One of the world’s leading research-based healthcare groups,
Roche of Switzerland, has opened a new multimillion rand plant in
The plant, which will form part of the company’s South
African Vitamins division, will manufacture vitamin premixes for
the food industry.
Two Gauteng-based companies, Barrow Construction and Narker Pougnet
Kriel (NPK), were responsible for the construction and project
management of the new plant respectively.
“Equipped with state-of-the-art production technology, the
facility marks a significant advance in our productivity and
ability to supply high-quality ingredients to food manufacturers,
and it will support projects aimed at improving the delivery of
critical vitamins to consumers,” Roche Vitamins South Africa
MD John Furniss told Engineering News Online.
The plant is the first part of a larger expansion project
undertaken by the South African division. Phase two of the project
will involve the construction of an additional facility to
manufacture vitamin premixes for use in animal nutrition.
This specific expansion is still in its planning phase, but it is
expected that the new facility will be completed within the next
“These investments once again underscore the company’s
leadership as a supplier of vitamins to the food, pharmaceutical
and feed industries,” said Furniss, adding that the
group’s expanded manufacturing base in South Africa also
serves to reinforce Roche’s position as an important employer
in the country and points to a very strong future of continued
success for the vitamins division.
“Studies by independent institutes indicate that one in three
children in South Africa has symptoms of vitamin A deficiency, and
one way of combating this is to fortify basic foodstuffs with
vitamin A, B and minerals, which is recognised by governments and
leading food companies,” Furniss explained.
“With the new plant in Isando we are now in a position to
supply the necessary vitamin premixes to various food groups, such
as infant foods, beverages, margarine, flour and maize meal,”
he added. Built in accordance with guidelines set by major food
manufacturers, the facility will produce premixes satisfying the
latest international standards of food hygiene.
While the bulk of the vitamin premixes produced by Roche South
Africa will be used locally, a significant percentage will also be
exported to sub-Saharan Africa. “With laws mandating the
fortification of staple foods now being enacted in many African
countries in cooperation with UNICEF and other organisations, we
foresee exports to this region increasing gradually over the next
few years,” Furniss concluded.