WALVIS BAY – After an unfortunate delay of more than four months, the Namibian Competition Commission (NaCC) finally approved one of the largest mergers of transportation companies in Namibian history between FP du Toit Transport and Wesbank Transport.
Willie du Toit, Managing Director of F P du Toit Transport, yesterday announced that his company bought the business of Wesbank Transport (Pty) Ltd as a going concern together with all its assets, contracts and the Wesbank Transport brand name. F P du Toit Transport says it will offer new employment contracts to virtually the total staff complement of approximately 360 people currently employed by Wesbank Transport.
Both companies were founded in the mid-1960s. F P du Toit Transport was founded by Maans du Toit in the Northern Cape and Wesbank Transport was founded by E P van Rooyen in Walvis Bay. F P du Toit Transport moved its total operations to Namibia in 1970. Both companies have been family-owned and managed since inception. The Van Rooyen family said they decided to sell because E P van Rooyen has now reached the ripe old age of 92 years and his son Melvyn van Rooyen, the erstwhile Managing Director of Wesbank Transport, passed away some four years ago while the other son, Veon van Rooyen, does not wish to manage the company on his own. In this regard, Du Toit wished them all a happy retirement. “They left a deep footprint for others to follow,” he said.
The respective companies are both leaders in their fields of operation. F P du Toit Transport has for many years already been the largest logistics service provider in Namibia with its main focus areas being long haul transportation to nine Southern African Development Community countries, distribution services for the retail, automotive, industrial and pharmaceutical sectors and a courier division rendering overnight express services to and from South Africa and a daily domestic footprint in Namibia to larger destinations and also servicing the smallest communities at least twice a week.
Wesbank Transport’s main fields of operation are in the mining industry where they hold transportation contracts with all the operating uranium mines in the Erongo Region. They are the largest harbour carrier and container handling and storage facility operator in Walvis Bay and own the largest abnormal loads division in Namibia as well as a crane hire business with the largest cranes in the country of up to 220 tonnes capacity. The company also supplies full loads and break bulk consolidation services to commercial and industrial enterprises situated mainly in the coastal areas. Both companies also have branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Meanwhile, Du Toit said it was this diversity of operations that made the Wesbank business attractive to his company. “We can now with confidence say that we can offer the whole bouquet of logistical services to our customers, the only true ‘one-stop-shop’ in logistics in Namibia. We can now offer services ranging from the global pick up or delivery of an envelope to the heaviest piece of machinery and handle all customs clearing and forwarding services in-house.
On his side, Van Rooyen expressed gratitude that his company, together with its staff, many with long service awards, will remain in Namibian hands and will not be swallowed up by a multinational conglomerate.
The present Wesbank Transport management will remain largely intact under the leadership of Willem Pronk, Chief Executive Officer, now reporting as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Wesbank division of FP du Toit Transport directly to Du Toit, while Dirkie Uys, the long-servicing COO of F P du Toit Transport will look after the operations of the company.
The combined transportation company will in future employ in excess of 1 000 people, while the Intracom Group, the holding company of the Du Toit Group of Companies, who also has a large hospitality and tourism division under the name of Taleni Africa Tourism Holdings, will now become one of the largest employers in the country with less than one percent non-Namibian citizens employed.
Wesbank Transport, while being an operating division of F P du Toit Transport, will retain the trade name of Wesbank Transport, as many years of customer loyalty has made it a very valuable trade mark. The combined company will now operate a fleet in excess of 350 self-propelled vehicles and pieces of heavy equipment together with even more trailers and specialised equipment, which makes it one of the largest players in the SADC region.