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Afrimat eyes international market

South Africa’s listed open-pit mining company and a supplier of industrial minerals, commodities and construction materials Afrimat is looking into the possibility of establishing its presence beyond Africa, CEO Andries van Heerden has hinted.

It is a move that comes amidst economic problems which result from the slump in commodity prices in South Africa. However, the chief executive also added that this would be a long term plan.

“I’m not saying we are going there, but we think we could possibly do that,” he said.

Afrimat has presence in Mozambique where they are involved in what Van Heerden calls “care and maintenance.”
Previously, the firm had a foothold in Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia with little success.

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According to Van Heerden Mozambique provided Afrimat growth opportunities following several upcoming projects in the natural gas and road sub sectors. “Africa is rising again and we hope to take advantage of this growth,” he added.

Going beyond Africa

However, he disclosed that Afrimat was also looking further afield than Africa into other continents and certain areas of the world where very similar trends to what they saw in South Africa 10 years ago were starting to emerge.

At its peak in 2008, South Africa’s construction industry was one that was booming. Then, it was providing thousands of employment opportunities and helped boost the economy. Today however, the industry is struggling to survive with companies reporting loses and job cuts.

Recently, construction giant Group Five acknowledged that it would be an uphill task to steer the firm back to profitability.

It followed a drop in revenue for the year which ended on June 30th by 21.6% to US $763m; this is comparison to the previous financial year. On the other hand core operating profit decreased from US $52m profit to a loss of US $46.5m.

Moreen Mbogo
Editor/ Business Developer at Group Africa Publishing Ltd


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