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EC auto component maker scoops top export award

Home Manufacturing & Processing Automotive EC auto component maker scoops top export award

CREATING hundreds of new jobs, increasing market share, profits and growing export turnover. These are just some of the successes Exporters Eastern Cape’s Exporter of the Year 2021 winners achieved over the past year.

The overall winner was announced recently as the Acoustex Group, a Gqeberha-based manufacturer of automotive components exported to 12 countries around the world.

Over the past year, the group increased their direct and indirect export turnover by 24% and achieved a Level 1 BBBEE rating. In addition to acquiring a company to form a new product line to diversify their business, their staff and customer commitments remained the group’s key priorities during the year.

Acoustex Group Commercial Director Andre Swartbooi said it was particularly important to keep their people safe when the country went into lockdown last year.

“We supported our staff and streamlined the business. We focussed on growing during difficult times and tried to find solutions with our customers in mind.

“We benefitted from localisation during the COVID period and changed our focus from a moment of panic to finding solutions. We didn’t expect to win as there was a record number of entries, and we were up against the best, but we are very grateful,” said Swartbooi.

In its 26th year, the Exporter of the Year Awards is hosted annually to acknowledge the achievements of Eastern Cape exporters and service providers in the province, said Exporters EC Chairman Quintin Levey.

“Despite the pandemic, we have seen some very strong entries this year for Exporter of the Year, with the highest number of entries since 2013. It is very positive to see the strategic innovation implemented by our entrants as well as the efforts made to limit the number of jobs lost in the time, while looking after the health and wellbeing of their employees,” said Levey.

The judges for the SJM Flex Environmental Awards were Elmar Thiart (AIDC), Antonio McMaster (SJM Flex) and Mark Morgutti (SJM Flex). The independent judges for all other awards were Dr Randall Jonas (Nelson Mandela University Business School), Justin Ries (FNB), Sujit Bhagattjee (Transnet), Hoosain Mahomed (AIDC), Kingsley Dell-Robertson (IDC), Prince Matonsi (Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber) and Quintin Levey (Exporters EC Chairman).

The Awards ceremony was hosted online with an interactive live event, which was presented by MC Gareth Burley. Entertainment for the evening included Franky and the Misfits, Letters from Jane and Roland Gaspar. LX Events assisted with organising the online event and Oracle Media provided all the artwork designs and organised the online event platform. Michael Sheehan was the photographer at the online event.

Sponsors of the 2021 Exporter of the Year Awards were Volkswagen Group South Africa (Gold Sponsor), Oracle Media (Gold Sponsor), Isuzu Motors South Africa (Silver Sponsor), the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (Silver Sponsor), the Industrial Development Corporation (Bronze Sponsor), DG Incentives (Blue Sponsor), and SJM Flex SA (Blue Sponsor). The Media Sponsors for the Awards were Kingfisher FM, The Herald and ManMade Radio.

Prize sponsors included Knysna Forest View, Raggy Charters, Berlin Restaurant, Goldberg & de Villiers, Criss Cross Adventures, Love Box, Heritage Framers, Nutritech and Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism.

Full list of merit awards and winners

SJM Flex Environmental Award (This category is for exporters who have environmental accreditation and who pursue excellence in environmental management):

  • Merit Award – Coega Development Corporation
  • Merit Award – Purem Port Elizabeth
  • Merit Award – Isuzu Motors South Africa
  • Winner – Volkswagen Group South Africa

 IDC Job Creation Award (This category is for exporters who have created the most number of new sustainable jobs over the past year):

  • Merit Award – Lumotech
  • Merit Award – Sovereign Foods
  • Merit Award – Isuzu Motors South Africa
  • Merit Award – S4 Development Services
  • Winner – SMA Engineering South Africa

 Best Provider of Service to Exporters (This category is for service providers to the export industry, usually forwarding and clearing agents, shipping lines and agents, other forms of transport including courier, insurance agents, underwriters, and financial services providers):

  • Merit Award for Awards Won and Achievements – Oracle Media
  • Merit Award for New Contracts – Coega Development Corporation
  • Winner – Toyota Industrial Equipment

 Best Exporter – Small Business (This category is for direct and indirect exporters with export turnover up to R25 million):

  • Winner – OPM Tooling Import & Export CC

 Best Exporter – Medium Enterprise (This category is for direct and indirect exporters with an export turnover between R25 and R200 million):

  • Winner – Acoustex Group

 Best Exporter – Corporate (This category is for direct and indirect exporters with an export turnover greater than R200 million):

  • Merit Award for Improvement in Profitability – Purem Port Elizabeth (Eberspacher SA)
  • Merit Award for Increase in Export Turnover and Profitability – San Miguel Fruits South Africa
  • Winner – SMA Engineering South Africa

 Best Exporter – OEM (This category is for manufacturers of original equipment for the automotive industry):

  • Merit Award for Skills Development and Transformation Initiatives – Isuzu Motors South Africa
  • Winner – Volkswagen Group South Africa

Exporter of the Year – Overall Winner (The entity that in the judges’ opinion achieved the most success in the period under review.)

  • Winner – Acoustex Group


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