Food for thought: How big is the Recycling Industry?

Food for thought: How big is the Recycling Industry?

South Africa’s waste industry is massive and diverse covering a wide range of different sectors and industries. Shopping centres, restaurants and all forms of retail are expected to – and indeed are – playing an ever increasing and responsible role in the recycling of food and other waste to international standards.

This article aims to provide our readers with the Bigger Picture of recycling in order to instil a better understanding of the importance of recycling at every level.

In terms of job creation the recycling industry is growing rapidly. A mere twenty years ago there was no recycling industry and now it appears that in terms of employment it will shortly be bigger than the waste management industry.

Few people are aware of the difference between the industries let alone the complex structures involved. The waste management industry collects and transports waste to various locations, usually landfills. It is capital intensive because of the high cost of purchasing or leasing specialized vehicles. On top of that are high maintenance and labour costs. It survives on high volumes and low margins.

In the main, the recycling industry avoids the capital costs and is generally manpower intensive instead. It might be more efficient to use imported equipment but our markets are too small and the distances too great to make it viable. Besides, we have an abundance of labour and a shortage of jobs.

The latest statistics show that the waste management industry employs 29 833 people and generates more than 15 billion turnover per annum*. The recycling industry presently employs fewer people and generates less turnover. But all that is changing.

The formal recycling sector comprises: collectors, wholesalers, traders, processors, consultants, and specialists in every material. This diverse group of people in turn support an industry which builds and maintains equipment such as bins and balers. Financiers and investors are involved as are some lobby groups. Not only is the industry diverse in skills but also in approaches to business which range from government to private to informal.

Some specialist recyclers, like Smart Waste, are expanding their services assisting organizations obtain permits and licences, develop chains of safe custody and design and implement their own recycling programs and waste management plans

Collectors vary from large companies, which recycle on sites and operate recycling facilities, through many smaller companies – often operating bakkies with a few labourers – and include street and landfill pickers. Middlemen operate buyback centres, and large warehouses where cardboard, paper and plastic are delivered by large trucks to be baled and shipped off to factories.

Others re-engineer the materials, recycling old glass into new glass, converting plastic into re-engineered pellets, clothing, tables and chairs and a host of other products. Polystyrene is transformed into roof tiles and picture frames.

Farmers recycle large portions of their product not sold and convert grape seed into oil. The commercial sector is becoming more adventurous in finding ways of disposing of expired products and by-products. Food and engine oil can be reprocessed or converted into bio-diesel. Wood can be repurposed into all manner of articles.

Traders make up an important part of the industry, buying and selling excess waste products. There is an online trading platform which works very well. Researchers collect and analyse data and put out papers. Some events and conferences are aimed solely at the recycling industry.

Steel is the easiest material to collect and recycle and scrap yards require a section for themselves. Having been around the longest, scrap yards operate independently and don’t generally associate with the rest of the recycling industry.

There are areas of specialization: vermiculture (worm farms), composting and pyrolysis. A new comer is fly farming as well as a waste to energy plant. Some people find ways of recycling dog faeces and a myriad other materials.

The majority of the recyclers are already organized into industry bodies and others are in the process of doing so. These bodies offer platforms providing support, information, training and market intelligence to their members and the public.

What makes it difficult to calculate the numbers employed in the recycling sector is the informal sector. This may be defined as those people who are unable to work in the formal sector or who choose not to. Never mind their status they provide a service – not only in SA but in large parts of the world.

With so much innovation and the energy being put into recycling world-wide it makes sense that the government sees recycling as a major opportunity for job creation. The number of jobs as well as the fact that the jobs are suited to unskilled workers and women make it an ideal job creation target.

There are several consultants and lawyers who specialize in the environmental laws, licenses and permits. Some specialist recyclers, like Smart Waste, are expanding their services assisting organizations obtain permits and licences, develop chains of safe custody and design and implement their own recycling programs and waste management plans.

The large number of players raises the question whether the sector is already overcrowded. In some areas it is; too many players chase the same few clients. However, economic cycles aside, the sector is still growing strongly as a result of a growing population, a growing middle class and an awareness that everyone needs to recycle and not waste any more.

Taken as a whole the recycling industry is huge and growing. Watch this space.

*GreenCape Waste Economy Market Intelligence Report 2017

Shopping centres need to buy into compliant fire-prevention strategies

Shopping centres need to buy into compliant fire-prevention strategies

Imagine a fire breaking out in a densely-packed shopping centre. Are you sure you know where the nearest emergency exit is, or even if that particular shopping centre has the necessary equipment and evacuation planning in place? ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk argues that many shopping centres are not compliant in this regard at all.

ASP Fire CEO Michael van Niekerk

With about 13 shopping centre fire-risk evaluations under his belt to date, van Niekerk is well-placed to comment on the regulatory and health-and-safety requirements for smaller shopping centres in particular, such as strip malls. He comments that the main reason that many of these smaller malls are not compliant is either because they were built a long time ago, or have had tenants leave and new ones move in.

The average shopping centre is very much an environment in flux, van Niekerk adds. However, if anchor tenants occupy a space in excess of 2 500 m2, then sprinkler systems have to be installed. Another problem in terms of fire risk is that, with constraints on storage space, retailers often exceed the stacking-height limitation. “We also find that basic requirements such as the correct number of fire hydrants and fire-hose reels are not adhered to.”

The recognition time for a fire in a shopping centre is 30 seconds to five minutes

Even if fire-hose reels have been installed, the length of the hoses themselves is often inadequate, especially if the effective radius of the reel is obstructed by racking and shelving, for example. Proper fire-detection systems are therefore the first, and best, line of defence for shopping centres in terms of fire prevention.

