In the face of worldwide logistical and supply chain challenges, leading South African minerals processing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Multotec has had a stellar export year – emerging as a co-winner in the large business category of the 2021 Exporter of the Year Awards last month.
Hosted by the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), the awards recognise exceptional achievement by manufacturers in the capital equipment sector in terms of value, volumes and export destinations.
“As a proud South African OEM for almost 50 years, we greatly appreciate this recognition, especially given the local and global headwinds that all businesses are currently facing,” says Jaco du Toit, managing director of Multotec International. “Local operational challenges include unreliable power supply and incidents of labour unrest in the country, while international logistical capacity remains severely disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Lead times in some transportation segments such as ocean freight (port-to-port) have increased by around 35% while costs have doubled. Du Toit notes that Multotec has overcome these challenges and met their export targets for the year – continuing the journey of growing the group’s international presence.
Having initiated its internationalisation strategy some 20 years ago, Multotec now earns about 55% of its revenues from exports. With about half of these exports going into sub-Saharan African countries, the group is also active in Europe, the Americas, Australia, China and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), especially Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
“The key to our success in exports has been our ability to maintain productivity and stability of our manufacturing operations, which embrace 60% local content,” he emphasises. “We have never deviated from our commitment to building our economy through innovation and expertise; we believe fundamentally in the power of local business to transform our country for the better.”
Multotec employs about 1,9000 people at its various sites around Spartan and elsewhere, and supports a large range of local suppliers and subcontractors in generating its wide product offering. It also invests heavily in skills development and SED projects. He explains Multotec’s export strategy is speed to market by as getting closer to customers wherever they are based, plus its ability to deliver a quality product on time at a competitive prices anywhere in the world.
“Underpinning our export success has therefore been our global network of strategically located subsidiaries in certain countries, supported by agents in others,” says Du Toit. “In Africa north of South Africa, for instance, we have companies in Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana with strategic partners in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Mauritania.”
This allows not only the export of equipment but facilitates an ongoing field service maintenance relationship and after-sales service to ensure the technology continues to add value on customer sites. The same approach has been applied in Canada through Multotec Canada, with about 60% of the supply line into that country being sourced from South Africa. The 14,300 m2 Spartan facilities also manufacture most of Multotec’s equipment supplied to Australia, Europe and the CIS.
“Having weathered a difficult couple of years since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have succeeded in our aim of not shedding any jobs,” he says. “As the mining sector surges ahead, we are now reaping the rewards of that achievement. At Multotec, we aspire to grow a truly South African brand to become a respected name in all mining sectors in the world.”