Bakers upgrade Bellville-South factory

Albany Bakeries has doshed out some serious dough – R350 million – to revamp its Bellville South factory.

The company, which is owned by Tiger Brands, has been around since 1970, and the upgrade, which started last September and included the construction of a new plant and the overhaul of the existing one, was unveiled on Wednesday August 2.

The factory now boasts energy efficient lights, motors and ovens as well a water-recycling plant, among other improvements.

The factory has 500 employees and Albany managing director Matshela Seshibe said they hoped to hire an extra 150 employees by next year and double distribution.

“The bakery currently supplies 5000 outlets, mainly in the Cape metro, which will be doubled over the next five years, significantly contributing to small enterprises locally,” he said.

Mr Seshibe said they had increased their emissions efficiency by reducing the factory’s energy consumption and also placed emphasis on improving safety measures.

Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence Mac Dougall said they would invest
R835 million into their Western Cape facilities over the next two years.

“We view the Western Cape as a very important and strategic market for many of our core categories,” he said.

Mr Mac Dougall said they bought about 2.5 million tons of agricultural produce every year, of which 60% to 70% was sourced locally.

Wesgro CEO Tim Harris said the investment into the bakery, especially during this tough economic climate, was a significant confidence boost in the Western Cape.

“This is how we’re going to get this economy growing again and how we’re going to create the jobs we need,” he said.

The bakery runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week and trucks leave the yard from 3am to 6am.