By Eamonn Ryan
Heavy equipment supplier Putzmeister celebrates its 50th anniversary in sub-Saharan Africa in October and hosted a charity golf day in April at Ruimsig Country Club in Gauteng to mark the festivities. RACA Journal interviewed its head, Rudy Myburgh.
“Putzmeister is a well-known international brand that has been around for close to 70 years. This year marks 50 years since Putzmeister’s establishment in South Africa, one of the first sister companies outside of Germany. The founder of Putzmeister, Karl Schlecht, had a soft spot for South Africa, and with it being probably the more mature market in Africa, it was a good starting point for the region,” says Myburgh.
“The name Putzmeister translates directly into English as ‘plaster master’. Schlecht thought there must be a way of making plastering simpler. He designed the machine for his dad, which projected the plaster onto the wall, similar to shotcrete, but a bit softer.
“It’s a long way from that to the kind of equipment Putzmeister produces today. We stay at the forefront of technology and efficiency, which is a German tradition. We have the Ergonc-3 system in our boom pumps, which are reliable. The longest arm we have in South Africa is 47m, but the 36m arm is the all-rounder, and we also have a 42m arm. Later in the year, we’re going to launch the BSF 39, which will be the premium line replacement for these ones, on the same truck, and legally compliant.”
He adds: “We’ve had an exceptional three years just past. A lot of our clients are return customers we’ve had a long-standing relationship with. The machines they bought during the 2010 World Cup are now seeing their end and they’re either being traded in or they require new ones.
“There has been a lot of activity in the commercial-to-residential conversion market but crime began to escalate as construction companies were targeted for theft and other issues in the construction market.
“We wanted to make this special day not just about Putzmeister but also about the charities we’re donating to: Ons Plek, an old age home that specifically looks after frailty care patients and Alzheimer patients, which currently doesn’t receive any government support; and Jacaranda Care Centre in Pretoria. We have a team of people working on this event, including an avid golfer in our sales team, and this is the first golf day we’ve ever done. It’s been a great success. We’ve invited all our vendors and clients, including freight and food companies, truck suppliers and many construction and engineering firms, as well as some of our construction clients.
“The machines on display are impressive, and we’re excited about the 39m, which is one of the longest-reaching booms on a 6×4 truck. During the event, we’ll be doing an auction to raise money for the charities,” says Myburgh.