to-day operations where an efficient ‘scan and track’ technology, from Technetium,is used to monitor processes and cut out unnecessary, timeconsuming paperwork but maintaining important legal records. “Scan and Track technology is still relatively new for the company” says Sekete. “It is only ourselves and one other company that operates with this technology. What it does is digitise our waste information systems. “Before, when collecting waste from a hospital or clinic, our staff would have to fill out a physical delivery note and this would have to be signed and stored and we would
have to deal with reams of paperwork regarding collection and delivery. This new system minimises paperwork and provides digital certificates where needed. It is an excellent technological advancement in our industry, not just operationally but legislatively as well.”
DEEP HISTORY Buhle Waste has a long history in South Africa and Sekete explains that the company will draw on its vast experience to try and grow across the nation and beyond the borders. “Buhle Waste was started in 1997 so has been going now for 17 years” he says. “The company was started by Dr Phetole David Sekete and he had seen a gap in the market, realising that waste management was something that had to be dealt with and a problem that was not going away. This was a booming business, something that was just picking up in South Africa, particularly in the Johannesburg area with the increasing population. “In the beginning, the company had a focus on general waste; collecting waste from municipal dumps and residential areas in the Ekurhuleni municipality in Johannesburg. Medical waste became the focus in 2001.”
One of the biggest and most reliable corrugated manufacturing plants in South Africa We are privileged to provide our valued customers with innovation, quality and service not only in the products we produce but also in the manufacturing process
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“Africa is definitely the next frontier”
The company currently operates in five of the country’s nine provinces (Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, KZN and Mpumalanga) and some of the significant contracts come from the Provincial Departments of Health. “In the last two to three years things have been very good” says Sekete; “business is continuing to grow. “We are looking to expand our operations and move into all the provinces. Hopefully, across the next two to three years, we’ll be operating across the whole country with all the provincial departments.” When it comes to major expansion, beyond the South African borders, Sekete explains that business is already underway with preliminary discussions taking place right now. “At the moment we’ve got some interested parties in Botswana who are looking to collaborate with us, hopefully
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within the next six to 12 months. We are also looking at moving into the other SADC countries; Namibia and Zambia for example. Africa is definitely the next frontier.” Obviously, waste management is the core activity for Buhle Waste but in the early days of the company’s life, there were also sub-divisions which offered related services such as cleaning and hygiene facilities. While this has since fallen out of favour and the core activities have taken prime consideration, Sekete explains that Buhle Waste is looking to kick start its business in these areas, especially when the company realises its goal of expansion into continental markets. “When the waste management business started, we had a sub-structure that offered cleaning services but that fell by the wayside with operations being focussed on waste management. We are looking to pick that up again and get
Buhle Waste back into the hygiene space. We are looking to work closely with the mines and deal with their hazardous waste and also offer sanitation services,” says Sekete. “When we move into Africa, sanitation will be a big area for us” he says. “We take sanitation for granted here in SA but in other areas of Africa, even in the Southern African region, sanitation is still being implemented and infrastructure is still being developed but that is definitely an area with potential for us.” Buhle boasts big names as clients, setting itself in good stead for its growth into African markets. The client portfolio has a diverse make-up and does not only consist of Johannesburg hospitals. “Within Gauteng we currently service the NHC (National Health Care) branches at Bryanston, Honeydew and Midrand. We also serve Daxina which is a private clinic and we serve doctors surgeries throughout Gauteng, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga,” says Sekete.
INDUSTRY BODIES In the past, there have been instances in which the waste management industry in South Africa has been brought into disrepute. Poor practice by companies has left a lot to be desired and the main governing bodies in the industry now have strict operational policies and guidelines in
Dr Phetole David Sekete
Buhle Waste CEO
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Buhle Waste place to ensure that high standards are always met. The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) is the most widely recognised association in the industry with over 300 organisational members. They provide assistance to companies looking to improve their practices and also communicate with the DEA to ensure that policies are up-to-date and realistic. Buhle Waste is a member of IWMSA and Sekete suggests that the company has respect for the organisation, closely following its guidelines. “We are a member of the IWMSA,” he says. “They ensure services are at a good level and that we are practicing the best methods of waste management service and delivery. We also take notes from the DEA who put together the policies and legislation that we follow to the letter. These are the two main bodies that we follow. “The Green Scorpions, who fall under the DEA, come down heavily on any infringement of the law. We would not condone any bad practice but there are situations and circumstances when this does occur. Sometimes there is an explanation and other times it’s just poor management but the Green Scorpions sink into anything that goes wrong. Unfortunately, all the institute can do is speak or lobby with the DEA but we do keep up with their guidelines and suggestions.”
