With plastic giants like Amcor and RPC investing in South Africa, its market in the material will grow. We look at five plastic manufacturers in the country
Despite being home to Mondi, the world’s eighth largest packaging manufacturer, South Africa doesn’t sell a lot of plastic.
In 2017, the country exported $95.4m (£73.3m) worth of plastic, ranking it as the 45th largest exporter of the material in the world, below the Philippines, and Lithuania.
However, South Africa does also have big plastics companies investing in the region – most notably Australian giant Amcor, alongside manufacturers dotted across the country.
From award-winning child-resistant packaging developers to PET plastic bottle makers, we take a look at five of these companies.
Founded in 1976, Polyoak is a manufacturer of dairy, beverage, food and industrial plastic packaging.
Currently situated in the legislative capital of South Africa, Cape Town, the company employs more than 2,000 people across its 47 manufacturing plants.
Since 2013, the firm has picked up 11 awards, including one for child-resistant closures.
Polyoak’s current managing director is Jeremy Macintosh, who was named the Packaging Council of South Africa’s packaging achiever in 2013.
Based in South Africa’s biggest city, Johannesburg, Mpact has four divisions to its business, with its plastics department developing trays, films, containers and PET preforms, bottles, jars and closures.
In 2018, the company recorded a revenue of 10.6bn rand (£564m), and had 5,062 employees across 40 operating sites in South Africa, Nambia and Mozambique.
Alongside its manufacturing sectors, which include paper and cardboard box development, Mpact runs a recycling division.
This recycles more than 660,000 tonnes of material per year across 16 sites.
The recycled product is then used as part of the company’s plastic manufacturing, developing PET bottles.
Mpact’s CEO is Bruce William Strong, who has been at the company since 2009, after previously holding management level roles at packaging giant Mondi.
He also serves as chairman of both the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa and Packaging SA.
Gundle Plastics Group
Gundle Plastics Group was founded in 1959 by South African entrepreneur Clifford Gundle, and was the first company to introduce wide plastic sheeting to control damp and water penetration into buildings.
It’s a producer of plastic insulation membranes for the agricultural industry, as well as bags, stretch wrap and peelable cereal liners.
It owns ten subsidiaries, including Gundle GeoSynthetics and Gunwoven, which operate across eight towns and cities in South Africa.
The firm also owns Swazi Plastics, which was first established in 1986 and is based in the town of Matsapha, Swaziland.
Gundle Plastics CEO is Zola Fuba, who is also the founder and owner of Wafima Manufacturing Distribution, as well as investment group Winhold.
In 2017, the company was purchased by UK-based packaging business RPC Group for £79m, forming RPC Astrapak.
It operates in nine facilities across four provinces, including Gauteng, Western and Eastern Cape, and, as of 2018, employees 1,100 people.
The company is currently led by CEO Robin Moore, and recorded a 1.4bn rand (£74m) turnover in 2018.
Founded in 1968, Nampak develops metal and glass packaging alongside its production of rigid plastics – which range from crates and drums to closures and tubes.
In 2015, it sold its tissue, corrugated and sacks division to private equity firm Ethos, and its flexible plastics business to Amcor.
Nampak employs more than 5,000 people, with plastic development facilities in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe (as CarnaudMetal Box), and the UK
Its current CEO is André de Ruyter, who before taking the role at the company in 2014, was a member of energy and chemicals company Sasol Group’s executive committee.
In 2018, Nampak’s plastics division recorded revenues of 4.7bn rand (£248m).