If you do not detect a fire in time, and cannot evacuate people fast enough, it can be a major issue resulting in fatalities,” van Niekerk warns. Shops larger than 250 m2 in area are required to have manual fire-detection systems in place, while shops in excess of 500 m2 require automatic fire detection and emergency evacuation systems. This also needs to be linked to the shopping centre’s building management system, so that patrons and other tenants can be forewarned timeously in the event of any emergency.

Even if such systems are installed, the fire panels are usually either faulty, or the emergency indicators are ignored. This leads to the critical issue of smoke ventilation, which is mandatory for any enclosure larger than 500 m2. It is essential that such smoke is contained to at least 2.5 m above the highest occupied level, in order to allow evacuees to see where they are going, and for there to be sufficient oxygen as well.

Van Niekerk points out that the recognition time for a fire in a shopping centre ranges anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. This means that clearly-demarcated evacuation routes are essential. Buildings without sprinkler systems have to allow for evacuation within 45 m, while the common escape path in multi-storey buildings is 30 m. This escape path increases to 60 m in buildings that are equipped with sprinkler systems.

Many shopping centres do not comply with basic fire protection requirements

Emergency routes have to have concrete floors and roofs and brick walls, with fire doors giving access to these protected thoroughfares. Buildings of more than three storeys require two emergency exit routes. If a designated area has more than 60 occupants, push-bar panic bolts are needed for such fire doors.

Van Niekerk highlights that such emergency doors are often either locked, or protected by additional security doors that themselves are locked, thereby preventing escape in the event of an emergency. It is a legal requirement that such exits remain unlocked or, if they are locked, can be opened with a single movement. Security doors may be installed, but have to be locked in the open position while the building is occupied. Another hazard is that emergency exits are often used as areas for storage overflow, while in-store branding can obscure emergency signage.

We also find that occupants tend to respond better to a verbal command than what to a siren, which means it is an excellent idea for a shopping centre to have a functional public-address system in place,” van Niekerk points out. In addition, it is important that all staff are trained in emergency evacuation procedures, and familiarise themselves with the general layout of the shopping centre so they can assist evacuees in the event of an emergency.

Another regulation is that shops within malls are to be separated by fire walls, which have to extend to the underside of the roof itself. In terms of glass shopfronts, the glass edges have to be separated by at least 1 m to prevent flames from jumping the gap between shops. “Shops often do not comply in this regard because they are simply separated by dry walling, or brick walls that extend to ceiling height,” van Niekerk points out. Any ceiling voids higher than 800 mm require fire-detectors to be installed if the shop is equipped with a fire detection system, as well as void sprinklers if there are sprinklers installed in the mall.

ASP Fire is able to conduct fire-risk assessments and Rational Fire Designs for shopping centres in order to determine whether the actual fire load exceeds the installed fire-protection system design. “We are able to advise a client accordingly, and assist them with a suitable fire-protection strategy and system design to cater for the likely worst-case scenario that could be faced in the course of normal operations,” van Niekerk elaborates. ASP Fire offers turnkey fire protection projects, which means it can also supply, install, and maintain fire-protection equipment in buildings.

Retailing Moonshine: Silver Creek Distillery launches new craft gin duo

Retailing Moonshine: Silver Creek Distillery launches new craft gin duo

This craft spirit exudes the raciness of the 1920’s Prohibition Era

South Africa’s one-of-a-kind Silver Creek Craft Distillery has just launched two new craft gins produced in the same style as gins of America’s notorious Prohibition era.

As with the already-famous range of fine, roof-liftin’ ‘shines, Prohibition Craft Gin and Prohibition Pink Gin are handmade in small batches – distilled to fine spirit from carefully selected grains.

Mark Taverner

Prohibition was a ban imposed on liquor through the campaigns of America’s ultra-conservative Temperance Movement of the early 1900s,” says Silver Creek Craft Distillery founder and chief distiller Mark Taverner. “The ban in 1920 created a very fertile environment for the illegal liquor trade and many entertaining tales of gin-making by the light of the moon and lively underground “speak-easies”. Business flourished for gang bosses and the likes of Al Capone made a fortune during this time. By today’s measure, it is estimated that he would have been worth over R16-billion.

Prohibition only lasted for 13 years, ended by overwhelming objection. As you can imagine, this was time to party and everyone rose to the occasion. To this day, its death knell in 1933 is widely celebrated.

To salute those who fought so gallantly to have the law revoked, our Prohibition Gin is made in the same traditional style as back then,” says Taverner.

We like to think of this particular style of gin as helping folk dance since 1933!”

In setting off on the gin trail, Silver Creek’s distillers put their minds to making a clear craft gin in the New World style – fresh, crisp and happy; not too dry and infused with traditional botanicals of juniper, coriander, lemon, angelica and cinnamon. “These would have been used in the time of Prohibition,” says Taverner.

The resulting Prohibition Craft Gin, bottled at 43% alcohol, is a versatile spirit ideally suited to be further enhanced with botanicals, fresh fruit and herbs and good quality craft tonics. In the glass, Prohibition Craft Gin offers the immediate impression of balance with a fresh, crisp burst of citrus followed by lingering juniper and a hint of cinnamon. Citrus is again prominent on the dry palate, gently supported by the taste of juniper. The finish is defined by a crisp, clean smoothness that lingers with an earthy character.

The Prohibition Pink Gin, also at 43%, is Silver Creek’s Craft Gin further infused with raspberries and blueberries, with a touch of hibiscus flowers and rose water. The result is a refreshing drink that is both aromatic, flavoursome and romantic.

To us, the aromas of Prohibition Pink Gin conjure up images of an exotic eastern bazaar. There’s tantalizing sweet Turkish delight and crushed pepper corns,” says Taverner. On the palate, it offers a fine balance of sweetness, spice and zest that follows through in a long, satisfying finish.

Both new Prohibition Gins are sold in a distinctive traditional bottle, complete with finger-loop for easy carrying.

