Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSAf) has issued an enterprise development grant of close to R500 000 for the localisation of an extended reach aerial platform, also known as a cherry picker in South Africa.
The SLT 180 telescopic aerial platform will be developed and manufactured locally by Isuzu business partner Smith Capital Equipment (SCE), and will reach heights of 16 m to 18 m, which previously could only be achieved with imported platforms.
Currently SCE locally designs and manufactures the following ranges of aerial platforms: telescopic (T100, T120, T140) and articulated (9SS, SL125, 12SS, 15SS, 21SS).
SCE, which is head-quartered in Gauteng, is an 84% majority black-owned and 56% majority black women-owned company specialising in aerial platforms, drilling rigs and importation and installation of FASSI cranes.
The first engineering prototype of the SLT 180 manufactured in South Africa is expected to be completed by the end of the year, says SCE CEO Fortunate Mdanda.
“Safety is of paramount importance when designing such a structure, therefore, caution needs to be observed.
“With the growing preference for telescoping aerial units over articulating units, the SLT 180 will be the first locally manufactured telescoping unit able to reach heights beyond 16 m. Therefore, it presents great market opportunities.”
She adds that the new venture, which is supported by the investment from Isuzu, will allow SCE to upskill the development capabilities of the company and its labour force.
“The development of this new product will help with job retention as it poses new market possibilities likely to expand the company product range and consequently cultivate internal skills development.”
IMSAf technical operations senior VP Dominic Rimmer says the enterprise development grant aligns not only with Isuzu’s transformation values, but also government’s call for localisation and enterprise development partnerships in the automotive sector.
The SLT 180 will typically fit on an Isuzu truck, and is set to provide truck-body solutions for Isuzu customers in a range of industries.
SCE is no stranger to Isuzu, as it is a subsidiary of Isipho Capital Holdings.
In 2019 Isipho Capital Holdings made history with the purchase of Bates Shelly Beach, as the first Isuzu dealership to be 100% black-owned, in addition to being 65% woman-owned.
Isipho Capital Holdings is run by Mdanda, and her husband, Sipho.