It is this sort of strict compliance that allows Buhle Waste to be recognised as an industry leader in what can be a challenging market place. The company attracts highly skilled personnel and Sekete explains that the staff play an integral role in navigating the potential minefield of issues that could occur at any time. “We currently have around 300 employees. Most of the staff is operational. We have large fleets and each truck will require three employees, a driver and two assistants. We have health and safety operatives, administration operatives, environmental operatives and logistics managers. “The logistics managers have the very complicated task of coordinating collections from over 1000 facilities and this can become a mission.” It is clear that Buhle Waste has made huge strides in the waste management industry since its inception in 1997. The decision to make the move into medical waste has proved fruitful and with expansion plans and innovative new technology on the horizon, the company could now begin to raise the bar and set new standards for the industry in South Africa and potentially across the whole Southern African region. Buhle are making this once difficult and complex industry cleaner and easier to manage and for that alone they should be applauded.
veterinary products Editorial - Lauren Grey Production - Hal Hutchison
Deltamune, one of South Africa’s leading biotechnology companies, has evolved rapidly since it first started servicing the poultry industry as Avimune in 1995. IndustrySA speaks to CEO, Dr Hannes Swart, who says word of mouth has contributed massively to the company’s success.
Since the company’s inception in 1995, Deltamune has rapidly expanded throughout the veterinary and food safety sectors within South Africa to offer a more diverse portfolio of products and services. The biotechnology company puts a strong emphasis on typical African animal diseases as well as collaborating with veterinarians to develop tailor-made solutions for their clients’ animal health requirements. Dr Hannes Swart, CEO of Deltamune, says that the company has evolved dramatically since it began as South Africa’s largest poultry veterinary practice: “The roots of the business stem back to 1977 with the founding of Golden Lay Farms’ in-house laboratory, then the biggest egg producer in the country and a member of the Tiger Oats group. “In 1995, we bought out the Golden Lay laboratory from Tiger Oats and started Avimune, which enabled
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us to offer a much broader range of services to that of Golden Lay, and soon we became the biggest poultry specialist practice in the country, servicing a big portion of the poultry industry. “However, in that time we were approached by other veterinarians in the field asking us if we could start laboratory tests and develop vaccines for other species such as cattle and sheep, which we did. “Then in 2005, we renamed Avimune to Deltamune and split off the poultry consulting business and established a new company under the Avimune name, so today Avimune is a completely different company; it is now a specialist poultry practice with a different shareholding. Avimune’s clients, however, comprise a large portion of Deltamune’s clients.” Deltamune progressed even further as a company and was divided into two complementary divisions; animal health products and test laboratories.
The animal health division works to develop and produce vaccines and perform animal studies, whereas the test laboratory, which has grown rapidly, focusses on supporting the animal health sector with diagnostic and monitoring tests, food safety tests, water microbiology and environmental hygiene tests. “Initially we did tests for the poultry industry, we then started to do some food safety tests looking at products such as meat and eggs; our food safety division is still growing rapidly and we have begun testing on, amongst other, food ingredients such as yeast, spices and sauces used in the fast food industry,” explains Dr Swart.
FUTURE PLANS Since its inception, Deltamune has not only expanded in terms of its diverse portfolio of services, but also its facilities; this year alone the company has seen the establishment of a new milk testing laboratory.
“About two years ago we opened up a laboratory in Oudtshoorn, to service the ostrich industry; particularly focussing on ostrich influenza. We are contracted by DAFF to carry out tests on their behalf, but we also do tests for the ostrich industry as a whole,” explains Dr Swart. “Earlier this year we opened a dairy testing laboratory where we conduct tests on milk for protein, lactose, MUN and fat. We also monitor somatic cell counts which give an indication of the cows’ udder health as well as monitoring mastitis and antibiotic residues. So as you can see, we have entered a whole new segment of the market with our new laboratory.” However, with Deltamune’s ever-expanding portfolio of services and facilities, Dr Swart say’s that there is always room for future growth, and the company is already looking towards neighbouring countries to increase their continental footprint.
