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Top honour for KZN business

Dunlop Tyres SA 20/09/2019

Nduduzo Chala, Group Manager Strategic Planning Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, Riaz Haffejee, CEO Sumitomo Rubber South Africa holding the awards for the 2019 KZN Investor of the Year , Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor at the KZN Investor Awards 2019. Pictured with them is Jennifer Wallace, Manager of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

(L-R) From Sumitomo Rubber South Africa - Nduduzo Chala, Group Manager Strategic Planning; Warren May, Divisional Head: Sales (OE); Riaz Haffejee, CEO; Hennel Nkonjela, Manager: Business Development and Akira Sasaki, Director: Corporate Planning holding the 2019 KZN Investor of the Year, Most Impactful Investor and Major Capital Investor Award Bottom pictured with them is (L-R) Vuyani Xhapha, Senior Associate: Automotive Engineering and Rachel Ngema, Associate: Channel Development


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 4x4 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.”

For more, visit https://www.dunloptyres.co.za/

2019 Read More...

Dunlop continuing to build a strong South African heritage on a 130-Year foundation

Dunlop Tyres SA 20/09/2019



The Dunlop brand’s legacy of quality and reliability has stood the test of time, dating back to the invention, by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888, of the first practical pneumatic tyre. As part of the brand’s heritage of firsts, the first Dunlop factory in South Africa was opened in Durban in 1935 – manufacturing the first locally produced tyre – a beaded-edge 30 cm car tyre. The establishment of the Dunlop steel-radial tyre factory in Ladysmith followed in 1973.

Dunlop went on to become the first South African tyre company to produce a 17 and 18 inch UHP (ultra-high performance) tyre. In 2002 the South African land speed record was set at 388,538km/h with Ladysmith produced Dunlop SP Sport 7000 DW-rated passenger tyres. The first super single truck steer axle tyre was manufactured in 2004 and in 2007 the Dunlop Interactive Display Module, the first interactive touchscreen customer tool of its kind for the tyre industry, was introduced.

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa was established in 2014 after parent company Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd acquired rights to the Dunlop brand for the African continent in 2013. Showing both confidence and commitment to the local economy, Sumitomo Rubber South Africa’s extensive investment from 2014 into the upgrading and extension of the world-class Ladysmith manufacturing facility increased production of passenger car and SUV tyres to meet the continent’s need for quality tyres. Further investment resulted in the establishment of a dedicated truck and bus radial (TBR) tyre manufacturing facility at the Ladysmith plant, which was officially opened in 2018, improving access to world-class TBR tyres.

The launch, in 2018, of the next generation tyre, the Dunlop SP Sport FM800 which incorporated the latest in design and technology, brought all-round tyre performance improvements to passenger car drivers. The Dunlop Grandtrek range release was another coup for 2018 enabling Dunlop to bring to market an exceptionally comprehensive SUV/4X4 range, meeting the diverse needs of drivers from suburban and highway road users to off-road adventurers and professionals tackling challenging terrain.

The extensive Dunlop Dealer Network currently boasts over 500 retail stores across Africa. Designed to satisfy the needs of every sector of the market, the Dunlop Zone and Dunlop Express cater for the suburban consumer, the Dunlop Container programme to the township consumer and entrepreneur, and the Dunlop Commercial Channel to the fleet, truck and bus owner.

Haffejee says, “Despite the challenging economic climate, Dunlop is still positioned as a household name. Consumers have spoken and again shown their confidence in their loyalty to and love for our tyres, by voting Dunlop the #1 Tyre Brand in the 2019/2020 Ask Africa Icon Brands Survey.” This win comes as the seventh triumph since 2011 and is testimony that Dunlop continues to be the consumer’s brand of choice. The Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey, run by Target Group Index Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, surveyed over 23000 consumers representing nearly 27 million adult South African consumers.

Dunlop also continues to gain vehicle manufacturer approval with the brand selected as the original equipment supplier for tyres with vehicles such as the Toyota Hilux Black Edition and Toyota Fortuner 18-inch derivatives leaving the factory floor fitted with Dunlop Grandtrek AT25 and Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series models with Grandtrek AT1 radial tyres.

“We look forward with excitement to what the future holds for the Dunlop brand on the African continent,” says Haffejee. “We will continue to invest in research, development and innovation and deliver quality tyre products to the market, prioritising safety on the roads as the custodian of #SaferthanSafe, enabling consumers to take on any journey they choose - whether on- or off-road – with confidence,” he says.

