Wasteman sets aggressive growth target
Wasteman Group offers specialist waste removal and disposal services to all sectors of the South African market and is looking to grow this year.
Writer Ian Armitage
Project manager Donovan Smith
South African waste management company Wasteman provides total waste management solutions to clients in the industrial, commercial and municipal sectors across South Africa. Its blend of technical expertise, environmentally friendly methods, and state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, means it can offer tailormade and unique packages of services to meet individual client's needs. Wasteman handles over one million tons of waste and services approximately 15,000 customers nationwide.
"We're a diversified waste management company with specialised vehicles, auxiliary equipment and landfill sites as well as a whole spectrum of other services. Our goal is sustainable solutions for a greener future," says Wasteman's Dave Marock.
Wasteman has come a long way since being founded some 30 years ago by one man with a van, and is now one of South Africa's leading waste management and environmental services companies.
"Our achievements are due largely to the loyalty of our customer partners and the absolute dedication and contribution of all our employees," Marock says.
And now the company is looking to grow.
"As we all know, the last four to five years - due to the worldwide recession - has been tough," Marock says. "But Wasteman has restructured and adapted to the new environment. Wasteman is focusing on cashflow, costs, and margins, even if the turnover is lower, to have a sound stable business and we do see a lot of opportunities for us going forward, through innovation and service and product differentiation. Government isalso looking for service providers who can help with service delivery such as refuse collection, water sanitation or treatment and clients are requesting more from a service provider, trending and tending towards a one-stop shop or service supply. We tick the boxes. The client might want general waste collection, recycling and hazardous waste collection and or treatment from one service provider."
Wasteman has budgeted aggressively for growth this year, some of which, says Marock, will be in the current structure and "some via acquisition".
"Relevant divisions are being provided with the necessary CAPEX to ensure growth," he says. "Wasteman is looking at certain acquisitions and or treatment technologies to assist with growth.
"The current operating environment is tough, margins are under pressure, and cashflow is paramount. It is clear that the manufacturing sector and mining is depressed or down. A client might still provide the same bins collected for disposal however the tonnage is down and manufacturing is down."
In 2012, Wasteman completed a series of transactions with Waste Giant, a successful South African commercial and industrial waste solutions company. The aim was expansion. "We've completed a series of transactions with Waste Giant, a successful business primarily operating inland that supplies commercial and industrial waste solutions," says Marock. "The transaction gives Wasteman immediate strategic benefits through the opportunity to develop waste treatment assets in South Africa's most economy active province – Gauteng.
"Waste Giant has given us a solid footprint to grow and integrate our other divisions into Gauteng and the surrounding provinces and together we will have an expanded footprint in Gauteng, a large market for us to grow into."
Wasteman is also eyeing opportunities for African expansion.
"Africa is an exciting opportunity for us and we already have done significant work in Africa," Marock says. "We see good growth potential for value added waste services in to the rest of Africa and our strategy is to follow our clients into the region and provide them with the same value added service that they receive from us at home.
"We are in other African countries already and the continent is one of the growth economies for the future. South Africa is the gateway to Africa and we have the most developed economy and infrastructure in Africa. There are vast opportunities in Africa with some risks, like securing payment and in certain African countries personal security. Africa has always been high-risk, high reward and so we are selectively expanding into Africa based firstly on guaranteed payment and ensuring or staff are safe and secure."
Wasteman is committed to a greener future and we'll likely hear much more from them as expansion plans come to fruition.
"Clients do not want the old 'hump and dump' scenario," Marock concludes. "The first objective is can you minimise the waste product, can you recycle the waste product. We are focusing on providing a better service to our clients. We are being innovative and providing "green solutions" to our clients. And we are ensuring that we differentiate Wasteman from its competitors by service excellen ce and innovation and ensuring that Wasteman is legally compliant and where applicable ISO compliant in the relevant divisions."