The South African government has been encouraging the localisation of manufacturing for years and, given the current Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on global supply chains, this drive has become more pertinent, says refractory producer and supplier Refractory and Metallurgical Solutions (RMS).
Therefore, the company encourages all South African businesses to take up the government’s call to support local manufacturing and service industries as part of the economic recovery plan as the pandemic progresses and restrictions lessen.
“This is crucial in driving growth to reduce unemployment and it will ensure that the value flows within the local economy, without leaving the country,” RMS marketing and sales director Mark Kruger notes.
Based in Vereeniging, Gauteng, RMS is a local refractory manufacturer and supplier of various refractory brick and monolithic products for the pyrometallurgical and petrochemical industries. The company also offers related services, drawing on its expertise and knowledge base.
“RMS has over 130 years of refractory supply and service to the South African industry and economy. We have recently concluded our Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment deal, increasing our black-owned shareholding to 40%. These shareholders are part of the management team, making RMS the only empowered local producer of the full brick and monolithic range of products,” says Kruger.
Some of RMS local clients include miners such as Anglo American Platinum, Richards Bay Minerals, Palabora Mining, Impala Platinum, Northam Platinum and Sibanye Stillwater.
The company is also active in the export market in regions such as the Southern African Development Community, Middle East, Indonesia, North America and Australia.
“Our strategy is to be a contributor to the unlocking and creating value for the greater society within South Africa,” he explains.
Further, Kruger highlights that a requirement for Mining Charter III – apart from equity ownership – is that to qualify as a local supplier, the supplier must be accredited by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to ensure that its products comprise more than 60% local content. He adds that mining companies are now required to ensure that 70% of procured goods, are locally produced.
RMS has engaged with the SABS and will be audited in 2020 once the Covid-19 situation has progressed to a level which enables such activity. “The majority of our products will be accredited by SABS, complying with the Mining Charter requirements,” he explains.
Kruger comments that one of the benefits of doing business with RMS is that, as a local manufacturer, its products beneficiate local resources such as chromite, magnesite, andalusite and clay.
Additionally, it contributes to the trade balance and enables inflow of foreign exchange through its exporting of goods.
“RMS directly and indirectly employs more than 400 employees in South Africa, adding significant revenue to the local economy through wages and taxes. We also support the local development of entrepreneurs at plant sites where recycling of used refractories makes economic sense and creates employment,” he comments.
RMS is also committed to supporting the development of local black-owned refractory maintenance companies.