Defy’s new Danskraal warehouse comes with an additional R170 million investment to the Ladysmith area, contributing to over 130 jobs.
South Africa’s largest manufacturer and distributor of major domestic appliances, Defy, announces today the official opening of their new world-class distribution and warehousing centre in Danskrall, Ladysmith on 19 May. The new facility represents a R170 million investment into the Ladysmith area and will create over 130 jobs within the surrounding communities.
The Defy Danskraal warehouse can process the loading and unloading of more than 200 trucks per day and has a storage capacity of 100,000m³ of product. The strategic location of the distribution centre creates the opportunity to move product by rail from the Ezakheni manufacturing facility to the Durban port 250 kilometres away. This drastically improves the export supply of Defy, and sister brand Beko appliances into Africa, and supports the company’s vision of being in the top three appliance brands in all sub-Saharan markets, by 2025.
According to Defy’s CEO, Evren Albas, the new Danskraal distribution centre represents the Company’s unwavering dedication to the people of South Africa and the community of Ladysmith to see another century of prosperous growth. “Over the last 115 years, Defy has entrenched its footprint in South African households and it is our responsibility to continue making a meaningful impact to the lives of our employees, business partners, consumers and the communities in which we operate”.
As a market leader in consumer manufactured goods, Defy continues to look into ways to further improve distribution efficiencies by investing in various local communities in key geographical regions. Distribution and warehousing are key competencies in the Defy supply chain and underline the customer centric ethos of the company. Ladysmith is a prime location to achieve a win-win result due to its strategic proximity to major transport nodes and Defy’s Ezakheni manufacturing facility which already operates out of the region.
Since 2012, Defy has invested approximately R642 million in the Ladysmith economy. Danskraal has been designated as a logistics development zone and is strategically located in terms of Defy’s planned network. “Our company is guided by our core purpose of Pioneering Our Future Together and we relentlessly strive to raise the bar on innovation, quality and processes that better serve the entire ecosystem. With a R170 million investment and significant job creation opportunities, the new Defy Danskraal warehouse promises to further contribute to the economic and social stability of the Ladysmith community”, says Albas.
“With the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) as of January this year, the move to enhance our capabilities to service the African continent was prioritised, and with the opening our new warehouse and distribution centre, this could not have positioned us on a better footing. We look to pioneer the landscape of the African continent with superior local products, under our Defy and Beko brands to ensure a sustainable growth for the future”, concludes Albas.
Landsdowne Property Group, Where Real Estate Dreams Become Reality.
Back in 2006, Landsdowne Property Group took its first steps into the world of real estate. It all started with a spark of inspiration from the company’s founder and current CEO, Jonathan Kohler. Fast forward to today, and this South African gem has blossomed into a national sensation with offices spanning across Gauteng, Western Cape, and KwaZulu-Natal.
What sets Landsdowne apart isn’t just its impressive portfolio; it’s the human touch it brings to the real estate game. You see, at Landsdowne, the Directors and Shareholders are not distant figures in a corporate hierarchy – they’re right there in the thick of things, day in and day out. When a service hiccup pops up, it’s not a faceless entity handling it; it’s the owners themselves who dive in headfirst, ensuring that issues are sorted, pronto.
With a whopping 15 years in the industry, Landsdowne Property Group isn’t just experienced; they’re seasoned pros. Their vast wealth of knowledge, a web of invaluable industry connections, and the tools of the trade make them your ideal partner to nurture and grow your real estate investments.
So, if you’re on the hunt for a real estate partner with personality, a dedicated team, and a CEO who sets the gold standard, look no further than Landsdowne Property Group. Your real estate dreams are about to become reality, courtesy of this remarkable human-centric enterprise.
RTMS auditors in bid to raise safety awareness amongst truck drivers in South Africa
South Africa faces a pressing road safety challenge, with a disproportionate number of accidents involving heavy vehicles, particularly trucks. In an effort to address this issue and promote safer road conditions, it is imperative to raise safety awareness among truck drivers across the country.
