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2013 ISSUE 8

Lombard Tyres Celebrating 30 years

Afriplex Award winning separation technology


Entering the era of cognitive systems

Br端milda van Rensburg A real High Roller

Home Sweet Home Sage South Africa, the local arm of the global payroll company, recently moved into their new home, a state-of-the-art office near Pretoria. IndustrySA talks to the company to find out more about their success.


EDITORIAL EDITOR Joe Forshaw SUB EDITOR Lauren Grey WRITERS Colin Renton Tim Hands Roland Douglas Christian Jordan RESEARCH DIRECTOR Chris Bolderstone PROJECT MANAGERS Tonnie Geddes Hal Hutchison John Cliff Ben Martell 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 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 East Coast Promotions Ltd does not accept responsibility for omissions or errors. The points of view expressed in articles by attributing writers and/or in advertisements included in this magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this magazine, no legal responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information published. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the publisher.

Welcome to the eighth issue... An entrepreneur is defined as someone who organises and operates a business venture or ventures, taking on financial risk to do so. Some of the world’s most inspirational entrepreneurs hail from South Africa. In the past we have looked at the stories of Mark Shuttleworth, Patrice Motsepe, Pam Golding and Ashish Thakkar and this month we look take a closer look at the life of SA born tech guru Elon Musk. While entrepreneurs require a hard nose and a focussed, driven approach to business, to be a wholly successful business person you need to be able to deal with people from across the spectrum effectively, something all the above names do very well. You need to be able to control a workforce, liaise with clients, employees, government and communities and most importantly, you need to be able to inspire people and this requires exceptional communication. In 2013, the way entrepreneurs communicate with their business stakeholders is changing. Embrace this change and get in touch with us online (@industry_sa or ECPindustrysa) to tell us about your entrepreneurial exploits. We love to hear stories of entrepreneurial excellence and we know that behind every business is an entrepreneur and their ideas and innovations. This month we talk to VR Engineering, Voltex, Sage, Shell SA and Excel Clothing, amongst others, to discover what entrepreneurial ideas these established, highly successful organisations will be coming out with next!

Joe Forshaw

© East Coast Promotions Ltd 2012




3 EDITOR’S PAGE Are you an entrepreneur?

6 NEWS All that’s happening in South Africa 10 EnTREPRENEUR Conquering the internet, clean energy and space travel

12 Innovation The first African smartphone and tablet 14 SA Cinema Searching for Sugar Man takes gold 16 Automotive Excellence Sailing, Italian style 18 Brumilda van Rensburg A real High Roller



20 Sage VIP Payroll & HR

62 Putco

A new home and identity for Sage South Africa

Your transport friend

26 VR Engineering

70 Lombard Tyres 30th anniversary celebrations

Van Rensburg family power

33 Cummins Power Generation The trusted brand, for all your power needs

36 The SKA The era of cognitive systems

44 excel clothing Fast fashion, Zara style.

76 Afriplex Sensational separation technology

84 Botswana Power Corporation Powering Botswana towards prosperity

90 ZETDC Energising Zimbabwe

48 Shell South Africa Is natural gas the future?

92 Impalha Clothing

53 Intertek RSA

Puma’s South African manufacturing partner

Convenient quality solutions

56 Voltex Getting engaged

98 Industry Recommended This month’s showcased organisations




NEWS A brief look at the issues making the news across South Africa. For more news stories visit

Russian helicopter service centre opens in Joburg

Denel Aviation and Russian Helicopters have opened a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre for Russian-built helicopters in Johannesburg. The centre’s opening coincided with South Africa’s hosting of the fifth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in Durban, following the signing of an agreement between the two organisations at the Africa Aerospace and Defence show in September 2012. South African President, Jacob Zuma says that the facility would enable Russian helicopters systems operators across the continent to benefit from Denel’s extensive after-sales support presence. “The facility is here for all Russian helicopters systems operators in the continent and will enable the operators to derive the benefits of Denel’s extensive after-sales

support presence across our continent” he says. The opening of the service centre is set to strengthen Russian Helicopters position in the African market; there are currently around 600 Russian-built helicopters across the continent, and maintaining the fleet requires advanced service support. Dmitry Shugaev, deputy chief executive of high technology state corporation Rostec, said in a statement, “This is an important step in the development of our global after-sales support network for Russian rotarywing aircraft.”. “Russian helicopters are very popular in Africa and our other core markets, so it is very important for us to be able to offer repair and maintenance services on the spot. “This will help our partners in the sub-Sahara region to keep their businesses running smoothly by offering certified after-sales care for civilian helicopters when it is needed most,” Shugaev says. Russian Helicopters CEO, Dmitry Petrov, says that the launch of the service centre by Denel Aviation is a ‘serious step’ towards maintaining the Russian fleet which requires ‘advance service support’. “We plan to build out a major regional centre that in future will be able to offer after-sales care and maintenance for all Russian-built helicopters in the subSahara region” he says.

SA whisky wins world’s best grain Whisky Magazine named Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky the best grain whisky in the world at an annual awards ceremony in London in March. Bain’s is the first South African whisky to ever pick up the prestigious award. Journalists and retailers sat blindfolded to taste over 300 whiskies through three rounds of heats before moving to the final round where each looked to be crowned best of their category. “South African whisky featured in the top ranks again this year with Bain’s winning the title of World’s Best Grain Whisky,” the magazine said. “This isn’t just a win for this brand but for South African whisky-making,” Bain’s distiller, Jeff Green, said in a statement. “By taking the World’s Best Grain Whisky title, we have amply demonstrated that South Africa can make exceptional whiskies.

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“The 2013 title follows last year’s win by Three Ships 5 year old of the WWA’s World’s Best Blended Whisky, [and] puts South Africa as a whisky-producing country squarely on the map,” Green said. Bain’s was established in 2009 at the James Sedgwick Distillery in Wellington in the Western Cape. It became the first single grain whisky to be produced in South Africa. “Made from water that flows over 850 million year old sandstone and indigenous fynbos, Bain’s Cape Mountain Whisky holds a unique and distinctive flavour profile,” the producers said. It has won several awards since its launch, including silver medals at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions of the International Spirits Challenge and gold medals at the 2011 and 2012 editions of the International Wine and Spirits Competition.


South Africa and China take new steps towards refinery deal PetroSA, South Africa’s state oil company, and China’s Sinopec Group made large strides towards a deal to create Africa’s largest oil refinery when the two companies signed an agreement in Pretoria last month. The proposed refinery is planned for the Coega Industrial Development Zone, near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. It will be named the Mthombo refinery project and will reportedly cost US$10 billion. The agreement, signed during a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Pretoria in March, will create opportunities for oil and gas exploration. Jinping was in South Africa for the 5th BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit, which took place in Durban. It is reported that the construction of the refinery will create close to 30,000 jobs, and when the project is complete and fully operational, a further 18,000 long-term jobs will be made.

“The framework agreement enables the two companies to move forward this global-scale crude oil refinery project,” the two chairmen, PetroSA’s Benny Mokaba and Sinopec’s Fu Chengyu, said in a statement. “[It] gives PetroSA the opportunity to extend a mutually beneficial relationship with a major national oil company,” Mokaba explained. “This strategic relationship can and will be leveraged to benefit PetroSA’s sustainability and growth programmes.” “South Africa is politically stable and economically developed,” Fu said. “Sinopec pays close attention to its business growth in South Africa, and wishes to contribute to local economic and social development.” As part of their growth plans, the companies agreed to include the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in the next phase of the project’s development. According to Business Day, the refinery would pump approximately 360,000 barrels per day, making it one of the world’s largest producers.


NEWS A brief look at the issues making the news across South Africa. For more news stories visit

EasyHotels hit the African market London-based investment holding company Lonrho and British entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s investment business, the easyGroup, recently came together to open their first African budget hotel in Johannesburg. The opening of the new hotel heralds the roll-out of easyHotels by Lonrho throughout the rest of Africa to meet growing demand, according to Lonrho chief executive, Geoffrey White “This will be the first of many hotels specifically designed to provide an international standard hotel room at a budget price starting from US$31 (R290) per room per night,” he said. Located on De Korte Street in Braamfontein - part of Johannesburg’s central business district - the easyHotel by Lonrho follows the easyGroup’s low-cost business model to allow access to a higher number of people. “South Africa is indisputably the largest entry point to the continent, with Johannesburg as the primary international gateway to the African hub,” the

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organisations said in a joint statement last week. “The country also remains very popular with the US, UK and German markets for both leisure and business travel, while over the last five years, arrivals from China and India have increased year-on-year.” “EasyHotel is all about simple comfort and great value, so I’m delighted to open our first African hotel in Johannesburg,” said easyGroup chairperson, Sir Stelios Haji- Ioannou. “The city has a wealth of attractions for leisure and business visitors and this new easyHotel will allow them to enjoy the best of Johannesburg.” Guests of the easyHotel will have fantastic access to the high speed Gautrain, linking Johannesburg with OR Tambo International, Rosebank, Sandton and Pretoria. “Opening its first ‘easyHotel by Lonrho’ at the heart of Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa, demonstrates Lonrho Hotels’ corporate objective of operating hotels in Africa’s high demand, high growth destinations,” the organisations said.


Solar powered plane to cross the USA

© Solar Impulse | Jean Revillard Solar Impulse, considered the world’s most advanced solar powered plane, is expected to be ready to leave from NASA Ames Research Centre in California on May 1st, although the actual departure will depend on the weather, to fly across the entire USA. The target is to reach JFK International Airport in early July, without using a single drop of fuel. There has been much attention paid to solar power recently, especially in South Africa, with new solar farms going up all the time, some of the biggest in the Northern Cape. The Solar Impulse plane, created as an example of what is possible with solar power, has already earned its wings, in 2010 the solar plane flew non-stop for 26 hours to demonstrate that the aircraft could soak up enough sunlight to keep it airborne through the night. A year later, it went on its first international flight to Belgium and France. Last year, the Solar Impulse made its first transcontinental voyage, traveling 2495km from Madrid to the Moroccan capital, Rabat, in 20 hours.

Co-founders of the Solar Impulse project, Swiss duo, Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard say that they want to inspire the younger generations to become pioneers, and to build imaginations about what could be done with technology of this nature. The plane is vulnerable to bad weather, weighing as much as a family car and with the wing-span of a commercial passage aircraft. It cannot fly through clouds and can only reach 64km/h, but the point is to spark imagination according to the creators. “The more you fly the more energy you have stored in the batteries, so it’s absolutely fabulous to imagine all the possibilities the people can have with these technologies in their daily lives,” said Mr Piccard. The Solar Impulse is powered by approximately 12,000 photovoltaic cells that cover the massive wings and charge its batteries, allowing it to fly day and night without jet fuel. When Solar Impulse makes it flight across the States it will stop in Phoenix, Dallas, Washington DC and eventually New York, proving again the endless ability of solar power.



A glittering career, started in Pretoria By Joe Forshaw

Elon Musk is from Pretoria, he is one of America’s richest men, his business success is mind-boggling and we take a look at his story so far…

“Serving in the South African army suppressing black people just didn’t seem like a really good way to spend time”

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Elon Musk Our featured entrepreneur for this month is another shining example of South African business talent. His story shows that anything is possible and no matter what your interests, no matter what your talents and no matter what your background, you can succeed if you have passion, drive and innovative ideas. Elon Musk, now officially a citizen of the USA, was born and raised in Pretoria in 1971 to a Canadian mother and South African father, an engineer who inspired his love of technology. He attended Bryanston High School and eventually Pretoria Boys High School and it was during this time that he became interested in IT and computer programing. At the age of ten, Mr Musk bought his first computer and taught himself about programing. Within two years he had built and sold his first commercial software for a space game. At the age of 17, Mr Musk left home and headed to North America, specifically Kingston Ontario, where he enrolled at Queen’s University, sometimes surviving on a dollar a day, earned through part-time and summer jobs. He left South Africa because of his reluctance to join up for compulsory military service. Often quoted, one of his more famous sayings goes: “I don’t have an issue with serving in the military per se, but serving in the South African army suppressing black people just didn’t seem like a really good way to spend time.” Mr Musk made no secret of his desire to move to the US and in 1992 he moved to Philadelphia to study at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he earned an undergraduate degree in Business and a secondary degree in Physics. Upon finishing his undergraduate studies, Mr Musk moved to Silicon Valley, California where he began studying for a PhD in Applied Physics and Materials Science at Stanford. It is reported that he dropped out after just two days and started his own online content publishing company, Zip2, with his brother Kimbal. The formation of Zip2 is where Mr Musk began his business empire. Since then his entrepreneurial reach has gone as far as the International Space Station, creating him a huge personal fortune and making him famous all over the world. In 1999, Mr Musk sold Zip2 to Compaq’s AltaVista for over $300 million cash and over $30 million in shares. Later that year, he put his earnings to work and started, a secure online financial services company. In 2000, merged with Confinity, a similar company dealing with online finance transfers

and the new entity focussed on email payments under the domain PayPal. In 2001, changed its name to PayPal and in 2002 the company was acquired by eBay for a reported $1.5 billion of stock. At the time of the sale Mr Musk was the majority shareholder. The South African was now experienced in the day-to-day activities involved with running a business and in 2002 started his third venture, a company called Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) which focusses on developing and manufacturing space launch vehicles, the first of which were the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets, and the Dragon Spacecraft. To fund this start-up he invested $100 million of his early fortune. In 2008, SpaceX was given a $1.6 billion contract by NASA to fly to the ISS, carrying out similar missions to the now retired Space Shuttle. The company has gone from strength to strength and in 2009, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fuelled vehicle to put a satellite into orbit. In early 2012, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle docked with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and dock a vehicle to the ISS. The pursuit of business in the markets of space travel and internet services flow directly from Mr Musk’s personal ambitions. He started his businesses with the goal of addressing three important concerns, “one was the internet, one was clean energy and one was space.” Further bolstering Mr Musk’s business portfolio are controlling interests in Tesla Motors and SolarCity, the first being an electrical automotive manufacturer of which he is CEO and head of product design and the second being the largest provider of solar power systems in the US of which he is Chairman of the board and his cousin, Lyndon Rive, is CEO. His net worth is estimated to be around $3 billion, one of the richest 200 people in the US. He has received numerous awards for business success and charity work and he is aged just 41. A heavy contributor to charitable causes, twice married and a father to five sons, Mr Musk describes himself as a workaholic. Not surprising, considering his ambitious plans to put people on Mars in 10-20 years, to fight global warming and to build a solar powered jet tunnel allowing for travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in just 30 minutes. This young man from Pretoria has had quite a journey and has proved, and is proving, that with hard work and ambition, anything is possible.


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giving the industry a wake-up call By Joe Forshaw VMK comes from Vumbuka, a word derived from Kikongo which means ‘wake up’. Two innovations from the company have been making steady progress in the African market, sending out a wake-up call to international competitors.


Since 2009, VMK has been one of the most talked about companies in Africa. Why? Because VMK has designed, manufactured, marketed and distributed the first African smartphone and tablet devices. Based in the Congo, the company was established by entrepreneur and tech specialist Verone Mankou. While in the early days VMK faced many difficulties, the business is now performing well with orders for the African designed products coming from as far as India, France and Belgium. The two flagship products from VMK are the tablet device, the Way-C, and the smartphone, the Elikia.

WAY-C One of the key features that Mr Mankou wanted to ensure his products are known for is affordability.