For more, visit: www.srigroup.co.za

2019 Read More...

Consumers choose Dunlop as No.1 brand for the seventh time

Dunlop Tyres SA 29/08/2019

The 2019/2020 Ask Afrika Icon Brands Survey, run by Target Group Index Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd, surveyed over 23000 consumers representing nearly 27 million adult South African consumers.

“We are overjoyed to win this award for the seventh time,” says Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd, manufacturers of the Dunlop tyre brand. “The nation's love, trust and loyalty to the Dunlop brand, despite pressing economic times, shows great confidence in our tyres.”

Haffejee says Dunlop encourages consumers to take the road and to embrace their personal journey with confidence. This speaks to the company’s vision of creating journeys to better people’s lives. “Through consistent research, development and innovation we will continue to deliver quality tyre products to the market, enabling consumers to do just that, to take on any journey they choose - whether its on- or off-road - safely and with complete ease,” he says.

Founded in 1888, the Dunlop brand is renowned for many firsts, from John Boyd Dunlop’s invention of the first practical pneumatic tyre to trailblazing innovation in tyre safety, achieving exceptional performance milestones in motorsport and taking tyre retailing to new levels of excellence.

Dunlop products are developed with an emphasis on customer safety, quality and comfort, with stringent manufacturing processes both meeting and exceeding global standards. The brand’s retail channels have been established to satisfy the needs of every sector of the market from the suburban consumer catered for with Dunlop Zone and Dunlop Express fitment centres, the township consumer and entrepreneur supported through the Dunlop Container programme, to the commercial fleet, truck and bus owner with Dunlop Commercial branches.

Dunlop also continues to gain vehicle manufacturer approval internationally, with factory floor fitment of various tyres including the Dunlop Grandtrek AT25 on the Toyota Hilux Black Edition and Toyota Fortuner 18-inch derivatives and the Grandtrek AT1 radial tyre for selected Toyota Landcruiser 70 Series models, specified as original equipment in South Africa.

“This win serves to reinforce our commitment to bring #SaferthanSafe tyres to the African continent’s roads,” says Haffejee. “Backed by Sumitomo Rubber South Africa, Dunlop will continue its legacy of innovation, producing solutions driven by the needs of its customers.”

2019 Read More...

Taking safety to the road

Dunlop Tyres SA 14/08/2019

Training sessions for SAPS, RAF and Emergency Services personnel have been held in Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Pretoria in 2019. Sumitomo Rubber South Africa covered topics including tyre safety, tyre construction, the dangers of part worn and damaged tyres, tread depth indicators and tread depth measuring skills.

Tyre burst was implicated as a major contributor to road crashes in the Easter 2019 period, showing an increase of 18% compared to Easter 2018 according to the Preliminary Easter 2019 Road Safety Report¹. While various factors may result in a tyre bursting, such as structural damage, under-inflation, over-heating and travelling at above recommended speeds, the sale and fitment of part-worn and damaged tyres is of major concern in this regard.

Reinforcing Government’s commitment to working with tyre manufacturing companies and vehicle manufacturers to heighten the focus on the illegal tyre industry, the then Minister of Transport, Blade Nzimande, in his preliminary report on the Easter 2019 period asserted that the best approach to achieving the objectives of reducing fatalities is by integrating safer roads, safer vehicles, more effective post-crash responses and sustained education and awareness campaigns.¹

“The only part of a vehicle to touch the road surface is the tyres,” says Riaz Haffejee, CEO of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd. “Responsible road usage includes ensuring that a vehicle’s tyres are in optimal condition to ensure safe arrival at the end destination. With this in mind we have partnered with the Road Accident Fund (RAF) to bring training to traffic officers and other road safety service professionals across the country.”

Provincial and Municipal Traffic Officers have a pivotal part to play in the goal of reducing road accidents and deaths, working with members of the public to inform and encourage traffic rule compliance. Sumitomo Rubber South Africa has thus taken the initiative to ensure that traffic officers and road safety personnel are well equipped to make tyre safety decisions, advise the public correctly and keep vehicles fitted with unsafe tyres off the road.

“The first training session for 2019 was held at the Pietermaritzburg RAF offices and was attended by 110 personnel from the South African Police Services, the RAF and Emergency Services. This was followed by sessions in Durban and Pretoria with a turnout of 80 personnel each,” says Haffejee. “We had excellent engagement from participants. This was a wonderful opportunity, as a corporate citizen of good standing, for SRSA to give back to the service personnel and to road users.”

