Empowerment milestone for Afrit
Trailer manufacturer Afrit is already the market leader. But with the aim of entering a bigger league, the company recently announced a BBBEE deal with the Southern Palace Group of companies.
With approximately 25% of the market, Afrit Trailers, a family-owned business for the past 40 years, is the leading manufacturer of trailers in South Africa. The increase in demand for trailers in the southern African transport industry has prompted the company to invest in highly sophisticated and advanced technology, as well as review and streamline its manufacturing process and systems.
With a solid infrastructure in place, Afrit is looking to further increase its market penetration as a supplier to leading transport and logistics companies. Hence the move to acquiring a BBBEE partner, with synergies in the transport and distribution, steel, automotive and manufacturing industries.
The Southern Palace Group (SPG) of companies has recently concluded a deal with Afrit whereby it has acquired 30% of the company, placing it at a level 5 BBBEE contributor. SPG is well known for its investment structure, which is grouped around providing transport and logistics solutions, and assisting SPG to fulfil its mandate to create sustainable employment through ongoing grass roots training initiatives, designed to promote entrepreneurships on a national basis.
Some of the BBBEE initiatives and credentials that Southern Palace has acquired is a share in the Reclam Group, a steel recycling and waste management group, and an equity stake in Scaw Metals, to name a few.
Lucas Tseki, CEO of SPG, has been appointed to the Afrit board and will be involved in the operation of the company and provide the necessary backup to the company’s strategy of increasing its customer base.
Tseki holds a BCom (Information Systems, Corporate Finance and Investments) from Wits University. He has extensive management consulting and business turnaround experience with a leading global consultancy firm, and has performed management advisory and operational enablement work at leading blue chip companies in South Africa and in the UK. He also holds non-executive leadership positions in various well-established companies including Scaw Metals and Southern Palace Motor Group.
This milestone demonstrates the dedication that Afrit and SPG place in addressing all pillars of transformation as per the BBBEE codes of practice within Afrit’s business units. The SPG leadership team will take an active role in the management of Afrit to take the company to the next level.
“Southern Palace is proud to be associated with Afrit and is optimistic the new active, hands-on partnership will go a long way to positively impacting the Southern Africa automotive equipment manufacturing market,” says Tseki.
Afrit, as a company, has grown proportionately with the demand for its trailers, showing a positive annual growth rate but never compromising on the quality of the product. The company’s reputation for being at the forefront of the industry is well accepted and recognised in both international and local markets. Afrit’s future plans include investing in opportunities in foreign markets to which the company is currently supplying.