To promote safe driving amongst heavy vehicle truck drivers, certifications solutions company JC Auditors (JCA) will participate in a series of road shows in collaboration with industry partners, dedicated to raising awareness among heavy vehicle truck drivers and promoting safe driving behaviours.
The first event will be hosted at the Highway Junction Truck Stop on 4 October 2023, targeting an audience of 2 000 drivers.
During this event, drivers will not only be treated to delightful surprises and giveaways, but will also receive a crucial safety message emphasising the importance of responsible driving. The Highway Junction team are spearheading this event, with the JCA team providing driver safety resources and support.
For the second year, JCA will partner with the Reinhardt Transport Group (RTG) for their “Safer Roads” road shows, which will take place in various locations, including Komatipoort, Steelpoort, Rustenburg, Brits and Richards Bay.
This collaboration will enable the dissemination of vital road safety information to a broader audience of truck drivers across these high-volume routes.
In addition to these road shows, JCA will host its third Annual Driver Day at Highway Junction, which will encompass driver health checks and the highly successful one-on-one driver motivational talks.
This event further recognises the challenges faced by truck drivers and aims to express appreciation for their demanding profession. Each driver will receive a token of gratitude as a gesture of recognition for their commitment to one of the most challenging jobs around.
“The JCA team strongly encourages all stakeholders in the road safety ecosystem to consider and implement initiatives that elevate the professional status of drivers,” says Managing Director Oliver Naidoo. “By collectively addressing the issues faced by truck drivers and promoting safer driving practices, we can work towards improving South Africa’s lamentable road safety record.”
JCA is committed to fostering a culture of road safety and believes that these road shows, in collaboration with industry partners, are a meaningful step towards making our roads safer for everyone.
“South Africa’s trucking industry plays a pivotal role in the nation’s economy, facilitating the transportation of goods that are essential for daily life,” continues Naidoo. “The significant increase in freight volumes proportionately increases the safety risk exposure, hence the need for greater awareness and adherence to safety protocols among truck drivers.”
In this regard, Naidoo highlights some key factors the road freight sector should consider:
High Accident Rates
South Africa has one of the highest road crash rates in the world, and a significant proportion of these accidents involve heavy vehicles. The consequences of these accidents are often devastating, resulting in loss of life, injury, and damage to property.
Road accidents involving trucks have a substantial economic impact, causing delays in supply chains, increased insurance costs, and damage to infrastructure. These costs ultimately affect businesses, consumers, and the overall economy.
Truck driving is a demanding profession, often requiring long hours on the road, exposure to adverse weather conditions, and significant physical and mental strain. Ensuring the well-being of truck drivers is not only a safety concern, but also a matter of basic human rights. The increasing truck crime statistics and social unrest incidents make the situation even worse.
To address these challenges, there is a growing need for comprehensive safety awareness programs targeting truck drivers. These initiatives should include:
Education & Training
Providing truck drivers with access to training programs that focus on safe driving practices, defensive driving techniques, and understanding road conditions. This should not be purely classroom based which has limited impact, but should use personal, innovative, and consistent means of engaging with the drivers to bring about the desired shift in safety culture.
Mental & Physical Health Support
Offering resources and services that address the mental and physical health of truck drivers, including stress management, nutrition, and regular health check-ups, especially for drivers with chronic illnesses.
Implementing advanced safety technologies such as collision avoidance systems, fatigue monitoring, and using telematics data to enhance driver safety.
Encouraging collaboration between government agencies, the trucking industry, and local communities, to create a collective commitment to road safety.
Recognition & Appreciation
Recognising and appreciating the contributions of truck drivers who undertake one of the toughest jobs in the country, often under challenging conditions.
Voestalpine VAE SA (VAESA) Awarded a Prestigious Three-Year Contract by Transnet Freight Rail for Turnout Sets
Leading provider of railway infrastructure solutions, VAESA, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a significant three-year contract by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) to manufacture and supply TFR’s demand for turnout sets and components annually.
