According to statements from Beefmaster CEO, Louw van Reenen, Kimberley could be losing out on 400 new jobs due Sol Plaatje Municipality’s poor service delivery and high tariffs. This was in response to a Friday statement by DA Leader Mmusi Maimame after visiting the abattoir.
“Just this morning I visited the premises of a company called Beefmaster – an abattoir here in Kimberley. They have reached a point where they want to take their entire business up to Johannesburg, because keeping it here in Kimberley is simply too hard, too costly and, above all, too unpredictable given the constant electricity interruptions. In their line of business an uninterrupted supply of electricity is absolutely vital. If government here can’t get the basics right, businesses like Beefmaster will pack up and leave. And if they do, 400 employees will immediately lose their jobs and at least 2 000 dependants will lose a household income,” Mmusi Maimane said.
Louw van Reenen reacted by saying the statement by Mmusi Maimane was not accurate.
“The specific statement was that Beefmaster was here to stay and would like to work towards finding a solution to the problems being experienced.
“We did, however, confirm that it had reached a point where it was becoming more and more difficult to operate a sustainable business in Kimberley due to costly and unpredictable water and electricity interruptions in the city.”
“In our line of business an uninterrupted supply of electricity and water is absolutely vital, together with a stable labour market. Businesses in Kimberley are not supported with any form of incentive to combat such excessively high costs of water and electricity supply, which makes it more and more uncompetitive locally and internationally, as well as less attractive and feasible to grow and expand business in the Kimberley area.”
“No mention was made of ‘constant electricity interruptions’ – the discussion pertained to services as a whole. We also confirmed that the Sol Plaatje Municipality had been invited on numerous occasions to visit our plant but we have had no response to date. In terms of the aforementioned planned expansions, the (additional) 400 workers that would need to be employed, we would not be able to employ in Kimberley (and this number might convert to 2 000 dependants)” Louw Van Reenen said.
Van Reened further said that due to the above reasons, doing business in Kimberley was more expensive than doing business in the Ekurhuleni Municipality [ The East Rand region of Gauteng] and therefore expansions that were planned for Kimberley would in all probability rather be undertaken in Ekurhuleni.
Further Media Statement by Beefmaster
Beefmaster South Africa is considering expanding its operations to include a new meat processing facility which could increase the total workforce by an additional 400 people, bringing the total employee base to 2000. The business is currently weighing up its options with regards to a possible location.
“We remain committed to our business and employee complement in Kimberley. We have been invested in the area for over 30 years after strategically choosing the location as the most suitable to deliver quality beef products to the rest of South Africa, and beyond,” says Louw van Reenen, Beefmaster CEO.
He adds that to encourage business growth in the area, it is pivotal that small as well as larger businesses are supported through, for example, incentives, which would go a long way to combat costly services such as water and electricity supply. This would also allow Kimberley to compete both locally and internationally, and encourage local businesses to continue investing in the area. “We continue to work with all stakeholders to try and find a viable solution that would unlock business growth in Kimberley, including uninterrupted supply of electricity and water, as well as a stable labour market. We are, and will continue to be, committed to Kimberley’s ability to attract business,” says van Reenen.
With a track record spanning more than three decades, the company is a highly respected industry player not only in Kimberley but also South Africa. Beefmaster PTY Ltd is involved in the entire value chain, from rearing and farming cattle to delivering meat-based products to customers. This also includes fleet management of road trucks, earth-moving equipment, cattle health and feed, meat cutting and packaging, and fully-equipped workshops.
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