Elevator installation and repair company Utility Elevators believes that infrastructure and property developments are fostering a healthy elevator and escalator industry in South Africa.
“There will always be a need for elevators and escalators. “The more developments there are in the country, the more buildings are constructed. “This will result in a growing need for elevators. “In an ever-expanding country, there will always be new installations, which will need to be repaired and maintained,” says Utility Elevators coowner Dudley Whittaker.
The company, which specialises in repair and maintenance services, also focuses on modernisation solutions, such as reduced vibration and noise levels ensuring comfortable transportation.
Affordable housing company Afhco Holdings has contracted Utility Elevators to modernise some of Afhco’s facilities. “We have taken out all the old equipment and replaced it with new electronic components, such as programmable logic controllers and microprocessors,” says Utility Elevators owner Dougy Georgiadis.
The company has had some prosperity in the current economic climate. “Our biggest contract this year, valued at about R12-million, was for the modernisation of elevators at Afhco Holdings’ new residential park. “We also had contracts for two other companies, where we imported the lifts from Spain and Greece. The contracts are valued at about R500 000 and R1,2-million respectively,” says Georgiadis.
Meanwhile, Georgiadis says that the greatest challenge in industry is a lack of the manufacturing of local content.
“Smaller companies do not always get as much recognition as the companies that have been in the industry for years,” he says. Another challenge is poor-quality manufactured products. He explains that coun- tries such as China often export cheap, low-quality products to South Africa. This has resulted in Utility Elevators importing its products from European countries.
Further, the company continues to drive efforts to bridge the skills deficit it is experiencing. “We have started a training campaign to encourage employees to follow the national technical courses, N1, N2 and N3, which are set by the National Department of Education,” Georgiadis concludes.
The company, which is located in Lorentzville, in Gauteng, installs goods, passenger and house lifts, as well as dumbwaiters, which are manufactured and installed to customer specifications.