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The Way-C costs around R2500, compare this to the leading international brands Apple and Samsung, whose equivalent products could cost you four or five times this amount. Even with the considerably lower price tag, the Way-C is no worse off when you look at the technical specifications. It runs the popular Android Gingerbread OS and comes with 512mb RAM, 1.2 GHz CPU and a 4 GB HDD memory with space for a further 32 GB on an external card. The device has Wi-Fi connectivity and a fantastic, easy to use screen with good resolution supported by a 4200mAh battery which will provide six hours of power during continued usage. The Way-C, or ‘the light of the stars’ in the local Lingala language, weighs in at 380g and measures 19cm x 11.7cm x 1.25cm, making it similar in size to the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

INNOVATION ELIKIA Elikia, the local word for ‘hope’, is the first smartphone designed by VMK. Although described by the company as ‘entry level’, many critics have described this product as anything but. The Elikia also runs Android Gingerbread and has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and 3G connectivity. The phone is powered by a 1300mAh battery which provides nine hour autonomy whilst surfing the internet, listening to music or watching videos. The 3.5inch screen makes viewing pictures taken on the 5MP camera a pleasure and at just 150g the Elikia is only slightly heavier than an iPhone 4 (137g). Equipped with a FM radio and a high-performance multi-media player, the Elikia is fun as well as functional. There is also a forward facing camera, allowing for video calls and self-portraits, perfect for social media and business calls.

VMK Elika

“Apple is huge in the US, Samsung is huge in Asia, and we want VMK to be huge in Africa” AFRICAN? There have been products in the past that have been introduced as African when they are in fact Chinese products with a miniature local trait. What makes VMK products African? Firstly, the primary design and engineering is undertaken in Africa by Africans. Secondly, the market is Africa – the aforementioned products are available in 11 African nations. At the Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg in November, Mr Mankou said: “Only Africans can know what Africa needs.” He also stated his desire for VMK to become Africa’s leading internet and communication technology company saying: “Apple is huge in the US, Samsung is huge in Asia, and we want VMK to be huge in Africa.” The smartphone will cost around R1450 without a contract, cheaper than the international competition and Mr Mankou recently announced ambitions to release a cheaper version of the Way-C, available to students this year. These innovations have seen success despite being developed in what is described as one of the world’s most difficult places to do business. It can take up to half a year to start a business in Congo, compared to less than two weeks in the US.

The ultimate goal and vision of the company ‘to give the general public access to technology and the internet at an affordable price’ is now becoming a reality and an on-going project (the original idea behind VMK) of developing a computer which costs less than $200 is nearing completion. The success of VMK can be attributed partly to the innovative Mr Mankou and partly to the continent as a whole, looking to Africa for solutions and not to the Far-East for cheaper, short-term fixes.


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Searching For Sugar Man

O scar success for Cape Town-shot movie By Liam Kelleher Searching for Sugar Man, a movie ilmed in Cape Town about American singer-songwriter Rodriguez who became an icon for young South Africans during the apartheid era, won an Oscar, a BAFTA and a host of other awards. IndustrySA reviews the documentary to see what all the fuss is about.

When documentary maker Malik Bendajelloul stumbled across the incredible story at the heart of Searching for Sugar Man he was backpacking across the world in search of a tale that would inspire him enough to film. Many years later, on the 10th of February 2013, Mr Bendajelloul accepted the BAFTA award for best documentary, winning out against strong competition including Kevin McDonald’s Marley and Amy Berg’s West Of Memphis. Two weeks later the film was awarded the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, generating even more international acclaim and driving sales for the documentary. The film has gone on to win numerous awards including the ‘Best of the Fest’ award at the Tribeca film festival (for which it was awarded $50,000) as well as the audience awards at multiple festivals such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Durban International Film Festival and the International Documentary Film Festival, bagging 25 awards in total. Searching for Sugar Man was a passion project for the filmmaker who spent 1000 days filming and editing the project before any funding had been secured for the production of the documentary. When the director ran out of money he recorded the remaining shots using an iPhone app called 8mm Vintage Camera to complete his project. His long journey however, seemingly a leisurely stroll in comparison to the journey of the man who is the focus of the film.

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Searching For Sugar Man

Searching for Sugar Man is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.

Searching for Sugar Man follows the short-lived career of 1970’s folk musician Sixto Rodriguez, a critically acclaimed but poorly selling musician who released only two albums; Cold Fact (1970) and Coming From Reality (1971), before being dropped by his label. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez a copy of Cold Fact travelled to South Africa and quickly spread as bootleg copies began to circulate. During the height of apartheid, Rodriguez became a counter culture icon, more popular than Elvis in South Africa and inspired a generation of rebellious politicised musicians. Despite his soaring popularity overseas, Rodriguez himself remained veiled in mystery to many of his fans. Rumours circulated that he had taken his own life during the climax of his final concert by way of pistol or self-immolation (depending on which version of events you heard). Searching for Sugar Man follows two of Rodriguez’s fans, Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom as they attempt to unravel the mystery of this pop culture icon and the events surrounding his supposed demise. By following the narrative of Segerman and Strydom’s investigation, Bendajelloul successfully unpacks the mystery of Rodriguez, constructing a heart warming portrait of the man who unknowingly meant so much to so many. When Rodriguez is eventually interviewed (the reports of his demise having been greatly exaggerated),

he describes his reaction to discovering his fame in South Africa, the audience are struck by what a humble man he actually is and how easily he takes his newfound fame in his stride. The sequences in which Rodriguez’s daughters and co-workers are interviewed also serve to illustrate what a peaceful, thoughtful and politically active individual the man is beyond his music. It is easy to appreciate how his music found such a strong following amongst South African’s during the 1970s and beyond. The film is beautifully shot, utilising talking head sequences, archived footage as well as breath taking establishing sequences to create a portrayal of the man as well as the lives of the people who were affected and inspired by his music. Searching for Sugar Man is a must see for both fans of Rodriguez as well as more casual film fans who will be enchanted by this fascinating true story that will leave even the most cynical of viewers feeling warmed by the genuine passion exuded by the mysterious musician as well as the excitement he generates within his fans. In a time of prepackaged musicians and icons behaving badly it is truly refreshing to experience the journey of an artist with an important message, a man who created music from a place of love, not for money nor fame but in order to touch people with his words. This film was made with the same love and craft by Mr Bendajelloul and is a fantastic testament to the culturally significant figure that Rodriguez has become.


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Automotive Excellence

Let a little luxury into your life By Christian Jordan

Having a sports car or a sports bike is nice but having your own yacht is even nicer. For those who can afford it, a personal yacht elevates your social status to that of A-list celebrity. So, which one will you choose? You are successful in business. You have your own company or you are a manager in a position of power. This means you are earning good money. IndustrySA likes to give our readers ideas about what to spend this good money on. We have in the past recommended holiday destinations, cars, bikes, gadgets, wines and many more of the finer things in life but this month our attention falls on the sea. One of the ultimate essentials for the successful business person of today is a boat. Roman Abramovich, Steven Spielberg, Paul Allen, Bill Gates, Tiger Woods, all of these big names have impressive yachts to match their impressive fortunes. They are the toys of millionaires and royalty and as you are well on the way to becoming one of the two, we have chosen a selection of the best yachts from one of the world’s finest manufacturers to inspire your imagination. The company we are looking at is Azimut Yachts, based in Avigliana, Italy. Established in 1969, Azimut Yachts began in sail boat chartering and eventually developed into a leading large luxury yacht building company. The company also owns Benetti Yachts, another world famous Italian boat building specialist.

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With prices starting at around R30 million, you will need to have cash in abundance and be ready to spend it when looking into craft of this kind.

AZIMUT 100 LEONARDO Azimut say this boat “combines sportiness with elegance”. Exquisitely designed, the interior of this yacht ensures guests are perfectly relaxed and entertained. The interior is like a high-end Miami hotel; modern, clean and fresh, and extremely comfortable. Designed to ensure privacy and exclusivity, this boat has a sun-deck with a whirlpool bath, six cabins (including VIP quarters), a saloon, a lunch area for eight guests, a beach area that can launch jet skis, a full kitchen and bar and a state-of-the-art cockpit amongst its many glitzy features. Perhaps more suited to a serial entertainer or regular family traveller, this yacht is over 30m long and creates a dominating presence in the water. It is powerful (with a top speed of 31kn), classy and fantastically well built, giving you peace of mind when you have your most important clients on board for an informal, sun-drenched meeting. The price is estimated at around R70 million, the most expensive of our three recommendations.

Automotive Excellence

“The interior is like a high-end Miami hotel; modern, clean and fresh, and extremely comfortable”

AZIMUT MAGELLANO 76 The Magellano 76 was introduced at the Genoa International Boat Show 2012 and is an evolution of the previous model, the Magellano 74. The target for the design of the Magellano range is to achieve maximum cruising comfort at high and low speeds. At nearly 25m long, with a top speed of 22kn, this boat has six cabins, a sun-deck and substantial living area which is fully kitted out to ensure optimum levels of comfort. Interior and exterior design has again taken privacy into consideration and although slightly smaller than the Leonardo this yacht will comfortable accommodate a family or a collection of business partners. With prices estimated at around R35 million, the Magellano 76 is also cheaper than the Leonardo, making it a viable option for the regular or ‘once a year’ sailor.

AZIMUT 86S The 86S is sportier than the previous two. The company say that the sharpness of the design makes this boat look like a “sea creature attempting to break through the sea’s surface”. While this is still extremely comfortable and modern on the inside, the exterior is built for speed. 42kn is the top speed, generated by two 2000 mHP (1470 kW) MTU V16 2000 M91 Hamilton engines. At just over 26m long, the 86S is longer than the

Magellano but appears flatter on the water, adding to the sporty impression. For approximately R48 million, you get three large areas devoted to the sun, tender and jet ski storage area, furniture made from luxurious dark wergé wood, enough space to house around ten people, full kitchen and living facilities including flat screen satellite TV. This is probably our favourite of the three and while it will host a perfect business meeting it is more suited to family vacationing. All three are head turners and will ensure people know about your success in whichever of the world’s exclusive harbours you choose to sail into. In Africa, you can buy Azimut yachts in Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Angola and in South Africa they are available from Broderick Marine in Vanderbijlpark, just outside Johannesburg.


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A-list casting for SABC3’s High Rollers By Joe Forshaw

SABC3’s riveting new local drama series, High Rollers, is set to be one of the major TV creations of 2013. The 26-part series is an inter-generational family drama centring on King’s casino and five star hotel complex in Johannesburg’s north-eastern suburbs. The cast is headed by Brümilda van Rensburg and she recently told IndustrySA what to expect from the new series…

Q: High Rollers airs on the 2nd of April, are you excited? Very! I love the character I’m portraying. I’ve been so busy with my acting academy and film work that I haven’t been on the small screen for over a year now and it’s wonderful to be acting in English with such a talented cast. There’s this feeling of excitement on set, it’s not often that a project like High Rollers comes along. Q: The cast list is packed with SA talent, is the industry experiencing a boom in local talent? I’m a firm believer in the talent we have in SA and it’s fantastic that there are more opportunities for that talent to shine. The film industry, especially the Afrikaans films, are really coming out thick and fast so it’s great to see the TV industry catching up to that pace with shows like High Rollers. Q: Tell us about the story line in the series. It surrounds the world of gambling. The words ‘backstabbing, glamorous and sexy’ have been used, is this apt? The costumes are so gorgeous, the sets so well designed and the on screen talent is so good looking that I definitely think the words ‘glamorous’ and ‘sexy’ are relevant. As far as ‘backstabbing’ goes, my character, Helena King, has quite a bit to do with that. As the matriarch of the King family, Helena has raised her sons to win at all costs and she puts the families interests above the individuals. She holds a lot of secrets that are only revealed during the course of the show, so you’ll have to watch and see...

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Brümilda van Rensburg

Q: Does the series start gently or can we expect action from the offset? The first episode starts with my characters eldest son, Paul, played by maestro Justin Strydom, being released from prison and seeking forgiveness for committing a murder 18 years ago. How Paul fits into the family casino business is very explosive, especially since Paul used to be in a relationship with Analine, played by Rolanda Marais, who is now married to his younger brother, David King, played by the fabulous Antony Coleman. Then there’s the whole story of how the casino deals with a cheater caught red handed and what lengths the casino will go to in order to protect themselves. So the sparks start flying right from the beginning of the show. Q: Were there any significant challenges during the filming of High Rollers? The biggest challenge and also the greatest victory of the show is shooting at a working casino. Emperors Palace is simply the perfect location, it’s so beautifully designed and decorated. Shooting while the casino is actually operating is challenging and gamblers are a different breed so there was a few times I got approached by casino guests who wanted to share a hand of cards with me because they thought I might be a lucky charm. It’s too bad we weren’t allowed to gamble while shooting - I might have made a few bucks... Q: Did you have any reservations when you were first approached about the part? Acting in English is a bit daunting but the scripts are so well written that the dialogue just flows naturally. I have superb directors leading me all the way, stretching me as an actress and I feel that’s what this experience of High Rollers has been for me. Pushing me to places I haven’t been before, so whatever reservations I might have had, I certainly don’t have them anymore. Q: The part of Helena King is very specific and definite. Did this make things easier for you or was Helena a challenge to master? When I read the part of Helena, I knew I had to play this role. She is so well defined and masterly written as a strong, confident and powerful woman. It wasn’t too hard getting into her head and rumour has it that the writers have commented that they have changed storylines because of my performance and what I bring to the role. But I mustn’t give anything away about that. That’s a lekker series ‘cliffhanger’.

Q: Can we make any comparisons between Helena King and Brümilda van Rensburg characteristics? I think we are both strong and confident women, who say what they think and aren’t afraid to be taken seriously in business. But Helena’s tragic flaw is that she expects the worst in people whereas I always hope for the best in everyone and I’m genuinely surprised when people disappoint me. Helena would be waiting for that disappointment and would be ready with a firm hand to deal with it. Maybe it’s just because I’m a softy on the inside, but I couldn’t live my life expecting people to drop me.

“The sparks start flying right from the beginning of the show” Q: What are your expectations for the show? SABC3 have called it ‘exceptional’. Is this going to be the TV experience of 2013? For the local TV market I think High Rollers is light years ahead in every aspect - styling, acting, production value and of course, the most important element of any drama - the story. I couldn’t put the scripts down. You just have to find out what’s going to happen to this King family. High Rollers is on a par with some of my favourite international shows like Revenge or Suits, which, trust me, is not easy to achieve with the limitations we have to deal with in SA. Q: What is next on the agenda for you? More theatre performances? Movie work? Or perhaps a concentration on the drama academy and acting agency? I’m shooting a film Musiek vir die Agtergrond with the wonderful director Sallas de Jager. I play Lucy is a very successful music executive. She doesn’t waste time to make a distinction between what is good or bad music, she makes her choices based on what will sell. Lots of castings happening for my students from our academy. Just done the play ‘Die Vrou Vantevrore’ at Spier Amphitheatre. I do talks on the book I wrote Brumilda 50 Vurig en Fabulous. Q: Finally, what advice would you give to up-andcoming acting talent looking to make a career in South African TV? You have to be patient. If you work hard you will make it.


APR 13 PAGE 19


A new home for Sage South Africa Editorial – Joe Forshaw Production – Hal Hutchison

Softline recently changed their name to Sage South Africa to bring the company in-line with the global brand. We speak to the payroll and HR specialists to find out more about the rebrand and the new products that will ensure continued success for the company.

Africa is the developing continent of the world. Every year, more and more business ventures are started, more and more foreign investment enters and more people become employed. In the early stages of business, right through to maturity, when a business operates on a large scale, one of the most fundamental things to get right is payroll and HR. This can be a daunting task. Ensuring all employees get their payment efficiently while operating within the relevant tax laws requires an in-depth understanding of accounting and payroll systems. One of the companies making it easier for small, medium and large companies to handle their payroll activities is Sage VIP Payroll and HR. Selling industry

PAGE 20 APR 13

leading payroll software and offering tutorial services to clients, the company has become a partner for businesses across the whole continent. The company has been operating in South Africa for 28 years and after growth, acquisitions, name changes and new offices, they have recently released two new products targeted at different ends of the market that could prove invaluable for businesses looking to fully automate their payroll systems. “Sage UK PLC acquired Softline VIP in 2003. Softline VIP is a South African company, formerly a listed company until the acquisition,” explains Anton Van Heerden, MD of Sage VIP. “It consists of two accounting software businesses and two payroll and HR businesses.


