Fab Manufacturing delivers products more durable and affordable than steel


The boom in Chinese manufacturing and demand in the local scrap metal over the past few years has had an unintended consequence – anything with steel, often including manhole and storm-water drain covers as well as pultruded grating on foot bridges and decks, has been stripped down and stolen by unscrupulous dealers for export.

But an East London-based company, Fab Manufacturing, has, since its establishment in 2007, been working with their various clients across South Africa to meet this new challenge.

“Having an extensive background in the fibre-glass industry, Fab Manufacturing saw a definite market with the theft of traditional steel and breakage of the concrete manhole covers and drains as well as the high-maintenance and installation costs relating to steel gratings as opposed to the fibre-glass gratings,” describes Marcello Florus, Managing Director at the company.

Today, Fab Manufacturing, which is a BEE Level 1 entity and a member of the Non-Automotive Chemicals and Plastics Cluster, supplies the Buffalo City Municipality area with high-quality Polymer Concrete (PMC) manhole, drain and storm-water covers and most of the country with their fibre-glass gratings.

“Our water meter and drain covers are found all over Port Elizabeth as well,” Florus adds.

Compared to traditional steel, the products are designed with durability, safety and reliability in mind – even in the most demanding or corrosive environments where steel would deteriorate rapidly. Their products are now found in the mining, fishing, chemical, construction and textile industries as well as in agriculture.

The company received SANAS 74638/2015 accreditation.

“From the onset, we set out to perfect our recipe and attain industry certifications as it is important that our clients consistently get the best products on the market,” Florus says.

He describes how it was quite a challenge to break into the local markets.

“As SMME’s, we are often up against well-resourced big players, who very easily price us out of the market; but we have been very determined and well-supported by companies, who saw the benefit for the province of buying local,” Florus remarks.

“The Eastern Cape Economic Disabled Trust (ECDEET), a shareholder of the company, has been offering us an invaluable support structure in the form of a call centre and administration assistance.”

For Fab Manufacturing, it is not just about profit as they have also made it part of their business strategy to recruit unskilled locals, train them and give them job opportunities.

About the future, Florus says that the company would like to have their products distributed across the province within the next few years and hope to become a positive contributor in the manufacturing and employment sector.

For more information, call him on 072 780 5917 or e-mail [email protected]