Simba opens new advanced factory in KZN

Leading South African snack manufacturer Simba has officially commissioned its new state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Prospecton, KwaZulu-Natal, its third in the country. The new plant was ceremonially opened by Simba’s Business Unit CEO, Alan Henderson and supply chain director, Rod Robinson (seen left).

Simba manufacturing director, Andrew Havinga said, “This is a very proud moment for Simba and its employees. Simba is one of our country’s most-loved brands and has been a valued part of the South African landscape for over 58 years, which is why we are pleased to open this world-class manufacturing site and to welcome our new 90-strong team members.

“The KZN team includes many skilled technicians with approximately 60 percent of the current staff complement consisting of talented graduates joining us fresh from local tertiary institutions.”

The Prospecton plant will enable Simba, which is a subsidiary of PepsiCo, to meet the increasing demand for its Lays and Simba potato chip products. With Simba’s two other plants located in Gauteng and the Western Cape, the Prospecton plant is strategically positioned to ensure a strong regional presence while providing the opportunity for future expansion.

Havinga continued, “We have seen demand for our products grow for a number of years now and our new facility will help us meet this demand and better serve the needs of our valued retail partners and other customers. This is a milestone achievement for the South African business and I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make it happen. It has taken just 484 000 project man hours to complete the project and bring some of the world’s latest manufacturing technology to South Africa’s Simba.”

The advanced technology employed will ensure the plant produces to its optimal performance levels while still operating as a highly efficient and environmentally stable operation.

This includes processes to increase the efficiency of the machinery while reducing electricity consumption and ensuring increased water reuse. The plant also has a strict recycling initiative in place and aims to achieve approximately 90% recyclable waste in the first year, which will significantly reduce what is sent to local landfill sites.

“Many of the technicians employed on site are sourced directly from the Durban University of Technology and local FET (Further Education and Training) colleges. This is priority for the company as it allows us to play a role in imparting technical skills transfer opportunities to young South Africans and create additional local employment opportunities for new graduates,” concludes Havinga.