This collaboration is a testament to VAESA’s commitment to delivering high-quality railway products and services that enhance South Africa’s rail network.
TFR’s decision to award VAESA with this game-changing contract from a rail network infrastructure perspective, underscores the company’s reputation for excellence and innovation within the railway industry.
“We are delighted to have been selected by TFR for this significant contract,” says Pulane Tshabalala Kingston, VAESA’s Chief Executive Officer.
“This partnership between ourselves and TFR aligns perfectly with our mission to provide cutting-edge railway solutions that contribute to South Africa’s transportation infrastructure progress. Our team is dedicated to delivering products of the highest quality that meet the stringent standards set by TFR.”
Local Production a Boost For The Economy
The turnout sets and components for this project will be manufactured at VAESA’s state-of-the-art Isando facility in Johannesburg.
The facility holds a unique history, as it was acquired 26 years ago by voestalpine Railway Systems, part of the voestalpine group, a distinguished Austrian-listed metal company renowned as the unrivalled leader in turnout technology globally. In 2021, Mirai Rail Corporation, a black woman-owned company, acquired a controlling interest in VAESA.
“As the only facility of its scale in sub-Saharan Africa, our Isando facility stands as a testament – not only to the company’s dedication to advancing railway infrastructure and technology on the Continent, but also to our commitment to local manufacture in South Africa,” says Tshabalala Kingston.
“In this regard, it is important to note that our facility has the capacity to comfortably meet both TFR’s demand in terms of the awarded contract, as well as our other customers’ demands. We have gone to great lengths to ensure the security of supply for our customers, as we understand how important this is.”
“It is noteworthy that this is the first substantial turnouts contract to have been successfully awarded in the last five years – and explains TFR’s significant maintenance backlog.
This award is an important and positive step forward by TFR, which will go a long way to resolving cycle time issues, creating jobs, bolstering the revenues of users on the rail network and ultimately contributing to our overall economic growth,” continues Tshabalala Kingston.
Turnouts are a critical component of modern railway infrastructure. They let trains change tracks smoothly, without needing to stop.
Turnouts allow trains to be re-routed to avoid congestion, delays, or maintenance work. Additionally, rail turnouts enable the creation of sidings, which are essential for freight trains to pass each other on single-track lines.
Empowering Communities & Driving Economic Growth
According to Tshabalala Kingston, the significance of the contract goes well beyond VAESA, casting a positive light on the entire perway industry.
“This award heralds a much-needed turnaround that will breathe new life into various facets of the industry – including job prospects and the livelihood of downstream suppliers, who provide essential components like nuts, bolts, chairs, and fishplates. The positive impact of this award extends across the industry, as it revitalises not only VAESA, but also the network of companies that support its operations.”
Already, VAESA has supplied TFR with 18 complete turnout sets. These were installed in July this year during the annual shutdown of the coal line that runs from Lephalale in Limpopo, through Mpumalanga, to the Port of Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.
The turnouts were installed on the Ermelo, Vryheid, Ulundi and Richards Bay lines. As of January 2023, the coal line had a number of clamped turnouts, which hurt the ability of coal mining companies to evacuate their export coal.
Replacing 18 turnouts has been heralded as a game-changer, significantly improving cycle times and overall turnaround time in the TFR Ermelo yard – ultimately halving the overall cycle time.
“The awarding of this contract and the successful engagement and participation in the yearly coal line shutdown, through collaborative efforts with various stakeholders, serves as undeniable evidence of what is possible when all stakeholders come together with a common purpose, ” concludes Tshabalala Kingston.
“It benefits the manufacturing industry at large and users of the various rail corridors. Equally important, is that it will increase tariff revenues for Transnet – given the greater operational efficiencies achieved, allowing for more volumes to be transported between the coal mines and the Port of Richards Bay. This impact of the award cannot be underestimated – it has the capability of contributing to the re-awakening of the South African rail renaissance.”