Southway Refractories on the move

Refractory product supplier has more than doubled its factory size.

Southway Refractories, which was established in 1999, has recently moved into a new factory and office accommodation purchased by the company in Alrode, South Gauteng.

For several years the company was located in Elandsfontein, Gauteng in a rented facility consisting of 1 900m² under roof. Through consistent growth Southway eventually had to rent an extra 600m² factory a few kilometres away, which finally persuaded management to look for a new facility.

“We were bursting at the seams and operating in a situation which was not ideal. The Hilltop Industrial Park factory suited our needs when we first moved there. But growth and the subsequent need to accommodate the extra stock that was required, in a safe and secure environment, pushed us to breaking point,” said Southway Refractories Sales Director John Rogers.


“The big move to the Potgieter Street factory took place in August 2015. We now have
4 000m² under roof storage space and another 800m² for office accommodation. The buildings have been in existence for some time and were previously occupied by a pharmaceutical company so we had some reorganising and alterations to do, but nothing major.”

“Besides the extra space, the advantage of our new location is that we have closer and quicker access to the highways, and the flow of stock coming in and leaving is more organized with better access for the larger trucks. This will allow us to improve our service and delivery of products to clients.”

Southway Refractories is an importer and distributor of refractory products to the Sub-Saharan African Market. The product range comprises a variety of refractory bricks, monolithics, ceramic fibre products, silicon carbide products, graphite/carbon electrodes and blocks, acid resistant bricks, precast shapes, rock wool, porous plugs, nozzles and sliding gates.

Most of the company’s products are imported from reputable manufacturers in China and the company has an office in Beijing, China whose personnel carry out regular quality checks at source.


“We have very few suppliers and most of them are located in the one area of China, where the raw materials used in manufacturing our products are prevalent. To give you an example of the size and how these manufacturers/suppliers have embraced modern and efficient production practices, one of them has 24 tunnel kilns, presses up to 3 600 tons and all product is robotically handled,” explained Rogers.

Southway Refractories services the iron and steel, non-ferrous, ferroalloys, petrochemical, foundry, cement, heavy mineral and glass industries. Turnkey projects are carried out by Southway Refractories and clients include Anglo Platinum, ArcelorMittal South Africa, Impala Platinum, PPC Cement and Samancor Ltd.

The company was established by David Chang, who is still the majority shareholder. However, Southway Refractories is BBBEE compliant with 26% black ownership. Siyanda Resources, which has a 14% effective shareholding, is a resources consulting company with many interests in the mining arena including coal, manganese and chrome.

A big plus for the company has been the fact that they have kept the same contact numbers. The total staff compliment is now 20, an increase of four as a result of the relocation.

For further details contact Southway Refractories on TEL: 011 822 9838 or visit