For many companies, all that stands between them and greater success is the ability to invest in additional equipment. For Gauteng-based Karob Plastics, this was certainly the case.
The company manufactures 5-, 20- and 25-litre plastic containers and supplies local chemical industries. Over the years it’s grown its workforce from 12 people to up to 60, partially on the back of the investment from the MCEP.
“The business has improved. I think we are making 10,000 containers a day now, where we used to make 5,000 or 6,000 containers a day. It’s made my job very easy because it just comes off the conveyer belt onto the other conveyers, through the date stamp, and they pack it,” says production manager Romay Bellairs.
Karob Plastics owner, Patrick Mcilwaine adds: “MCEP has certainly made a big difference in my life. I can probably sleep a little more at night. This is a 24/7 operation and we have incredibly good output from this new machine, which has resulted in increased employment for the specific machine, which has generated more jobs for my workforce.”
“The benefit we received was a percentage capital injection, which was tax free and resulted in us acquiring equipment that was of a far greater production capability than if we had normally acquired the machines ourselves without that 30% assistance,” he says.
Mcilwaine says upgrading the equipment was essential to keep up with the competition. The company had been struggling as a result of the depreciation of the rand, and higher labour and electricity costs making it difficult to keep their pricing competitive.
The timing of the capital injection was perfect. Through the help of the MCEP grant they were able to grow their workforce.
“We wouldn’t have been able to have done that without the dti,” says Mcilwaine. “The positive benefit that the company has received is that it has been able to reinvest in growing its business.”
Mcilwaine sees a bright future for the business and the potential for the country. With the support from the MCEP he sees the potential to create jobs and transform the economy and small business.