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Worldwide: South Africa

Est. reading time is 6 minutes
South Africa is Africa's foremost economic centre. HANSA‑FLEX Southern Africa not only supports mining companies that have made South Africa the world's largest producer of gold, platinum and chrome. Our national subsidiary also plays an important strategic role as a logistics hub for the entire sub-Saharan continent. The aim is to respond to new challenges with maximum flexibility on a daily basis.
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Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, once aptly described his country as a "rainbow nation". South Africa brings together a multitude of different cultures, religions, languages, climate zones and regions under the umbrella of one nation. The challenges that HANSA‑FLEX South Africa faces on a daily basis are just as diverse as the country itself. "As a company, you have to be able to deal with this diversity. It's often challenging, sometimes fun, but never boring," says Marc Hellmann, CEO of HANSA‑FLEX Southern Africa. For Hellmann and his team, flexibility is the key to success. And this has been the case right from the start. South Africa has only been a democracy for around 25 years, there is a lack of established structures in the economy and society, and given the size of the country, in some cases these cannot be easily implemented everywhere. "Let’s make a plan" is a common saying in South Africa - in a positive sense.
HANSA‑FLEX decided to become involved in South Africa back in 2001. The quality of the company's products and its problem-solving expertise quickly won over companies from a wide range of industries. One of our main advantages was that international companies, such as those in the mining industry, were already familiar with HANSA‑FLEX from other regions of the world. The next step followed in 2007 with the takeover of HST, a competitor. Today HANSA‑FLEX is the market leader and is primarily involved in the mining industry, as an OEM supplier and in the logistics and agricultural sectors. Maritime operations in port cities round off the portfolio. However, the activities of the national subsidiary are not limited to South Africa. In recent years the country has developed into an important hub for the entire continent. Trade activities and enquiries are coordinated centrally from here, and hydraulic components of all kinds are exported to other African countries.

A large country, fast service

In addition to the Johannesburg and Vereeniging branches in the province of Gauteng, which forms the economic centre of the country and the entire African continent, the hydraulics specialist is also represented in the two port cities of Cape Town and Durban. In addition, there are currently two mobile branches, which are installed in the form of portacabins directly on the premises of mines. South Africa is rich in natural resources, including diamonds, platinum, gold, coal and iron. "Like the mines, our vehicles are in operation around the clock in order to minimise customer downtime with a genuine rapid-response service. For example, if a central excavator breaks down because of a hydraulics problem, the mine operator quickly incurs downtime costs of several 100,000 euros," explains Hellmann. Given the vast size of the country - South Africa is around 3.5 times larger than Germany - the mobile Rapid Hydraulic Service plays a key role. The fleet of ten service vehicles is to be expanded further in order to be able to serve customers in remote regions quickly.

A genuine family business

HANSA‑FLEX invests particularly heavily in the training and further education of its local employees. In addition to in-house training, employees are also given the opportunity to attend external courses. For Hellmann, this is not just about the professional qualification of employees, but also about social responsibility in line with the company's mission statement. For many, a job at HANSA‑FLEX is an opportunity to sustainably improve their living conditions and create security for their families. The commitment to further professional and personal development is correspondingly high. Hellmann is particularly pleased that a trainer from HANSA‑FLEX Croatia recently travelled to South Africa to conduct hydraulics training courses. "HANSA‑FLEX is a real family business. Just like in a family we help each other, without a lot of fuss, but with genuine warmth," says Hellmann, describing the company's DNA. Even though South Africa is closer to Brazil and Australia than to Germany in terms of distance, lively interaction with the company headquarters in Bremen and other countries ensures that contact with the family is maintained.

Our aim is to be the first port of call for all companies in South Africa when it comes to hydraulics, regardless of location, industry or size. Whether it's international mining groups, national industrial customers or small local businesses: the knowledge, passion and flexibility of our employees are indispensable to us in achieving this

Marc Hellmann

CEO of HANSA‑FLEX Southern Africa

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