“In South Africa, we are now the dominant force; we have 55-60% of the market. Around 5.5 million people in South Africa are paid through our systems every month”

“Sage VIP (formerly Softline VIP) started in 1985, so we’ve been around for quite some time. “I got involved after my father founded a business which we then sold on to Softline in 1998. I run both Sage Pastel Payroll and Sage VIP in South Africa,” says Mr Van Heerden. Over the years, the company has grown and expanded. Now dominating the industry in South Africa, the company is looking to increase its already substantial presence in the African market. “We focus on payroll and HR and we pretty much cover the whole market from SMEs to the higher end of the market. We fit into all industries. “We sell throughout the whole of Africa. In South Africa, we are now the dominant force; we have

55-60% of the market. Around 5.5 million people in South Africa are paid through our systems every month. “We also operate through most African countries, about 25 countries but our core activity is payroll and HR to all market segments.

REBRANDING One of the major events in the company’s history was witnessed in February when a large rebranding project saw Softline renamed Sage South Africa. Softline acts as the holding company for prominent South African software products such as Pastel Accounting and Payroll, VIP Payroll, Sage 300 ERP (Accpac) and Sage ERP X3.

APR 13 PAGE 21



“We have found that it can be very, very expensive for multinationals that have a presence in Africa to run payroll and often they have to get a consultant to come and configure their systems for each country.” VIP People removes this problem as it has a standard set up which is configured for all African countries. To make life even easier for clients, Sage has around 250 consultants who can be dispatched to any African nation to assist with software implementation and the infrastructure and outreach offered by the company is unrivalled by competitors.


Ivan Epstein, CEO of Sage AAMEA (Africa, Australia, Middle East and Asia) said the rebrands purpose was alignment with Softline’s parent company, The Sage Group PLC in the continued pursuit of a global brand. “Softline has been part of The Sage Group PLC for many years and over this time we have continued to grow in prominence. To move forward we believe that it is now time to leverage the global power of The Sage Group and align ourselves fully with the brand.” The move to Sage will bring about name changes across all of the divisions including Sage VIP (formerly Softline VIP), Sage ERP Africa (formerly Softline ACCPAC), Sage Pastel (formerly Softline Pastel) and Sage Netcash (formerly Softline Netcash) as well as the newest edition to the portfolio, Sage Alchemex (formerly Alchemex).

VIP PEOPLE Sage VIP Payroll and HR has been busy recently with two new products introduced at different ends of the market, one for large-scale businesses and one for first time payroll software users with smaller needs. “We did a product launch very recently for a system called People,” says Mr Van Heerden. “The offering is a best of breed payroll system. We are very excited about this because we believe we can offer a very sophisticated HR payroll offering to large corporates and we can supply 80% of the functionality that typically a customised ERP system could offer but at a fraction of the cost.

PAGE 22 APR 13

The second product that the company has been pushing recently is an online payroll system, designed for ease of access and does not require complicated software installation or update as everything is done online. “The second product we are very excited about is a new system called VIP Liquid,” says Mr Van Heerden. “It has been around for about 18 months but it is still in its infancy, especially in the African market where connectivity is sometimes a problem. “If you have an internet connection, this webbased payroll becomes a very attractive option. “It is simply a hosted web based offering where companies can subscribe and pay us a monthly fee based on the number of employees they pay so a slightly different commercial model but essentially offering the same service, they have access to the software and access to a call centre if there are any problems.” The system is 100% safe, leaving no data at risk and it is cost effective for smaller businesses with no initial outlay required, just a monthly charge based on numbers of employees paid through the system. The next step for the company, as it continues its push on the continent, is mobile systems – the logical step considering the number of people who use their phones for regular internet access. “An important thing for Africa is the mobile market. People don’t always have access to good computers but most people have cell phones. Expanding the functionality of our online systems to cater for mobile payslips and the like is important. “We are planning a lot of mobile initiatives, specifically for the African market,” says Mr Van Heerden.


FUTURE GROWTH Looking to the future, apart from plans for mobile initiatives, the company has made it clear that its targets surround growth in Africa. Even through the tough economic climate Sage has managed to find growth. “We’ve been fortunate as we’ve had new growth sources that have enabled us to grow our turnover by almost 20%,” says Mr Van Heerden. “This growth has come mainly from the African market. We’re investing a lot in expanding in Africa. “Also, our online presence has helped us to grow but overall the general market conditions have been slow.” Growth has also come from the services that pair with Sage products. For example, online training facilities. “A new development is with e-learning. This has been popular with small businesses where a manager cannot afford to be out the office for the whole day so we offer e-learning products where people can do a training course on their own, over the internet. “We have training facilities that customers can attend at major centres around SA and we have consultants who can assist a customer on site with implementation of the software,” says Mr Van Heerden.

A NEW HOME As a product of the growth at Sage, the company recently moved into new premises in Menlyn Maine, east of Pretoria.

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The new Sage VIP building is situated on Aramist Road and is the second building to be developed within the precinct. “Our new building is extremely energy efficient and environmentally friendly,” says Mr Van Heerden. “The Sage VIP building was designed to be simplistic in nature and to limit maintenance costs by integrating sustainable design principles into all aspects of the structure. Our building has a four star rating according to the Green Star SA – Office v1 rating, which recognises the best practice principles that the building project demanded.” The building is a state-of-the-art example of modern architecture with a vegetable garden on the roof, motion activated lighting and air-con, a water efficiency program, environmentally friendly building and decorating materials, a recycling emphasis and a system to ensure minimal light pollution. The new building is a reflection of the innovative approach to business that Sage takes every day. Mr Van Heerden puts the on-going success of the company down to the fantastic skills and ability of the workforce, saying: “Our philosophy goes; in order for us to be a world class service provider to our customers, we need to offer the same service to our employees and we believe that happier employees give a better service to customers so the effect runs right through the business. He concludes by saying: “Although software is our core product, we see ourselves as a services business. All our services are the things that make the software successful.”



“An important thing for Africa is the mobile market. People don’t always have access to good computers but most people have cell phones” APR 13 PAGE 25


Family generated

success Editorial – Joe Forshaw Production – Tonnie Geddes

VR Engineering has been manufacturing and selling diesel generators to various industries for the last 54 years. The company is known for providing tailor made, specialised products. We speak to Mick and Nico van Rensburg, the father and son team spearheading the company’s success, to find out what makes them the industry leader.

Have you ever considered what you would do if your business lost power? Perhaps you have experienced a problem like this in the past, after all South Africa has had its fair share of energy problems. If losing power has caused you a problem in the past, there is a company that is more than equipped to help with your energy needs. VR Engineering has been manufacturing and selling diesel generators in South Africa for over half a century. Providing energy during times of emergency has made VR Engineering one of the most trusted and relied upon companies in the country and businesses from all industries have become clients of the family business.

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The company, headquartered in Krugersdorp, Johannesburg was started in the 50s by Mick van Rensburg when he saw a gap in the market for supplying generators to farmers. Today, Mick is still the managing director, a role soon to be relinquished to son Nico. The pair spoke to IndustrySA about the history of the business and what has made the company so successful. “When I started my apprenticeship, I started in this region and I started working on generators. This was in 1955, then in 1959 I decided to start in business on my own and I formed VR Engineering, selling generating sets mainly to the farming community. “Later, we began selling on the open market and to various different industries. This included

VR Engineering

“Nico came on-board with the company in 1997. By then we had been in business for a long time and today we are still servicing generators that we sold in the 60s and 70s,” says Mick. Nico tells us that as he takes on more control of the company, the market is changing and more industries are opening up for VR Engineering. “I’m in a good position now. Between myself, my sister and my brother, we will take over the company in the future. “Years ago, the demand for electricity was not anything close to what it is today and agriculture was our main market. “Because of growth and development, markets and demand has changed completely.

There is now a huge demand for emergency back-up power,” says Nico.

PROJECTS ON HOLD The global economic slowdown has affected businesses across the country in different ways. The energy and power industries have reported effects from right across the spectrum with some renewable projects being put on hold to share prices in power companies rocketing through investors looking for a safe haven in tough times. The demand for power will never completely die but the market will change and even through the global meltdown, energy and power markets have constantly adapted.

APR 13 PAGE 27

VR Engineering


Nico tells us that in some cases the tough economic climate has caused VR Engineering real concerns although they have coped because their activities are spread. “In 2008, just prior to the economic downturn, South Africa was faced with a power crisis. Eskom could not meet the demand and during this time we were successful. “When the slowdown came into full effect, we felt it. We had projects lined up which fell through. Especially in the automotive industry, even to this day, companies have not purchased the generators that they ordered a few years ago.”

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CHEAP IMPORTS Apart from the economic slowdown, another challenge faced by VR Engineering has been that of low quality, cheap foreign imports coming onto the market. Expansion and growth is a target for any business but Nico tells us that, for now, the focus will remain on Southern Africa as international markets are already saturated. “Currently, we are faced with many challenges when it comes to expansion and growth. We have to compete with cheap imports coming from the Far-East and Europe. That makes it tough for local manufacturers.

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“We concentrate on one of kind and special builds to meet specific customer requirements”

“We are well placed to serve the Southern-African market but beyond that it becomes a competitive war especially with the challenges in South Africa arising from labour issues, inflation and rising manufacturing costs.” Even though some generators coming in from cheaper markets may sound like a good idea initially, they do not offer the specific, tailored, customer made service that you would receive from VR Engineering. “We concentrate on one of kind and special builds to meet specific customer requirements,” says Nico. “In this form we are a very competitive company. “Our core business is specialised generators so on the general market we are not very competitive although we do have regular customers that will only but generators from us. We are not a mass production facility, we outsource a lot of the work.”

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While the automotive industry in South Africa is growing and contributing significantly to the economy, the industry has seen a decline in local engine manufacture in the past three decades and this has impacted on the business of VR Engineering as Nico explains. “There used to be a big local engine manufacturing scene in South Africa back in the late 70s and 80s but all those plants have closed down now. “The main components of a diesel generator are the engine and alternator; these items are now imported from Europe, America or the Far-East. We procure engines direct from overseas or from local agents and from there we will manufacture the rest of the item such as the fuel tank and the control panel etc.”


vr Engineering

“As far as I know, we are the only company in the world to have built these machines and we have done so with a very high success rate”

MINING BUSINESS With contracts across many industries, the business conducted by VR Engineering encompasses a range of different clientele. Most recently, the company has seen major work coming from the mining industry; an industry that obviously could not operate without power and has a substantial need for emergency and backup power. “We are working with some of the biggest mining companies in South Africa and we work with all divisions, these guys are our biggest clients right now,” says Nico. “The machines we are making for the mining industry are very specialised. As far as I know, we are the only company in the world to have built these

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machines and we have done so with a very high success rate. “Any new designs or concepts have highs and lows, we built a new machine in the 90s which had a success rate of around 70% but like every industry, we learn from mistakes and constantly make improvements.” The products supplied to the mining industry by VR Engineering have become vital for their customers with some generators working twice as much as initially planned for. “Some of our machines have been so successful, we have refurbished them and sent them back to the mines where they are doing much more work than they were originally designed to do,” says Nico.

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RENEWABLE ENERGY? In March, Vodacom unveiled the largest array of solar panels ever installed on a single building in Africa. The project formed part of the company’s drive towards energy efficiency and cutting the amount of electric it takes from the grid. The building in century city is now equipped with over 2100 solar panels, expected to provide 75% of the electricity required during peak times. With such a large emphasis being placed on renewable energy projects, you may think that VR Engineering would suffer and sales might decline - after all, diesel generators are not viewed as environmentally friendly power sources but Nico tells us that these new sources of power are not a concern. “I don’t see it as a threat,” he says, “our work is concentrated on emergency situations.”

vr Engineering

As for the future, Mick explains that the company is firmly focussed on continuing to deliver quality generators to customers, saying: “In the future, it is possible that a larger company might take us over. Right now, our business is supplying specialised diesel generators to customers, especially from the mining industry, as soon as they require them and that is what we excel in.” The family business is in a strong position and looks set to continue with the exceptional success achieved over the past 54. “My father is now 74 years old and he will be looking to slow down a little bit,” says Nico. “If my children are interested and have the passion for it then it would be nice to have them involved,” and this would ensure the businesses success continues to draw from van Rensburg roots for many years to come.


APR 13 PAGE 35


SKA enters the

era of cognitive systems Editorial – Joe Forshaw Production – Chris Bolderstone

Development of the world’s largest radio telescope is underway in the Northern Cape. SKA SA recently partnered with IBM and ASTRON to help develop new computing technology capable of handling the scientific data that the SKA will produce. We speak to Willem Esterhuyse, MeerKAT project manager to learn more about the progress of the project so far…

The international effort to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope in Southern Africa and Australia is well underway and the project is now gathering pace. The SKA (Square Kilometre Array) project, one of the largest and most complex scientific projects ever undertaken, will see 3000 dish antennas and aperture array antennas spread across an area spanning 3000km, emanating from a core region in the Northern Cape, near Carnarvon. The telescope will be able to see back in time, to an age before stars lit up the universe, to a time when there was only gas. The intense sensitivity of the telescope will be able to

PAGE 36 APR 13

pick up gas that existed before the first stars were even born. The SKA will answer long standing questions from the areas of physics, astrophysics, cosmology and astrobiology. The telescope will explore previously unmapped parts of the distant universe and will be able to understand and investigate how stars and galaxies are formed and how they evolved over time; what the so-called ‘dark-matter’ and ‘dark energy’ is that occupies 95% of the universe; how magnetic fields formed and evolved in the universe and how they influence astrophysical processes; the validity of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and perhaps detect life elsewhere in the universe.

Picture by Dr Nadeem Oozeer

The Square Kilometre Array “For KAT-7, everything is in place; maintenance, logistic support – everything required to run the instrument. KAT-7 was originally intended as an engineering prototype and technology demonstrator, doing only limited science as means to check the success of the dish design and materials, but has proved such a success that it has become a working scientific instrument. It’s running reliably and now we are focussed on construction of MeerKAT. “In terms of infrastructure, a lot of work has been done. The road network is pretty much complete. The foundations are not complete but the pads where they will be constructed are there. Power and reticulation is done, the ducts for the fibre optics are done, the landing strip is nearly done and the site complex building work will be done by the end of July. By the end of the year all of the infrastructure for MeerKAT will be in place.”


The project is managed by the SKA Organisation, a non-profit scientific company based at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Manchester, England. The development of the SKA is split into two main phases with the first scheduled to begin in 2016 but so far, preliminary projects KAT-7 (a seven dish array) and MeerKAT (a 64 dish pre-cursor array) are complete and underway respectively. In October 2012, we spoke to the SKA Organisation and SKA SA to find out about progress in the Northern Cape and this month we speak again to Willem Esterhuyse, MeerKAT project manager, to see if everything is on track and running according to plan.

Clearly, for a project of this magnitude, intense planning and preparation is required. The concept for the entire scheme began in 1996 and 17 years on, designs for the fundamental instruments – the antenna – are now being finalised. “With regards to the antenna, we will have our preliminary design review between the 17th and 19th of April and then contractors will come on site in August with first antenna on the ground by the end of the year and handed over to us, qualified, tested and accepted, by 21.02.14,” says Mr Esterhuyse. “However, this will just be the antenna positioner. We will then have to fit the receivers and digitizers for further testing supported by implementations of test correlators, control software and science processing software. By 21.04.14, the second antenna will be handed over to SKA SA that will be fitted as above after which testing of the two antenna array will commence. “We should have five or six antenna installed by the end of 2014, 32 installed at the end of 2015 and 64 by the end of 2016. At the end of 2016 all the hardware will be fitted; receivers, correlators will be in place but only 32 will be science ready. By the end of 2017, all 64 will be fully commissioned and science ready.” The deadlines are tight and there is a huge amount of work to do, but this has not deterred the people involved.

