South Africa’s civil engineering and construction group, Esor is now seeking business opportunities in Zimbabwe to avert challenging market conditions in Africa’s largest economy that are not expected to abate in the short term.
The group’s Chief Executive Officer, Wessel van Zyl, confirmed that the projects outside South Africa provide a foreign currency hedge which is favourable when the rand is weakening and potentially offer higher margins after taking the associated risks into account.
“Opportunities in Zimbabwe and Zambia continue to be explored with a number of smaller piling contracts being completed in Zimbabwe and the Old Mutual piling contract in Harare being secured which commenced in November 2016,” he said.
This comes as Esor through its local unit formerly known as Zimfranki Project-suspended works in Zimbabwe in 2004, amidst economic downturn but begun trading again in 2011.
In 2013, in compliance with indigenous legislation, Esor sold 51 per cent of Zimfranki projects that are now branded as Esor Zimbabwe to English Breeze Investments a 100 per cent indigenous company.
Building on its niche geotechnical engineering offering, as well as South African-based skill sets, Esor Zimbabwe has diversified into the civil engineering construction sector, expanding its services from sub-surface foundation work to include above surface civil engineering and construction services.
The latest pronouncement by Esor also comes at a time when South African companies have expressed willingness to invest and create business partnerships with Zimbabwe as a way of dealing with the credit crunch that is hindering economic growth in Africa.
Currently, there are more that 120 South Africa companies doing business in Zimbabwe in various sectors, including mining, aviation, tourism, banking, property, retail, construction etc
Esor is one of SADC benchmark civil engineering and construction groups providing specialist geotechnical services, roads and earthworks, civil and pipeline construction. The group is listed in the ‘Construction & Building Materials’ sector of the JSE Main Board.