Tucked away in an old mine building in Gauteng’s Randfontein, the state-of-the-art Silver Creek Craft Distillery does everything by hand – from mashing and fermentation to distillation and bottling. This process allows for extra special care, which is why every bottle is signed by the distiller.

It quickly rose to fame last year with the launch of Silver Creek Distillery’s moonshines, boosted by a five-medal victory at the 2017 Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards.

The unique Southern Moonshine collection of high-quality sipping drinks is led by the flagship Clear Shine; and, Charred Shine, which is similar in flavour to a good bourbon. Alongside them, there’s a range of flavoured ‘shines: Apple Pie Moonshine; Bon Fire Moonshine, with a zip of hot cinnamon; Salted Caramel Moonshine; Chocolate Moonshine and the all new Margarita Moonshine.

The new Prohibition Gins retail at around R360 a bottle and are available at selected bars, restaurants and liquor outlets around the country.

Silver Creek Craft Distillery founder and chief distiller Mark Taverner knows how to have a good time. Much of his working life has been dedicated to hospitality and it was on this journey that he fell in love with American iconography. During a Harley-Davidson motorcycle tour to the USA in 2014 he noted the rise of craft distilleries and the legal production of moonshine. After two and a half years of study and research – including a stint at Moonshine University in Louisville, Kentucky – Taverner decided to set up his own craft distillery in Gauteng. And so Silver Creek, its Southern Moonshine and Prohibition Gins were born.

The meaty side of Retail

The meaty side of Retail

South Africa’s top butcheries: Cleaver Award winners announced

The best butcheries both nationally and regionally were recently announced by senior members of the meat production and retail industry. This is the thirteenth year that the Cleaver Awards, which are proudly supported by Freddy Hirsch, have taken place.  

Launched in 2005 to meet the needs of the consumer by raising standards amongst butcheries, these Awards have time and time again proven to do just that, with feedback from consumers showing that the majority perceive the Cleaver Awards to be a seal of approval, most importantly because a butchery cannot enter themselves, they have to be nominated by their customers.

Kings Meat Deli


Nominations were open between October and December last year for consumers around the country to vote and nominate their best butchery. Over 30 000 public nominations were received via SMS or online. Of these, 105  finalists were individually and anonymously assessed against a 212 point checklist, with some of the National Winners scoring up to 99,8 %. 

One of the guest speakers at the Awards ceremony was Rudi van der Westhuizen, Executive Director at The South African Meat Industry Company (SAMIC), a quality assurance company which was created by the Red Meat Industry of South Africa to ensure the quality and safety of meat. SAMIC is responsible for conducting all the provincial audits on the top nominated butcheries. 

Van der Westhuizen reflected on the history of the Cleaver Awards. One of the reasons for starting these Awards in 2005 was the industry’s concern over legislation and quality of meat products once they reached the consumer. 

Legislation, including hygiene matters, were in place in the abattoirs and de-boning plants with really high measurable standards, but once the carcasses or meat cuts left the abattoir premises, they were no longer under the jurisdiction of the Meat Safety Act. The Cleaver Awards were launched to improve the quality of the end product, especially with regards to hygiene, consumer quality assurance, service and value for money. 

Butchery owners and retailers have been instrumental in taking up the challenge to guarantee their customers a better product measured against the 212 point check list used to assess nominated butcheries. 

A trend which seems to be happening more and more each year is that franchise butcheries are winning multiple awards, another way these Cleaver Award winners are showing their commitment to service excellence for their customers. 

Kings Meat Deli Castle Walk, Erasmuskloof won a National Gold Award and its Lynnwoodbridge branch won a provincial Gold for Gauteng. Similarly, Boma Vleismark Olympus from Faerie Glen, Pretoria won a National Gold Award with Boma Vleismark from Moreleta Park taking home a Platinum Provincial Award in Gauteng.

Vleislapa Marshal street and Vleislapa Grobler street, both from Polokwane in Limpopo, once again walked away with a Platinum and Gold Provincial Award respectively. A similar situation has taken place in Mpumalanga with Frank’s Meat Supply Retail City taking a Platinum Award and Frank’s Meat, Panorama Centre taking a Gold.

 In Durban, Bluff Meat Supply from the Bluff as once again awarded Platinum with its Pinetown store awarded Gold.

 Spar Meat Markets continue to perform remarkably year on year, with 2017 being no exception. 

An initiative of the South African Red Meat Industry Forum, these Awards acknowledge butcheries which meet consumer expectations on in-store hygiene, the supply of quality assured roller marked South African Beef, their level of competency in offering the best advice on meal preparations and perceived value for money. 

Butchers were judged according to three categories namely;

  1. Butcheries with four or more till points,

  2. Butcheries with three or fewer till points and,

  3. Food market / Supermarket butcheries

Scooping the national accolades in the three categories of the competition (butcheries with four or more till points, butcheries with up to three till points and food market/supermarket butcheries) were Impala Vleis, Brits (Platinum), Kings Meat Deli, Castle Walk, Erasmuskloof (Gold), West End Vleismark, Kimberley (Platinum), Boma Vleismark, Faerie Glen (Gold), The Grove SuperSpar, Nelspruit (Platinum) and Karaglen SuperSpar, Edenvale (Gold) respectively. Pictured here with the awards for these top butcheries are, in the front, Marius Jordaan (Karaglen SuperSpar), Rudi Oosthüyse (The Grove SuperSpar) and Walter Rossouw (Impala Vleis). At the back, Eloff du Toit (Kings Deli) José de Klerk (West End Vleismark) and Bertus Steenkamp (Boma Vleismark). (Photograph by Yolanda van der Stoep). Image supplied.


