Ricochet News

Toyota Forklift celebrates renovations to building with ‘Perfect Entertainment’

By Jesica Slabbert - Jan 19, 2017
Toyota Forklift celebrates renovations to building with ‘Perfect Entertainment’

The Toyota Forklift company, which is based in North End, Port Elizabeth, on Wednesday celebrated the completion of renovations to their building in true South African fashion - with entertainment and celebration.

The ceremony was attended by Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip; Managing Director of SAFICON Industrial Equipment, Shumani Tshifularo; Eqstra Industrial Equipment (EIE) Group CEO, Gary Neubert; and special guests from Japan including the Senior Managing Officer of Toyota Industries Corporation and President of Toyota Material Handling International, Toshifumi Onishi; and the Executive Officer and Deputy Chief Division Officer of Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Masanori Kondo.

Toyota Forklifts are the sole distributors for Toyota Forklifts, BT and Raymond Equipment in South Africa. The company offers rental and used equipment, after-market service, operator training a many other services.

The theme for the ceremony was ‘Utyalo Mali’, which means investing for the future in Xhosa, and was meant to reflect how the new renovations will bring hope for new job opportunities for the local community.

“This investment is critical, we have a massive challenge in Nelson Mandela Bay of unemployment,” said Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, in his speech.

 “Forklifts are very important in any industrialisation, and I was very happy to see that the Toyota Company and its people want to uplift the economy of Nelson Mandela Bay.”

Trollip stated that the unemployment rate for the Bay is very high, and that one in two young people will not be able to find a job. He then emphasised how the companies should always try and utilise local skills and talent so that the city can grow and become more prosperous.

“I would encourage you to invest local, employ local, and enjoy local. We have a unique product in Nelson Mandela Bay and unique people.

“Nelson Mandela Bay is the best kept secret in South Africa, and I plan to make sure that that secret is no longer kept,” said Trollip.

Toshifumi Onishi from Japan spoke very highly of Port Elizabeth and its moniker of being a ‘Friendly City’.

He said that he went to one of the local golf courses as it was his first time visiting Port Elizabeth, and noted that even though his golf was not so good; the local caddies still complemented him.

In 2016, the Toyota Industries Corporation celebrated their 90th year in business.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you for the opening of the Port Elizabeth Branch of SAFICON Industrial Equipment. It is my great honour to visit South Africa today and to celebrate this memorable day with you,” said Onishi.

In saluting the evening’s entertainers, he exclaimed; “Do you have any idea what ‘P.E’ stands for? Of course Port Elizabeth, but I think it also stands for Perfect Entertainment.”

The evening concluded with the special guest performing a traditional sake *ceremony and serving it to the guests.

*Sake is a traditional Japanese rice wine used for parties and celebrations. 

Caption (from left to right): Masanori Kondo, Vuyokazi Bangazi; GM of Toyota Forklift PE, Toshifumi Onishi, Athol Trollip, Gary Neubert.

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