The local mining industry continued largely uninterrupted throughout most of the COVID-19 pandemic for the past two years, and today it still forms a significant part of South Africa’s economic recovery. The Bolt and Engineering Distributors (B.E.D.) Group Burgersfort branch is proud to play its role in supporting this key sector, as the country continues moving forward.
Helping to keep mining cogs turning
B.E.D. Burgersfort Operations Manager, Justin Pullinger says: “The media has obviously reported on how mining operations in South Africa, together with almost all business areas, were disrupted for a time because of initial necessary pandemic-related lockdowns. However, the intrinsic importance of this local sector meant that mining still had to continue operating, even at a reduced capacity, during the initial hard lockdown phase. Most of our business in the B.E.D. Burgersfort branch is mining-related and we are extremely proud to support this key industry and to play our role in keeping the cogs turning.”
With regards to the history of the branch, Pullinger explains that the B.E.D. Group initially opened a branch in Steelpoort in 2008, headed by Marc Jewitt, current Operations Manager for B.E.D. Middelburg. The branch was moved to Burgersfort in 2018, and Pullinger took over at the helm in early 2021.
“I started with B.E.D. on the 25th of March 2019 as an Area Sales Manager (ASM), and then was promoted to Sales Manager in September 2020,” he explains. “I took up the position as Operations Manager in April 2021. We are currently operating with 20 employees at the branch, mainly servicing the mining industry, especially platinum and chrome, and with a small portion of our business being allocated to agriculture, mainly citrus.”
Pullinger explains that on a day-to-day basis, there is a high demand for galvanised water pipes, underground mining hose, non-flammable paints for underground marking, bolts and nuts, pinch bars and white wash.
Read: Air Compression, Dust Suppression and Piping Technologies to be Showcased at Electra Mining Africa 2022
“We are very pleased to have been able, recently, to start new business working with a copper mine, which will be excellent for the branch,” he reports. “In addition, the Bokoni platinum mine near Polokwane recommenced operations recently, after Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) sold its 49 percent ownership to African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) in late 2021. This is really good for the local community – and we trust that we will be able to play our role in assisting with the mines’ requirements.”
The B.E.D. Group fosters a culture of branches being run independently as if they are running their own businesses, but also strongly cohesive and part of the whole. Bolt and Engineering’s culture of 100% responsibility and accountability filters through and further strengthens this ethos of independence.
Pullinger elaborates: “Each employee always give 100%, not only to our customers but to the company as well. Training is of the utmost importance, which is why we try to do supplier training days once a month. It’s important for the sales team to understand the end-users in order to best cater to their needs – as we say: ‘It’s our business to know the customers’ business’, and so obviously training is important.
I would also like to acknowledge the specialist divisional teams in the B.E.D. Group who are the champions driving new product offerings for each branch, so that we in turn are able to offer the latest thinking and offerings to our clients,” he concludes.