12 December, 2018
A year of extreme stress, great rewards
year has been one of the most stressful yet
rewarding ones that Dolphin Bay has ever
experienced, observed Bertus.
hallmarks of 2018 for our industry have been
a strong sense of uncertainty and a growing
awareness of our vulnerability, as has been
the case for business in general in South
Africa. We have spent enormous energy and
time dealing with aggressive challenges.
the same time, new opportunities are opening
up, and our company is better positioned
business should be fun, but the level of
stress we experienced this year drained much
of the fun out of it," said Bertus. "It has
taken enormous amounts of hard work and
energy to push through. This year has been a
real test of character."
our industry, which relies on vast tracts of
forestry land, expropriation without
compensation has been a grave threat.
Further blows were the forest fires that
destroyed huge portions of plantations in
the Western Cape; widespread labour unrest,
with protestors making aggressive and
unreasonable demands for salary increases;
proposed new regulatory requirements by the
Departments of Labour and Agriculture, and
the rising costs of doing business which
accompanied rising risks.
company experienced other challenges arising
from situations beyond our control. The
value of the Rand was tremendously volatile
and commodity prices rose considerably,
placing pressure on our own pricing.
Meanwhile, in our industry there are growing
expectations of gaining more product and
services for less.
pressures of the past year have made us
question why we are in business and
whether it is worthwhile. We have found
the answers, coming from a place of deep
Bay and our customers have responded to the
pressures by continuing to restructure and
streamline our businesses, improving a
process that began in previous years.
are pleased that we haven't compromised in
our offerings to clients," said Bertus.
"Much more work was required this year but
the outcome was good, and we believe this
will continue in 2019. Our team has pulled
together and we have gained new customers,
completing several projects for them."
the demand for treated poles decreased in
KwaZulu-Natal, this was more than offset by
the rising demand in other markets.
Bay is pleased to have gained product
registration in Kenya this year, and we are
extending our client base into more African
developing countries are attracting large
amounts of foreign investment for
electrification programmes, one of the first
steps required to improve Africans' quality
of life and ultimately, their spending
power. "Multi-national organisations and
businesses would not be pumping this much
money into Africa if they didn't see the
opportunities," said Bertus. "I believe
Africa has a greater capacity for growth
than any other continent and, in future
decades, will come into its own on the world
is exciting to imagine what the continent
will be like in 20 or 30 years' time."
the pressures of the past year have made us
question why we are in business and whether
it is worthwhile. We have found the answers,
coming from a place of deep conviction.
is one of the most exciting expressions of
human intelligence, creativity and
character," said Bertus. "We know that we
are doing what we should be doing. We
believe we can make a positive impact in our
own business, our customers' businesses, and
the bigger industry.
than merely survive, the challenges of this
year have given us the opportunity to
evolve. Business is a different animal to
the one it was at the beginning of the year.
times determine the need," Bertus concluded.
"Dolphin Bay is impressed by our customers'
resilience and creativity too, in solving
the many problems they have faced this year.
"We will be implementing our newly
acquired knowledge about the market and its
movements in 2019, which will be a year of
Source: Dolphin Bay Chemicals