BT-Industrial (BTI) recently signed up as a member of the Southern African Plastic Pipe Manufacturers Association (SAPPMA).

According to Kgomotso Maphai, BTI’s executive in charge of marketing, sales and logistics, the company made the decision to start manufacturing its own HDPE pipes in 2017 in response to their clients’ needs. “At the time, we struggled to ensure the on-time delivery of pipes that we ordered. We soon realised that for us to protect the BTI brand and our reputation for delivering quality and reliability, it would be necessary for us to remain in control of the value chain and therefore to start producing our own pipes,” Kgomotso explains.

The company’s first pipe was produced in February 2019 at its Roodekop premises. Today, the 100% black-owned industrial solutions company supplies and installs HDPE pipes and accessories, stub ends, flanges, Y-pieces, valves, nuts and bolts. Its main contracts are to supply water reticulation to communities for consumption, as well as for use in mining projects where the water table needs to be decanted to alternative sites in order to allow miners to access the seam of raw material below the water table.

Because membership to SAPPMA is also one of the key requirements for participating in major potable water projects, Kgomotso adds that the membership adds significant value and credibility to the company’s operations.

Strict guidelines

Says SAPPMA CEO Jan Venter: “SAPPMA is pleased to welcome BTI as a member and supports its zero tolerance for sub-par workmanship and commitment to quality management. In the markets they serve, pipes need to be manufactured within strict guidelines to ensure water is not polluted and that it won’t cause risk to communities. Similarly, poorly manufactured pipes pose a serious threat to the safety of miners on site if they burst, could cause unnecessary delays to the mining process and result in avoidable cost escalations that erode the mine’s profitability. It is, therefore, vitally important for BTI to be able to demonstrate that they produce excellent quality pipes that work optimally and pose no risk to their end-users.

“With the government’s renewed commitment to improving and maintaining the country’s water infrastructure, we look forward to greater opportunities for our industry. SAPPMA will be supporting BTI and our other members to ensure they have the necessary processes and procedures in place to make the most of these prospects when they come to fruition.”