Four and more tills

Impala Vleis, Brits


Kings Meat Deli, Castle Walk, Erasmuskloof


Up to three tills

West End Vleismark, Kimberley


Boma Vleismark, Olympus, Faerie Glen


Meat markets

The Grove SuperSpar Riverside, Nelspruit


Karaglen SuperSpar, Edenglen



Four and more tills

Boma Vleismark, Moreleta Park


Kings Meat Deli, Lynnwoodbridge


Up to three tills

Country Meats, Fourways, Jhb


Forsmay Butchery, Fordsburg


Meat market

Uitkyk Vleismark, Silverton


Tony’s Meat Market, Randfontein



Four and more tills

Vleislapa, Marshal street, Polokwane


Vleislapa, Grobler street, Polokwane



Four and more tills

Goudkopslaghuis, Klerksdorp


Up to three tills

Uitkyk Vleismark, Lichtenburg



Up to three tills

Frank’s Meat Supply Retail City, Middelburg


Frank’s Meat, Panorama Centre, Middelburg


Meat market

Crossing SuperSpar, Nelspruit


Saveway SuperSpar, Witbank



Four and more tills

Fredilia Meat, Welkom


Power Meat Centre, Welkom


Up to three tills

Country Meat, Kroonstad


Meat market

Checkers Hyper, Fleurdal, Bloemfontein



Four tills and more

Angus Butchery, Kuruman


Up to three tills

Koki’s Meat Market, Kimberley



Four and more tills

Cuyler Butchery, Uitenhage


Up to three tills

Continental Butchery, Newton Park, PE


Marinda Butchery, Westering, PE


Meat market

Sunridge SuperSpar, Sunridge Park, PE


Our SuperSpar, Walmer, PE


Newtonpark Spar, Newtonpark, PE



Four and more tills

Excellent Meat Market, Elsiesriver


Fairfield Meat Centre, Parow


Up to three tills

Tollies Slaghuis, Hartenbos


Hartman & Son Butchery, George


Meat market

Malmesbury SuperSpar, Malmesbury


Plattekloof SuperSpar, Plattekloof



Four and more tills

Bluff Meat Supply, Bluff, Durban


Bluff Meat Supply, Pinetown, Durban


Up to three tills

Dirks Meat Market, Durban North


Michael Freys Fresh Meat, Shelly Beach


Meat market

Pick n Pay, Kingsburgh, Durban


Food Lovers Market, Westwood Mall, Westville


The winners in each category received Platinum Awards and the runners-up Gold Awards. First prize winners in each national category received a R20 000 cash prize and a Platinum Trophy Award. The runners-up received a R10 000 cash prize as well as a Gold Cleaver Award Trophy. All of the provincial winners received either a Platinum or Gold Cleaver Award Trophy in their category.

For the first time since the inception of the Awards, there were six consumer prizes awarded to consumers who each nominated one of the six national winners. Each of these winners received a Weber braai as their prize.

Nestle to pay Starbucks $7.15bn in global coffee alliance

Nestle to pay Starbucks $7.15bn in global coffee alliance

Reuters reports that the Nestle/Starbucks deal for a business with $2 billion in sales reinforces Nestle’s position as the world’s biggest coffee company as it tries to fortify its place atop a fast-changing market:

Swiss-based food giant Nestle will pay Starbucks $7.15 billion in cash for the rights to sell the US coffee chain’s products around the world, tying a premium brand to Nestle’s global distribution muscle.

The deal for a business with $2 billion in sales reinforces Nestle’s position as the world’s biggest coffee company tries to fortify its place atop a fast-changing market.

Nestle Chief Executive Officer Mark Schneider (Photo RICHARD JUILLIART/AFP/Getty Images)

It is a bold stroke by Nestle Chief Executive Mark Schneider, who has made coffee a strategic priority as he tries to convince uneasy shareholders, including activist Third Point, that he can boost the sprawling group’s performance.

Bernstein analyst Andrew Wood said that Nestle’s third-biggest acquisition would allow the Swiss company to expand the brand through its global distribution network.

Nestle shares rose 1.4% by mid-session, having fallen by more than 8% so far this year. Starbucks stock was indicated 2.8% higher.

Seattle-based Starbucks, the world’s biggest coffee chain, said it will use proceeds to speed share buybacks and the deal would add to earnings per share (EPS) by 2021 at the latest.

Nestle said it expects the deal to sell Starbucks bagged coffee and drinks adding to earnings by 2019. It will not involve any of Starbucks’ cafes or ready-to-drink products.

But it does let Nestle sell Starbucks coffee in individual pods – as it does now with Nespresso and Nescafe – and expand sales of Starbucks soluble coffee, a key market in Asia. Starbucks now sells single-serve coffee in Kuerig K-cup pods.

The Nestle name will not appear on Starbucks products. “We do not want the consumer to perceive that Starbucks is now part of a bigger family,” a Nestle source said.

Starbucks, strong mostly in the United States, will have the final say on expanding its product range.

This global coffee alliance will bring the Starbucks experience to the homes of millions more around the world through the reach and reputation of Nestle,” said Starbucks Chief Executive Kevin Johnson.

Nestle and Starbucks are joining forces in a highly fragmented consumer drinks category that has seen a string of deals lately.

JAB Holdings, the private investment firm of Europe’s billionaire Reimann family, has fuelled the consolidation wave with a series of deals including Douwe Egberts, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Keurig Green Mountain, narrowing the gap with Nestle.

Richer brew

Coffee is popular with younger customers who have grown up with Starbucks. A willingness to pay up for exotic beans and speciality drinks means companies can brew up richer profit margins than in mainstream packaged food.

Starbucks said it now expects to return approximately $20 billion in cash to shareholders in share buybacks and dividends through fiscal year 2020.

It said the transaction was expected to add to earnings per share by the end of fiscal year 2021 or sooner, with no change to the company’s currently stated long-term financial targets.

Nestle said it expected the business to contribute positively to earnings per share and organic growth targets from 2019.

