The Manufacture of Glass and Glass Products
The South African glass industry can be divided into four main sub-sectors: glass manufacturing; glass processing and distribution; fibreglass manufacturing; and industrial mineral and manual glass production. The industry has experienced a decline in manufacturing production since 2013 as a result of its dependence on the demand for glass in a number of other industries, all of which have been under pressure. The increased price of electricity and fuel has negatively impacted profits, as have cheap imports and depressed domestic sales in the automotive industry. The value of glass sales amounted to R11.12bn in 2017.
Developments in the sector
Significant developments during 2018 include the referral of Saint-Gobain Construction Products and D&D Roof Insulations CC to the Competition Tribunal for cartel conduct and Consol’s decision to withdraw its proposed listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Despite having an approximate 25% share of the local glass container market, Nampak announced its intention of disposing of its Glass division as it has struggled without the expertise of German-based Wiegand-Glas, its former joint venture partner, which it acquired for R938m in November 2011. Analysts speculate competition authorities are unlikely to agree to a deal with the most obvious buyer, Consol, due to the monopoly this will create, and that accordingly, Nampak Glass may end up under foreign control. This could create an opportunity for a new BEE entrant in conjunction with a foreign industry player.
The Manufacture of Glass and Glass Products describes the industry in South Africa, highlights current conditions including the lack of specialised technical skills and discusses other factors that influence the success of the sector. Profiles for five companies are provided including the PG Group which remains the leading manufacturer of float and patterned glass, laminated glass, mirrors and sealant products.