CEMENT manufacturer, AfriSam recently hosted a special occasion for staffers to celebrate its 85th anniversary.
Dressed in blankets specially designed for the occasion, the workers made a toast and enjoyed a cake before settling down for celebratory lunch at the company’s premises in Maseru.
Plant production manager Morapeli Sekamane said Lesotho is an important market for AfriSam, where the company is also contributing significantly towards the country’s economic development.
Having operated in Lesotho for decades where it also supplied the cement for the construction of the Katse and Mohale dams in the implementation of the first phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP), the company opened a local blending plant in February 2017.
Mr Sekamane said that the facility, which was officially opened by the then prime minister Pakalitha Mosisili, has a production capacity of 900 bags of cement per hour, with a staff complement of 30 workers.
“Apart from these jobs, we contribute towards more jobs through a number of subcontracts that we have extended to our local contractors,” Mr Sekamane said.
He said contracts such as transport, plant maintenance, cleaning services and engineering services are given to local firms.
He added they were in the process of establishing working relations with some of the country’s tertiary institutions to offer internship to their technical students.
“The company is also actively involved in corporate social responsibility where we have recently assisted school girls at Matikoe High School with sanitary towels so that they do not have to miss school during their periods,” he said.
Meanwhile, when the company opened the blending facility in Lesotho in 2017, Dr Mosisili hailed the expansion to Lesotho as a strategic move as the country has a good market for its products.
“In my opinion, their timing is right in that we are on the verge of commencing Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. This project uses tonnes of cement in the dam construction, and I also want to believe in tunneling.
“So, the potential for your product to be extensively and profitably used in that one gigantic project, that in itself would have made good sense for you to relocate here at this point in time,” Dr Mosisili said.
Dr Mosisili added that the other possible markets AfriSam products lied in human settlement infrastructure construction where cement is an integral input. He said the local brick manufacturing industry was also a possible market for AfriSam products.