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“When you look at Avimune, although the two companies are separate, it is almost like a spearhead for Deltamune in the poultry industry. Avimune is consulting in Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique and Swaziland –to name a few- and this has opened up new opportunities for Deltamune. “We are currently looking at possibilities in Zambia; as you may be aware, many South African companies are moving up North, particularly into Zambia because if you look at climate, on the poultry side specifically, it is better for production. “When you consider the vaccine side of our business, there are huge opportunities; we see Africa and the Middle East as the areas in which we want to be because there are certain diseases, known as typical African diseases, which we aim to tackle there.”
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“Word of mouth does a lot for us when it comes to food safety, more and more people turn to us, which attracts the attention of bigger named companies”
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Deltamune has a highly-skilled team of researchers including veterinarians, bacteriologists, virologists and molecular biologists. The team has extensive experience in the development and evaluation of new bacterial, viral and mycoplasma vaccines and diagnostic tests. However, Dr Swart says that due to the quality of training available at universities and other establishments, it can be difficult to find employees who are trained to the correct standards. “We are fortunate to have such a good team, but it remains a challenge because the training provided isn’t up to the standards that we require, for example, we require veterinary technologists but they just aren’t available, and the ones that are available aren’t up to our standards.” In order to improve the skills and expertise of its workforce, Deltamune now conduct most of its training in-house at its own facilities, “if you get the right type of person with the right type of background; you can train them up to suit your needs” says Dr Swart. “Training is one of the big drives at our company; we ensure that our staff take regular competency tests and are re-trained when needed.” However, Deltamune’s extensive training programme has meant that in the past, certain members of its staff have been poached by other companies wanting their skills and expertise. “Unfortunately because of our in-house training, poaching does happen, particularly with veterinary technologists because they are so scarce; we experience from time to time that we train our people and then they move over to somewhere else for a little more money. “You can’t prevent people from moving, but on the whole when you look at our staff turnover it’s actually very, very low. I think if you create an environment in which people feel that they are appreciated and that they contribute towards both the business and country, you will be successful.”
PROCESS TECHNOLOGY – DESIGN & MANUFACTURE •
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Our Core Services: • Next Generation DNA Sequencing (454 GS FLX/ FLX, 454 Junior, Illumina® MiSeq) • Oligo Synthesis • Sanger DNA Sequencing • Bioinformatics Solutions • Animal Genetics • Distributor of Molecular Diagnostics Products • Distributor of Life Science Products
WORD OF MOUTH When Deltamune first began, its core business was animal health and veterinary testing within the poultry industry, but the company soon realised that its expertise and research facilities could be used to service other animal species. Similarly, with regards to the food safety division, Deltamune originally started by looking at meat and eggs but soon expanded into other products ranges, and Dr Swart says the success of the company can be attributed to word of mouth. “Word of mouth does a lot for us when it comes to food safety, more and more people turn to us, which attracts the attention of bigger named companies,” he explains. “We are already recognised overseas, particularly when you look at vaccine development; we have collaborations with institutions in The Netherlands, the UK and the USA because they have recognised we are a centre of excellence in terms of African diseases.” For some time, Deltamune has been a leader in terms of animal health products and veterinary testing within South Africa, but Dr Swart says the next step for the business is achieving this status within the food safety industry.
Inqaba Biotechnical Industries (Pty) Ltd P.O. Box 14356, Hatfield 0028, Pretoria, South Africa Fax: + 27 12 343 02 87 Phone: +27 12 343 58 29 E-mail: email@example.com
“Our test laboratories are focussing on the food safety side, because there is huge room for expansion within this industry for us.”
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First in property Editorial - Lauren Grey Production - Hal Hutchison
As the global real estate market enters a new era of change, IndustrySA speaks Hano Jacobs, COO at one of South Africa’s largest real estate agencies, to find out how the business is diversifying to meet changing consumer demands in the country.