APR 13 PAGE 37


The Square Kilometre Array

“In the grand scheme, MeerKAT seems like a small project but we need to remember MeerKAT will be the most sensitive instrument in the world so it is a substantial project”

Mr Esterhuyse explains that even though the schedule is challenging, development of the antenna has been done very thoroughly with significant attention to detail – it is safe to say that both SKA SA and the antenna contractor (Stratosat/GDSatcom) has a vision of making MeerKAT a world class instrument that will exceed the baseline requirement and be considered a benchmark for performance and reliability by the scientific community at large. “It’s an aggressive time scale but currently we are on track and we are working hard to keep the project on track. “The antennas will be delivered to a higher specification than we originally required. We thought we would get a sensitivity of 220m²/k, in actuality we will get sensitivity between 300 and 320m²/k. While this represents an increase in sensitivity of about 36% it means an increase in survey speed of about 86% and is well aligned with our vision of making this an absolute world class instrument. “With the budget we have, we are really trying to build the best instruments possible.”

INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS In December, the SKA Organisation welcomed Germany, represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), to the group of nations involved in design of the telescope. Germany is the tenth member of the organisation and now has the right to appoint two representatives to the Board of Directors. Germany joins the existing members of the SKA Organisation: Australia, Canada, China, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

PAGE 38 APR 13

India is an associate member. “Germany has an excellent track record not only in radio astronomy but also in the management and delivery of science megaprojects and associated engineering. This expertise will be of great benefit to the SKA project as we move towards the construction phase of this inspirational telescope,” said Professor John Womersley, chair of the board of the SKA Organisation. Mr Esterhuyse suggests that having multiple nations involved helps the project greatly, saying: “All the partner countries will have different expectations in the construction phases. It is very helpful, especially with big contracts like antenna structures, to have many countries involved. You can have pedestals built in one country, reflectors in another and systems integration from another so it is an effective way to split the work and involve industries from all the various countries.” The SKA project is such a titanic effort that occasionally the pre-cursor projects can be overlooked and disregarded by the public but it is important to remember that the projects already underway form a fundamental part of the SKA and are in-themselves massive scientific missions. “In the grand SKA scheme, MeerKAT might seem like a small project but one should remember that MeerKAT will be the most sensitive instrument in the world in L-band until SKA phase 1 is built, so it is a huge project in itself and will be a very capable science instrument. “KAT-7 has already delivered, amongst others, images of the Centaurus A, a galaxy 14 million light years away,” says Mr Esterhuyse.



EMSS Antennas is part of the EMSS group. Made up of three separate companies, the group specialises in electromagnetic software and systems. EMSS Antennas is an industry leader in the development of custom antenna systems and related sub-components. The group employs around 100 people in South Africa with 20 people working for EMSS Antennas. This year the group has reported a turnover of around R100 million and with the SKA project gathering pace there are lots of opportunities for the antenna division to grow. “EMSS Antennas is ten years old this year and is at present devoting all resources to the South African MeerKAT radio astronomy project. Our core capability is in electromagnetic theory and its applications, and over the last few years we have further refined our skill set towards the rather unique needs of radio astronomy,” says Dr du Toit. He is understandably very proud after the company was awarded a contract to design and develop the L-band cryogenically-cooled receiver systems for the MeerKAT. “We are very pleased with the outcome and look forward to the next phase where we carry it forward to the pre-production level. Most of the critical components have been prototyped and all measurable parameters were within specification. All in all, 2012 was a good year!” The company is made up predominantly of post-graduate engineers and the skill set is unique. Because of this EMSS Antennas have a great advantage when it comes to work with the SKA project but Dr du Toit is keen to expand other parts of the business and work in different areas to ensure sustainability in the future. “Over the last few years we have honed and trimmed our resources and capabilities to map very specifically to the generic radio astronomy receptor problem. It would be fortuitous for us to expand in a derivative line of business, which would allow a seamless sharing of resources, and our challenge is to find this without putting our current main business at risk,” says Dr du Toit. To make the business successful, it is not only a scientific mind that is needed. “What we add to the equation is a good work ethic, a can-do attitude and perhaps a healthy dose of self-imposed fear of failure,” says Dr du Toit. Add this to a capable team, an educated client and the correct funding, then what you have is a company at the forefront of its industry.



The KAT-7 and MeerKAT projects will form part of the SKA and will prove invaluable in the testing phases. “The pathfinders (MeerKAT and ASKAP) will be integrated with SKA. SKA Phase 1 dishes will consist of two components – firstly, SKA mid that will be 254 dishes in South Africa and secondly, SKA survey that will be 96 dishes in Australia. These will be integrated with the existing pathfinders so 64 of the dishes for SKA mid will be the MeerKAT dishes and 36 of SKA survey will be ASKAP dishes,” says Mr Esterhuyse. The differences between the two locations will mean that minor design changes will be necessary to ensure reliability and functionality of the antenna, a problem well considered by the SKA Organisation when the decision was taken to award joint hosting of the project. “We are trying to make all these dishes as identical as possible but there are slightly different requirements. The locations, base-lines, expansion factors and environments mean requirements will differ in the two countries,” says Mr Esterhuyse.

BIG DATA In March it was announced that SKA SA had joined IBM and ASTRON (the Netherlands Institute for Radio Technology) in a four year collaboration to research extremely fast, but low-power exascale computer systems aimed at developing advanced technologies for handling the massive amount of data that will be produced by the SKA. As part of an international effort to solve this extraordinary challenge, last year, ASTRON and IBM launched a public-private partnership called DOME, to develop a fundamental IT roadmap for the SKA. The collaboration includes a user platform where organizations from around the world can jointly investigate emerging technologies in high-performance, energy-efficient computing, nanophotonics, and data streaming. Through its SKA SA unit, the National Research Foundation (NRF) is now a user platform partner in DOME. “Right now, we have to understand what is going to be proven technology in 2016. It has to be realistic; we can’t go for pie-in-the-sky technology and can’t design to current mainstream computing and storage technologies as it will be outdated before we’ve even started. The DOME collaboration will allow us to do

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just that, track technology and understand where it’s going. “The DOME collaboration brings together a dream team of scientists and engineers in an exciting partnership of public and private institutions. This project lays the foundation to help the scientific community solve other data challenges such as climate change, genetic information and personal medical data,” said Simon Ratcliffe, Technical Coordinator, DOME-South Africa. KAT-7 has provided an interesting starting point for testing new technology and so far our most modern technology has been rigorously challenged. “We worked with Intel on KAT-7 where they provided us with the latest state of the art technologies to test to the extreme and provide them with feedback in terms of the computing and storage capabilities of the equipment. “From a computing point of view, they are considering 3D stacking of chips. Instead of having a normal motherboard with chips alongside each other, these will be stacked on top of each other. Since the physical distance between chips is reduced the performance is increased and the same number of chips can be fitted in a smaller space. Cooling does represent a challenge in such a configuration with the result that water cooling of the chips is being researched. “Water-cooling is a more efficient method of cooling and overall, this system appears to be the next big step in computing,” says Mr Esterhuyse. When the SKA is complete, it will collect ‘Big Data’ from deep space containing information dating back to the Big Bang more than 13 billion years ago. The aperture arrays and dishes of the SKA will produce ten times the global internet traffic according to the SKA Organisation, but the power to process all of this data as it is collected far exceeds the capabilities of the current state-of-the-art technology. IBM has labelled investigations into this new computing technology the ‘era of cognitive systems’. “The DOME research has implications far beyond astronomy. These scientific advances will help build the foundation for a new era of computing, providing technologies that learn and reason. Ultimately, these cognitive technologies will help to transform entire industries, including healthcare and finance,” said Dr Ton Engbersen, DOME project leader, IBM Research.

The Square Kilometre Array

APR 13 PAGE 41

COMPANY REPORT are expected to join in the coming weeks including universities and small and medium-sized businesses located in the Netherlands.”


Willem Esterhuyse “For example, we are designing a system for storing information that learns from its interactions with the data and parcels it out in real time to the storage medium that’s most appropriate for each bit, which can also be applied to medical images.” Dr Albert-Jan Boonstra, DOME project leader for ASTRON said: “DOME is not only innovating in the laboratory, but our user platform is setting a new standard in open collaboration. In addition to SKA South Africa, four additional organizations

The SKA is a global project but it will have massive impacts on South Africa, contributing to the economy by creating jobs and attracting investment. SKA SA Project Director, Dr Bernie Fanaroff told The New Age/SABC breakfast briefing in March that the country, especially the youth, need to take advantage of opportunities created by the project. “The SKA, if used properly, will create opportunities for us,” said Dr Fanaroff. He also stated that by 2020 South Africa is expected to be playing a leading role in the world of astronomy and once the SKA has been completed, South Africa will be in a position to understand the universe better. Local content will be used in construction of infrastructure and antennas and the estimated R20 billion cost of building the SKA will be shared by partner countries. As momentum builds and progress speeds up, excitement around the project continues to increase. Dr Fanaroff said last year: “We have an outstanding site for the SKA, as well as the people and the expertise to build and operate this mega-instrument,” Who knows, we could be only a few years away from discovering new forms of life and understanding exactly how the universe was born - all from equipment located in the Northern Cape.

Picture by Maik Wolleben

For more information about the project, take a look at our October 2012 issue or head to

PAGE 42 APR 13


The Square Kilometre Array


Fast fashion, quick thinking Editorial: Lauren Grey Production: Tonnie Geddes Since its inception in 1999, Excel Clothing quickly established itself as one of South Africa’s most successful clothing manufacturers, ‘and the rest’ says CEO Pierre Boshoff, ‘is history’. IndustrySA talks to the entrepreneur to find out more about the company’s past, present and future.

Since it opened its doors in 1999, Excel Clothing has outlived three quarters of its competition in the industrial area of Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal; where once stood 12 clothing manufacturers, only three have survived, and CEO Pierre Boshoff owes a portion of its success to the company’s ‘ability to adapt’. “I believe that in the industrial area we are situated there used to be 12 Cut, Make and Trim (CMT) factories, there are only three left. I’ll base that purely on our ability to adapt and having very strong relationships with our suppliers” he says, and it was through this ability to adapt and offer ‘something special’ to the market, Excel Clothing grew from a humble 34 employees to a staff complement of 242, 238 of whom are women. “I had a vision that my CMT factory could be more efficient than my competitors, I guess I saw a gap in the market, and by the end of 99’ Excel had already doubled its employees and at that stage we had a foot

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in the door with Edgars and Mr Price,” says Mr Boshoff. After nine years of employment and experience gained at various clothing manufacturers in South Africa, Mr Boshoff decided to ‘go it alone’, and in 2002 he was approached by The Foschini Group (TFG), “TFG approached me through Peter Flowers who was production director, to consider doing work for them, and at that stage TFG was looking for local suppliers outside of Cape Town who would be able to produce more affordable fashion for them, and the rest as they say, is history.”

FAST-FASHION Excel’s relationship with TFG has opened up many opportunities, including being chosen to become part of the fashion group’s fast-fashion cluster, “There are five factories, four of them are situated in Cape Town, we’re the only one in KwaZulu-Natal that’s part of the fast-fashion cluster.


It’s been extremely exciting for us” says Mr Boshoff. The fast-fashion cluster is based on the idea that, to operate in an industry of constant change, it is essential that a supply chain is able to continually adapt to meet the needs of the consumer, which over time, have changed dramatically. It has been said that the modern-day fashionista no longer wants expensive, long-lasting pieces, instead she wants cheaper alternatives that can be bought on impulse to freshen up her wardrobe; it is essential therefore, that collections are replenished quickly and clothing manufacturers keep up to speed with consumer demand. “It’s made the business more viable” says Mr Boshoff, “if you look at the fast-fashion principle, it’s all about being able to give the consumer out there what he wants quickly… it’s all about that quick, freshness that we’re bringing about and that’s been extremely exciting.” Through the fast-fashion cluster, Excel Clothing

are now manufacturing garments in no more than 16 days from receiving of fabric to store, which Mr Boshoff says ‘has not been done in this area before’, “we’re doing something special, and through us, through our ability to do something special and our special offering to the market place we are able to contribute to a changing industry.”

THE ZARA MODEL The economic slowdown has been felt by all industries across the globe, and the clothing sector has seen manufacturing and production opportunities decrease and even sent further east due to cheaper labour, but Mr Boshoff explains that this is changing. “We don’t see the six or seven hundred thousand unit orders that we used to see 10 years ago, so we’ve had to adapt and adapt very quickly” he says. Instead, Mr Boshoff says he started to notice more demand for a wider variety of styles which needed to be produced quicker in order to keep up with the consumer.

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COMPANY REPORT “There is orders of a lot wider variety and lesser quantity, so you’re not getting 600,000 unit orders, but you are getting one, maybe 2000 unit orders of a wide variety of styles, and our ability to produce them efficiently, on time and in full has kept us going.” He continues, “They [eastern production] are much cheaper than I am, but the recent findings from the fast-fashion cluster have found that, based on the Zara model, fashion retailers are looking to place more orders locally, due to the quick turnaround-ability because local manufacturers have the ability to have a fresh, new, quick response to what the consumer out there wants.” Zara, now the world’s largest fashion retailer, has adopted a new model of production, whereby its’ more popular styles are produced closer to home, so that the production process, from start to finish, takes only two to three weeks. “Zara is very interesting, it’s an extremely successful model, it actually works, and we’ve just started, we embarked on it in 2009, and we’re really just scratching

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the surface” says Mr Boshoff, and in order to follow the model and create a quicker production process, Excel Clothing only supply to local fashion retailers. Zara’s model has been extremely successful because it knows exactly what the consumer wants, in a piece for The New York Times, Suzy Hansen writes, “They [Zara] also monitor customers’ reactions, on the basis of what they buy and don’t buy, and what they say to a sales clerk: “I like this scooped collar” or “I hate zippers at the ankles” … Every day, store managers report this information to headquarters, where it is then transmitted to a vast team of in-house designers, who quickly develop new designs and send them to factories to be turned into clothes,” which is where clothing manufacturers such as Excel come into the process. Although Zara’s model requires higher labour costs, these costs are offset by greater flexibility, for example, when Zara envision a fall collection, they only produce a limited amount of each style to their stores, so there’s very little stock left over.


“It’s all about being able to give the consumer out there what he wants quickly… it’s all about that quick, freshness that we’re bringing about and that’s been extremely exciting.”

FUTURE PLANS Excel Clothing currently specialises in the manufacturing of ladies wear for two of the main ladies wear suppliers in South Africa, TFG and Truworths, and over the past three years, Mr Boshoff has focused all of his attention on the company’s business model, ensuring that it is in line with the fast-fashion concept, and says that he can now concentrate on future plans.

“I have used the last three years to get the foundations sorted, we are now doing things a lot more cleverly, and we are now ready for the next thing. We’re all watching the Rand to the Dollar, regarding exports and looking at opportunities offshore, but locally I’ll be looking at diversifying my supplier base and getting another supplier on board.” “We’ve been approached by Exact who started their own men’s wear range last year; we are presently costing jackets, men’s jackets and boys jackets , so that’s definitely a market we are looking at,” he says. With so much going on in the company, and as Mr Boshoff wants to start designing his own ladies’ wear range, there are more opportunities for employment and growth within the company, which Mr Boshoff says is ‘very exciting’.


PROFUSE INTERLININGS (PTY) LIMITED A level 3 BEE Company PROFUSE started trading in June 1991 as an importer and distributor of Quality “A” grade Non Woven, Woven and Knitted interlinings. We have established a reputation for quality and service and offer full technical backup and product training to all users of our products. PROFUSE is pro-active in introducing new products into South Africa which are compatible with new modern fabrics. All new products are fully tested and approved overseas before introduction into South Africa.

