Family-owned, Centurion-based pumps manufacturer Hazleton Pumps has walked away with the Most Innovative Award and the Best Customer Service of the Year Award – as it did in 2015 – at the third annual Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) Awards for Excellence.
The Most Innovative Company of the Year trophy was awarded to the company that has shown the best level of innovation in research and development or production in 2016, in the process of either gaining market advantage or reducing production costs.
Seifsa sales and acting marketing manager Nuraan Alli said in March that, in selecting a company to be provided with
an award in this category, the judges would look at several factors.
“Judges will consider if the company has created competitive advantage, contributed to significant growth, transformed the organisation or the wider industry, improved overall financial performance, achieved operational excellence, embedded ethical or sustainable practices, helped staff deliver better customer service, increased market share or customer loyalty or supported strong leadership and management,” she explained.
The company that scooped this award last year was South Africa’s largest manufacturer of secondary aluminium products, Zimco Aluminium Company.
Meanwhile, mining and industrial equipment supplier Weir Minerals, which supplies a range of slurry transportation, dewatering and industrial pumps, won the Most Transformed Company of the Year Award for embracing the challenges of the amended broad-based black economic-empowerment code and making skills development the cornerstone of its agenda. In South Africa, Weir Minerals has three manufacturing facilities and ten sales and service branches, as well as its head office for Africa.
The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award was presented to the company that showed the highest transformation level in the composition of its board of directors, executive management and managerial team in 2016. This award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size and companies employing more than 100 companies against others of similar size.
The Seifsa Awards for Excellence ceremony, held in Sandton on May 25 at the IDC Conference Centre, honoured companies which had excelled in 2016, with almost 100 guests representing small and large companies in the metals and engineering sector in attendance.
Hosted in partnership with national development finance institution the Industrial Development Corporation, the gala function was held on its own for the first time and not as part of the annual Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba.
State-owned public company the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation chairperson Dr Kelvin Kemm was the guest speaker at the ceremony.
Awards for Excellence
The Seifsa Awards for Excellence were launched in 2015. They invite manufacturers operating in the metals and engineering sector within the Southern African region to submit their nominations in any of the seven categories for projects which were completed in the previous calendar year.
Born out of the need to encourage growth and celebrate excellence in the metals and engineering sector, the Seifsa Awards for Excellence offer companies operating in this vital sector a chance to receive well-deserved recognition by industry peers for their capabilities, expertise and innovation.
“In such turbulent economic times and a challenging business environment, we at Seifsa believe that it is critically important for those companies which excel at what they do to get the acknowledgement and recognition that they deserve,” says Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba.
He said that environmental stewardship was of growing importance for all businesses and expressed the hope that there would also be entrants in this category of the awards next year. For the third year in a row, there were no entries for the Environmental Stewardship of the Year category.
Nyatsumba notes that the judges – made up of external experts – were impressed with the high quality of entries for the Seifsa Awards for Excellence 2017. This, he says, vindicates Seifsa’s belief that, even during these difficult economic times, some companies in the metals and engineering sector continue to strive for greater competitiveness both domestically and internationally.
Among the panel of judges this year were Chamber of Mines of South Africa’s Dr Thuthula Balfour-Kaipa; multidisciplinary research and development organisation the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Chule Qalase; labour market research, training and advisory consultancy FR Research’s Professor Hoosen Rasool; diversified workforce management and business process outsourcing company Adcorp Holdings’ Beverly-Ann Jack; information technology service company Gijima’s Werner Guse and the Department of Higher Education’s Adrienne Bird.
Nyatsumba also presented the CEO Award to former Seifsa board member Neil Penson for outstanding service to the federation and the industry. Tsakane Themba was recognised as the best student at the Seifsa Training Centre in 2016, design and manufacturing company HC Heat Exchangers as the Company of the Year and the Electrical Engineering and Allied Industries Association as the Association of the Year.
Manufacturer of no-grease, low-friction, long-life bearing materials for the marine industry Vesco Plastics, which employs fewer than 50 people, won the Artisan of the Year Award; leading power and automation engineering company ABB South Africa won the Corporate Social Responsibility of the Year Award and access, marine and event scaffolding supplier SGB Cape won the Health and Safety Award of the Year.
Seifsa is a National Federation representing 25 independent employer associations in the metals and engineering industries. It has a combined membership of 1 600 companies and employs around 200 000 employees. The federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steelmaking corporations to microenterprises employing fewer than 50 people.