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South African arm of Verlinde still punching above its weight

Verlinde cranes & hoists (PTY) Ltd is flying the flag from its base in Johannesburg, bucking the trend and announcing a steady stream of projects won for the first half of 2012 across a range of industrial and mining applications. The company defies the odds and continues to do well in a South African economy that has fallen short of expected growth forecasts.

South Africa’s mining industry, which accounts for around one third of the country’s GDP, has fallen upon hard times in recent years, thanks to a noticeable decline in demand for the country’s natural mineral resources, but lifting equipment company Verlinde cranes & hoists (PTY) Ltd have sustained a healthy flow of business through the first half of 2012. Mining in South Africa has been the driving force behind the history and development of Africa’s most advanced and richest economy and although diamond and gold production levels are now much lower than they once were, South Africa remains a cornucopia of mineral riches with a future full of prospects.

Growth of the South African economy in 2012 has fallen well short of initial forecasts, hindered largely by Europe’s falling demand for gold, diamond and iron ore, lowering the value of these commodities by a combined 20% over the last year. But as the world’s largest producer of chrome, manganese and platinum, along with large production levels of gold and diamond, the need for sophisticated crane and lifting services remains ever present.

Verlinde Cranes PTY is firmly holding its own in a slow and highly competitive market. "Business for the first half of 2012 has been steady and progressive" said Martin Tavener, Sales Director of Verlinde Cranes PTY. "Our presence in South Africa for over 50 years as helped us establish a solid foundation on which the business can move forward, even if only slowly in these difficult economic times."

However, the number of cranes of the skyline of some South African cities should not be taken as an indication of a major upswing in the sector, with most crane manufacturers and suppliers expressing caution about the prospects for recovery in the building sector, while warning that growth opportunities are extremely uncertain.

Business development manager for Verlinde, Simon Rothechild, said: "Verlinde remains committed to the emerging markets in Africa, and our recent expansion in South Africa is testament to the steady and prosperous growth of the economy. Verlinde recognised many years ago that African nations had a big future on the world stage, and via our distributor network we are proud to be giving them a lift in achieving their ambitions and future success."

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