Marley Building Systems took to the floor at this year’s African Construction and Totally Concrete Expo with a compendium of local and international brand names since acquiring the Lafarge Gypsum SA business in November last year.
The showcase of products that define the core activities of Marley Building Systems were unveiled at a media breakfast prior to the doors of the expo at Gallagher Convention Centre being opened.
Mark Irving, Managing Director of Marley Building Systems in South Africa, said the company wanted its presence at the event to tell a story. A story that reflects the creative, technically-sound and performance-driven commitment of Marley Building Systems to sustainable dry construction solutions in Africa.
Marley has seen a transformation since its humble beginnings in South Africa in 1953 and the start of its roofing business in 1971. Originating in the UK, Marley was purchased by Belgian industrial group, Etex, in the late nineteen nineties. Marley divested its flooring and piping businesses to align with the four core businesses of Etex: cladding and building boards in fibre cement and plaster, roofing materials, passive fire protection and high performance insulation and ceramic tiles.
With the acquisition of the local Gypsum business, Mark says the product portfolio of Marley Building Systems has grown to a point of critical mass, enabling the company to push forward with a clearly defined structure and even more focused approach to business.
“We see ourselves as innovators,” Mark said, “not just following the pack.”
According to Mark, the Vision of Marley Building Systems is to be the leading innovators in sustainable and affordable dry construction in South Africa and cross-border into Africa.
“South Africa is our springboard to the rest of the Continent,” he said.
Marley Building Systems has put a regional team in place to develop the African business. “This (South Africa) is not our end game,” Mark confirmed.
The company’s current network comprises of more than 10 distribution points in South Africa and a further three in Mozambique, Botswana and Namibia.
While Etex has leveraged off its strongly positioned international brands, the group has been careful to retain the local identity and brand value of the Marley name which is also recognised for its contribution to the South African economy through its six manufacturing operations. The company’s roof tile manufacturing locations are in Olifantsfontein, Bronkhorstspruit, Cape Town and Tongaat, while the Plasterboard plant is in Roodekop and steel roll forming operation just down the road.
“The message and philosophy we are trying to promote is doing the right things for the right reasons,” Mark says. “This includes our ISO14001 certification and environmentally friendly practices that minimise wastage and ensure sustainability.”
Then there are the critical elements in forward thinking building. Mark is not only referring to thermal, acoustic and fire resistant properties here, but also to products that lend flexibility to architectural creativity, that are going to play a bigger and more prominent role going forward in infrastructure development.
“The days are gone where you have a rigid brick and mortar wall in place and there is no other alternative to change the configuration of the corporate or residential environment.”