The Multotec Group currently serves 25 countries in Africa, either through regional hubs such as Zambia, via agents or resident employees.“This presence allows us to respond to our markets rapidly, a capability that has been a major factor in our success in these markets,” said Jaco du Toit, MD, Multotec Africa. “It has always been a core strategy to be as local as possible. We’ll continue to move closer to customers on the operational front because this is what builds sound and long-term relationships. This strategy has been proved correct, since today we have a strong African footprint and we occupy a significant segment of the minerals-processing market.” Multotec is stepping up its focus on the Zambian market, including the southern and eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Malawi. Its customers in these areas are serviced out of Multotec Zambia in Chingola in the Copperbelt, established in April 2001 as a regional hub.
“We regard the Zambian market as a mature market from where we draw infrastructure and logistical support, and the DRC as a growing and developing market,” said du Toit. “We take different approaches to these markets. The DRC market is massive and needs local support, so we took the decision in 2011 to appoint a French-speaking Congolese sales representative in Kolwezi to look after our interests. This representative is a Multotec employee with local business experience, and he is tasked with visiting our customers in the DRC on a regular basis. When product specialists are needed, they are deployed from Zambia or South Africa.”Multotec equipment is also in operation at Malawi’s uranium plant, with resin-in-pulp technology commissioned at the uranium mine — a first for this type of technology in that country, and only the second site globally to introduce it. The Multotec Group originally serviced the Zambian mining industry from its headquarters in South Africa, but later entered into an agency agreement with an established engineering company based in Chingola, whereby Multotec products, as well as fabrication and maintenance services, were channelled directly into the local mineral-processing market. Multotec maintained its presence throughout the subsequent slump in the global copper market, a decision that massively benefited the group once the market recovered, since local customers perceived Multotec to be an organisation that stuck with them during the hard times. As demand for Multotec products and services grew steadily, the organisation began making larger and larger investments into the region, ultimately purchasing the agent’s company outright in 2007 and incorporating it into the Multotec Group. Multotec Zambia was registered in 2001, and in the relatively stable mining market that has prevailed since then, it has recruited and built up a strong, 100% local team, currently numbering 35 permanent personnel, under Johan Eksteen, Multotec’s regional manager for Zambia. Today Multotec Zambia supports most of the mining operations in the region, either through the sale of consumable and capital equipment, or by providing aftersales services into the operational market, including installations and field service maintenance.