President Cyril Ramaphosa presented local automotive casting producer Atlantis Foundries with the prestigious Best Brownfield/Expansion Project award at the 2019 Investment Conference in Sandton held in November.
The award is in recognition of the company’s efforts towards its continued sustainability and contribution to local society.
“This is an award to Atlantis Foundries employees and in recognition of our continuing investment in the company and drive towards a sustainable future,” says Atlantis Foundries director Christoph Ewers.
“We understand this also to be in recognition of all the other automotive component manufacturers in South Africa who are not all large companies, but, together, consistently create enormous value in the country and essentially contribute to South African exports and gross domestic product,” adds Ewers.
Atlantis Foundries is a member of local automotive association the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam).
“Naacam is the organisation that combines the many component companies that, together, are the backbone of the local automotive industry, which is so important to bring and develop skills and technical know-how,” he explains.
Atlantis Foundries is a team of about 800 employees that manufactures engine blocks for trucks and exports 100% of its products.
“Over the past three years, we have significantly improved our artificial intelligence with great success. Our quality outperforms our international competitors and we proudly cast the words ‘Made in South Africa’ as a sign of quality in each of our engine blocks.
“We hope to continue raising the profile and importance of the automotive sector. “It is a high-volume, low-margin industry with an enormous contribution to employment, skills development and know-how transfer, as well as a sustainable pillar of our society,” says Ewers.
In terms of exports, he notes that containing costs to remain internationally competitive is a challenge for exporters. The company appreciates government’s ongoing support of the automotive sector, which is crucial for success and global competitiveness.
“In our view, South Africa is on the correct path, and there is more potential, especially with regard to the deepening of the existing local automotive supply chain and the export of components.”
Atlantis Foundries received a similar award in 1994 as Atlantis Diesel Engines (ADE). At the time, the company was a subsidiary of ADE.
“Our employees and management are proud to be recognised as important contributors to society by government over such a long period of time,” adds Ewers.
He concludes that, with the initial award presented in 1994 by then President Nelson Mandela, Atlantis believes this is an indication of the company’s sustainability and consistency over the past 25 years.