It was a proud day for five owner drivers when they received the keys to their brand new truck-tractors from Lafarge South Africa. An intensive process of selection, concentrating mainly on driving skills, transportation experience and safety, qualified them for the Lafarge cement business line's small business development scheme. Cargo Carriers will mentor the new small enterprises and offer technical support out of their national depot structure.
Lafarge South Africa is the local presence of the international Lafarge Group, the world leader in cement and the largest cement producer on the African continent. The Group is also a leader in its industry for sustainable development and is committed to helping neighbouring communities around its operating sites improve their quality of life. This focuses in particular on the upliftment of education in these communities, together with artisan training and small business development.
To provide the transport expertise for the owner-driver scheme, Lafarge South Africa joined forces with its long-term transport supply partner Cargo Carriers. Lafarge arranged the finance for the owner-drivers to purchase the truck-tractors, while Cargo Carriers will supply and retain ownership of the trailers. The truck-tractors and trailers are striking in Lafarge's eye-catching green and white livery, together with the company's ‘Building better cities' branding.
"We believe our owner-driver scheme is a win-win initiative," said Lafarge's Tim Nelson, Supply Chain Manager - Cement. "It not only offers the opportunity of a new future for the drivers but also Lafarge gains loyal drivers who will be good brand ambassadors for the company when they interact with our customers."
Cargo Carriers' Marketing Director, André Jansen van Vuuren, commented: "The Owner-Driver scheme fosters true participation in the building of South Africa and the economy. It is about a continuing partnership; where the drivers are empowered to determine their own success and future, while at the same time leading to increased productivity and enhanced service levels."
The five drivers will be based at Cargo Carriers Lichtenburg Depot and have contracted to undertake bagged cement deliveries in the Free State, Northern Cape and North West Province. One of the key conditions for participating in the scheme is the requirement to comply at all times with the rigorous Lafarge South Africa safety standards for driving and maintenance of the vehicles.
"We are delighted to have Cargo Carriers as our partner for the owner-driver scheme," says Nelson. "The project creates the nucleus of five small businesses, operated by individuals who have the character, passion and potential to be entrepreneurs."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Located in 64 countries with 65 000 employees, Lafarge is the world-leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses. In 2012, the Group posted sales of 15,8 billion Euros.
Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities, working for sustainable construction and architectural creativity to help build better cities around the world: more beautiful cities that are better connected, have more housing, and are more compact and durable. Since 2010, the Lafarge Group has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the first global sustainability benchmark, in recognition of its sustainable development actions.
In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates, readymixed concrete, gypsum plasterboard and interior building fittings. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better rural towns and villages.
Lafarge South Africa also demonstrates active concern for the conservation of the country's wildlife heritage and is a major supporter of the world's first dedicated baby rhino orphanage in Limpopo Province. The Group has for many years been a leader in sustainable development and was the first industrial group to enter into a worldwide ‘Conservation Partnership' with the environmental protection organisation, WWF International.
Additional information is available on the website at www.lafarge.co.za
Country Communications Manager
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Glasshouse Communication Management
Bridget von Holdt
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