The wholesale value of building and construction materials sold in South Africa has seen an increase of over 40% since January 2020. “Cement remains a major focus. This has fuelled our own growth in turn, and we do not expect it to plateau anytime soon,” comments Sharon van Niekerk, Business Development Leader (BDL) for Cement, Pulp & Paper and Chemicals at leading supplier Bearings International (BI).
BI offers a full range of products and services for the cement industry. “We really do offer a ‘one-stop shop’ for all client requirements in this important sector,” highlights van Niekerk. Products range from bearings and seals to chains and sprockets, electric motors and drives, gearboxes and couplings and pulleys, belts and lubricants to assorted tools.
As the official authorised distributor for leading global brands such as FAG, KOBO, Rexnord, ABB, Craft and Koyo, BI has the flexibility to be able to offer everything from Tier 1 to Tier 3 products, depending on the application.
In addition, BI’s newly established Field Service Teams now not only offer all the products needed to keep cement plants running optimally, but are also available to assist with bearing failure inspections, reporting and root cause analysis, on-site installation, lubrication surveys and solution and condition monitoring, to name but a few.
Commenting on the impact of Covid-19, van Niekerk remarks it has been both an exciting and challenging time. “However, as an essential service provider and in true ‘always there making it work’ form, we were fully operational from Day 1 of the hard lockdown, servicing our customers’ needs. This commitment to service excellence and having the right product available at the right price resulted in phenomenal growth for us last year.”
Looking to the future, the recently established projects team, which is collaborating with the larger Hudaco Group, is anticipated to provide the necessary leverage to engage with other cement producers in Africa.
“This will certainly form part of our focus going forward. As for 2021, we remain cautiously optimistic that we will once again prove our value proposition, not only in the cement industry, but across all the major industry sectors as the leading industrial solutions provider,” concludes van Niekerk.