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Transport giants merge to form major logistics conglomerate

Respected owner of Wesbank Transport in Walvis Bay, Mr EP van Rooyen (left) congratulating the owner of FP du Toit Transport, Mr Willie du Toit, on his success of putting together the largest transport conglomerate in Namibia. Behind the two transport stalwarts are “Ou Staatmaker” (left), an almost indestructible 1968 Oshkosh, and the famous Du Toit Transport Mercedes Benz antique, Willie.

Du Toit Transport this week announced that it is taking over Wesbank Transport of Walvis Bay, as a going concern. The deal, which took many months to finalise, was finally approved this week after the Competition Commission gave its nod of approval.

Mr Willie du Toit the Managing Director of F P du Toit Transport on Wednesday announced that his company has bought the business of Wesbank Transport as a going concern together with all its assets, contracts and the Wesbank Transport brand name. F P du Toit Transport will offer new employment contracts to virtually the total staff complement of approximately 360 people working for Wesbank Transport.
Both companies were founded in the middle sixties of the previous century, F P du Toit Transport by Mr Maans du Toit in the Northern Cape and Wesbank Transport by Mr E P van Rooyen in Walvis Bay. F P du Toit Transport moved their total operation to Namibia in 1970. Both companies have been family owned and managed since inception. The Van Rooyen family has taken the decision to sell because Mr E P van Rooyen has now reached the ripe old age of 92 years and his son Mr Melvyn van Rooyen, the erstwhile Managing Director of Wesbank Transport, passed away some four years ago while the other son, Mr Veon van Rooyen, does not wish to manage the company on his own.
The respective companies are both leaders in their fields of operation. F P du Toit Transport has for many years been the largest logistics service provider with its main focus areas in long haul transportation operating in nine SADC countries, as well as distribution services for the retail, automotive, industrial and pharmaceutical sectors and an extensive courier division.
Wesbank Transport’s main fields of operation are in the mining industry where they hold contracts with all the operating uranium mines. They are the largest harbour carrier and container handling and storage facility operator in Walvis Bay, owns the largest abnormal loads division in Namibia and runs a crane hire business owning the largest cranes in the country with up to 220 tons capacity. The company also supplies full loads and break bulk consolidation services to commercial and industrial enterprises situated mainly in the coastal areas. Both companies also have branches in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
Du Toit said that it was this diversity of operations that made the Wesbank business attractive to his company. “We can now with confidence say that we can offer the whole bouquet of logistical services to our customers, the only true “one-stop-shop” in logistics in Namibia. We can now offer services ranging from the global pick up or delivery of an envelope to the heaviest piece of machinery and handle all customs clearing and forwarding services in-house.”
Mr Van Rooyen expressed his gratitude that his former company, together with its staff, many with long-service awards and who became part of the family through the years, will remain in Namibian hands and will not be swallowed up by a multinational conglomerate. The present Wesbank Transport management will remain largely intact under the leadership of Mr Willem Pronk, the erstwhile CEO of the company, now reporting as the COO of the Wesbank division of FP du Toit Transport directly to Mr du Toit while Mr Dirkie Uys, the COO of FP du Toit Transport will look after the present operations of the company.
The combined transportation company will in future employ in excess of one thousand people, whilst the Intracom Group, the holding company of the Du Toit group of companies, who also has a large hospitality and tourism division under the name of Taleni Africa Tourism Holdings, will now become one of the larger employers in the country with less than one percent non-Namibian citizens employed.
Wesbank Transport, whilst being an operating division of FP du Toit Transport, will retain the trade name of Wesbank Transport, because many years of customer loyalty has made it a very valuable trade mark. The combined company will now operate a fleet of well in excess of three hundred and fifty self-propelled vehicles and pieces of heavy equipment together with even more trailers and specialized equipment, which makes it one of the larger players in the SADC region. Du Toit gave the assurance that it will remain “business as usual” for Wesbank Transport’s customers and staff whilst benefitting from the advanced level of ITC systems, synergies, knowhow and the forward thinking culture developed over many years by the Du Toit group. He jokingly said the largest visible change will be the colour of the vehicles which will shortly start to sport the distinctive green and white livery of the Du Toit group.

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