CAPE TOWN – Entrepreneur and Business Leadership SA chief executive Bonang Mohale and Afrika Tikkun Capital have acquired a 25.1% stake in Gra-Tech.

Gra-Tech is in the industrial chemical cleaning business. The company provides essential maintenance services to a host of blue-chip clients across Africa’s industrial sector. Customers include Eskom, Babcock, Hereaus, Hitachi, Alstom Power, Sasol, Sapref, Engen, Sappi, Mondi, Iscor, AECI, Kynoch, Arcelor Mittall, PetroSA, Caltex and Steinmuller. Mohale described the investment a “vote of confidence in South Africa’s heavy industrial sector.”

“It is consistent with my investment strategy – we want to get into more industrial, engineering, and infrastructure projects as these contribute greatly to economic growth,” he said. Mohale also said the Serialong Trust is putting its efforts behind Gra-Tech in order for South Africa to attract much needed foreign direct investment and direct domestic investment.

Africa Tikkun Capital is a joint venture with the Afrika Tikkun Endowment Trust which was set up for the benefit of Afrika Tikkun NPC, the charity founded in 1995 by the late Chief Rabbi Cyril Harris and the late philanthropist and businessman Bertie Lubner.
Nelson Mandela became Patron-in-Chief in 1999.

The organisation works in disadvantaged communities, focusing on early childhood development, health care, nutrition and “cradle to grave” family support projects. Its goal is to ensure that black youth and in particular, young black women have the same employment opportunities as more privileged youth.

David Nuttall, who is the son of the founder and has been at Gra-Tech since it began operations in 1982 and Darren Cornish, who joined it in 1986, manage the business as CEO and Operations Director respectively.  Nuttall said bringing in a businessman of Mohale’s stature and experience will sustain growth in the current tough economy, uplift its current staff complement and enable it to “build bigger and better relationships for the benefit of the company and employees.

Bonang has the expertise to drive this through,” he said. Cornish said he was very confident about the company’s future, especially now that Mohale would be actively involved. “Over the years we have acquired an expert knowledge that encompasses most of South Africa’s industrial plants, often surpassing that of their owners. Considering the low talent retention rates in these sectors, Gra-Tech retains deep institutional knowledge. Our job is keeping huge assets alive – we are looking after the backbone of national infrastructure,” he added.

The services that Gra-Tech provide are essential to Eskom’s continued operations. Gra-Tech is the only African company that is authorised to conduct chemical cleaning on Level 1 plant consisting of boilers, heat exchangers and piping systems at the utility’s power stations.

In addition, Gra-Tech was a key stakeholder in projects which saw the Return To Service (RTS) of the Camden, Grootvlei and Komati power stations, and, in the commissioning of Eskom’s new Kusile and Medupi power stations.

Mohale said he was not going to be a silent partner and that he would be actively involved in operations, driving growth, sustainability, corporate resilience, and transformation.

He will leverage his 30+ years in the private sector and extensive experience in the petrochemical industry to grow the business by expanding both the range of industries and the number of countries it operates in.


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