The training sessions include topics such as tyre safety, the construction of a tyre and the dangers of part worn and damaged tyres. A comprehensive explanation of tread wear depth indicators and tyre tread depth measuring provides valuable context for traffic officers who conduct tyre inspections.

“Safety is part of the DNA of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa. This extends into every aspect of our business from the factory floor, to ensuring that customers who buy our tyres are buying a #Saferthansafe tyre that will help keep them and their passengers safe, and providing valuable safety awareness and training to the public and traffic officers,” Haffejee says.

For more, visit http://www.srigroup.co.za/home

2019 Read More...

Mandela Day classroom donation to make matric learning easier

Dunlop Tyres SA 18/07/2019


The learning environment is about to become a lot more comfortable for matric learners at the Bhekinthuthuko Secondary School in Emcitsheni Reserve, Doornkloof near Ladysmith. The donation of a brand new, fully equipped classroom to the rural school means that the matric class of 2019 will be able to work one-to-a-desk in a setting conducive to learning. Mandela Day 2019, the 18th of July, will see the 60m2 classroom officially opened.

“This classroom comes at an exceptionally important time for these students,” says Mr Madonsela, headmaster of Bhekinthuthuko Secondary School. “With less than 100 days to go until final exams, our matric learners need a quiet and comfortable space to complete the curriculum and revise before the examinations. In most of our classroom learners need to share desks, often up to three learners per desk. We are pleased that they now have this facility thanks to the generosity of Sumitomo Rubber South Africa,” he says.

Sumitomo Rubber South Africa (Pty) Ltd (SRSA), manufacturer of the Dunlop, Sumitomo and Falken tyre brands, undertook the project in partnership with Breadline Africa who focus on providing infrastructure in support of education in resource-poor communities around South Africa. The classroom has been supplied fully equipped with a teacher’s desk and chair, a wall-mounted chalkboard and 30 learner desk and chair sets. The building has also been secured with built-in burglar-proof gates to safeguard the teaching materials. SRSA’s Ladysmith Factory Director, Udaiyappan Ulagappan and Breadline Africa’s Melanie Jackson will celebrate the cutting of the ribbon with headmaster, Mr Madonsela.

“We are very pleased to be able to improve the learning conditions at Bhekinthutuko Secondary School. This classroom is part of an ongoing partnership SRSA has with the school, where in addition to supporting with learning materials, our team of staff volunteers mentor grade 11 and 12 learners twice a week, in mathematics and science. We also provide this assistance to another school in the Ladysmith surrounding area, the Steadville High School,” says Riaz Haffejee, Chief Executive Officer: Sumitomo Rubber South Africa.

“Our staff from across the country also conduct an annual career day at the schools to help learners understand the importance of education. Staff share their learning journeys, study choices, career experiences and goals with the learners to encourage them to make wise choices and stay focused in school and on their future,” Haffejee says.


With #ActionAgainstPoverty as the theme for the 2019 Mandela Day, employees from the tyre manufacturer’s regional offices will spend their 67 minutes undertaking community outreach initiatives that seek to address the issue of poverty:

  • The Port Elizabeth office will support the Healing Hands project with a donation of blankets to the value of R5000. Healing Hands caters for the needs of the disadvantaged in the Port Elizabeth area;
  • Both the Cape Town and Gauteng offices will be donating a play gym to a local disadvantaged school; and
  • In Durban, the head office staff will be involved in a Mandela Day “Plog Squad”, walking distances of between one and five kilometres around the city while collecting litter to clean the environment and support an entrepreneurial recycler. Staff will also prepare and supply hot dogs and sandwiches to deliver to various organisation in and around Durban.

Recognising that although education is key, it cannot be a stand-alone support pillar, SRSA is involved in various other corporate social investment initiatives. These include the Ubumbano Gardens on site at the Ladysmith factory, providing fresh seasonal vegetables to local creches and preschools and a home for mentally challenged children. The garden is also part of a food sustainability training programme where community members are taught skills and assist in establishing home-based and community gardens.

Through the Tyres for Good programme new tyres are donated to registered non-profit organisations to enable them to safely and effectively carry out their valuable work. The Tyres Can Do More initiative trains community members to transform tyre waste into saleable goods and turns old tyres into play-gyms, donated to community pre-schools.

For more, visit http://www.srigroup.co.za/home

2019 Featured Article Read More...

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