On a global scale, the real estate industry is in a constant state of change as it works tirelessly to meet changing consumer demands and keep on top of dips and fluctuations in the market. In South Africa however, the biggest changes in the industry started around 15 years ago with the introduction of the internet, the increased use of technology and a growing hunger from consumers to be given more information about the property sector. “It is important for companies working within real estate to stay on top of global trends in the market,” explains Realty 1 COO, Hano Jacobs, “at times, South Africa lags behind the world’s economy but it is crucial that we are aware of trends so we can anticipate our next move.” Realty 1’s success can be measured by its rapid growth throughout South Africa over the past 51 years; the company boasts an impressive portfolio of 73 offices, and with a staff complement in excess of 700 agents, it is certainly one of the biggest real estate agencies in the country. “We have a substantial heritage in South Africa,” says Jacobs, “Realty 1 is part of Jigsaw Holdings Limited which focusses on the property industry as a whole, and alongside ERA Real Estate we are one of the oldest real estate brands in the country.”
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Jigsaw Holdings operates within the property sector with divisions in property development, investment holdings, training and finally property selling, in which three brands operate within South Africa; Realty 1, ERA and AÏDA. “Being part of the Jigsaw Holdings group puts us at an immediate advantage because of our combined heritage and expertise” explains Jacobs.
INDUSTRY EXPERTISE Knowledge, expertise and awareness are all factors contributing to Realty 1’s success; the company prides itself on the expertise of its agents and the local knowledge they offer consumers when considering purchasing or renting a property. The company specialises in the entry side of the upper market, with properties in the range of R1.5-2M within South Africa’s two major metropolitan cities. “The biggest focus for us will always be the major metros, with Pretoria and Johannesburg seen as one region and the whole Cape bowl seen as another,” says Jacobs. “Statistically more than 50% of all sales occur in Gauteng, so Gauteng as a province is massive for the real estate industry and it is hugely important to service each different area in the province properly.” In order to service different areas within the two major metros efficiently, Realty 1 have agents who specialise
in different geographical areas, in order to bring a local understanding to consumers looking to live in a specific area. “Efficiency is hugely important, for example, to service a city like Pretoria with only two or three offices is really tough; what you really need is agents who specialise in certain geographical areas within the city, and for that reason alone, we have eight offices in Pretoria. “Local understanding is very important which is why we aim to match our agents to the right regions, because like all major cities, there are different regions that appeal to different consumers and we need to ensure we have the right agents to service those areas.” Realty 1 prides itself on the efficiency of its agents, and to ensure they keep on top of local knowledge and understanding, the company immerses itself in community projects. “Community involvement is crucial because it allows us to understand more about certain areas and how they are evolving alongside our growing South African economy. So for that reason we have to be as involved as we possibly can with understanding the local market and getting involved with the community.”
consumers began tightening their purse strings and demanding more for their money. Realty 1 has handled the pressures of the economic slowdown extremely well, which Jacobs says is down to ‘forward planning’ and ‘understanding your consumer and marketplace’. “Because we have such a good distribution of offices and outlets, we are able to track trends quite closely,” says Jacobs, “for example, the country sites have seen substantially more pressures than the city areas; in most of the city areas we have seen a fairly stable market over the last two to three years, and not a dramatic change in terms of decreases of unit sales.”
ECONOMIC CHALLENGES Since the global economic downturn in 2008, the world’s real estate market experienced a dramatic change as
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Jacobs says that the stable city market is due to consumers wanting to move closer to work and local schools, so to cut down on travelling costs, “travelling is becoming more and more expensive due to increasing fuel prices and maintenance of vehicles; what we’ve seen is consumers moving towards the city and downscaling their properties. “We have seen a substantial increase in downscaling, up to about 30% of value, so a R3M property is sold in return for a R2M property, in order to save on bond payments, insurance, maintenance and energy costs. “There has also been a move by the consumer for a more efficient way of living, and there are a number of things that can be attributed to that; the cost of energy is increasing globally at a rapid rate so there is a move towards solar energy and more efficient lighting such as long life bulbs. There’s also a move towards gas, so a lot of the new properties being developed do not have electric stoves and geysers for example. “The other move towards efficiency is in maintenance, so basic maintenance of a 250m² free-standing property, would be substantially more than if you were part of a complex where the collective carry the burden of maintaining the complex as a whole. So there’s a move towards more efficient property ownership, and that for me is also a global trend.”