PROFUSE can be contacted at the following numbers :Contact



Cape Town

Telephone Fax eMail

011-402-0222 011-402-5918

031-305-8299 086-731-7070

021-534-1795 021-534-2200


On the brink of an energy

supply revolution Editorial: Lauren Grey Production: David Hodgson It is estimated that before 2050 the global demand for energy will have doubled which, if ignored, could have a crippling effect on the world’s economy. Advancements in technology however are helping energy providers such as Shell SA to unlock new sources of energy, but at what price? IndustrySA finds out more…

As living standards and development in emerging economies continue to increase across the globe, so too does the demand for energy; it is evident therefore, that over the coming years the world must find more energy at a reduced cost to the environment, and global energy giant Shell claim to be doing just that. One of Shell’s most recent projects in a bid to solve the global energy crisis involves finding alternative ways to open up new resources of natural gas, the world’s cleanest-burning fossil fuel. Natural gas is an affordable and environmentally acceptable way to power lives now and in the future, and according to the International Energy Agency,

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the world has enough natural gas to meet current demand for 250 years. Natural gas emits 50-70% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal when burnt to generate electricity, and for most countries, using more natural gas for power generation can make the largest contribution to their emission reduction targets. During a luncheon sponsored by the Boston College Chief Executives’ Club in March, Peter Vorster, Shell CEO, addressed controversy surrounding natural gas, calling it a ‘backbone fuel’ that could help in the world’s transition from oil and coal, to an economy that relies heavily on cleaner energy resources.

shell south africa

Critics say that natural gas is still a fossil fuel that produces greenhouse gases, and claim that by putting their blind faith into the cheap resource, energy companies are hindering the adoption of renewables like wind and solar. “Gas is the natural ally of renewables like wind and solar,” Vorster commented at the luncheon, “wind and solar are intermittent energy sources [but] natural gas can keep the electricity flowing when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind fails to blow. Unlike many other energy sources, gas can be switched off and on quickly, and its global supply is increasingly diverse, which enhances energy security.”

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COMPANY REPORT HYDRAULIC FRACTURING Amidst controversy surrounding natural gas and the new ways in which it is being sourced, Shell announced it will put its faith behind the cheap resource, pledging to produce more gas than oil; a target which was reached for the first time this year, but not without difficulty. With the help of advanced technology, Shell SA has recently invested in a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which is used to unlock natural gas trapped tightly in rock pores, as little as 100 times less the width of a human hair. Fracking is the process of injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release the natural gas trapped inside. First, the earth is drilled to several thousand feet, until a natural gas reservoir is reached. Steel casings are then inserted to a depth of 1000 to 3000 feet, and the space between the casing and drilled hole is filled with cement to stabilize the well and prevent leakage; once the cement has set, this process is repeated using a series of smaller casings until the gas reservoir is reached. The next step is to pump millions of gallons of fracking fluid into the well at a high pressure; the fluid is made up of water, mixed with sand and chemical additives, and formulas vary slightly among production sites in accordance with the unique requirements of each site’s geology. The mixture reaches the end of the well where the high pressure causes the nearby shale rock to crack, creating fissures where natural gas flows into the well. The gas is then processed, refined, and shipped to market.

SHALE GAS EXPLORATION IN THE KAROO In September 2012, after a momentary ban on fracking, the South African government decided that the technique was safe, and Shell SA began their exploration for natural gas deep beneath the earth’s surface at their site in the Karoo. Amidst controversy, Chairman of Shell SA, Bonang Mohale told Business Day Live that he welcomed the government’s decision, but says that ‘these things are never easy’, “we have an opportunity in South Africa to create a brand-new industry that will provide energy and economic benefits not just the people of the Karoo but also to 50 million South Africans.” According to America’s Energy Information

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Administration (EIA) South Africa could boast shalegas reserves of around 485 trillion cubic feet, and the 800 miles between Johannesburg and Cape Town, most of which belongs to the Karoo, is said to be the fifth-largest shale gas basin. Mohale told Business Day Live that the shale gas exploration not only contributes towards the global energy crisis but is due to create a minimum of 300,000 jobs, contributing to Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel’s vision to create five million jobs in South Africa by 2020. “Shell globally employs 100,000 people, so 300,000 just in one country would be realistic” says Mohale, “there are people who have to grade the roads, supply food for our people that are there, and work as janitors, plumbers and electricians. There are also the geologists and hydrologists, and they will buy cars and heavy equipment, thereby stimulating economic activity. Most of the jobs are not created in the exploration phase but in the development phase once the gas flows in sufficient quantities to be economically viable.” Mohale says that there will be a minimum of 24 wells in the Karoo, should the exploration be successful, “… we can start with six wells within the first three years, and if we do not hit a sweet spot we would do no more than 24. This is a marathon. Remember, we started this process in 2009 and because we know that it’s fundamentally right we will stop at nothing to make sure we improve the quality of the lives of the majority of the people, being 50 million South Africans.”

shell south africa ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS Shale gas exploration in the Karoo has been met by stiff opposition from farmers and environmental groups who suggest a myriad of health concerns and environmental risks are associated with natural gas production. Jonathan Deal, coordinator of local action group, Treasure Karoo Action Group (TKAG) reportedly said that popular opposition was rising across the country, and challenged Shell SA to put its energy into exploiting South Africa’s unrivalled solar resources, before pushing the drilling of what he considers to be a ‘marginal resource’ in the Karoo. “It’s time that companies like Shell started investing their billions into sustainable energy,” Deal said in a radio interview. Those against fracking in the Karoo are particularly concerned about the impact on water resources, TKAG say on their website, “In South Africa, the fracking process can require around

20 million litres of fresh water to frack one well. According to Shell, there can be as many as 32 wells on one well pad. This would mean that about 640 million litres will be used to frack 32 wells (for only one well pad). Each well pad can be between one and two and a half hectares in size.

 “There can be four to six well pads in an area of 10 km2. The well pads can be spaced two to three kilometres apart. This would relate to up to almost four billion litres of water that can be used per 10 square kilometres. Especially in a semi-arid region like the Karoo, and given the water restricted nature of the country, this is alarming.” TKAG also say that during the fracking process, risks regarding chemical spills, loss of control over the well, gas leaks and surface and ground water contamination are not to be underestimated, “Fracking fluid is considered hazardous waste and contamination of drinking water can lead to the disruption of the endocrine system, as well as cancer.”



Corruption Language Localisation Culture Safety and security


Tender requirements Siyakha Consulting has been a proud Implementation Partner for the Oil & Gas sector in South Africa in the past 12 years through the provision of BEE services, human resource consulting and the management of development programmes. On behalf of the beneficiaries of these programmes we thank you, SHELL, for your support in being part of the African solution. For more on localisation, African development or defining your African strategy, please contact Angela Raine on

+27 11 706 9006 or email

Gender discrimination

Communication barriers Labour laws


Employment equity

Affirmative action Corporate governance


BEE Making Development Happen

APR 13 PAGE 51


shell south africa

“We need water to drill, we need water to frack, there’s no denying that, and Shell is looking at suitable options from where to source that water”

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Confidence through expertise

YOUR BUSINESS IS FULL OF CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES. WE CAN HELP Intertek is a world leader in petrochemical and chemical bulk commodity cargo inspection, surveying, measurement, and testing at all stages of the production cycle and the supply chain. Some of the extensive solutions offered include: • Accurate, timely reporting of ship, shore, inventory quantities • Ship Care • Bunker Surveys • Atmospheric Monitoring • Product Sampling • Tank Cleanliness Inspection • Tank Wall Wash • Inspection of pipelines, terminals, shipto-ship transfers • Demurrage evaluations

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Intertek Shell South Africa is working hard on upstream activities with a large emphasis being placed on extraction of natural gas and optimisation of valuable oil fields. One company playing a major role in the Shell SA supply and value chain is Intertek, a global company and South Africa’s market leader in the petrochemical testing industry. Intertek Business Development Manager, Thomas Andrews recently told IndustrySA more about the company’s activities in Africa… Who is Intertek? What are your core activities? Intertek is the leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide. From auditing and inspection, to testing, training, advisory, quality assurance and certification, Intertek adds value to customers’ products, processes and assets. With a network of more than 1000 laboratories and offices and over 35,000 people in more than 100 countries, Intertek supports companies’ success in a global marketplace. How is Intertek performing? Has 2013 started well? The group recently announced its results for the year ended 31 December 2012. Some of the highlights are as follows: • Revenue growth of 17% to £2,054m; constant currency organic revenue growth of 8.6% • Profit growth of 19% to £335m; constant currency organic profit growth of 11.2% Within South Africa we are identified as the market leaders within the petrochemical testing industry. Explain the services offered to petrochemical companies, especially from the OCM lab in Johannesburg? Our recently established OCM lab in Johannesburg is staffed by leading tribology experts and with our custom designed web portal and reporting system this service is destined to become a key service provider to the transport and mining industries of Sub Saharan Africa. Intertek is able to offer clients access to a global network of modern laboratories and state-of-the-art inspection services. Our facilities are web-enabled and staffed with highly skilled specialists. Our commitment to the highest level of quality standards and our quest for ongoing excellence through innovation has earned

us a reputation, the admiration of our competition and the trust of our customers. We are an ISO 9001:2000 certified company, with rigorous internal quality control standards and with comprehensive testing capabilities throughout Africa, with state of the art laboratories based in Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Beira, Dar es Salaam, Mombasa, Luanda Abidjan, Takoradi, Limbe and Lagos. We are entrusted by our clients to assist them with custody transfer points and report on the integrity of the consignment and minimize risk. Intertek RSA specializes in chemical, petrochemical superintendence and testing, ensuring that the quality and quantity is known. Tell us about the lab locations around the African coast? Intertek has 20 oil, gas and chemical laboratory throughout Africa with presence in the following: Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Guinea, Togo, Angola, Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa. What can we expect from Intertek in the future? Our goals for the next 12 – 24 months are to not only continue with our existing services but through improved quality systems to ensure that our customers enjoy improved services. Our global and regional footprint is to be further expanded with particular emphasis on laboratory services specifically customised to meet individual requirements. Our newly established Agri lab in Johannesburg will allow customers in this industry to enjoy the professional quality experience currently enjoyed by our petrochemical and petroleum clients.

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ADDRESSING CONCERNS Amidst concerns, Mr Mohale, spoke to the Oxford Business Group saying that in his view ‘the case for natural gas is compelling’, “Some ten million South Africans have no access to electricity, representing about 20% of the country’s population…because of the huge gap in the energy supply, it [South Africa] will need to invest in all types of energy sources, ranging from coal, to gas, to nuclear and to renewables. “So in addition to contributing to closing the power generation gap, natural gas is affordable and environmentally acceptable. The country could also realise substantial job creation and other benefits should economically viable gas resources exist in the Karoo” he says. Acknowledging concerns at an earlier public consultation process in February 2011, Mr Mohale stressed that the Karoo project would be treated with honesty, committing to full transparency throughout the entire process. “We will be open, honest and transparent in

everything we do” he said, even promising a full disclosure on the types of chemical additives used in its fracking fluid. At the same consultation process, Shell general manager of new ventures execution, Graham Tiley, addressed public concerns regarding fresh water and where it would be sourced. “We need water to drill, we need water to frack, there’s no denying that” he admitted, “and Shell is looking at suitable options from where to source that water.” Tiley promised that out of ‘commitment and respect for the fragile water balance’ a thorough consultation on its water resource management plan would be executed, including recycling and treatment options. “We don’t need fresh water for fracking, we can use saline water, even sea water…or potentially import from other locations” he said, “our commitment will be to work with the local people, to understand the best option for each of the operations we conduct.”


APR 13 PAGE 55


Voltex gets engaged! Editorial – Roland Douglas Production – Hal Hutchison If you ‘Engage’ with Voltex before the end of May you could win a share of R1 million worth of prizes! We spoke to Voltex group marketing manager, Jannie Louw, to find out about the Engage Campaign and the continued success of southern Africa’s largest electrical distributor.

In February, the government announced that R827 billion was in place and ready to invest in the country’s infrastructure projects over the next three years. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan stated that in the past three years, R642 billion had been spent on infrastructure. With new projects being scheduled all the time, opportunities have presented themselves for more than just a handful of companies to reap the rewards of these massive investments. With new infrastructure you obviously need new electrical systems throughout; without this your new infrastructure will never even make it from a planner’s imagination to the design sheets on the table. The country’s leading electrical distributor is Voltex, whose ever- growing presence in South Africa has made it recognisable in all sectors of the market. Its most recent programme, the ‘Engage’ campaign, is bringing the entire supply chain closer together.

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IndustrySA recently spoke to Voltex marketing manager Jannie Louw, to find out more about the company’s success, history, plans for the future and the aims of the Engage Programme. “Voltex has been in business for 45 years, but around 24 years ago we consolidated a lot of minor wholesale firms into Voltex, as a group. Since then we have expanded nationally and are now the largest electrical distributor in Southern Africa. “There are 53 branches in the country that sell into trade distributors, wholesalers and the general public. We have a number of specialist divisions, including Voltex Lighting, Voltex LSis, Cabstrut, Waco, Versalec Cables, and Atlas Cable Supplies who all contribute to the Voltex business” explains Mr Louw. “We are a supplier business trading in the electrical industry. Our new product area, where growth will come from, is energy efficiency.”


Mr Louw explains that through 2012 the company was growing its outreach programme and now the immediate task will be rebranding the entire branch network to bring all locations under one single identity. “Over the last 20 years, our wholesale branches have continued to trade under the names they had when they were bought. However, they are now all being converted to Voltex branches and the whole company is being rebranded as a single entity,” says Mr Louw. In South Africa, retail sales is one area that has been most affected by the global economic downturn. The country’s strong financial systems have protected many industries and sectors, and the government’s continuing investment in large-scale infrastructure has eased the pressure for some markets. Despite this, some retailers have reported falling sales, with customers preferring to shop online for a

cheaper alternative. Fortunately for Voltex, that has not been the case. The company has improved services and is working on close communication with all stakeholders to ensure continued growth is realised. “Despite the economic climate, we are hanging in there and doing all right,” says Mr Louw. “There has been a massive drive with customer service and brand awareness and we are currently working hard on our Engage campaign.”

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ENGAGE PROGRAMME In February Voltex announced it was to launch the Engage Campaign, a programme designed to maximise and reinforce relationships with customers and suppliers. The campaign comes about after Voltex identified major changes happening throughout the electrical industry and decided that new channels of communication were required to keep all parties updated. The Engage campaign will run until May this year and will see Voltex inviting its customers to ‘engage’ with them on many levels – through social media, e-mail, SMS and in store. “Lucky customers who take up our offer to connect with us as silver, gold or platinum status customers make themselves eligible for R1 million worth of prizes,” says Mr Louw. To become a silver status customer, simply make a purchase in store at a Voltex branch. To take gold status, make a purchase in store and sign up for the online newsletter and social media feeds. To achieve platinum status, make a purchase, sign up for the newsletter, engage on social media and create an account. After taking these easy steps, you will be in with a chance to win a share of the fantastic prize. “This campaign is about getting all our suppliers and all our customers to work closer together, with our staff working in between, helping both sides of the market,” says Mr Louw. “It has involved different communication activities such as breakfast runs, product specials and customer evenings with that R1 million worth of prizes being handed out to customers and staff over the next three months.” Mr Louw also suggests that the programme has practical benefits, “It is an exercise in PR, getting customers directly involved with suppliers to improve product knowledge and implement product training. It also helps both sides understand about availability of stock.” The first month of the campaign has yielded excellent results and the company is looking forward to seeing further good feedback in the coming weeks. “There are a lot of encouraging comments coming through and we hope we will see results on the bottom line in the next few months. The positive reaction from suppliers and customers has been overwhelming,” says Mr Louw.

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Cabstrut, a division of the Voltex group, is involved with supplying cable support systems. Voltex Lighting, another division, is closely involved with supply of light fittings for the power stations. Voltex LSis is involved with circuit breakers and switch gear so the whole business participates in the energy industry.”


