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Media release – 06-06-2019

Recognised as a finalist in the SACEEC Exporter of the Year Awards held in Johannesburg recently, Kwatani is one of few local manufacturers that holds an ISO 9001:2015 quality certification as well as a Level 1 B-BBEE rating. Significantly, the company was placed in the Exporter of the Year Large category and came second in the Export of the Year Africa category.


As one of South Africa’s leading vibrating screen OEMs, Kwatani understands the major role that local manufacturing has to play in the country. In addition, and of enormous advantage to mining operations in Africa, the company is the only South African vibrating equipment OEM independent of international technology and employs a far higher percentage of engineering personnel than others in this sector.


Kim Schoepflin, CEO of Kwatani, says that while recent amendments to the Mining Charter place even greater emphasis on the local manufacturing of mining equipment and products, it is vital to meaningfully measure exactly what ‘local content’ means in the mining environment.


“We can proudly say that Kwatani’s screening machines are locally manufactured,” Schoepflin says. “Our equipment is designed in our own in-house facility by our competent engineers and then built under stringent quality control conditions in our Spartan plant. This allows us to contribute significantly to job creation and economic transformation.”


While the Charter has certain local content requirements, the devil is in the detail. Government agencies like the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) are working with industry on a system to verify local content.


“The process of determining a supplier’s level of local content is complex,” Schoepflin says. “It is vital that the right tools are developed to place all players on an even playing field. Measuring local content must be meaningful and accurate, if it is to be effective.”


She notes that Kwatani’s long history of manufacturing locally has brought many benefits to mining customers. The company has a legacy of more than 43 years, and can point to fit-for-purpose screening machines installed across a wide spread of commodity sectors including coal, iron ore and other heavy metals.


“A key benefit of being a fully local OEM is that we can control quality,” she says. “With our suppliers close by, this facilitates close collaboration, quick turnaround and integration into our quality systems.”


Schoepflin highlights that the long term relationships with local suppliers means that everyone in the supply chain is committed to quality manufacture. This enhances the quality of the final product, while raising the capacity of even the smallest players in the supply chain.


By investing continuously in its own local research and development, Kwatani has ensured that its screening machines stay at the cutting edge of technology. This means recruiting and developing experts in both mechanical and metallurgical engineering. Local skills also fill all other aspects of the business, from technical and financial to administration and marketing.