Empowerment deal boosts EC families

2019-04-03 06:01
Celebrating the newly-launched Rhino Manufacturing business is Port Elizabeth entrepreneur Siyabulela Mandla (far right), a 41% shareholder and director, as well as long-standing employees, Chrisman Rono (centre) and Mzwamadoda Doyi.                  Photo:SUPPLIED

Celebrating the newly-launched Rhino Manufacturing business is Port Elizabeth entrepreneur Siyabulela Mandla (far right), a 41% shareholder and director, as well as long-standing employees, Chrisman Rono (centre) and Mzwamadoda Doyi. Photo:SUPPLIED

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IN a boost for 80 Nelson Mandela Bay families, one of the Eastern Cape’s longest-standing companies has finalised an empowerment deal with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) – to the benefit of its 80-strong labour force which now ranks as a shareholder.

Thanks to the restructuring deal, Rhino Manufacturing – formerly known as Rhino Plastics which was launched 50 years ago – is now a B-BBEE Level 2 company.

Since the new deal was signed late last year, business has taken off, making strides in the plastics recycling and manufacturing sector while strengthening its lead in the supply of plastic products to the construction, agricultural and the packaging sector nationally and into Africa.

Under the new business structure, the 80 employees at the North End plant – who each support, on average, five dependants – now own a collective 10% stake in Rhino Manufacturing, with acclaimed local entrepreneur Siyabulela Mandla coming on board with a 41% shareholding, and the remainder held by Rhino Plastics, headed by businessman Brian van Niekerk.

Mandla, a strong advocate for the upliftment of previously disadvantaged communities, said of the deal: “We have a responsibility to shape and improve the living conditions of our communities, where unemployment and inequality are our biggest challenges. It always inspires me to see business used as a catalyst for change in this regard.

“Thanks to the new deal, we are now geared to expand the company’s footprint and look into new opportunities in the public sector and into Africa,” said Mandla.

“We are also looking at diversifying our product range to include products such as plastic droppers and poles, plastic garden furniture and fibre optic sleeves, as well as recycling plastic for manufacturing purposes.”

The company’s recycling of plastic waste sees the waste converted into pellets, which in turn are melted down and used to manufacture new plastic products.

Rhino Manufacturing also manufactures and distributes high-quality film for the construction and agricultural sector, irrigation piping for the farming sector, high-density polymer pressure pipes, as well as industrial packaging.

Mzwamadoda Doyi is a Rhino Manufacturing truck driver and has been with the company for 15 years.

“This deal means a lot to us as employees, and to me. The company’s prospects are looking much better thanks to the deal with the IDC,” said Doyi.

“There are also better opportunities for the business, which in turn will lead to better profits for the company which we as employees now get to share in.”

Chrisman Rono, a forklift driver who has been with the company for 13 years, said, “Having a stake in the employees’ trust is a new experience for me. It makes me feel empowered, but it is also motivating, as I know that I now hold a stake in the company’s profits.”

Van Niekerk said the deal was important for the future of the company.

“It’s important for me that I am able to pass on as much as I can and support the growth of company into the future,” he said.

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