Hoist and lifts manufacturer Wesant reports a buoyant lifts market, noting that demand from commercial and retail segments is robust, and it has seen increased enquiries from Southern African countries, says the Wesant management team under MD Wade Wareing.
The main source of projects has been the private sector, although Wesant does occasionally supply lifts to the public sector, though these projects are typically smaller universal-access projects such as providing platform lifts for police stations or museums.
“Private investment continues in most of the country’s regions, keeping major construction companies busy. Many of them have been involved in projects that we have supplied elevator equipment to over the past few years. Shopping malls continue to be built, and we are supplying equipment for two such malls, in Springs and Ballito.”
Wesant also notes an increase in public investment, particularly in Gauteng, where the Department of Infrastructure and Development continues to upgrade hospitals and other government buildings.
“A regeneration of older equipment in the Johannesburg central business district is also on the rise and, since we carry high stock levels and manufacture locally, we are well positioned to assist with these requirements,” notes the team.
There has been increased demand from Gauteng in recent years and demand continues to grow. The capacity for this region to grow and reinvent itself is impressive and exciting, as it offers small and medium-sized businesses like Wesant an opportunity to grow along with it. However, there is development in other regions of the country, albeit not to the extent seen in Gauteng, and Wesant reports continued demand from its customers throughout South Africa.
“Owing to the longevity of our type of product, our sales are mainly determined by new builds. The most robust market sector for us is retail; an example of this is our involvement in the Watercrest Mall in Waterfall, KwaZulu-Natal. There is an increase in demand from consumers for this type of ‘catch-all’ retail development, hence the construction of two new large malls in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.”
Meanwhile, residential supply of elevators to the private segment has slowed. Wesant assumes this is owing to the economic climate in South Africa currently. However, it has not seen a corresponding decline in the public sector or corporate sector market segments, as clients remain focused on providing a more efficient, cost effective and environment-friendly vertical lifting solution for their buildings.
“We are really optimistic about demand for the next few years. We currently have orders well into next year, while we usually only receive orders three months in advance.”
The company has an order from Ghana and has historically also provided lifts for the Seychelles, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland markets.
“We have noted an increase in inquiries from these countries in the last few months. We are currently laying the groundwork for our future expansion into Africa. We are looking to increase our exposure in Southern Africa through the development of improved infrastructure and new products, as well as the development of an online store for spares in the next year or two,” concludes the management team.