VENTURES: Cape Gate Boosts Distribution
Recent Western Cape Business News
FROM distinctly modest beginnings in premises at Voortrekker Road, Parow back in 1929, Cape Gate Wire and Fence Works has used the intervening 80 years to establish itself firmly as a market leader throughout South Africa in the steel industry and its associated lines of business. And beyond our borders it has made significant inroads into Europe, North America, Australia and some African countries.
What’s more, says managing director Etienne Roux, Cape Gate has moved a long way from being mere suppliers of gates and fences. Nowadays their main focus is elsewhere - for example on the manufacturing and supply of materials handling equipment such as supermarket trolleys, merchandising trolleys and rolltainers (high rise trolleys used by distribution centres for handling goods within their premises, onto vans and offloading at various retail centres).
They make a whole range of these rolltainers, including a security version which is completely caged with close wire mesh - much as you see at Cape Town docks - and is sealed and locked for the carriage of high value items such as cellphones, cameras, batteries and similar items. Customers with special requirements can have rolltainers or other products custom-made to suit their requirements, Roux says.
They make retail shelving (called Trendshelf), consumer products, reinforcing steel such as welded mesh fabric reinforcement and hard drawn reinforcing wire. They produce building materials - brickforce, wall ties, bulk nails and pre-pack nails - gates, posts and fencing materials such as weld mesh, diamond mesh and hexagonal wire fencing and agricultural wire products.
That’s a pretty impressive output. Small wonder then that the Cape Gate group’s steel mill at Van Der Bijl Park is the largest privately owned steel mill in the country, controlling the steel manufacturing processes from raw materials through to final products. The factory uses only South African steel, which guarantees very high quality at a constant grade.
The Cape Town factory in Parow is close to major air, sea and rail ports, allowing efficient service to both national and international markets. The company has sales or manufacturing outlets in Johannesburg, Upington, Port Elizabeth, Durban and George, with other interests in the United Kingdom and Israel.
At present Cape Gate is focussing a good deal of attention on the development of the retail industry, which they see as a strong growth sector. For instance, Mass Discounters will shortly be opening a new 75 000 sq m distribution centre at Gosforth Park, Johannesburg, which is the equivalent in area to no less than 15 rugby fields, Roux says. All that, with 12m high racking.
Cape Gate is supplying a whole range of materials handling equipment for this massive project, capable of moving safely and efficiently heavy and bulky items such as billiard tables, couches, or office furniture or smaller but high value items which need careful handling and packing.
“Quality in our products and service is our watchword,” Roux says, “and to achieve and maintain this we have invested in state of the art technology, including robotic welding equipment, resistance welding of mesh products and fully-automated electro-galvanising lines. We also offer our customers a full repair, maintenance, after sales and alterations service - in fact we’re something of a one-stop shop. We’re pretty proud of that.”
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