Power tools and hardware wholesaler Matus South Africa’s MatWeld range continues to be a big part of the company’s business, says Matus welding category manager Warren Pedlar.
He notes that the company sees potential to grow into several markets or segments thereof, which requires an extension of its current product range and growing its market share in the welding and/or retail segment.
“We are focused on innovation, quality and differentiation through new technologies and unique machines that are on the cards. However, the current situation with regard to the global Covid-19 pandemic has forced us to slow developments for now,” he tells Engineering News.
The company continues to test new products and innovations, which Pedlar says is “putting us where we want to be in terms of growth, particularly with leading international brands. Recently, we introduced the first 230 A welder, which was received well within the market.”
Although the decline in demand is not specific to any industry, and rather widespread across all sectors, South Africa’s lockdown being eased even further to Level 3 has helped with sales, he states.
Consequently, the slowdown in the construction sector – which remained under lockdown during Level 4 – had a more dire impact on the welding sector.
“However, we do have clients that are involved in cross-borders projects, especially in the Southern African Development Community region, who have also started buying, which is positive,” he enthuses.
Further, as most of Matus’ welding machines and related products are imported, Pedlar explains that the company has been fortunate, as it received a large portion of its stock before South Africa’s lockdown, which started in March.
“Our consumables and some electrodes are sourced locally, so we are not too negatively affected in that regard. However, some product lines will unfortunately only be delivered between late July to mid-August, if everything goes according to plan.”
The company continues to assess Southern Africa’s key industries and will continue to source top-quality products for markets such as automotive, industrial manufacturing, mining, agriculture and general maintenance, as well as do-it-yourself (DIY) products.
This, Pedlar believes, is because people do not use capital for continual maintenance or buy the same product multiple times amid the tough economic climate.
“We offer good value and product support, with workshops in major cities such as Johannesburg, in Gauteng; Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal; and Cape Town, in the Western Cape.”
The company’s high-quality welding and plasma-cutting industrial and DIY machines all carry a two-year warranty.