“Where we will expand over the next year will be with energy efficiency” A SIZEABLE ORGANISATION As mentioned, Voltex is now the largest electrical distributor in southern Africa. To service the industry effectively, the company needs a vast workforce. “We have around 2 200 people across the country. Voltex is part of the Bidvest Group, one of the largest companies in South Africa,” says Mr Louw. “We have a lot of long-serving employees. There are continual training programmes and advancement of staff. We also recruit from all sectors of society. This is an on-going process.” The workforce has to be large to look after the 30 000 account holders and over 800 suppliers that Voltex works with on a daily basis. “There are over 80 Voltex sites or offices complementing the 53 branches in the country and every major electrical contractor in the country is a client of ours,” states Mr Louw. “Our product range is vast and varied but copper, cable, wire, switches and sockets, and lamps are always popular. We supply to the power stations - especially with low voltage equipment and infrastructure materials.

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In the not-so-distant future, Voltex plans to continue with an aggressive growth strategy outlined by group managing director Stanley Green, who said in the Voltex Engage Powered Up blog: “We must create a new market space that is uncontested. We must make our competitors absolutely irrelevant while still achieving highly profitable growth.” The next 12 months will see expansion predominantly in the market for energy efficient products. Electrical products across the board can become more energy efficient and Voltex now offers a range of efficiency products including: energy saving lamps, led lamps, led floodlights, retrofit and t5 luminaires, rechargeable led lanterns, rechargeable led torches, air conditioners, hand dryers, motion sensors, induction geysers and stoves. “Where we will expand over the next year will be with energy efficiency, getting involved with energy efficient products, as electrical capacity and cost is a major problem in SA,” says Mr Louw. The company will also look to continue developing its service offering which is playing a larger role than ever before. While the sale of products remains Voltex’s core business, the company offers first class service, especially with design. “We offer a lot of services, one of the main ones being design,” says Mr Louw. “Lighting design, energy efficient design and other fittings happen continually. Voltex does design work for all types of infrastructure – we’re not just suppliers.” It is clear that Voltex is now the industry’s leading electrical and lighting stockist and this can be put, in part, down to a carefully considered growth strategy, a knowledgeable and efficient workforce, and innovative marketing campaigns such as the Engage Programme. The decision to pursue growth with energy efficient products and optimal customer service is one that will undoubtedly see success as the company enters a modern market with many opportunities.



Getting SA from A to B Editorial: Lauren Grey Production: Tonnie Geddes

South African transport company, PUTCO have overcome many hurdles during the last 68 years; IndustrySA finds out the key to their success and how they have evolved into an industry leading company.

Established in 1945 by Jack Bird Barregar, The Public Utility Transport Corporation (PUTCO) has a rich history rooted in South African culture. Trading on the Johannesburg stock exchange for over six decades, the public transport company survived the penny fare increase of 1954, the riots of 1976 and the 80’s upheavals; growing into the biggest commuter bus operator in South Africa. PUTCO currently owns a fleet of over 1800 buses, transporting more than 230,000 daily

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commuters in Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Limpopo and travels over 90 million km per annum, it also has its own bus body building facility in Brits, just outside of Pretoria, operates its own accredited service workshops, reconditions its own engines and has a spares hub. However, Managing Director, Franco Pisapia says that the most important aspect of the business is the ‘PUTCO family’, “In true African style, we are an extended family, embracing our diversity in order to achieve a unity of purpose.”


Vision and values In 2004, Mr Pisapia took over the transport business from his uncle, Albino Carleo, and vowed to continue the family legacy. “The main focus of PUTCO has never changed and will never change, and that is to provide an efficient, safe and cost-effective mode of transport for commuters,” he told the Financial Mail. Since its beginnings, PUTCO has envisioned itself as a diversified, robust and flexible organization with high moral and ethical standards, and place huge emphasis on introducing previously disadvantaged

individuals into the industry. In order to uphold these values, the company entered into a Broad Based Black Economic Empowered (BBBEE) deal in 2006, affording black people meaningful participation in the transport industry. Prior to the empowerment deal, Mr Pisapia told the Financial Mail that there wouldn’t be any ‘big-name’ BBBEE groups involved in the deal, “the major players will be our staff. PUTCO is a family and our employees will hopefully have an improved sense of ownership and responsibility.”

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He continued, “We see BBBEE as an exciting challenge. We strongly believe in it because we are an SA company.” The BBBEE deal addresses all key elements outlined in the government’s BBBEE Codes of Good Practice, namely ownership, management, employment equity, skills development, procurement, enterprise development and residual (Corporate Social Investment). The company is now 42.6% black owned, 13% of who are also women, and overall 95.2% of all PUTCO employees are black, of which 8.8% are female. Another way in which PUTCO is ensuring the introduction of previously disadvantaged individuals into the transport industry is through joint ventures (JVs) and subcontracting, and in 2005 the transport company demonstrated its support for female bus drivers by subcontracting five buses to Gauteng Women in Transport (GWIT). Historically, bus driving has been a male dominated profession but in order to break this barrier, the public

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transport company started to recruit and train female drivers and to date have a total of 55 female drivers, one of whom went on to win Driver of the Year in 2005. The public transport company assisted the department of Public Transport Roads and Works, with the establishment of a contracting model with GWIT who started out with five buses and now have ten. This is the first initiative in the transport industry where women are directly involved in the management and operation of a bus service, and PUTCO are proud to be involved with such an advancement in the industry. Andrew Sefala, PUTCO’s business development director, told the Financial Mail that it was important to ensure that women are encouraged into the transport industry. “While PUTCO accepts and supports the empowerment of small and medium enterprises, it is equally important to ensure that women are promoted to encourage the sustainable growth in our economy” he said.

Proud to be a PUTCO partner for over 25 years The company is situated 25km south west of the Johannesburg CBD, and distributes springs and suspension parts throughout South Africa and Africa. We manufacture and supply springs to all major trailer manufacturers as well as the largest commuter bus operators in Gauteng. A new addition to our range of products is suspension accessories for trucks, trailers and LDV vehicles. Our coil spring division manufactures and supplies numerous mining and railway parts distributors.



FAX: (011) 945-1135


Smart choices In the past, PUTCO has demonstrated its ability to evolve alongside technology and ensure its services are efficient and up-to-date, and in 2007 they introduced a new smart card tracking and fare collection system. The contact-less ‘Smart Card’ has proved a success over the years and allows passengers to quickly enter the bus by simply placing the card on the reader, thus reducing driver-passenger contact. Its cash-based revenue management system also helps to record data such as passenger behaviour, popular routes and type of tickets purchased. Mr Pisapia told Engineering News, ““The system works on smart card technology that reduces the use of cash on buses, which, in a South African environment, immediately increases commuter safety. The system also reduces fraud as the system’s data is auditable and reliable.” The system also assists with the dispatching of drivers and post-shift cash-ups; the Smart Card can be re-charged with a weekly, monthly or season ticket.

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Another benefit of the smart card is that a passenger can use it -once it is re-charged- multiple times; the card fits into a pocket or purse, is very secure and cannot be read or copied. Installation of the system costs around R30,000 per bus and is said to be worth more than R8 million, PUTCO awarded the multimillion-rand contract to install the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system in all its bus operations to Questek Transit Technologies (QTT), a wholly South African-owned company.

CHALLENGING PERCEPTIONS PUTCO has firmly established itself as one of South Africa’s leading public transport companies, but, as Mr Pisapia admits, it hasn’t been without its challenges and the sometimes ‘negative perception’ associated with the company name. Upon his appointment as Managing Director, Mr Pisapia told the Financial Mail that those perceptions needed to be addressed as the company continued to change for the better.

The Commercial Vehicle Division of Sandown Motor Holdings represents the most recognized truck brands in the world - Mercedes-Benz, Freightliner, Mitsubishi and FUSO. At the heart of Sandown Motor Holdings’ evolution, since their establishment in 1982, lies Daimler AG who bought a majority stake in the dealer group in June 2001. Apart from its highly respected vehicle brands, Daimler AG also brings its technological expertise into the service aspect of the business. The Commercial Vehicle Division is a flexible organization with a deep understanding of the trucking industry, offering customers the full spectrum of products and support services. These include transport consultancy, parts operations, service operations, body repair centres, fleet services and a fully fledged used commercial vehicle operation. Sandown’s Commercial Vehicle Division capitalizes on the equity that the Sandown brand conveys, including coverage in Gauteng and Cape Town, uniform standards at all dealerships, an improved ability to service large national fleets and enhanced value and service quality through greater focus on core competencies and dedication to the trucking business.

Cnr Bridge & Isotope Streets, Triangle Farm, Stikland, Bellville, Cape Town. Cape Town T 021 948 0684 Centurion T 012 621 7400 Roodepoort T 011 611 2100


“One of my objectives is to change people’s perceptions about PUTCO, and to let people know what we are about. PUTCO has done many good things in the past and not many people know about that,” he said. One way in which the company has evolved for the better, is through its CSI Foundation, which has played an important role in shaping the lives of South Africans and contributing to the country’s skills base and other social programmes. The PUTCO CSI Foundation has moved from giving away money to partnering with government on projects of mutual interest; complementing government’s efforts in fighting poverty, increasing the skill’s base and creating job opportunities. PUTCO has made a commitment to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable people in South Africa. Through the PUTCO CSI Foundation, the company provides funds, grants, donations and assets to deserving projects in the areas in which they operate. Some of the objectives of the foundation include encouraging employees to get involved in social programmes initiated by the company, to get involved in long sustainable programmes and in addition, seasonal relieve projects like the provision of winter blankets, greening projects or crime busting initiatives. As PUTCO continues to add value to the lives of its commuters well into the future, Mr Pisapia says that he is confident that with everyone’s commitment, PUTCO will continue to improve its quality of service and customer-centric approach to service provision.


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“In true African style, we are an extended family, embracing our diversity in order to achieve a unity of purpose�

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30 years


and counting for Lombard Tyres Editorial – Roland Douglas Production – Tonnie Geddes Lombard Tyres is celebrating 30 years in business and to mark their anniversary the company is engaging with the community more than ever. We speak to CEO Renier Botha, to find out more about the company’s success and their plans for growth in the future.

30 years ago, Mr Mauritz Lombard and his wife opened a small shop selling tyres to motorists, located next to a service station in Gauteng. Today, the company is one of the largest independent tyre dealers in Southern Africa. The growth of Lombard Tyres since 1983 has been nothing short of astonishing. In a market full of big name competitors, Lombard Tyres has had to be innovative and astute to achieve its development. IndustrySA recently had the chance to speak to CEO Renier Botha, to understand more about the history of the business and the plans to ensure that their fantastic growth continues. “We’re thirty years young this year. We were established in 1983 by Mr Mauritz Lombard with the

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help of his wife Chrissie. Mauritz is still the owner, his focus and role is to ensure continued growth. “It started with one shop, next to a service station where Mr Lombard used to sell tyres. Over the years the business has grown and now we have 18 retail outlets, ten warehouses spread across the major cities in SA, we import Kumho tyre products from South Korea, we have the sole distribution rights for the Kumho passenger, light truck and recreational tyres in Southern Africa and we are also exporting to other African nations. “We have a commercial truck division and a Bandag Retreading factory so the business, from one little shop 30 years ago, has grown into quite a big corporate company.”

Lombard Tyres

“We have a fully equipped training facility called the Kumho Africa Training Centre. This is the first Kumho training centre on the African continent”

LEADING THE RACE The Lombard Tyres business has many strengths, one of which is the ability to service all sectors of the market with products available for the general public as well as commercial businesses. The flagship product comes from Kumho Tyres, a company famed for producing Formula 3 and Le Mans winning racing tyres. The company has recently demonstrated its technological capabilities by developing a tyre for Formula 1racing. Kumho Tyres is a South Korean business and the ninth largest tyre company in the world. The name ‘Kumho’ means ‘beautiful calm lake’ in Korean.

“The largest part of our business is passenger and light truck because of the Kumho product that we import and distribute,” says Mr Botha. “The truck division is also a large part of our business. We have a number of large fleets that we service through our truck division and we also do retreading for our customers. It’s probably 70/30 passenger and light truck to heavy truck.” The company has seen growth recently with two new retail outlets opening in SA and further facilities opening in Africa. The Lombard Tyres retail network supply more than just Kumho tyres. As Mr Botha explains, the business can offer a full range of automotive services:

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LOMBARD TYRES Secondly; the global economy, in its current state, is not providing the perfect springboard for any business to grow and take advantage of new opportunities, particularly a business that deals heavily with imports. “We are feeling the effect of the slowdown, especially with imports. Since January 2011 until now the Rand has weakened against the US Dollar in excess of 35% and that has a huge effect on us, it’s something we have to factor in all the time to make sure we remain competitive. We weathered the 2008 GFC (Global Financial Crisis) and stand prepared to overcome the challenges that the current recession poses. “There is also a high import duty on tyres, around 30%, so we have to make sure we are on the ball and factoring these things in to participate in a very competitive SA market,” says Mr Botha.


“Through our retail shops we supply all other products as well as the Kumho product. We sell other manufacturers goods such as Goodyear, Continental, Bridgestone, Dunlop and Michelin, and in most of our shops we supply all other services including wheel alignment, balancing, fitting of shock absorbers, brakes and under carriage work including replacement of parts. “In the last 12 months we’ve opened two more retail outlets. We have now finalised another warehouse that we opened in Maputo, Mozambique and we are in the process of opening a warehouse in Mauritius. We’ve stepped up our exports to other African nations, we now distribute to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Mozambique, Lesotho and Swaziland.” Like so many successful African companies that originate in South Africa, Lombard Tyres has realised the importance of the continental demand and is expanding to take advantage of new markets. However, there have been two things that have slowed this progress down. Firstly, international business has its bureaucratic drawbacks, with red tape often proving frustrating. “We are establishing our footprint through our wholesale division and we are looking at opening retail facilities but it can be difficult to deal in Africa. Just to open our warehouse in Mozambique it took a number of months to get through all the red tape,” says Mr Botha.

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In their anniversary year, Lombard Tyres have been looking to give back to the one stakeholder that has given so much over the last 30 years – the community. In February, the company visited the West Rand Association for People with Disabilities (WRAPD) and the Moria Old Age Home as part of a ’30 Days of Care’ campaign, one of the campaigns scheduled throughout the year that will see the company engage with and uplift local communities. “There are very few people, especially in the tyre business, who can say they’ve been in business for 30 years. We are under no disillusions, we know it is the community that made us and supported us,” says Mr Botha. “It is important to give back to show our appreciation for all that the community has given to us over the years. We have been involved in community projects for a long time but we decided that as this is our 30th year in business we are going to concentrate more on community projects as a means of saying thank you.” The campaign saw Mr Botha, along with other members of the management team, visit the two centres and dish out Valentine’s Day gifts to staff and residents. As well as promotional campaigns like this, the company also helps the community by up-skilling youngsters and creating jobs. “We have a fully equipped training facility called the Kumho Africa Training Centre. This is the only Kumho training centre on the African continent. The centre is fully equipped with classroom facilities and we have a workshop so we can teach the practical side of things too. We teach fitting of tyres, balancing and wheel alignment. This makes us different to other training facilities.

Congratulations Lombard Tyres... It is with great pride that Savino Del Bene salutes Lombard Tyres on the auspicious occasion of celebrating 30 successful years in business Savino is proud to be associated with Lombard Tyres as their supply chain logistics partner and look forward to the continued success of our business association. Savino Del Bene calls it Intelligence Delivered ... our clients’ call it bottom-line magic

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COMPANY REPORT Promoting good service throughout the company is an on-going process with initiatives in place to ensure service quality is frequently reviewed an improved. “We have a lot of innovative projects going to improve service in our retail shops. We have a mystery shopper who goes in with a hidden video camera and we review the service and retrain the staff members where they are going wrong, we are very strict on this,” says Mr Botha.


“We have a very exciting recruitment program where we take young school leavers and intensively train them through all different departments in the company. We then test them on the knowledge they have gained and employ the successful students,” says Mr Botha. The company believes in promoting from within and this allows for employees to gain a comprehensive skill-set which in turn leads to improved service. “People must have a goal, something to work for, so bringing in these young adults at the bottom and promoting them through the company improves skill level and motivation. In such a competitive market, the only thing that is going to differentiate us is service and skill level is vital when delivering good service,” explains Mr Botha.

