by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE German-headquartered drive and control technologies specialist, SEW-Eurodrive, recently commenced construction work on its new R200 million (US$12 million) head office and factory in South Africa.
The 25 000m2 building will be located in Evaton, south of Gauteng, in the Emfuleni region.
To be completed by October 2021, it will also act as its South African headquarters in January 2022.
Over a three to five year period, the the factory will be fitted with state of the art, Industry 4.0 compliant technologies including automated assembly machines and guided vehicles which the company anticipates will cost at least another R200 million.
“In order to remain globally competitive it’s important that this new factory is as automated as possible,” said Raymond Obermeyer, Managing Director at SEW- Eurodrive South Africa.
The new state-of-the-art, hi-tech facility will allow the company to more efficiently and effectively service customers both in Gauteng and in the rest of Africa, he revealed, adding that the company expects the majority of its growth in the years ahead to come from Africa rather than South Africa.
SEW-Eurodrive forecasts the African markets to account for 50 percent of its turnover within the next three to four years.
This is based on the growth in many countries around the continent.
“Not only do we expect to see opportunities for growth coming from the establishment of the African Free Trade Continental Area (AfCFTA) agreement, but the removal of border restrictions will make it significantly easier for companies like SEW-Eurodrive to do business on the continent,” Obermeyer said.
The new factory will accommodate a number of the company’s assembly plants around the country in order to develop better efficiencies and contain costs.
SEW-Eurodrive’s existing plants in Cape Town, Durban, Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth will continue to operate with a focus on servicing the company’s national footprint of customers.
Its current head office and factory will become a gear box repair centre.
Founded in 1931, SEW-Eurodrive specialises in manufacturing and supplying gear motors and units, drive solutions as well as various components and supplementary products and services to the mining, renewable energies and industrial sector.
It has been operational in South Africa since 1986.
“This new facility has been planned for some years already and we’re delighted that construction has finally kicked off, paving the way for an exciting period in the company’s growth trajectory,” Obermeyer concluded.
– CA News