FUTURE PLANS Going forward, Jacobs says that Realty 1 intend to continue diversifying the business and keeping up-to-date with consumer demands and global trends, in order to maintain its position as an industry leader.
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“Traditionally, estate agencies could specialise in residential sales only, but these days it is important to have a combination of residential letting as well as residential sales. This combination is valuable in terms of the repetitive income that is generated from the rental side. “Our future plans in that respect, are to combine rental and sales in order to service our consumers efficiently and to identify smaller operations within South Africa rather than bigger outlets, that way we can ensure our agents have the local knowledge and expertise needed to satisfy our consumer demands.”
“Because we have such a good distribution of offices and outlets, we are able to track trends quite closely”
“BetterBond came recommended from a friend and my experience with your company has been excellent…” Chris Hartley At BetterBond we’re really grateful for all the compliments we receive. Then again, we also work incredibly hard to please. Irrespective of the economy, we’re still raising more bonds than any other home loan company in South Africa… including 100% bonds as well as mortgages for the self employed. It’s what comes with being the only originator to work with 6 major banks, instead of 4. And having over 12 years’ experience. You’d also be hard-pressed to find better, more committed staff than our own and where ‘the extra mile” is regarded as just another day in the office. Which brings us back to what Chris had to say. “Your staff were friendly, professional, helpful and knowledgeable. Your e-mail about the way your company operates is great – full transparency – including your commission rate. Impressive! I will have no hesitation in recommending you to others. And I still can’t believe that your service is completely free.”
So why not give us a call to see what we’ll achieve for you. And if the search for your dream home is already underway, insist on the bond process being done the Better way.
Where to find us BetterBond Head Office (011) 516-5500 • Bloemfontein (051) 430-7888 • Centurion (012) 663-2637 • Eastern Cape (041) 364-3410 • JHB South/East (011) 896-5230 • JHB North/West (011) 476-9002 • KwaZulu Natal (031) 277-9000 • Rustenburg (014) 592-2825 • Vaal (016) 982-4363 • Western Cape (021) 557-9401 • Toll Free 0800 007 111 • www.betterbond.co.za
10 years, 13 stores and counting Editorial – Roland Douglas Production – Chris Bolderstone Spar Zambia celebrates its tenth anniversary in December this year. There will be promotions in store and online and a lot of coverage of the company’s CSR projects, projects which are held in high regard by the company. Marketing Manager, Ville Saikku, explains that a partnership with Childline is something on which the company has placed a large emphasis.
When starting out in business in a new region, it is usually not the best idea to pit yourself against one of the industry giants who have dominated a certain market for the best part of two decades. In 2003, Spar Zambia did just that, setting up in Lusaka and aiming to become the preferred shopping experience for customers but facing a challenge right from the outset with South African heavyweight Shoprite already boasting successful operations in the country. When Spar Zambia opened its first store, Arcades, Shoprite had a significant market share and the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) industry was still comparatively unsophisticated with Shoprite becoming recognised as the industry leader. The market had few ‘chain stores’ and was home to many single outlet businesses. When Spar Zambia entered the market in 2003, the move was viewed, by outsiders, as slightly risky because of the uncertainty of the market place but that original pessimism quickly fell away as the business took off and rapidly gained a strong position in the country’s retail sector.
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In this year, the year of Spar Zambia’s tenth birthday, the company is celebrating its success over the last decade and proudly holding promotional events throughout its 13 stores which now cover over 20,000m². Marketing Manager, Ville Saikku, says that back when the company started, insiders had nothing but confidence thanks to the success of the brand in neighbouring nations. “We had a lot of experience from across the border in South Africa and Zimbabwe so it was not a step into the dark; it was based on how things had gone in other countries, especially Zimbabwe. We had a lot of communication and cooperation with them in the beginning. “Shoprite has been in this market for quite a long time, it was one of the only major players in the market. Now there is Shoprite, ourselves and Pick n Pay, who are reasonably new to the market. Before we arrived there was only Shoprite and a selection of privately owned stores, there wasn’t any big chains,” he says. Plans for tenth year anniversary celebrations are already being made and Saikku suggests that all 13 stores will have special promotions to mark the occasion. “We are planning
to do a media campaign around the tenth anniversary,” he says. “It falls on the 4th of December, when Spar Arcades started and Spar Zambia came into being. I oversee marketing for the whole group and this will be one of the main marketing campaigns of the year. “We will have promotions in store and look at working with the press to promote the history of the company. We will focus especially on giving plenty of air-time to the corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects that we are working with. We will have promotions on the radio, instore and on our website and social media pages.”
not on the ground, areas in the copper-belt and Northern Province. “Of course we are looking into expansion but we are also looking at how we can improve what we already have. It’s a constant learning curve.”
