VENTURES AFRICA – Unilever is making a major investment plan in South Africa by building a R800 million ($90 million) new factory in Anderbolt, Boksburg, adjacent to the company’s main distribution centre in South Africa.
The new factory is billed to open by 2014, incorporating Unilever’s latest manufacturing technologies. It will produce some of the company’s brand including, Omo, Skip, Handy Andy, Domestos bleach, Comfort and Sunlight amongst others.
The brands are partially made in South Africa and partially imported. However, once the new factory is constructed, the brands being fully locally produced.
In addition to the new home care plant, over R200 million (approx $23m) will be invested in upgrading and expanding existing plants.
This investment forms part of the group’s sustainable living plan, which aims to double the size of its business while reducing the environmental impact.
According to Unilever SA chairman, Marijn van Tiggelen, “This factory forms part of a multi-year, multi-billion investment plan by Unilever SA to cater for its growth. It will enable it to better serve South African consumers with innovation and green technology, as well as improve service levels to our retail customers.”
He added that the R800 million project is one of the group’s largest investments globally and underscores its commitment to the long term future of South Africa and the continent as a whole.
Meanwhile, Unilever chief supply chain officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi said, “We have a long history in South Africa and we have a strong commitment to its future, its growth and economic development…. Not only will it enable us to grow our presence in the region, but it also highlights our determination to sustainability as it will use the latest technology and insights to create a low energy, environmentally efficient factory with zero waste to landfill.”
The investment is supported by the dti 12-I Tax Allowance Incentive scheme and follows on the opening of the Unilever Savoury dry foods factory in KwaZulu-Natal by Minister Rob Davies in December 2011.
A subsidiary of international group Unilever Plc, Unilever South Africa produces household branded products that are used by an estimated two billion consumers daily in more than 180 countries. The company employs about 2,700 people in South Africa and has manufacturing plants in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Boksburg.