Petrol bombs thrown

2017-03-21 13:02
Production at Evowood mill factory is currently halted after they dismissed over 400 workers recently.

Production at Evowood mill factory is currently halted after they dismissed over 400 workers recently. (Supplied )

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Following the recent mass dismissal of 434 workers over a protracted illegal strike, the Estcourt-based hardboard manufacturer Evowood Mill has halted its production due to safety concerns.

On Friday, two petrol bombs were thrown into the yard of the factory, formerly known as Masonite. 

Yesterday, there was another attempt to throw a petrol bomb at the site, but this was thwarted by the security guards on site.

There have been concerns about the safety of its remaining employees and contractors due to intimidation.

The company’s CEO, Louis Marais, confirmed that production at the factory has been halted for now and that the damage caused during the protests will still be assessed and calculated.

The company has also revealed that the current production stoppage is costing them more than R2 million a day.

“At present, shareholders and management are examining all possible options to resume production at the mill as soon as possible,” said Marais.

He added that contingency plans are currently being set in place to ensure that their customers’ supply was maintained in the short term while the group looks to ensuring a long-term solution.

Despite the disruption at the mill, Evowood’s head office, regional branches, and distribution centres remain fully operational.

In a statement released by the company last week, Marais explained that the Estcourt mill was on the brink of closure in December 2015 when it was acquired by a Black Empowerment consortium comprising Black Bird Capital and Jacobs Capital. 

“The shareholders, who brought the company out of business rescue and took control in August 2016, conducted an extensive due diligence investigation with a view to putting in place a comprehensive business plan that would not only turn around the business but also create a sustainable long-term future for it,” Marais said.

This strategic plan entailed upgrading the equipment, rebranding the company as Evowood and controlling spiralling costs at the mill, Marais added. 

The Chemical, Energy, Paper, Printing, Wood and Allied Workers’ Union was not available to comment.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.