GROWING BUSINESS The Zambian retail market has come a long way over the past decade and Spar has grown in parallel to the sector. However, Saikku suggests that further growth is an important target for the company, alongside continuous improvement of its existing 13 stores. “The newest store was opened recently in April in the Chilenje area of Lusaka and was the seventh store in Lusaka. “We will be looking at areas where we are currently
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Ten years of successful operations is a fantastic achievement for any business in any industry and Saikku says that although the competition is strong, the company tries to contest on more than just price. “In terms of competition, we are the second largest. We have a lot more stores than Pick n Pay but there are new entrants coming into the market, we now have FoodCorp and Food Lovers Market coming onto the scene. We are all moving forward and opening new stores. “In terms of price comparison, we are very much on a par with the rest. Shoprite have so many stores so they can order things in huge bulk and their prices can be cheaper. We don’t focus on price too much. If it’s only the price that you’re trying to beat your competition on, it’s not a model you will be successful in. “Our core values surround the idea of being the preferred shopping experience by being the best in fresh and having quality and range at affordable prices. We also focus on giving our customers a good shopping experince through customer service second to none.We bring in a lot of Spar products from around the world as well as things from the UK and South Africa which our competitors do not have.” These international ties are one component of a range of different factors that helps to bolster the Spar Zambia offering but while they related to an international group, the company is very much a Zambian outfit, designed with the local market in mind. “Our board is here, it’s a Zambian company, it’s part of a global supermarket chain but it’s locally run,” says Saikku.
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“What we do, which is different from our competitors, is make purchases in South Africa for the stores here to receive by truck. We are part of the Spar family in one of 34 countries but we try to buy locally. Fruit and veg, chickens and other fresh produce is all purchased locally,” he says.
DEVELOPING NATION It may come as no surprise that staple products are the most popular in Spar Zambia stores. “For the entire group, we’re looking at the basic everyday lines such as cooking oil, chicken, sugar, mealie meal flour and bread,” says Saikku. Zambia still has a high percentage of people living below the poverty line but its development since 1991 has been noticeable in the retail sector and Saikku suggests that the establishment of a middle class has been significant for Spar Zambia and helped the company to achieve continuity even during the tough economic climate. “Of course there are fluctuations but we have not seen too much of a problem. This is one of the emerging economies where people are getting better education, having more chances of a job and they have more buying power. People now know what they want; 20-30 years ago people only bought what there was, now you have a choice. “Technology moves so fast so we don’t know what impact that will have on the business over the next ten years. In Zambia there is still a lot of manual work compared to Europe where there is a lot of automation. “People are leaving their trusted brands and trying new things and that is good for us, especially when we introduce
Spar Zambia new things from South Africa or the UK or anywhere around the world. The middle class here is now starting to emerge,” he says.
