Unilever SA in R1bn sustainable project
1 February 2013
Unilever South Africa will open a new factory worth over R800-million and spend
R200-million on upgrading and expanding existing plants, the company announced on Thursday.
The factory - to be built adjacent to Unilever's primary distribution centre in
Anderbolt in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg - will produce a number of cleaning
brands such as Omo, Handy Andy, Skip, Comfort and Sunlight.
Construction on the site will "commence shortly and will incorporate Unilever's latest
manufacturing technologies", the company said in a statement. The first products
are expected to roll off the production lines in 2014.
"This factory forms part of a multi-year, multi-billion investment plan by Unilever
South Africa to cater for our growth," said chairperson Marijn van Tiggelen.
The investment also forms part of the firm's "sustainable living" plan, which aims to
build the business while cutting down on its overall
'Determination to sustainability'
"This new factory is another example of Unilever's vision in action - to double the
size of our business while reducing the environmental impact," said Unilever's chief
supply chain officer, Pier Luigi Sigismondi.
"Not only will it enable us to grow our presence in the region, but it also highlights
our determination to sustainability as it will use the latest technology and insights to
create a low energy, environmentally efficient factory with zero waste to landfill."
The investment will also make a difference to the company's customers. "It will
enable us to better serve South African consumers with innovation and green
technology, as well as improve service levels to our retail customers," Van Tiggelen
"The R800-million project is one of Unilever's largest investments globally and
underscores our commitment to the long-term future of South Africa and the
continent as a whole."
The project is supported by the Department of Trade and Industry's 12i Tax
Allowance Incentive scheme, which is designed to support greenfield investments -
industrial projects that make use of only new and unused manufacturing assets.
The tax incentive scheme also covers brownfield investments - expansions or
upgrades of existing industrial projects - and will support Unilever's R200-million
upgrade and expansion of its existing factories.
The investment follows the opening of the Unilever Savoury dry foods factory in
KwaZulu-Natal by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies in December 2011.
"We have a long history in South Africa and we have a strong commitment to its
future, its growth and economic development," Sigismondi said.