The company source said it would also pay market-linked royalties to Starbucks. It will not buy any industrial assets as part of the deal, but could step in to produce in markets where Starbucks is not present.

Nestle, which will take on about 500 Starbucks employees, said its ongoing share buyback program remained unchanged.

The agreement will strengthen Nestle’s position in the United States, where it is the No. 5 player with less than 5% of the market. Market leader Starbucks has a 14% share, according to Euromonitor International.

In the US, Nescafe is seen as a downscale brand for older people, and the Nespresso system as a niche product. Starbucks is the quality, mass-market leader,” said Erik Gordon at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

Nestle is far and away the largest hot drinks company globally, with more in sales than the next five largest hot drinks companies combined,” Matthew Barry, an analyst at Euromonitor, said when the tie-up was first mooted on Friday.

However, Nestle’s leadership position is less secure than it once was.”

Coffee in focus

Other big players are growing as well, including Italy’s Lavazza, which is now the world’s No 3.

Nestle CEO Schneider last year identified coffee as an area of investment.

It bought Texas-based Chameleon Cold-Brew in November and took a majority stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a small up-scale café chain, in September 2017.

Starbucks, which in April reported a global drop in quarterly traffic to its established cafes, has been revamping its business amid competition in its key home market. It sold its Tazo tea brand to Unilever for $384 million and closed under-performing Teavana retail stores.

Starbucks is rapidly expanding in China, which it expects to one day be its largest market. It also plans to open 1,000 up-scale Starbucks Reserve stores and a handful of Roastery coffee emporiums to take on high-end coffee rivals such as Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea and Blue Bottle

Starbucks has long farmed out the retail distribution of its packaged products to a company more specialised in that process, but the partnerships have not always been smooth.

Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food company, is also not shy when it comes to partnering with rivals through licensing deals or joint ventures, having reached arrangements with General Mills’ and Hershey, among others.

Source: EWN

Seal it right first time – and seal it Green

Den Braven sealants are well proven as ideal for application in the shopfitting industry, shopping centres and retail environments

Seal it right first time – and seal it Green

For decades now in Southern Africa DIY home enthusiasts, professional contractors and architects alike have been dedicated to using and specifying the reliable and effective Den Braven range of quality sealants – designed for applications to suit every renovation and construction purpose.

Den Braven is well-known globally throughout the construction and building-retail sectors as the one-stop-shop for all sealing requirements – for wet or dry environments, harsh external weatherproofing applications – as well as for effective fire-retardant application in commercial and home environments,” says Michael Berg, Den Braven SA National Sales and Marketing Manager.

Michael Berg, Den Braven SA National Sales and Marketing Manager

The company’s wide range of of over 55 specialised sealants is manufactured to stringent standards at its headquarters in The Netherlands, as well as at seven other factories across Europe, and are distributed and applied worldwide in the most iconic buildings and the simplest of homes.


Den Braven sealants are well proven as ideal for application in the shopfitting industry, shopping centres and retail environments”

All the mirrors work in the casino, hotel and Presidential suite of the Menlyn Maine precinct in Pretoria were installed by Whipco using Den Braven products

Den Braven is not only a “one-stop-shop” though,” continues Berg, “The company also offers the full scope of comprehensive technical advice and assistance for its quality high performing products. For example, the right choice of sealant is essential in a bathroom environment, and of course in the shop-fitting trade and commercial and industrial areas where fire-retardant is a priority.”

Berg emphases the importance of “Doing it right first time” – which is enabled by Den Braven sealants. “Although there may be many sealants on the market very few match the quality and performance of Den Braven.”

Den Braven sealants have been specified and selected by professional contractors and architects as the preferred product range for iconic buildings such as Knightsbridge on Sloane Street, the Kusile and Medupi Power Stations; Standard Chartered bank in Ghana; Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in Cape Town; the Hilton Hotel Durban; Menlyn Main Precinct in Pretoria; Learning Hub and Polofields Residential Estate – to name but a few.

On fire-protection, Den Braven, has developed a special range of sealants designed to retard fire for up to four hours, allowing more time for safe passage in case of fire.

Known as FireProtect®, this patented range of products, available in silicone, acrylic, hybrid and PU foam is applied to expansion and connection joints such as window frames, doors and cornices during their installation in the finishing stages of construction.

It is a complete, fully-certified and approved range of passive fire protection products used in expansion and connection joints, openings and penetrations between fire compartments,” said Berg. “And we encourage contractors, architects and developers to play an active role in staying a step ahead of potential fire.”

FireProtect products for passive fire protection which are included in the construction of a building are integral to the structure and have a primary function to reduce the spread of flames, heat and smoke.

Den Braven passive fire protection can contribute to saving lives; reduces material damage; minimises personal and business loss; and protects the building structure.

The Den Braven Centre of Excellence in The Netherlands

Sustainability and Green buildings

In South Africa, Den Braven is an active member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) with its products contributing to Green Star building ratings across the country. Contractors in the building and construction industry as well as individuals in the DIY sector work with these products on a constant daily basis, in the knowledge that their health and safety is secure.

Doing business with Den Braven means being compliant with current and future legislation, environmental, social, health and safety governance. The company’s R&D teams are continuously tracking regulatory changes and trends, keeping its portfolio of standards in shape for the future. Den Braven has regular audits to verify its performance on ambitious environmental and social governance agendas and the company has also achieved and operates to ISO certifications 9001 and 14001.

