CFAO Equipment SA celebrates Women’s Month by hosting its first all-female media round table

In celebration of Women’s Month and the incredible achievements made by women in the material handling and industrial equipment industry, CFAO Equipment SA hosted its first media roundtable at its Johannesburg office where female business unit leaders shared insights into the inner workings of the business and its recent transition into the CFAO South Africa fold.

After a brief overview of the business by National Marketing Manager, Wanda Pretorius, the event commenced with business insights by CFAO Equipment SA Chief Financial Officer, Tammy Rosse, who has been with the business since 2015 and has achieved great success in rising through the ranks to fulfil the position she now holds.​

Tammy Rosse

“Since joining, I have witnessed many changes within the business, most notably being our recent acquisition on 1 April this year by CFAO South Africa, of a subsidiary of the CFAO Group in France – a business that has been trading in Africa for over 170 years,” explains Rosse. “The greater CFAO Group forms part of the Toyota Tsusho Corporation. The relationship is well-aligned as it is the OEM that we purchase 80% of our equipment from.”

With over 1,076 employees, CFAO Equipment SA enjoys a national presence via its four regional offices, including Johannesburg, Durban, Gqeberha and Cape Town. This is further bolstered by an expansive dealer network in southern Africa comprising 11 sub-branches and 13 Toyota Material Handling dealers, with the farthest being in Mauritius and Madagascar. The business intends to further expand its footprint by leveraging off the network enjoyed by the CFAO Group.

As its customers range from prominent businesses across various sectors such as logistics, agriculture, retail, ports, mining and aviation, amongst others, potential customers can be assured of products that feature uncompromised quality and reliability.

“We aim to learn from CFAO Group’s expansive experience and expertise,” says Rosse.

Following this, Vuyokazi Bangazi, National Sales Manager for Toyota Material Handling, expanded on the business’s market history and predictions, as well as other pertinent business elements relating to its sales strategy for the coming years.​

Vuyokazi Bangazi

Bangazi reiterated the key pillars of Toyota Material Handling’s 2025 sales strategy, including enhancing the customer experience, employing highly skilled sales team members, and creating a carbon-neutral environment, not only in the manner in which the business operates but in the equipment solutions that the business can offer its customers. These, she believes, are imperative to assist the business in reaching its sales targets.

While the South African material handling market started a decline in 2019 of just over 7 538 units, we noted a record high in 2021 with 10 724 units.

The increase in 2021 can be attributed to several factors, including the ordering of replacement units by the majority of distributors in preparation for the year ahead, as well as the influx of Chinese-manufactured trucks entering the market.

“We aim to grow sales by at least 116% on the road to 2025, and believe we can achieve this by focusing on four activities, including harnessing the potential of the Toyota Lean Logistics Management (TLLM) concept, enhancing our product expertise, increasing our dealer support further into Africa, and addressing how we can better support our global key accounts,” says Bangazi.

Having been in the industry since 2003, Bangazi is a firm advocate of employee development initiatives. As such, she has committed to creating and developing a sales team that is diverse and highly skilled to meet the business’s 2025 strategy.

“Understanding the challenges of our customers and providing them with a total solution is key in attracting and retaining customers in today’s sales climate. As a business, we always strive to exceed the expectations of our customers and to be their first choice in material handling equipment,” she says.

Thereafter, Sonia Pretorius, National Sales Manager of 600SA, explained that as a business, 600SA place great attention on environmentally friendly equipment solutions. With this in mind, Pretorius presented an overview of the importance that waste management plays in society and the role of waste compactor trucks.​

Sonia Pretorius

Pretorius painted a picture that many of us will be familiar with – being at home and hearing the familiar sound of the local municipality collecting refuse. She questioned what many would do if the refuse truck didn’t arrive as scheduled, with most agreeing that they would feel frustrated.

“Keep in mind that there are 264 municipalities across South Africa, and of the 60 million people in the country, the average person produces approximately one ton of waste per year. This immense number indicates the strain that the waste removal industry faces every day, and it is for this reason that innovative and reliable waste compactors are required to fulfil the job and ensure that landfills can operate as environmentally friendly as possible,” says Pretorius.

600SA is the proud distributor of Orakci waste compactors, and thanks to an extensive relationship with the manufacturer, the business has been able to develop a South African-purposed waste compactor that has been designed to be user-friendly, low maintenance and can meet the challenges of the local industry.

This has been achieved by reducing the number of electronic mechanisms that may be damaged due to uneven road surfaces or operator oversight. Furthermore, while some compactors feature levers on both sides, Orakci trucks have only fitted levers to the curb side of the vehicle, negating the need for operators to stand in the path of traffic.

“Government is embarking on new waste management legislations that promote sustainable initiatives in the industry, one of which is the upliftment of waste pickers – a job that contributes immensely to the recycling process. Government will supply them with the necessary PPE and bags, as well as the skills to identify what materials can be recycled. To date, the programme has already created jobs for over 3,000 people and will benefit many more in the years to come. We are in total support of this initiative,” concludes Pretorius.

Just before the event commenced, an Orakci waste compactor truck entered the facility, driven by a female driver, which emphasized the business’s dedication to gender inclusion. As more than 36% of managers within CFAO Equipment SA are female – an increase of 22% since 2017 – bears evidence of the business’s commitment to investing in women in the industry