Jo'burg plays host to Africa's largest construction machinery fair

The success of bauma Africa showed that Africa is no longer beneath the radar of many global construction companies. (Image source: Ben Watts)The success of bauma Africa showed that Africa is no longer beneath the radar of many global construction companies. (Image source: Ben Watts)Speaking to African Review during his time in Johannesburg, Doosan Infracore Construction Equipment EMEA vice-president of sales and customer solutions, Giuliano Parodi, said he had been impressed with the show and its exhibitor turnout, and commented on the difference between the event and its parent show.

"In Europe there is a need for retention, as well as acquisition, but since Africa is a growing market, this show has been all about acquisition," he noted. "The environment has been different to that of a European show.

The quality of people visiting and exhibiting has been high and the products have been different from that in the European market.

"The people here are looking out for quality as well, and that is due to the demand of the marketplace," he added.

Sharing a similar sentiment was SDMO communication department manager, Philippe Forest, who said he had been pleased with the high quality of the products and innovations he came across on the exhibition grounds.

"Our target in Africa is to get into the mining sector and rental market," Forest remarked. "We know that we have good products and we want to maximise our reach.

"We have a new containerised genset, which is dedicated to the African market. We already introduced a similar model in Europe, but the genset was a prototype at bauma Munich earlier in the year. Now, they are ready to market."

Going big at Gallagher

ELB Equipment's outdoor stand was among the largest at the show with several of the machines manufactured by the company's partners on display. Products included a mobile radial telescopic conveyer from Telestack that reached close to 45 metres in length, direction drills and trenchers from Ditch Witch, and impact crushers from Powerscreen.

Powerscreen used the event to unveil its new paint scheme for all of its machines, with the two-tone design helping the company's machines stand out from the competition.

The new look retains Powerscreen's traditional green colour, while adopting a dark grey colour on the chassis and conveyors. The first machine to be enhanced with the new colour scheme was the Trakpactor 320 mid-sized horizontal impact crusher, which was on display at bauma Africa and sold to long-term ELB customer, Hein Senekal of Warthog Carriers CC.

"I am delighted to own the first two-tone machine anywhere in the world," remarked Senekal.

While the interest in the first edition of bauma Africa may have been high – especially for an event taking place for the first time – what the exhibition managed to encapsulate was the upwardly mobile direction in which Africa's construction machinery industry appears to be travelling.

Doosan Infracore Construction's Giuliano Parodi summed up, somewhat comprehensively, the attitude of many foreign exhibitors at the show when he told African Review that the firm's focus for the next 15 to 20 years would be on Africa.

"We believe there is a lot of potential here and that Africa is the future," he stated.

While doubts remain over the long-term stability of the global economic market, bauma Africa's timing was apt to the point that it revealed Africa as no longer being under the radar for many companies working within the global construction sector.

The result will, no doubt be an increase in visitor numbers and exhibitors when the show returns to Africa in two years' time.

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
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