Diversified South African-based industrial corporation United Heavy Industries has embarked on a R17-billion investment drive over the next five years with a target to create 4000 new jobs.
Already R350 million has been invested in a recently acquired steel mill at Mandeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal. Steel, energy and heavy engineering constitute the three pillars of United Heavy Industries which has its roots in India.
Kanishka Dhar, a director of United Heavy Industries, said the company is an infrastructure accelerator with strong competences in early stage project development for large industrial and infrastructure projects.
“We want to make South Africa a global destination as a specialised manufacturing hub within the heavy engineering, energy and steel sectors because of its unexplored potential as a leader in global manufacturing and distribution and an unparalleled diverse natural resource footprint.
“Our deep-rooted philosophy of ‘create, conserve and transform’ – creation by conserving resources and transformation by conserving energy – forms the core ethic of our operations.”
Since 2003, United heavy Industries has been strategically aligned with MECON India Limited, a parastatal that specialises in engineering and turnkey projects for the Government of India as well as several Industrial corporations in India and globally.
Dhar said the continuous alliance with Mecon not only helped to prepare various teams of engineers within United Heavy Industries for delivery on key infrastructure projects and manufacturing units in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa but will also be a platform for ongoing knowledge transfer and skills development in South Africa.
United Heavy Industries has been part of major infrastructure projects from roads and bridges, government buildings and new townships to shopping complexes, defence facilities, petroleum plants and railway stations with special expertise in ports and harbours, coal terminals and handling facilities, desalination plants, infrastructure water supply projects, raw water treatment plants, sewage treatment plants, LPG and oil pipelines and offshore platforms.
Rahul Kaushik, also a director of United Heavy Industries, said; “We want to be part of the team that develops South Africa nationally with new projects in large scale infrastructure development, steel manufacturing and major energy initiatives.
“We concur with President Cyril Ramaphosa that infrastructure development will form a key part of the country’s economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Growth in the heavy industries and public infrastructure sectors offers huge potential for providing broad economic empowerment and reducing unemployment.”
He added his company wanted to finance and implement major infrastructure projects in South Africa through public-private participation initiatives with the South African government, because budgets for projects are scarce and several major infrastructure projects have been postponed.
These investments would ensure millions of South Africans have improved access to healthcare facilities, schools, water, sanitation, housing and electrification.
The National Development Plan has identified investment in the construction of ports, roads, railway systems, electricity plants, hospitals, schools and dams as a main contributor to faster economic growth.