Just some of the Den Braven professional sealant range of over 55 sealants is listed below:

  • Acryl Wet On Wet – Instantly paintable acrylic sealant
  • Aqua-Silicone – Silicone for fresh and salt water aquaria
  • Gasket-Sealant Red – Acetoxy silicone sealant with high temperature resistance
  • Silicone-Colours – Neutral silicone sealant available in a wide range of colours
  • Allround Sealant – A versatile non filled sealant
  • Fix-O-Chem (STYRENE Free) – 2-component tension free chemical anchoring (styrene free)
  • FP Acrylic Sealant – Fire resistant acrylic sealant
  • FP Hybrid Sealant – Fire resistant sealant
  • FP Intumescent Acrylic – Strongly intumescent fire resistant sealant
  • FP Pu Gun Foam – Fire retardant polyurethane foam certified according to EN 1366-4
  • FP Silicone Sealant – Fire retardant silicone sealant
  • Fire cement + 1200°C – Fire Sealant 1200°C

Den Braven is a dynamic and entrepreneurial multinational company with about 1 200 enthusiastic employees. The company dispatches many millions of canisters and cartridges of sealants, foams, aerosols and other adhesives to construction enthusiasts all around the world. Den Braven has eight production facilities and 25 sales and distribution offices and reaches near global coverage via a worldwide network of distribution points.

For product information and technical advice contact Den Braven South Africa at:

Phone: (+27) 11 792 3830


Address: High View Business Park, Ferndale, Highview Blvd, Ferndale, Randburg Johannesburg.

Or visit the informative and interactive Den Braven website:

How brands and stores benefit through the revolutionary bonsella® in-store rewards programme

How brands and stores benefit through the revolutionary bonsella® in-store rewards programme


Patrick Winter,Head of Strategic Partnerships at Retail Engage – innovator and custodian of the revolutionary bonsella® rewards programme

In April Shopping & Retail SA visited Retail Engage, the innovator and custodian of the revolutionary bonsella rewards programme for independent stores, and chatted to Patrick Winter, Head: Strategic Partnerships, to find out just what makes bonsella® tick.


S&R:. Why should independent stores be excited about bonsella?

PW: bonsella® is the first entity in South Africa who are strategic partners to the independent sector. We do this by giving our stores a free multi-million Rand loyalty programme to use, managing this programme with our team of experienced agents in each store, bringing additional brand spend to all of our stores (through airtime and other deals) and also by providing our stores with unique 3rd party services, such as in-store banking. This helps draw more feet, keep current shoppers happy, increases basket value and increase profit margins.

S&R: How many stores do you see bonsella rolling into going forward, and how many shoppers will this programme enrol?

PW: Our target has always been to reach 10m bonsella members in South Africa, which we are confident we will achieve through 500 stores, given that we sign-up over 20,000 members per store on average. Given that we are also expanding into the liquor, hardware and lifestyle sectors, this number of 10m could be closer to 15m at maturity.

S&R: At what pace will you be rolling out the bonsella programme to remaining stores across the country?

PW: After 4-years of testing the model and ensuring we have a platform that works for all of our stakeholders, we launched our growth campaign early 2018. This means that we are currently growing at around 15 stores a month. By December this year, we expect to be in around 125 stores, with just over 1m members, and expect to be at full maturity by July 2020.

S&R: Clearly the brands are benefiting significantly through the success and capability of the bonsella model – please elaborate.

PW: Brand have historically battled to spend marketing budget in the independent sector due to its fragmented nature, inability to target shoppers directly, and lack of reliable data to measure the effectiveness of this spend. bonsella has answered this in the following manners:

      • Provided brand with a platform to target shoppers directly (airtime, SMS, in-store campaign etc.)
      • Has access to all transactional, loyalty and consumer data across our stores
      • Provided brands with a single marketing partner in this sector
      • Provides brands with a unique platform to perform myriad other services such as stock reviews, brand activations and research
  • Most campaigns to date, have provided our clients with >50% ROI

S&R: Is technology, or lack of, a significant challenge in the roll-out programme? (i.e. till software, analytics, management systems and so on).

PW: Our roll-out of bonsella stores is based on strict criteria, looking at store size, technology and location. In South-Africa alone, there are estimated to be over 200,000 stores in the independent sector, of which a high % match the bonsella criteria. Our primary challenge is thus not the number of stores or related technology, but rather making sure we partner with right stores in each area of operations.

S&R: Still on the technology front, you have developed the app and in-store research platforms – do you have other technical developments in the pipeline? If so please elaborate.

PW: Absolutely, we have a number of exciting initiatives planned for Spaza owners, Traders and Stokvels and our retail shoppers. I cannot give in any more details on these, so you will need to watch this space!

S&R: Describe the geographic spread of independent stores throughout South Africa, and how Retail Engage will be engaging them.

PW: It is common knowledge that KZN is the dominant area when it comes to the independent retail sector in South Africa. This will form part of core growth, although we certainly plan to expand to all regions in the country alongside this. In terms of engagement, we have recognised that personal relationships and great customer service is critical to adding value to stores and ensuring you keep them as partners for life. This is proven through our current store universe, where have had the majority of our stores on-board for over 2-years now. This stems from a well structured regional team, and personal relationships with the key players in each of our stores.

S&R:: On the international front:describe your expansion programme model…. will you be focusing on African countries first? And what business models do you envisage – the same as bonsella or variations thereof?

PW: The bonsella model has been designed with scalability in-mind and growing a global brand. Put it this way, wherever airtime is valued as a commodity in-country, bonsella works! This is applicable in most developing countries around the world, although the initial expansion may be focused on Africa where we are fortunate enough to have a partnership with a leading entertainment provider. Through this partnership and market demands, we envisage growing into most major African territories from mid-2018 onwards.

S&R:: Will you be maintaining your focus on informal and independent stores throughout?

PW: Absolutely, this is a critical aspect of the bonsella model, and is the sector where there is the largest growth potential for both our brands and 3rd party service providers.



According to the latest industry research, South Africa has approximately 75 000 formal and informal retailers. These traders contribute significantly to our GDP, yet they sadly remain victims of the brutal cash crime reality that sees at least 57 armed retail robberies in our country every day.

Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect

Richard Phillips, joint CEO of Cash Connect and an expert in cash management and logistics, shares five practical tips which retailers can apply to reduce their risk for a cash robbery.

