27 February, 2023

Crossing the finish line with great service and exceptional teamwork

Supply more than 450 tonnes of steel to one client in seven weeks. Over the festive season. Impossible? Not for the team at Macsteel Trading Cape Town! As part of a dedicated team of suppliers, they did exactly that against all odds in preparation for the Cape Town E-Prix, which was held on African soil for the first time, in the Western Cape, on February 25th.

Macsteel was contacted to assist with this mammoth task in October of 2022. The steel was needed for the frames for the fence that runs along the perimeters of the race track. They received the green light with an order on 12 November.

The short turnaround time required, meant that contractors worked throughout the festive season with steel being sourced from Macsteel branches across South Africa, ordered from mills and even procured from competitors to meet the demand in time. About 1% of the required material was sourced from competitors.

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Qhubeka Manufacturing was contracted to supply the fence panels, while metal finisher Galvatech Corrosion Protection Specialists galvanised the fence panels. Reinforcing Steel Contractors (RSC), a Macsteel partner, supplied the reinforcing steel used in the concrete barriers.

The task to produce the concrete barriers, fell to Cape Concrete who leaned heavily on RSC to provide 230 tonnes of reinforcing bar in a mere 45 days! Additionally to the supply, these bars required some galvanising. The galvanising process that was required takes 2-3 days in itself.

RSC also had to contend with the very small margin in the cut and bend tolerances of their bars to ensure they would fit the moulds. “Dedicated staff making sure we adhere to some very specific requirements from the customer, was behind RSC’s success in this project. In an application where quality and speed was non-negotiable, our staff put in the hours to ensure we meet the demand,” says Shawn du Toit, Regional General Manager (Coastal) at RSC.

Macsteel CEO, Mike Benfield also credits the dedication of the company’s workforce with the successful outcome of the project. “Macsteel is proud of the cooperation within the group that enabled us to deliver 90% of the steel within seven weeks by December 22, consequently enabling the client to stay on schedule with production over the festive season, while the remaining 10% was delivered in January. All on schedule,” says Benfield.

The Cape Town E-Prix is the first Formula-E event hosted in sub-Saharan Africa and also the first major open-wheel race hosted in South Africa since 1993.

Formula-E is the world’s first international, fully electric street racing series aimed at bringing the latest innovations in electric vehicles and alternative energy solutions to the world’s major city centres.

Considering Formula E cars can travel at a top speed of 322 km/h, steel is the only material that can be used to meet the safety standards required for such an event.

The barriers and catch fencing will also be used for future events, owing to eMovement having secured rights to host the Cape Town E-prix on the track for the next five years.

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