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Although Lombard Tyres is one of South Africa’s tyre and automotive industry leaders, competition is rife. To ensure they stay on top of the pile, the emphasis on growth and quality service is now bigger than ever. Mr Botha tells us that the competition is strong, creating a tough industry but he also reiterates that the company is in a good position to take advantage of some relatively unexplored markets with its fantastic, exclusive product range. “We are one of, if the not the biggest independent dealers in Southern Africa. We consider ourselves as quite a large and responsible role player in the retail and wholesale market. There are around 2000 independent tyre dealers in SA trying to make a living in a market with 9.5 million vehicles, this is really competitive and challenging. “Kumho research and development is very strong. There is a huge untapped market with 4x4 and light truck vehicles but we are small part of the Kumho export machine. “We certainly want to grow in the 4x4 market, the product has proven itself in all fields and quality speaks for itself. When a customer has fitted a Kumho, they return for same product as the quality is of such a good nature,” says Mr Botha. With positive repeat business, a constant focus on quality service, ambitious growth plans and a welltrained workforce derived from the local community, it looks as though Lombard Tyres has positioned itself to mount a full charge on the continental market while remaining an industry leader in South Africa. As the partnership with Kumho flourishes, it is clear that Lombard have a product range that sets them apart from the rest. “We have such a wonderful product,” says Mr Botha proudly, and who would bet against the company being not only an industry leader in South Africa but Africa as a whole when they reach their 50th anniversary in 20 years’ time.


Lombard Tyres

“When a customer has fitted a Kumho, they return for same product as the quality is of such a good nature”

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“We put science

behind the products” Editorial – Christian Jordan Production – Hal Hutchison

Afriplex is a leader in separation technology and chemical processing. The company extracts valuable nutrients and minerals from indigenous African plants for use in a range of every-day products. Their industry is booming so we speak to CEO, Danie Nel, to find out what is driving their success.

South Africa has an extremely strong scientific industry; we have seen this demonstrated in the fantastic work going on with the SKA project (see page 34). Sometimes the scientific work in SA can go unnoticed when compared with the work of international peers but one company using science, research and innovative ideas to ensure that their work does not go unseen is Afriplex. As the industry leader in unlocking the potential of African botanicals, Afriplex use nature as their partner and supply raw materials, mainly plant extracts, to the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. The company has seen the benefit of a growing

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worldwide trend towards health and wellness products, especially products that are sustainably sourced and naturally produced. Afriplex now supplies more than 100 plant extracts used in syrups, tablets, herbal teas, fruit bars, tinctures and many more innovative products. The company can also create products for final retail, providing ingredients, product concepts and manufacturing services to all clients. Using more than 500 plant species for research and product development is not a small task and Afriplex makes full use of its five commercial farms to produce more than five million pharmaceutical units every year.


“We use the concept of ‘source to shelf’, meaning we manage the supply chain from raw material to a final product”

A HEALTHY INDUSTRY Health and wellness products, and the additives used in them, have seen sales growth year on year since the sector became an out-right industry of its own in the early 2000s. Euromonitor International, world leader in strategy research for consumer markets, stated in a report published at the end of 2012 that sales of health and wellness products are rising and by 2017 the value of sales will reach US$1 trillion. This growth has been fuelled in part by developing and emerging economies with Brazil and China reportedly spending US$15 billion on health and wellness products in 2011. Afriplex CEO, Danie Nel, recently told IndustrySA

that opportunities in the Far East and thriving markets in Africa are helping the company to compensate for slow markets in Europe and the USA. “50% of our business is southern Africa and the other 50% is international markets. The States and Europe remain our biggest international markets. The Far East will soon overtake the European market. “There is definitely a slowdown in Europe and the States but there is growth in the Far East, Japan, China and Korea. In the African market, we see tremendous growth. In our industry, it’s as if the downturn did not affect southern Africa as we are seeing growth of in excess of 30-40% per annum, in a time where other companies in our industry are feeling the pinch. The reason for this is that we have unique products.”

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SEPARATION TECHNOLOGY Afriplex core business is separating healthy, useable compounds from plants and turning them into functional products. Mr Nel explains that this has always been the goal of Afriplex but, over the years, the strategy has been adapted to include product development as well as element extraction. “We have been in separation technology for many years and we have constructed separation plants in the Middle East, Africa and all over the world. “We are a chemical engineering company and in 2001 we started Afriplex in SA. The concept at that time was that we want to add value to African indigenous plants. “The most important part of the business is botanical extracts. We’ve built separation plants and manufacturing plants to standardise plant extracts for the food and pharmaceutical industry. “In 2003/04, we had a number of very unique ingredients derived from plant extracts but we couldn’t get the industry to accept them and formulate them into final retail products. This forced us to change our strategy and we’ve moved into product development. We are now considered a pharmaceutical company manufacturing pharmaceutical products and a range of food and beverage products,” explains Mr Nel. He continues: “We started manufacturing extracts from Rooibus tea, Honeybush tea and other medicinal plants. Over the years we developed to work more with final retail products and that prompted us to develop concepts based on the plant extracts that we developed.”

BACKED UP BY SCIENCE To be truly regarded as a health and wellness product it is important to have valid scientific data to back-up claims made about potential health benefits. This is something which many companies do not have but all Afriplex products are meticulously tested to ensure their legitimacy as Mr Nel explains: “In southern Africa, five or ten years ago people used herbal products that have anecdotal claims but not scientific back-up. There is now demand in the market for products with scientific back-up. Products that we are involved with on the development side all go through clinical trials for the specific reason of complying with requirements of pharmaceutical products.

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WYNLAND LABORATORIES Wynland Laboratory is a SANAS accredited laboratory (ISO 17025) and situated in Wellington. It is an independent laboratory founded in 1992. Its core business is to provide an effective service to the agriculture, wine, grapevine, food and bottled water industry in South Africa. Quality, competence and accuracy are very important to Wynland Laboratory. The laboratory sees itself as a vital link in the manufacturing chain and therefore we make use of ISO (International Organisation for Standards), EPA and AOAC (Association of Official Agricultural Chemists) methods. Wynland Laboratory (a member of the AOAC) offers its clients the full scope of routine microbiological analysis of beverages, dried fruit, fruit pulp, herbs, spices and aromatic plants, wine, water, bottled water, potable-, effluent- and recreational water, health products, dairy, sauces, swabs for hygiene, air-plate monitoring as well as chemical analysis of plant material, soil, water, wine, concentrate and olive oil. To ensure accuracy and reliability the laboratory participates in several interlab schemes eg. National Laboratory Association (NLA) (International interlab), SA Winelab Association, Agrilasa and others on a regular basis. Wynland Laboratory is also registered at the Department of Agriculture as a testing laboratory for virus testing of plant material (Grapevine leaf roll virus is regularly tested for in our labs) . Only the best available verified and validated test kits are used. It is a priority for Wynland Laboratory to lead the pack with the latest methods and formulations. Training is thus of the utmost importance and personnel are trained and retrained on a regular basis.

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“With that, you demonstrate safety and efficacy of products. That is where we find ourselves in a unique market. Our competitors in southern Africa are reluctant to invest in the science behind the product and that is our strength.” A question often asked of the company is ‘do your products have genuine health benefits?’ Mr Nel responds by saying that although it has been a struggle, the company is backed by highly regarded institutions ensuring scientific concerns are behind every product. “Over the years one of the biggest problems we’ve faced is differentiating our products from others with no scientific background. That is an on-going process for us. What we’ve managed to do, through our relationships with universities and other research institutions in SA and throughout the world, is to put science behind the products.”

PEOPLE AND COMMUNITIES Afriplex employees are highly skilled, highly experienced individuals and their expertise covers a range of areas. “Today we have a very strong technical team made up of pharmacists, chemical engineers, food technologists, bio-chemistry analysts and a range of people with very specific experience in their respected fields,” says Mr Nel, whose own background is in separation technology. As mentioned above, Afriplex owns five commercial farms and also a major tincture manufacture plant so cooperation with local communities is high on the agenda for the company. “The last expansion on the tincture plant was three years ago, we’ve manufactured tinctures right from the beginning; it’s a big part of our business. “We don’t only work with communities because it’s part of government legislation but we do so because of our social commitment. “We use the concept of ‘source to shelf’, meaning we manage the supply chain from raw material to a final product. We have a number of farming operations where we cultivate plants for specific customers and products, and in this process the local communities are very important. In SA there is a drive towards job creation and community upliftment and this is critical to our business,” says Mr Nel. He adds. “We grow non-conventional crops with high return rates so it makes it worthwhile for communities to be involved.”

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New products from Afriplex include: Malaria Remedy - The main objective of the project is to produce ACT (Artemisinin compounded therapies) products from locally cultivated Artemisia annua (A.annua) plant material. The overall goal is to evaluate the agronomic potential, extraction and production efficiency and techno-economics for the commercial production of Artemisinin and ACT’s in South Africa. The main source for artemisinin is the leaves of Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood. The plant was traditionally used for reducing fevers as well as for treating malaria. The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Afriplex have a cooperation agreement to co-fund the feasibility study phase of the project. Powder Capsules – A range of products will be launched in the coming months where the consumer can mix a powder cap with water allowing for increased stability. The range will included energy drinks, relaxation drinks and similar products for functional use. Mr Nel explains: “Instead of having ingredients mixed in water where you have a problem with stability, our products will be housed in a cap as a powder. The product will be coupled with a bottle of water, the consumer will push a button and the product will dissolve in the water where it can be used easily. The advantage of this is having ingredients with the stability of a powder. This is quite unique.”

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THE FUTURE There is much promise on the horizon for Afriplex. The industry is in a good place and demand in southern Africa is burgeoning. We are likely to see more and more products from the company as well as a transfer, seeing extracts used in food included in medicinal products. “We are working on the standardisation of plant extracts in SA as APIs (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients). It will be a major step for us to take extracts that have been used for years in the food industry and use them in pharmaceutical products. “Rooibus and Honeybush tea extracts will be used in our pharmaceutical products and that is a first. They’re well known in the food and beverage industry but not as an API. These products will have all the documentation to be registered as an API and used in

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pharmaceutical products,” says Mr Nel. He also explains that the company has strengthened its longstanding relationship with the CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) and the two are now working on a number of projects. “We have strengthened our relationship with the CSIR. We are effectively their commercial arm in the field of indigenous plants for food and beverage or pharmaceutical use. “We are working on a product which treats prostate cancer and hair loss in men. The product derives extracts from the Elandsboontjie plant. It is the same mechanism in the body which causes the two. “It’s a unique project, the CSIR have worked on this for six or seven years and we formed a partnership becoming the commercial partner. It’s the same for a number of plant based products that they research so we have a very strong relationship.” It is these relationships that help to make Afriplex unique and ensure their claims, that science is behind every product, are justified. The company’s work over the coming months and years is going to contribute in only positive ways to an industry that is continuing to grow, locally and globally. With demand for Afriplex products and services increasing in southern Africa, and with the Far East looking set to send orders through the roof, the company has strategically positioned itself as one of the industry leaders, recognised much further afield than just South Africa.


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Opportunities arising in the Kalahari? Editorial – Roland Douglas Production - Chris Bolderstone

The BPC is currently working hard to complete the Morupule B power station on time. While the country relies on coal and imports for its electricity generation, it is clear that other opportunities will need to be explored to secure a long-term, sustainable supply in Botswana.

Power generation has been a longstanding problem for southern Africa and Africa as a whole. Although advancements over the past two decades have seen a significant increase in the amount of people with access to power, there still remains a surplus of demand against supply with populations and infrastructure growing and power supply struggling to keep up. Traditional power sources, namely coal, still accounts for the majority of electricity generation but in the last five years there has been steps taken towards other sources of energy. Nuclear, solar, wind and hydro power have all been explored and

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implemented in southern Africa, and in many cases the projects have been successful. South Africa especially has seen a huge drive towards renewable energy with solar farms being constructed in the Northern Cape and major wind farms in the Eastern Cape. Hydro power is also being imported from the DRC and the Koeberg nuclear power station operates near Cape Town. In Botswana, power generation is a different story. The government has been criticised along with parastatal organisation Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) for failing to meet demand and allowing new projects to slip past deadlines too easily.

Botswana Power Corporation

However, since its inception in 1970 BPC has increased connectivity to the national grid in a big way, improving the lives of thousands of villagers, taking on economic and financial pressures at the same time.

A LONG HISTORY The BPC was formed after a Parliamentary Act was passed in 1970 which made the organisation responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity within Botswana to areas approved by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources.

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COMPANY REPORT In the early days, the organisation oversaw a small, oil-fired power station in Gaborone which was commissioned in 1970 and dismantled in 1989. Even this was a jump forwards for the capital city, home to the majority of the 600,000 population, which pre 1970, was powered mainly by diesel generators. With the population sitting at over two million (2010 est.), the challenge for BPC has been to supplement the substantial amount of electricity generated by the Morupule station; said to be only around 20% of the country’s requirement. Morupule power station was commissioned in two stages with the latest generator being commissioned in March 1989.The power station employs highly technological control systems and operates with a dry cooling method, in so doing conserving water resources. Before commissioning of Morupule power station in 1989, BPC generated electricity from the coal-fired Selebi Phikwe power station which was commissioned in 1974 and was decommissioned in 1989. Creating the 80% balance to meet demand is where the organisation has found problems, and solutions to date have mainly come through importing electricity from neighbouring countries.

SAPP The Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), formed in 1995, is a cooperation of the national electricity companies in southern Africa under the umbrella of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The members of SAPP have created a common power grid between their countries and a common market for electricity in the SADC region. Member nations of the SAPP include Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. South Africa is by far and away the leading electricity producer with Zambia and Mozambique second and third respectively. Eskom, South Africa’s state electricity company, has sold power to Botswana and the country has developed a new power station, Morupule B, which when fully operational will be able to return the favour and sell power back to South Africa. Botswana has significant coal reserves, reportedly around 200 billion tons, and in 2002 the Morupule Colliery, the country’s only coal producer, fashioned nearly one million tons so coal-fired power stations make a lot of sense with the government and investors also looking at exporting coal to international markets.

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Botswana Power Corporation

Director of generation for BPC, Edward Rugoyi says of the existing Morupule power station: “The station consumes in the order of 560,000 to 630,000 tons of coal per annum depending on the availability of the plant,” highlighting the facility’s reliance on the fossil fuel. There are plans afoot to either redevelop and refurbish the existing Morupule station or lease it to private developers. While government money has been set aside for redevelopment, it is not the P500 million needed to fully complete the renovations leading speculators to believe that leasing could be the favoured option. “It is required that the ability of the company or consortium to raise project finance is adequately demonstrated as part of the financing plan,” the BPC told Mmegi Online.

account of a water leak inside the boiler sub systems. It is also expected to be complete by mid-March. “Unit 3, the unit that is currently generating power, is connected to the BPC transmission system and completed the prescribed tests on February 26, 2013. “Unit 4 is still under construction. Some commissioning activities are also undergoing construction while most of the remaining work entails insulation. All works at height were suspended for safety reasons in October 2012. The contractor is forecasting synchronisation to happen in March 2013 and thereafter Unit 4 will undergo prescribed tests before being declared ready for commercial use.”