  1. Challenge insider-participation

Research has shown that more than 90% of business robberies are executed with insider-participation, and that the multitude of hands involved in manual cash processes create additional risks such as theft and cash losses.

Cash Connect’s cash vault technology has proven to be the most effective deterrent to cash crime in South Africa’s retail market. “Over the past eleven years, the number of attacks in pursuit of cash against our clients have annually amounted to less than 2% of our base. 87% of those attacks were successfully defended”, says Phillips.

Phillips suggests retailers who have opted for this technology should use it to their advantage. “Blatantly emphasise to staff that it would be a waste of time to try and access the cash in the Cash Connect vault”, he advises.

  1. Stop old school cash processes

Retailers who continue to use manual cash handling processes are probably not aware of how much time they spend counting cash, or how much money they are losing, or how much risk they are creating for themselves. Thousands of retailers still prefer to count, re-count and reconcile their cash and then drive to the bank to deposit large sums of money, mainly because they think it is cheaper to do so. That is not true. Automating with a leading service provider like Cash Connect can save you money in the long run.

  1. Automate your cash management

There is no question that automated cash management improves business efficiency. It is fast, accurate and not subject to human error. It is difficult to imagine a safer solution that eliminates the manual cash handling process altogether, not to mention the risk of a robbery in store and /or en route to the bank.

Steven Heilbron, also joint CEO of Cash Connect, challenges any of these retailers to automate with one of Cash Connect’s robust cash vaults and the proof will be in the pudding. He says, “Besides saving money, retailers will also have a host of added benefits that will enhance their business efficiency and allow them to focus on their business.”

  1. Use a cash vault that really protects your cash

Retailers who accumulate large sums of cash on their business premises are the primary target for armed robberies. For them the smart move would be to invest in a secure cash vault that is built to minimum SABS Category 4 standards. These robust cash vaults are designed locally, and act as an effective deterrent to the brutal cash crime attacks in South Africa.

  1. Partner with experts for peace of mind

As the leader in automated cash management and payment solutions, Cash Connect processes over R60 billion a year on behalf of thousands of retailers, including blue-chip customers such as Spar, Shell, Engen, Pick ‘n Pay and OK.

With Cash Connect retailers can rest assured that their cash is guaranteed, from the moment it is deposited into the cash vault until it reflects in the retailer’s bank account.

The Global Cash Index report that was released in June 2017, indicates that cash remains the preferred payment method for the majority of transactions. Given that South Africa has close to R140 billion in circulation at any given time, it comes as no surprise that criminals remain tempted. The good news is that criminals don’t have to win the jackpot all the time.

Cash Connect enables a safe and secure trading environment and empowers retailers with services that create greater efficiency, improve cash flow and offer quick access to capital with which to grow.

Established in 2006 Cash Connect is one of the largest suppliers of cash to the banking system and boasts in excess of R60 billion a year that it manages on behalf of its diversified client base across the country. It is an approved service provider to blue-chip companies including the Spar Group, Shell, Engen, Pick ‘n Pay and OK.

The executive management team – led by joint CEOs Steven Heilbron and Richard Phillips – has an unrivalled pool of specialised cash logistics, security and banking experience. The board of directors is chaired by Ivan Epstein, former CEO of Softline and Sage International.

Cash Connect is a private company, with Old Mutual’s specialist fund, Futuregrowth Asset Management, as its largest institutional shareholder.

Cash Connect provides more than just robust cash vaults: it is the key to a successful retail store strives to make a unique contribution to South Africa’s growing entrepreneurial SMME community – Beyond Safe.

Resurgence of independent outlets in South Africa

Resurgence of independent outlets in South Africa

There is a rebirth of more profitable and sustainable independent outlets in South Africa, This is due not only to modern day independent store owners embracing new technologies such as modern till and management operations systems, but also to the major brands recognising the importance of these stores and the very significant volumes they supply to community and outlying regions.

The trend is that share of basket is increasing for these stores, as well as their turnover. Their potential to earn and spend is huge even though many are located in smaller towns,” says Sane Mdlalose, a specialist on FMCG brands in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Historically in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s most of the growth in new stores was driven by the formal retailers in SA, which tended to result in at least ten small independent stores closing.

Wholesale combines with retail in the Hammarsdale PowerTrade store

However, with the change in ownership in this informal market including local South Africans, other African countries and Eastern (Chinese) entrants, this has resulted in a rebirth of more profitable and sustainable outlets in areas where outlets were performing poorly in the past,” she explains.

Brands should not worry about how many stores these retailers own, but realise they have the cash to spend – they can spend it with you or with your competitor. Brand marketers should define the Main Market by owner type: independent or group; by the consumer/shopper profile it services and the needs it meets with little or no consideration being given to location.”

She advises brands to understand these independent owners more deeply and establish a strategy to treat them differently. Because there are so few in comparison to the formal retailer sector, marketers can very easily put together the right sales structure to service them accordingly.

We are seeing two types of sub channels (customers) in this market: foreign and the younger South African business owner,” says Mdlalose. “Both these owners are more educated and astute. The way in which they run their businesses requires a person with more skills to engage with them. As locally run operations move from one generation to another, they are being taken over by younger more educated outlet owners who display better business acumen and have higher profit expectations than their parents.”

The Golden Sun store in Tongaat, KwaZulu-Natal, boasts 10 modern high-tech tills

Brand loyalty with the foreign-owned channel today is low as they have no historical sense of allegiance – if the numbers don’t stack up you are out. They therefore have huge power to drive what the community buys and can change purchasing decisions overnight.

According to Mdlalose, there has also been a steady increase in ‘new’ brands which foreigners have introduced through an import model: these brands offer them good volumes as well as profit margins. They have also reintroduced a variety of payment terms for consumers. As the payment terms and benefits are normally backed by a portfolio of products which give the outlet more profit, consumers are being exposed to a larger share of less common or new brands. This is resulting in a reduction of the share of wallet of SA’s ‘leading brands’.

