Chinese tile firm to grow operations in SA


31 January 2014

Chinese company Rayal Porcelain Roof and Floor Tile Manufacturing, which has invested more than R300-million in South Africa and currently employs over 300 people, is set to triple its workforce by 2016, say the company’s executive director, Yi John Zhu.

Zhu was speaking on Tuesday during a visit to the company’s premises in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria by Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe.

“Our total investment up to now is R320-million, combining workshop space and production line. In the near future, we intend to set up more production lines according to the market needs, which can expand to three to four production lines, to cover different types of tile products,” Zhu said.

Thabethe said that when the company expressed an interest in setting up operations in South Africa in 2009, the department had assisted them with meeting the strategic requirements.

“The purpose of [today’s] visit is to determine how far they have advanced since the beginning. Judging by the advanced state of their operations, it is safe to say that our attractive incentive programmes and aggressive marketing of our country through trade fairs and investment missions is having a desired effect,” Thabethe said.

Zhu said the company employs 230 locals and 80 Chinese nationals, and that “full implementation of our business model will see us increase our total workforce to between 800 and 1 000.”

The deputy minister said there had been “fruitful discussions” and that her department had established a few areas where they could help the company fast-track its expansion goals.

“We will assist them to acquire our Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme incentive, to allow them to build their own sub-station to tackle their electricity supply challenge,” Thabethe said.

The programme, which offers incentives designed to drive growth and promote competitiveness in the manufacturing sector, has helped to sustain over 100 000 jobs since its inception in May 2012.

Thabethe’s visit was a follow-up to a meeting that took place during the South African Expo in Shanghai last year.