The search is on for innovative Eastern Cape companies using aluminium in fabrication – or which have marketable plans for using aluminium.
“We are looking for companies which will qualify for support through a hundred million rand fund which has been created by the Small Enterprise Financial Agency (SEFA), Hulamin and BHP Billiton,” says Wayne Oosthuizen, managing director of Port Elizabeth-based Engeli Enterprise Development.
The fund is being managed by the Aluminium Beneficiation Initiative (ABI) with the objective of identifying and supporting 100 entrepreneurs across the country in the aluminium fabrication sector over the next three years.
Business development support will include product development and licensing and other general support, according to Oosthuizen.
“Through our research on behalf of the ABI we have identified a number of Eastern Cape companies which are using aluminium in innovative ways, or which have very good and marketable aluminium applications in the pipeline, but we are sure that there are some more companies that we have not yet managed to identify.
“The ABI fund provides the Eastern Cape with an opportunity to establish clusters of aluminium manufacturers and fabricators,” he says.
Applications for aluminium include frames for roof-mounted solar panels, doors and windows, lightweight components, specialised piping and packaging.
“The uses are almost endless. Aluminium is one of the greenest metals we have. It is endlessly recyclable, and the energy required to melt aluminium scrap is only about five per cent of that needed for primary production,” he says.
Companies which could qualify for support through the fund can contact Oosthuizen on 0861555544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The support is open to all South Africans.
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