13 AND COUNTING As discussed above, Spar Zambia is looking to continue its growth and roll out more new stores in areas where they do not currently have a strong presence. The copper belt is the obvious destination for expansion within Zambia. The towns of Kitwe and Ndola have modern shopping malls in various stages of development and are beginning to cater for the emerging middle class more effectively. This type of development, resulting in changing shopping behaviour, is the real driving force behind the change in the country’s retail sector. When building and opening new stores, Spar Zambia often utilises the franchise model and this has drawbacks as well as benefits. “Building anything comes with its challenges” says Saikku. “We’re getting better at it with every store that we do. In the last couple of years it’s been mostly franchise stores that have opened, for example, Chipata, Chilenje and Livingstone. “When you’re working with a franchisee, it depends whether the store manager is willing to take on board what
we’re saying or whether they want to go their own way. So far we’ve had good luck with working with great people.” This has been, in part, down to the experience and market knowledge of the people at Spar Zambia. The management is well versed in what it takes to successfully open a store that is perfect for the Zambian market and stocked to suit local demand. “Our CEO, Mike Yeatman, has spent his whole career in this business and he knows what he is talking about. “When we’re opening new stores we have to be flexible and creative as we’re ordering fittings from abroad and we have to meet deadlines. Everything depends on what type of store it is. We will have to get the right ovens, cold rooms etc. We usually work with international companies with representatives in Zambia,” says Saikku
HAVING AN IMPACT Ten years into business in Zambia and Spar is continuing to heighten its focus on work with charitable causes. As Saikku mentioned above, the company is giving as much air time as possible to its chosen ‘good-cause’ partners and right now one of the focus areas is raising awareness for Childline in Zambia. Childline Zambia is a toll free telephone counselling and guidance service. This service is aimed at promoting
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child protection and is accessible for both child callers and those calling on behalf of children. Callers simply dial 116 and are put through to a trained agent who can provide assistance with any issue. “We are not the first Spar to work with Childline,” explains Saikku. “Spar Zimbabwe and Spar UK both work with Childline but it is relatively new here. They are working under a NGO called Lifeline who also run another free helpline for people who have problems, not just children. They expanded their operations and are now looking to give children a voice when they are in trouble.” The company is using its highly recognisable brand identity and many marketing channels to promote Childline as much as possible. This association is highly beneficial for Childline and means that their message is potentially being seen by a huge number of people. “We have about one million shoppers in our stores every month so it is a great opportunity to raise awareness in all these different areas. Regardless of our tenth anniversary, Childline is always at the top of our agenda. “In all of our 13 stores, we have donation boxes. We advertise their 116 logo across all of our platforms from bags to leaflets to our website and anything we print. At every event we go to, we discuss Childline, trying to get
more publicity among the general public,” says Saikku. Childline, like Spar, is an organisation looking for growth and through work with international partners the charity has so far managed to establish a strong presence in Zambia but as yet does not provide an all-encompassing service. “What we want to do in the future is to become more involved with the other partners who are working with Childline, such as Unicef and Plan International, and look at how we can help with mobile crisis clinics which go to rural areas and discuss difficult issues,” says Saikku.
“Our board is here, it’s a Zambian company, it’s part of a global supermarket chain but it’s locally run” “Childline are also looking to expand their capacity to make sure that they can answer every call that comes through. Sometimes, when the centre is overwhelmed, calls can go
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unanswered so we need to help train new people to deal with these problems and give the right help,” he adds.
“People are leaving their trusted brands and trying new things and that is good for us” When getting involved with a CSR project, Spar Zambia is careful to consider the long-term effect of their participation and the overall sustainability of the project. It is not only financial support offered by the company but more of a ‘bottom to top’ development plan. This ultimately means that CSR projects can continue without Spar assistance should the day ever come when Spar would have to step back from the partnership. “Childline is our national CSR project but every store has their own personal initiative within their community. Whether it’s working with a school or a prison, we try to develop projects which benefit both sides and that are not purely based on financial donations. We want to ensure that if we were to leave a project it would remain sustainable,” says Saikku. Often international companies who have a reach similar
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to that of Spar are involved with CSR projects for all the wrong reasons and focus on projects purely for self-gain but in Zambia the intentions of Spar are genuine and long lasting; good news for all their CSR partners. Seeing as the company is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year we thought it was only right to ask where the company would be ten years from now, on their next major anniversary in 2023. “In ten years’ time we would like to look back and say that we have really made an impact and not just done things for show,” says Saikku. “With regards to our stores, only time will tell. It depends on what happens to the economy; will we keep growing and developing or will we be hit by a credit crunch? Hopefully we will develop and people will gain more knowledge and power so they can buy what they want.” With factors like the Zambian economy reportedly growing at a rate of 6.5-8% per annum, Zambia being named one of the world’s fastest economically reformed countries by the World Bank, the continuous attracting of foreign investors and development of infrastructure allowing costs of doing business to fall all playing their part in the country’s sustained growth, it looks as though Spar will have no problems when rolling out their ambitious expansion plans and becoming the preferred shopping experience across the country.
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