Even if brands have significant market share they have to treat this market properly or they may very well have a huge problem in the future,” she believes.

While marketers think it will cost too much to have a focused strategy for this market, they must adapt their thinking.”

She provides some tips:

Introduce a sub channel for foreign outlets and younger SA owners. This will enable companies to develop the collage model in terms of frequency and capability of the sales team.

Arm reps with the skills and ability to make decisions quickly. Equip your reps and team that call on these areas with superior financial skills.

Use this opportunity as a platform to assess the readiness of sales staff to take on bigger clients or move into Key Account roles by moving more senior reps to service this area.

Brand activation and communicating with these traders is undermined to some extent by language barriers. Consideration needs to be given to develop effective communication and the potential need for the incorporation of other languages in trader communication platforms.

Identify this market by turnover not by number of outlets.

Supply chain professionals crucial to all retail – SAPICS

Supply chain professionals crucial to all retail – SAPICS

With businesses increasingly recognising the importance of the supply chain to the organisation, the demand for suitably qualified and skilled supply chain professionals is growing, according to Mungo Park, president of the Southern African Supply Chain Association SAPICS.

The supply chain is the one function in an organisation that touches all others and supply chain optimisation can drive bottom line improvement. To capitalise on opportunities, however, supply chain roles must be filled by people with the requisite knowledge, skills and qualifications,” he states.

Park notes that supply chain programmes teaching core skills were once scarce, and many supply chain roles were filled by individuals functionally trained in finance, engineering, pharmacy and various other roles. “Today, however, with the supply chain more widely regarded as a revenue driver, the need for supply chain education is increasing.” He contends that supply chain practitioners without the combination of recognised, credible education and sound practical experience will find themselves left behind as businesses recognise the value of the supply chain and the benefits that supply chain improvements can deliver across other business functions.

An international supply chain certification provides the individual with authenticity and status in the industry”

Craig King, logistics senior manager at Samsung Electronics South Africa, asserts that internationally recognised supply chain certifications are worth “every minute, cent and ounce of energy”, and add enormous value for both the individual and the organisation.

Craig King

An international supply chain certification provides the individual with authenticity and status in the industry, reflecting their professionalism, expertise and authority in this increasingly complex field. From an organisational perspective, this is a huge advantage because supply chain processes can be enhanced or implemented by an expert who knows and understands international best practice and world-class standards,” he stresses.

King states that as a senior manager for an industry leading global organisation, he favours applicants with international certifications when filling supply chain roles. “It tells me that the applicant has a goal and is serious about empowering him or herself by obtaining an internationally recognised certification. It also tells me that the applicant is knowledgeable and is an expert in the field of supply chain management, and that I will be employing the best.”

SAPICS is the South African custodian of a variety of internationally recognised certifications – the APICS CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management), CSCP (Certified Supply Chain Professional) and CLTD (Certified in Logistics, Transportation and Distribution). These are offered by SAPICS in association with its American affiliate, APICS. A new suite of designations from the Demand Driven Institute in the USA are also highly sought after.

In terms of training and development for Samsung employees, King says that members of his team are currently working towards the CLTD certification, “to expand their supply chain management knowledge and elevate their thinking from an operation and tactical level to a strategic one”. Citing a supply chain certification success story from his own organisation, he reveals that a team member was recently promoted to supply chain manager for mobile after achieving the CSCP qualification.

The CPIM is considered the premier certification for internal supply chain business operations,

and more than 74 000 professionals have been certified worldwide”

Since its launch in South Africa as the first comprehensive education programme designed for operations and supply chain management professionals, the CSCP has become an increasingly sought-after qualification. More than 24 000 professionals in 100 countries have earned the CSCP designation. “This highly-regarded programme provides graduates with the skills necessary to understand and manage the integration and coordination of activities within today’s increasingly complex supply chains. Graduates know how to design and develop a supply chain strategy that aligns with corporate strategy. They understand how to manage supplier and customer relationships, and recognise how logistics, technology and data can enhance performance. In addition, they can achieve the seamless integration of all processes to meet customer needs, reduce costs and increase profits,” SAPICS president Park states.

The CPIM is considered the premier certification for internal supply chain business operations, and more than 74 000 professionals have been certified worldwide. The CLTD programme addresses the burgeoning need for standard benchmarks in the rapidly changing logistics, transportation and distribution industries, he says.

Park notes that the benefits of an international qualification include career advancement opportunities, increased marketability and earning potential. “A survey undertaken in the USA by APICS revealed that graduates who earned a CSCP designation could expect an average 12% salary increase.

Successful supply chain management has become essential to compete successfully in today’s competitive global marketplace, and those who are suitably qualified to design, drive and deliver supply chain improvements will be assured of career success and advancement.

With the SAPICS supply chain community growing exponentially on the African continent, there is increasing awareness of the various quality international education programmes which are available, and which are offered throughout Africa via a growing network of Authorised Education Providers or on a self-study basis. Remote assistance from qualified instructors is available more easily with reliable internet in many countries, making these international certifications even more accessible,” he concludes.

Established 40 years ago, the annual SAPICS Conference is the leading event in Africa for supply chain professionals. The 2018 SAPICS Conference takes place in Cape Town, from 10 to 13 June.

SAPICS is the leading provider of knowledge in supply chain management, production and operations in Southern Africa.

SAPICS builds operations management excellence in individuals and enterprises through superior education and training, internationally recognised certifications, comprehensive resources and a country-wide network of accomplished industry professionals. This network is ever expanding and now includes associates in other African countries. SAPICS is proud to represent APICS (the global end-to-end supply chain association) as its exclusive premier channel partner in Sub-Saharan Africa.