Spotlight on Sarens in South Africa
Interview with Marius Cilliers, Country Manager, South
Interview with Marius Cilliers, Country Manager, South Africa
November 2017: Sarens is proud of our work in South Africa. This month, Marius Cilliers, Country Manager, South Africa, shares his thoughts on the newly formed SARENS SIBA company, recent projects in the region, and the future market outlook. Read on for more insights on this region's exciting potential.
To begin, could you tell us a little about the South Africa division?
From our headquarters in Brakpan, South Africa, we cover the entire region as well as neighboring countries like Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. We focus on crane rental, technical solutions, and abnormal on-site transport.
Our cranes include 20t to 650t hydraulic cranes and 16t to 1.250t crawler cranes. Beyond our crane rental service, we also provide clients with:
- Project solutions, including various types of equipment
- Abnormal and heavy on-site transport
- Jacking, skidding and sliding systems
- Lifting towers
- Wide range of modular lifting beams and frames
We can give our clients the best technical solutions based on their specific needs and constraints thanks to our in-house engineering department, wide range of equipment, and experience in heavy lifting and alternative lifting devices.
Which sector drives the growth of heavy lifting and transport business in South Africa?
This is currently driven by the Power and Energy sector followed by Petrochemical, Oil and Gas. We have also experienced a shift to infrastructure, with much anticipation for Renewable and/or Nuclear Energy to commence.
Sarens' new partnership with SIBA means the two organizations will be working closely in South Africa. How will you leverage your combined strengths?
SARENS SIBA is a new company formed to transform the country's crane hire business. Sarens and SIBA have have been successfully active in similar industries for years, which is one reason we have secured a strategic business partnership with each other.
As SARENS SIBA, we will bring together a wealth of experience and knowledge to provide existing and future clients with the best options in the market for plant/crane hire, technical solutions, and abnormal transport and heavy lift. A key strength we now bring to the table is marketing and business development across the region, as well as increased collective experience in plant hire, which broadens the scope of the market and supply going forward.
Our team is excited by the venture and we consider it a privilege to be part of such an opportunity for change in South Africa. Together, we are pioneers of change in our dynamic South African economy: SARENS SIBA is the future in South Africa.
In 2016 and 2017 we have seen a wide array of projects being executed in the region. Could you tell us about a few major projects completed, as well as those in the pipeline for 2018?
In 2016, we completed the SASOL CTFE project using the CC 8800, which, as far as we know, was the biggest crawler ever working in Sub Saharan Africa.
We also completed the transport and installation of the 400t reactor for Engen in Durban. This was another first in the region, as we used SPMTs and a tailing frame for the installation of this 40 metre-long reactor.
Other projects completed include the Coal Tipler exchange project for Transnet at the Richards Bay port, as well as the Head Gear installation at Potgietersrus Platinum mine.
There are always new projects and opportunities on the horizon: Southern Africa is developing and we expect a lot of projects in the Power, Energy and Petrochemical, and Oil and Gas sectors to finally kick off in 2018.
How do you visualize the existing market and the future outlook?
Our economy is quickly changing and we need to adapt or disappear. There is a drive to incorporate previously disadvantaged organizations into the mainstream economy, and we have responded to that with SARENS SIBA.
The drive by the government to transform the economy may be seen as a threat to various companies and markets, however we believe that it is necessary for the company to adapt and follow the prescribed transformation process.
This change will not only ensure SARENS SIBA's existence in the region, but also ensure it is a major player in the sector and market.
With the tough economic barriers we had to deal with over the last two years, the position we find ourselves in currently, and our plans for the future, we believe that with the expected developments in South Africa and neighboring countries, we can make a meaningful contribution to growth and development in the region.
What do you believe are the challenges in the current business environment in South Africa?
The biggest challenges we experience are political in nature, and their effects on the economy are not always well understood by the captains of industries. As an example, the issue of economic transformation remains a threat to every business that is unwilling to transform.
You have been associated with Sarens for a long time. How have you seen the region evolve under your leadership?
I become the Country Manager in a very difficult economic environment, when South Africa's economic growth was declining. We had to come up with various innovative ideas and actions to secure the company's future and absorb the cards we have been dealt.
Although some of these actions were very difficult to implement, we now see ourselves in a much more stable and positive light. Our team is confident and we are enthusiastic about what the future holds for our business going forward.
Can you tell us about Sarens' community involvement in the region?
Sarens has been the main sponsor of the Edenvale Marathon for the past few years. All funds from the marathon are given to local charities.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I believe that to be successful you have to apply your heart, mind, and soul into every action you take, even when you know that there will be challenges and stumbling blocks along the path. Our team portrays a positive attitude in our thoughts and actions, which is key in our path to be successful.