Around 200 employees at Naledi Foundry in Gauteng, which was placed into business rescue in April 2022, are fearing for their futures after the group’s assets were put up for auction, which took place at the end of October 2022.
The foundry, which falls under the Naledi Inhlanganiso Group, is 46% owned by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which has invested R557 million into the venture.
When Naledi Foundry was placed into business rescue following unsustainable financial losses, it had 211 employees. Until production halted, it manufactured components for the mining, automotive and railway industries.
Staff, who have been asked to stay at home, are now anxiously waiting to see what they will get from the auction.
The Naledi Inhlanganiso Group also owns Naledi Ringrollers
An employee, who asked that his name not be used, said workers were questioning how the group’s finances could have deteriorated to the point the foundry needed to be sold off.
Naledi’s business rescue practitioner, Lebogang Mpakati of Indalo Business Restructuring, confirmed that all the group’s assets were up for sale. Final bids for the items on auction, which include multiple furnaces, workshops and 10ha of land, need to be submitted by 28 October.
Mpakati said creditors, stakeholders and business rescue practitioners would next meet on 30 November once the auction has been concluded. At this meeting, the business rescue plan will be updated and adopted, and the retrenchment processes for workers will officially commence.
Speaking to the auctioneers there were bids that had been put forward and at the time of publishing were being analysed. No names of potential buyers were given and of course the successful bid would be subject to the creditors agreement.
The Naledi Inhlanganiso Group also owns Naledi Ringrollers, one of the largest forging companies in the Southern hemisphere, with the most powerful and technologically advanced manufacturing facility on the African continent. Naledi Ringrollers focusses on the manufacturing of railway tyres, wheels and wheelsets, seamless rings, forgings and flanges, with an input weight of up to five tons and a diameter of up to size 4 500mm.