2011 has shown a bit of a “re-awakening” of the SADC countries in recent months in their quest for good used construction and mining equipment.
Marsay Equipment specializes in stone crushing and screening equipment which serves both the construction and the mining fields and the value of sales to both sectors has been more or less equal. This is a slight change from 2009 and 2010 where most of the sales were to smaller mining operations. With the construction sector livening up, this is a clear indication of the resurgence of infrastructure development in our neighbouring countries.
A good sign for South African business is that the surrounding countries prefer to source equipment from South Africa as opposed to their European counterparts. From discussion with clients in SADC countries the underlying reasons for this are four fold:
Countries showing the most signs of an upturn are Namibia, Botswana and Zambia. A significant percentage of enquiries originate from Zimbabwe but these rarely materialise into business. From the comments received from the potential clients, their reticence is very much related to the uncertainty surrounding government policy to “take over” the majority shares in all privately owned companies – take note JM – Bob’s system ain’t working!
A recent trend even among smaller mining operations is to beneficiate minerals locally thus ensuring that countries are not only getting higher prices for their goods but also creating additional employment within their sectors. Marsay Equipment is currently involved in a pilot manganese smelting project, which if successful, will be offered to other mining sectors in order to assist in mineral beneficiation.