Home » Industry » Electrical Rewinding Firm Spreads Wings

ONE of the country’s biggest indigenous manufacturers of electrical components, Leaford Electric Rewinds, has embarked on a diversification drive, which has seen it opening an engineering division as it seeks to grow its business.

Leaford Electric Rewinds technical manager Mr Orphan Bhiza said the new engineering division was part of the company’s rebranding initiative aimed at increasing its clientele base.

The company manufactures transformers and welding machines as well as repairing electric motors and generators while its engineering division is involved in metal fabrication, boiler making, fitting and turning and electrical contracting (which includes both installation and maintenance) as well as doing on-site electric motor services.

“We now have an engineering department. This has been on our plans for the past one year as we seek to provide our regular clients with engineering services as well as reaching out to potential clients. We used this year’s Mine Entra exhibition to showcase our engineering services provisions.

“As you are aware metal fabrication is the building of metal structures by cutting, bending and assembling processes and we are now doing as such through a well assembled team of engineers and experts. We can now construct trailers for haulage trucks, wagons and even steel material for the construction of bridges,” said Mr Bhiza.

“Through our engineering division we are be able to cater for the manufacturing, agricultural and mining sector,” Mr Bhiza said.

Leaford Electric Rewinds has branches in Bulawayo and Harare and has set sights at opening one in neighbouring Zambia.

The Bulawayo-based company was officially incorporated under the Companies Act on December 15, 2003 and started operating as a manufacturer, supplier and engineering services on the January 1, 2004 and now operates in both Harare and Bulawayo.

Power distribution transformer manufacturing up to 1 000KVA, on-site service of transformers and oil sampling tests up to 3MVA, oil purification and maintenance and service and maintenance of switch-gear are among the company’s product wide range and services.

The company also manufactures welding both industrial and domestic, and also does generator rewinds and supply, installation and service on-site.

The engineering firm is also looking forward to tap into the regional export market to boost operations and revenue inflows.

Mr Bhiza said their products were suitably designed for the regional market.

“We want to export to Zambia and Malawi. Since 2010, we have been participating at trade showcases such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair and Mine Entra, where we managed to get enquiries from Zambia and Malawi which we are now following up.

“Our sales team was recently in Malawi making follow-ups on enquiries made during this year’s trade fair and because of the recent elections in that country progress in that regard was slowed down. In Zambia, we are also making follow-ups,” he said.

However, as a result of the subdued domestic economic environment, the engineering company has not been able to meet some of its obligations.

Mr Bhiza said Leaford has also not been able to secure tenders from large organisations such as Zesa, a development that was impacting negatively on the firm’s viability.

Government recently made it a policy that 25 percent of State enterprises and parastatals’ tenders should be awarded to SMEs to promote their growth.

Leaford engineering manager Mr Sifiso Ncube said the company had the capacity to supply transformers to the country’s power utility, Zesa.

“We have the capacity to supply our products to big corporates like Zesa but the challenge we have is that our tender application to Zesa has been turned down.

“We don’t know Zesa’s criteria when awarding the tenders. We also think that if tenders continue to be awarded to companies that source raw materials outside the country that also contributes to externalisation of money circulating in the economy.

“Doing so means that we are actually supporting other economies. In the case of our company, we manufacture using as much locally sourced raw materials as possible,” he said.

The indigenous engineering firm, which employs 16 workers, requires about $500 000 working capital to boost its operations.

Source : The Herald