Geared up for electrifying performance

A leading UK switchgear manufacturer has developed a regular and rewarding export market to South Africa thanks to a long-standing involvement and on-the-ground presence in the country which goes back decades.

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructures, Industries & Machine Manufacturers, Non-residential Buildings, Data Centres & Networks and in Residential.

Employing over 400 people at its factories in Yorkshire and throughout the country Schneider Electric manufactures and distributes electrical safety equipment around the world. With a growing manufacturing industry, South Africa is recognised as an emerging market and, Schneider Electric no longer uses agents or distributors as it did in the past. The business now supplies equipment for the country’s mining industry as well as high voltage equipment to utility companies.

Anthony Wyvill, the key account manager for Exports based at Schneider Electric’s Leeds office, makes regular visits to South Africa.

 “It’s been a consistent market for us for a number of years and we continue to evolve the way which we work in South Africa’ he explains.

“We are now utilising local manufacturing for the larger switchgear contracts.   We manufacture the core of the equipment in the UK and export out to South Africa  then a local company builds the cabinet and produces the wiring. By working this way, we can help to support local employment in the regions in which we work and help reduce our export duty costs.’

Using local skilled workforce helps to not only build the profile of Schneider Electric but also ensures the region benefits from increased investment”.