The Eskom Development Foundation visited Reba Chemicals on Wednesday, 28 February, to see how the business has been performing since winning the 2017 Eskom Business Investment competition (BIC). Reba Chemicals was the overall winner of the competition, receiving a prize of R150 000. The visit included Lamo Solar and Oakantswe Construction and Projects, whoare previous category winners in the competition.
Reba Chemicals, which is based in Chloorkop (Ekurhuleni), manufactures industrial chemicals and water treatment chemicals. It has been operating for 36 years and its owner, Freddy Motau, started it so he could provide locally-based solutions and replace chemicals imported from Europe and the United States of America.
The company started by trading in organic metal sorts including nickel phosphate, cobalt nitrate untilthey introduced water treatment, metal treatment, firefighting and industrial products. Water treatment products include hydrochloric acid, flocculants, poly aluminium chloride, lime and activated carbon. These are mainly used in water purification.
When Reba Chemicals won the BIC, it had 19 permanent employees and 10 young people on learnerships.The company has grown and now has 34 employees, with 21 of them being permanent and added one more person to the learnership, bringing its total to 11. The learnerships are facilitated through The Chemical Industries Education and Training Authority (CHIETA). Some of the company’s clients are RandWater, CureChem, AquaTrait and Hankel.
In its early days, Reba Chemicals struggled to gain access to markets, especially in mining and government parastatals, but has since grown in terms of staff, sales, and assets. Motau says he is looking at expanding his company and its offering as they have been fortunate to gain some good business in recent times. “We are driven by constant growth and we have invested the BIC prize money towards designing a new plant. We have been fortunate to be part of the BIC, which has opened our eyes to many valuable lessons,” asserts Motau.
Article by Nicholas Munzhedzi