South African firms achieving success in Angola

An increasing number of South African companies are successfully doing business in Angola, says Roger Ballard-Tremeer, chief executive of the South Africa–Angola Chamber of Commerce.

In a statement released by the organisers of the iPAD Angola investment forum, Ballard-Tremeer notes that Angola’s reserves have returned to their end-2008 levels and that a new investment law is in place. This should give potential investors the confidence to look seriously at non-oil investment opportunities.

One of the biggest investments by a South African company in Angola in recent weeks has been Nampak Bevcan’s US$160 million Angolata beverage can factory in the Viana Industrial Zone. The facility will have the capacity to manufacture 750 million 330ml cans per year. Bevcan’s clients are beer brand Cucu and Coca-Cola Bottling Luanda.

According to Bevcan, the Angolan market currently consumes around 1 billion cans per year. “We want to use the Angolata factory to secure Bevcan’s current market of over 600 million cans per year, which we export from South Africa at present, and gain enough market share to justify installing a second line,” commented Erik Smuts, Bevcan’s managing director.

He added that cans are the ideal containers for Angola as well as the greater African continent. “They are robust and easy to transport once they have been filled, especially when compared to glass bottles, which are heavier and incur more breakages. Cans are also well suited to selling techniques in urban areas where vendors place them in containers of ice.”

Bevcan is, however, far from the only South African company doing business in Angola. “South Africa’s Standard Bank de Angola also recently opened its doors bringing with it not only the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China connection but, for the first time in the Angolan financial services market, the expertise and value of a world class banking operation,” says Ballard-Tremeer.

Other South African companies doing business in Angola include Barloworld, Megger and Aurecon.

Ballard-Tremeer says that the introduction of a new Investment Law and a Public Private Partnership Law and the emergence of a major pro-ethics movement aimed at rescuing Angola’s social values from the negative effects of decades of civil disruption “are impacting profoundly on the assumptions, concepts, values and practices of the Angolan business paradigm”.

He continues: “Applying sound business judgement principles to the myriad of opportunities on offer in the Angolan marketplace can certainly make the market work for those with an appetite for Angola.”