Tyre manufacturer takes top accolade at KZN Investor Awards 2019
At the KZN Investor Awards 2019, tyre manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd, known as Sumitomo Dunlop, walked away with the main award of the evening – the KZN Investor of the Year Award for 2019. The inaugural event, hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Department (KZN EDTEA) and its agency – Trade and Investment KZN (TiKZN) was held at the Durban International Conference Centre in Durban, KZN on Thursday 12th September. Sumitomo Dunlop also scooped two major category awards for Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor.
“To be chosen as the KZN Investor of the Year is a great honour for our business.” says Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa. “Safety, enterprise and skill development are aspects of business that are especially close to my heart. We recognise that the promotion of the entrepreneurial spirit is vitally important for the health of the economy as it boosts productivity and diversifies opportunity in our society. This award is evidence that the dedication and passion with which we approach the manufacturing of tyres for the African continent, always placing safety, innovation and technology as a priority, is not only of benefit to our business but also to our customers, communities and our province.”
The Most Impactful Investor Award was bestowed on Sumitomo Dunlop for the company’s Enterprise Development initiatives which include the impactful Dunlop Container Programme. The programme now boasts over 120 branded Dunlop Containers across the country. Working closely with the KZN EDTEA, Sumitomo Dunlop seeks to develop young entrepreneurs with a strong focus on supplier development, driving local procurement of goods and services.
The investment of over R2.1 billion into the Sumitomo Rubber South Africa manufacturing facility in Ladysmith put Sumitomo Dunlop in the running for the Major Capital Investor Award. Culminating in the launch of a custom-built 180000m² truck and bus radial tyre manufacturing facility, the upgrade of the existing factory resulted in the increased output of passenger car, SUV and 4×4 tyres to meet the African continent’s quality tyre needs.
“As a leading tyre manufacturer, we consider being a well-rounded corporate citizen as business priority and being joint-winner of the Most Impactful Investor Award is evidence that we are indeed on track with that” Haffejee said. “For the Major Capital Investor Award, Sumitomo Dunlop competed with giants from various industries including Sappi and Transnet. This category is reserved for an investment of over R1 billion. We are extremely proud to be ranked so highly, showcasing our commitment to investment in the region.”