Bingelela Alloys launched an aluminium hub in Richards Bay that will use molten aluminium from the nearby Hillside smelter. The launch was praised by deputy minister of trade, industry, and competition Nomalungelo Gina, and Umhlathuze mayor Xolani Ngwezi. They said the hub would boost the local and national economy and create jobs.
Leveraging access to primary molten aluminium from the nearby Hillside smelter, Bingelela Alloys realised the beginnings of a vision to establish a sustainable downstream aluminium hub with the official launch of its facility at the Richards Bay Alton site in August.
Deputy minister Gina’s speech touched on South Africa’s engagement with the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism and its impact on local exporters. This mechanism targets emissions-intensive sectors to cut emissions by 55% by 2030. She emphasised the challenges tied to the stringent EU measures and the need for discussions and international support for local green initiatives.
A South African Aluminium Roadmap report commissioned by the DTIC, and AFSA (Aluminium Federation of South Africa) described a sustainable Hillside smelter as a “game changer” to grow downstream value-added products.
Muzi Manzi, CEO of AFSA, emphasised collaboration in the launch. AFSA’s vision was realised through stakeholders like South32, Hulamin, and government bodies, leading to a new roadmap phase.
Bingelela Alloys is a 100% black-owned entity affiliated with Isizinda Aluminium, led by Bingelela Capital, which stemmed from the acquisition of Bayside Casthouse from BHP Billiton (now South32).
The roadmap highlights recycling aluminium scrap metal for the value chain. Industry support for the DTIC’s efforts has led to scrap processing firms generating over 400 jobs. AFSA plans to update the roadmap to acknowledge achievements and outline future strategies.
Manzi called on the Government and partners like Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone to sustain support for productive sectors. AFSA commits to fostering manufacturing projects like Bingelela Alloys, contributing significantly to job creation.
Commitment to collaboration
Calvin Mkhabela, Hillside vice president of operations (South 32) highlighted Hillside Aluminium’s support for Bingelela’s goals and commitment to collaborating with stakeholders for Richards Bay’s downstream aluminium hub.
The smelter contributed 18.4% to the local GDP, generating R33.9 billion in revenue (0.7% of South Africa’s GDP). Hillside sustained 7 000 direct jobs, 28 900 indirect jobs, and 55 700 dependents, investing R200 million in this financial year for local skills, economic development, education, and healthcare.
Chairman of Bingelela Alloys, Sipho Zikode, said he was excited about the launch and the company’s commitment to youth employment. He said Bingelela Alloys supplied the automotive sector and employed 26 young professionals and plans to expand further.
Shaping the future
Bingelela Alloys CEO, Sizwe Khumalo, thanked South32 and Hulamin for their partnership and trust in the company’s vision, expressing in participating in the supply chain and a hope for improved collaboration.
The CEO also thanked the automotive sector and the OEMs for their cooperation and innovation. He said they approved wheels made from Bingelela Alloy’s post-consumer product mix, which made the product more environmentally sustainable.
The launch marked a new era of growth, innovation, and collaboration for Bingelela Alloys. The company’s dedication to economic progress and social betterment resonated in Richards Bay and beyond. With a strategic vision and solid foundation, Bingelela Alloys was ready to shape South Africa’s aluminium industry future.