Afro-Zonke secures NEF funding to manufacture hand sanitisers
Afro-Zonke Project and Investments was established in 2012 by chemical professional Mr Sithembiso Mkhize. Presently, the company has a staff complement of 14 permanent employees and operates in Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal, supplying numerous industrial and household chemical products such as disinfectants and detergents.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented Afro-Zonke Project and Investments with new challenges and the opportunity to expand its operation to hand sanitizers, and within a week of the start of the lockdown on 26 March, “we received orders in excess of R5 million for disinfectant solutions. Afro-Zonke wants to increase capacity by adding equipment to the current demand. The company has secured contracts and purchase orders to the value of R50 million” reveals proprietor, Mr Mkhize.
“Through NEF’s COVID-19 Fund, Afro-Zonke has received funding to the value of R10 million to increase the production capacity of hand sanitizers, disinfectant and detergents. The company plans to create 8 new jobs in order to meet increase in demand for its products. Afro-Zonke Projects and Investments is in a high impact manufacturing industry with ability to create more jobs directly related to response measures linked to COVID-19. The company has secured the market and is growing aggressively. The funding will further increase its capacity to respond to the current demand,” explains Ms Eldene Govender, the head of the NEF investment fund responsible for SME development, iMbewu Fund.
Afro-Zonke develops, manufactures and distributes a wide range of industrial chemical solutions ranging from industrial, mining, engineering, manufacturing, homecare, agro-processing, healthcare, to personal care products. “We provide both technical and engineering solutions to various industries like chemical manufacturing, mining, water purification and sanitation, engineering and household solutions,” adds Mr Mkhize.
Afro-Zonke is led by an experienced management team with over 20 years experience in the industry, and in 2019 the company won the black industrialist of the year from SA Premier Business Awards. Mr Mkhize holds a BSc Degree in Chemical Engineering and has over 17 years experience in the industry, over 5 of which were spent working in Germany.