LOBATSE: Packaging manufacturing company, Nampak DivFood Botswana was launched here last week.
Formerly known as CAN Manufacturing, the company used to be wholly owned by the Botswana Development Corporation before it sold a 76% stake to South Africa packaging giants, Nampak. The company has employed 12 locals and one international expert.
The operation in Lobatse is specialising in the production of can ends or lids. Nampak is Africa’s largest packaging company, which operates from 28 sites in South Africa and 15 sites in the rest of Africa as well as eight other plants in the United Kingdom. The group is involved in extensive collection and recycling initiatives.
In his remarks, the BDC managing director, Bashi Gaetsaloe said the partnership between BDC and Nampak DivFood came to being after the review of Can Manufacturing Botswana business model.
“Due to significant and prolonged challenges faced by the business, there was a need for a turnaround strategy which was achieved by introducing Nampak as a technical partner. BDC identified Nampark as the best technical partner for this project for various reasons including their technical expertise, experience, regional reach with a strong market as well as business ethos including commitment to green technology,” he said. He further added that Nampak DivFoods Botswana will be exporting 100% of their products thereby contributing to diversification of exports and foreign earnings for the country.
Investment, Trade and Industry minister, Vincent Seretse said BDC’s mandate is to promote and facilitate economic development of Botswana through funding of commercially viable enterprises in the country by partnering with both local and foreign investors.
“The corporation’s joint venture operation with Nampak is therefore at the very core principle of BDC’s foundation and development of the county’s manufacturing base. In delivering its mandate, BDC contributes towards government’s broad objective of diversifying the economy, growing exports and generating returns for the shareholder,” Seretse said.
Nampak managing director and group executive Christian Burmeister said they are hopeful to increase employees as soon as they settle on the business environment.
“It has been a tough journey to have arrived at this point. The organisation intends to grow and thrive as it has done in some parts of the world and all that will depend on the staff in our Lobatse plant. The workers here are the ones who will make or break the plant and we urge them to be committed. We have enjoyed great support from the government and local the leadership and we are positive that the support will continue as we look to settle into our new environment. We are looking forward to settle into the environment and increase the number of our employees,” he said.
DivFood produces tinplate food cans for the canned food market, as well as a large range of diversified aluminum and tinplate cans including aerosols, paint and general line cans to the personal care, confectionery, industrial and paint markets. Nampak DivFood facilities are based in three regions in South Africa. The rest of Africa general metal packaging includes food tinplate cans for the fruit, vegetable and milk markets, crowns for the beverage market and diversified tinplate cans for various markets. The operations are based in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and now Botswana.