MORUPULE B Morupule B will be a 4x150mw coal-fired power station and main construction began in 2010 and progressed well throughout its first two years hitting only minor set-backs. The company said of the project in its annual report: “The 400kV transmission lines from Morupule B to Phokoje and Morupule B to Isang together with the new Isang 400kV/220kV substation were approved for construction during 2011 and construction at all of these sites is in progress. The five km water supply pipeline project from Morupule Colliery entered into the construction phase during 2011 and progressed well, with the project for the equipping of the Mmoshoro wellfield and the associated 80km water supply pipeline to Morupule B has entered the final procurement processes.” Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, recently published an external overview of the Morupule B construction process, highlighting the fact that the project is the largest and most complex project that has been undertaken in Botswana, with a total cost of P11.1 billion (R12.5 billion), including the associated infrastructure. In the report he commented on each of the four units under construction coming to the following conclusions: “Unit 1 was shut down on January 15, 2013 to attend to some teething problems such as steam leaks, air leaks, operational problems in the limestone system and some ash system leakages. The new report states that this unit will be ready by mid-March as indicated by the contractor. “Unit 2 was shut down on January 16, 2013 on

APR 13 PAGE 87

COMPANY REPORT Although after tests, Units 1, 2 and 3 will be available for operation, the contractor, China National Electric Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) and Shenyang Blower Works Electro-Mechanics Import and Export Co. Ltd (SBW), collectively referred to as CNEEC-SBW Consortium, has no obligation under the existing contract to operate the units, which is why there are on-going discussions to have the units in full operation while conditions for taking over are being fulfilled. Morupule B is expected to be operational at the end of July this year and this will relax reliance upon imports from Eskom. Since the start of this year, Eskom has availed 100mw on a firm basis and 200mw on a non-firm basis but it is thought that usage of imported electricity will decline along with the intermittent power shortages that have been experienced, when Morupule B is fully commissioned in July. BPC is investigating the potential for further coalfired power stations but as for other sources of power, this is an area with mass opportunities for someone to take advantage of.

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS While the average wind speeds are too faint for a significant wind power industry, sunlight burns brightly and some of the highest levels of solar insolation (a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area) in the world have been recorded in Botswana but there is currently no noteworthy solar energy power generation system being used in the country. One of the big stories surrounding the BPC in March was a report that suggested that the organisation had failed in a bid to draw up a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) with local power developer Karoo Sustainable Energy (KSE), an agreement that would have seen 180mw of coal bed methane supplied to KSE from the Mmashoro power station. At a coal conference last month, Kalahari Energy (KSE’s holding company) chairman, Julian Scales told delegates: “I’m still waiting for the PPA, that has passed every single obstacle, to be signed. It’s a very, very sore point. In these times of power shortages, we are sitting there with gas not knowing what to do with it.” “As government, we have been telling them [KSE] that we need a statement of the resource position for

PAGE 88 APR 13

us to commit to a PPA,” said Coal Development Unit coordinator, Ezekiel Moumakwa, seemingly closing the door on another potential energy deal, at least for now. KSE had planned to spend P189 million on exploration and production of gas, and another P150 million on capital investments and equipment, last year on the project. The Mmashoro power station is planned to be the same in design and technology as the 90MW Orapa plant, with four x 45mw General Electric turbines powered by Coal Bed Methane. KSE is running the Orapa power station under an asset management agreement with the BPC. The ideas of natural gas and solar power are clearly ones that need to be explored in Botswana. While the country can, for now, rely on its coal to generate electricity, in the longer-term fresh approaches to energy need to be explored, and this opens the door for whole new industries to be created, industries that will benefit the entire economy.


Botswana Power Corporation

APR 13 PAGE 89

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 “hot spots� 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.


SA’s first carbon

neutral garment manufacturer Editorial – Christian Jordan Production – Tonnie Geddes

Impahla Clothing is one of the country’s leading sports and lifestyle garment manufacturers. The company is carbon neutral and boasts a highly skilled and loyal workforce. MD, William Hughes, talks to IndustrySA about the company’s success since its inception in 2004…

In the last two decades, South Africa has developed and maintained a strong manufacturing sector, spread across many industries, which has earned a great reputation and shown potential for competitiveness in international markets. Through manufacturing comes stimulation of other areas of the economy such as services, job creation and economic empowerment. The sector is constantly contributing to economic development and growth, and the industry of textiles, clothing and footwear has been one that has contributed vastly to community advancement. The growth of textiles, clothing and footwear manufacture in particular has been phenomenal. Technology, communications, infrastructure and

PAGE 92 APR 13

skill-levels have all seen rapid developments and it is reported that since 1994, nearly US$1 billion has been spent on the industry in South Africa, modernising, upgrading and making it globally viable. Proof of the success and growing influence of the manufacturing sector, namely in the field of clothing, is provided by Impahla Clothing, a privately owned company based in Cape Town with a reputation for world-class production of sport and lifestyle apparel and fabric. Managing Director, William Hughes, recently told IndustrySA about how the company has built its glowing reputation from the ground up and what the future holds for South Africa’s first carbon neutral garment manufacturer.

Impahla Clothing

“I was previously a farmer in Zimbabwe and I lost my farm to the land redistribution act in 2003. From there I moved to South Africa and had to look for an income. We found a company that was on its last legs, The Cape Town T-Shirt Company, and purchased all the assets. We offered all the staff a new position within our company, this was in 2004. We started with approximately 50 people,” says Mr Hughes. In nine years the company has increased its staff compliment eight-fold, now operating with over 400 people. Impahla has strategically positioned itself in a Cape Town, where a cluster of fashion manufacturing companies has emerged over the last 20 years. “When we purchased our original assets, the company was

operating out of a premise and we negotiated with the landlord and stayed there from 2004 to 2007,” says Mr Hughes. “We then purchased our own site and moved into our current facility in Cape Town in 2007.”

PUMA When Impahla purchased its original assets in 2004, the company it made acquisitions from had a small relationship with global sports clothing brand Puma. The Impahla management realised immediately that this relationship was valuable and, if managed correctly, could provide a wealth of opportunities for their new company.

APR 13 PAGE 93

COMPANY REPORT “99% of what we do is for Puma. We have a strategic partnership with them. We don’t do work with anyone else and they guarantee our lines. We’re not looking for work from other companies as we know that our lines are guaranteed. “They were a small customer of the previous company that we purchased the assets out of and we worked hard on the relationship to grow it to what it is today.” The company produces a full range of apparel for Puma and the sports giant trusts Impahla to create clothing for the SA market, the African market and in some cases, international markets. “One of the main strengths of our business is that we are very versatile. We can do many different styles. Currently we are doing rugby jerseys, soccer jerseys, tracksuits, shorts, t-shirts, hoodies and many others. It’s mainly sports orientated products with some lifestyle stuff as well. “The products are sold mainly in South Africa and Africa but we have done orders for Europe and throughout the whole world,” says Mr Hughes. So why is it that Puma place such trust in Impahla? Mr Hughes explains that the company has brilliant facilities, all highly rated by international standards agencies. “We have three factories. One does apparel, one does socks and one does fabrics. “Our factories are A-rated which means we can produce for Puma’s international markets.”

CARBON FOOTPRINT Impahla’s A-rated facilities are not only rated so because of their equipment, quality and safety attributes. “We are a very green company, we are carbon neutral and we have solar panels on the factory rooftops,” says Mr Hughes. The company is an advocate of renewable energy and its factory in Cape Town has been fitted with a high-tech solar energy system consisting of 131 solar modules which reportedly generates approximately 48 mw/h per annum, offsetting 1150 tons of carbon over the lifetime of the system. It is not just electricity demand that is addressed by the company. Innovative ideas have been implemented including maximisation of natural light usage through translucent roof sheeting to illuminate the factory floor and to provide natural heating during winter months, while employing large roller doors to create a cross-wind cooling effect in summer, thus reducing reliance on electricity to create a favourable working

PAGE 94 APR 13

environment. The company uses energy-efficient light bulbs and fixtures as well as low volume dual-flow toilets and five-litre hot-water tanks in each of their kitchens. Plastics, paper and cardboard are all recycled by Oasis, a Cape Town-based NPO which employs mostly persons with mental disabilities and the ink used in screen-printing is PUMA-approved CHT ink.

Impahla Clothing Independent water quality tests are conducted to ensure that waste water does not contain any harmful chemicals and water quality has been found to be safe for municipal discharge. Mr Hughes and Impahla are staunchly committed to monitoring their carbon footprint and lowering it each year, something which they have been successful with since 2009.

‘WITHOUT EMPLOYEES WE ARE NOTHING’ Like any business, Impahla Clothing relies heavily on a hard-working highly skilled workforce and over the years the company has built up a good rapport with staff, with many remaining loyal and committed for many years. Mr Hughes says of his staff: “Employees are our most important asset. Without them we are nothing. They are absolutely vital to the success of this business. We put a great deal of value on our employees; we have many long-serving people who are committed to the company. “We have a promotion from within policy, we recognise skill and we recognise commitment and people with these qualities now make up our management team.” Respect is also vital explains Hughes, stating that mutual respect between the company and its employees is the most important part of the working relationship. “People are valued here and they know it. They know that they are not just a number; they know they have a stake in the business and they respect the business.” It is because of the commitment and motivation of the staff and management that the business has managed to grow significantly since 2004 and while there are more opportunities for growth, the company is currently consolidating and strategising for the future.

“Employees are our most important asset. Without them we are nothing. They are absolutely vital to the success of this business” APR 13 PAGE 95

Serving the textile industry

Textilaties/Spintex would like to congratulate Impahla Clothing on its entry into the South African Hosiery Industry, with its recent acquisition of the troubled Millennium/Continental group. Textilaties and Spintex are thrilled at this development, which they feel will bring a new level of stability to the industry in the Western Cape and throughout Southern Africa. Spintex is a specialist manufacturer of Elastomeric and Spandex Yarns, developed especially for the Hosiery Industry over the last 25 years. The services also include a twisting facility. Textilaties, which is 40 years old next year, provides spares and accessories, including needles and elements for Sock, Flat and Circular machines. Along with this, they offer a range of machines which could be used by the Impahla Group these include:

Da Kong

Jin Peng

Pai Lung

Fully Electronic sock machines.

Fully Electronic Collar & Sweater

Circular Fabric Machines.


Please visit the Textilaties website for further information on the company and its services. Tel Local: 012 6548251 Tel Int: (+27) 12 6548251 Fax Local: 012 6541396 Fax Int: (+27) 126541396 Email:

COMPANY REPORT “We’ve expanded a lot in the last year and we are currently in a consolidation phase. We do get a lot of requests from companies to manufacture new products so there is an opportunity to expand but we are trying to consolidate and then we will see where we go from there,” explains Mr Hughes. Whatever the plans for the future, the team at Impahla know that now is the time to be especially careful when planning expansion and growth, with the global economic climate in the state that it is. However, Mr Hughes recognises that to date, the Impahla way of doing things has worked exceptionally well. “We see that the situation is difficult and not what it was, but in terms of the products we are making, we haven’t seen any slowdown. We have not been majorly affected but we are aware that

Impahla Clothing we need to be cautious. “The industry in South Africa has taken a bit of a hammering with job losses. With imports from the Far East, a lot of South African manufacturers have fallen away. We have our own strategies and our own models and they seem to work for us.” With export values from clothing and fabric growing and benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) being felt in the industry, there are definitely prospects for a company with the expertise of Impahla to achieve further expansion. As the country looks for enterprise to create employment and contribute to the economy, Impahla Clothing is most certainly one of the organisations leading the way when it comes to quality product, innovative facilities and a strong, knowledgeable labour force.


APR 13 PAGE 97


This is the latest installment of our Industry Recommended directory, a list of companies across a range of industry sectors over SA.

Your Industry, Their Future, Our South Africa Automotive

Lombard Tyres One of South Africa’s largest independent tyre dealers for all premium brand tyres and automotive components +27 11 951 5900

reseller of a vast and comprehensive range of electrical and lighting products, including local and international suppliers and their brands +27 11 879 2000

Hellermann Tyton Eagle Springs South Africa’s premier manufacturer of automotive suspension parts and mining coil springs +27 11 945 1130

Sena Windows Established in 1982, Sena Windows supplies a wide range of automotive products to the motor & railway transport industry throughout southern Africa. +27 11 882 4221

Savino Del Bene Savino Del Bene is one of the leading companies in the world of shipping, providing customers with integrated and customized logistics solutions. +27 11 437 3000

HellermannTyton South Africa is an ISO/TS 16949 quality approved manufacturer and distributor of cable accessories, test instruments, connectors and components for use within the electrical and associated industries +27 11 879 6620

Energy Shell South Africa Global group of energy and petrochemical companies. +27 11 996 7000

Engineering VR Engineering VR Engineering are the leading generator producers in South Africa with the widest product range. +27 11 762 5431


MTU South Africa

Voltex is a leading stockist and

Leading worldwide manufacturer of

PAGE 98 FEB 98 MAR13 13

large diesel engines. +27 21 529 5792

HR Solutions Sage VIP Sage VIP is the leading developer, implementer and support provider of payroll and HR management software and services for any size organisation in Africa

Laboratory Services Intertek Worldwide group of testing laboratories for the textile, footwear, toys, petroleum and chemicals industries

Wynland Laboratories Wynland Laboratories were established in 1992 when there was a need for standardized chemicals in the wine industry. Since then Wynland Laboratories have started with analyses of food, wine, water, dairy products, soil, leafs and more. +27 21 873 3514

Machine Moving Swallow Rigging Swallow Machine Moving and Rigging has grown to become a


leader in southern Africa’s rigging and machine moving industry over the past decade +27 11 452 9183

Pharmaceuticals Afriplex Afriplex is a leading international supplier, from source to shelf, of wellness product solutions based on indigenous African botanicals +27 21 872 4976

Finzelberg When it comes to medicinal remedies, trust is indispensible. At Finzelberg, a manufacturer of plant extracts for the pharmaceutical industry, you can trust in our experience and expertise dating back to 1875

Power Botswana Power Company Botswana Power Corporation, a parastatal utility which was formed in 1970 by an Act of Parliament is responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity within Botswana to areas approved by the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources

ZETDC The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission & Distribution Company’s (ZETDC) business is the transmission and distribution of electricity

Power Generation Cummins Established in 1919 in Indiana, USA, Cummins today employs more than 40,000 people worldwide, and has an annual turnover of US $10.8 billion. Cummins has a global network of 500 companyowned and independent distributor facilities at more than 5200 dealer locations in over 190 countries. Cummins range of engines is used

in a wide variety of applications, including; mining, trucking, boating, power-generation, construction and agriculture.

itself as a leader in the clothing industry within South Africa since its inception in 1999. +27 36 631 4741

Impahla Clothing Property Management Genprop GENPROP recently entered the property industry, specialising in Property and Facilities Management. +27 11 781 5486

Recruitment Siyakha Consulting Siyakha Consulting is a market leading transformation consulting firm with specialists divisions that focus on Transformation Services and People Services. +27 11 706 9006

Science SKA The world’s biggest telescope – and one of the biggest scientific projects – ever.

EMSS Antennas Offer a world-class EM and antenna analysis service, and also excel in the development of custom antenna systems and related subcomponents. +27 21 880 1188

Telecommunications Broadband Infraco Broadband Infraco SOC is a licensed state owned company in the telecommunications sector. It is intended to improve market efficiency in the long distance connectivity segment by increasing available long distance network infrastructure.

Textiles Excel Clothing Excel Clothing has established

Impahla Clothing is South Africa’s first carbon neutral garment manufacturer. Manufacturer of sports apparel +27 21 510 4201

Spintex Spintex is a specialist manufacturer of Elastomeric and Spandex yarns, developed especially for the hosiery industry over the last 25 years. +27 12 654 8251

Profuse Interlining An importer and distributor of Quality “A” Grade Non-Woven, Woven and Knitted interlinings. We are proactive in introducing new products into South Africa which are compatible with new modern fabrics. +27 11 402 0222

Transport PUTCO The Public Utility Transport Corporation (PUTCO) was established in 1945 and has been part of the South African history, trading on the Johannesburg stock exchange for over six decades We have grown into the biggest commuter bus operator in the country, operating 1600 buses, employing just over 4200 people, transporting more than 230,000 commuters daily.

For more information about how your company can be recognised for excellence across many areas please get in touch.

Your Industry, Their Future, Our South Africa

MAR 13 PAGE 99

VOLCANO 27468º


Dulux South Africa is celebrating the move to a single global brand identity with the arrival of the dynamic Flourish™. A lively colour wave that symbolises what it truly means to add colour to people’s lives.

IndustrySA Issue 8  

Latest edition of South Africas leading business to business magazine set out to inspire a nation