South African equipment suppliers, more than any others, are aware of the many challenges facing them when operating across borders. Political instability, security, logistics, major delays at border posts and foreign exchange controls are just some risk factors that should be considered before sending a fleet of equipment north of the Limpopo River. But they should look further than just traditional markets.
South African companies have focused mostly on the Southern African region. According to Duncan Bonnett, director of consultancy firm Africa House, 85% of South African expansion into the rest of Africa has been purely into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and especially into South African Customs Union (SACU) and countries like Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and the southern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“It is proof that where South African companies do have preferential access though, they do well. But we remain most competitive and thrive in countries close to us, where our products are well-suited and well accepted, but outside of the immediate neighbours we don’t have a particularly strong footprint,” says Bonnett.
For the full article, read the April issue of African Mining’s sister publication, Plant Equipment & Hire, or visit the website www.equipmentandhire.co.za.