STEWARTS & LLOYDS is celebrating 109 years in South Africa and is still growing. The company now boasts 30 branches countrywide.
The company has a long history in South Africa and is a household name to many, including the farming community who still operate Lister engines and windmills supplied by Stewarts & Lloyds.
In 1898, the British owned Lloyd & Lloyd opened two branches in South Africa, one in Cape Town and one in Kimberley, while A&J Stewart & Menzies, also a British company, was being represented in South Africa through Brown & McKenzie. Seeing the need to consolidate their South African interest, the companies amalgamated in 1903, to form Stewarts & Lloyds (South Africa) Limited. They expanded their branch network to include Bloemfontein, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and Johannesburg.
In 1927 the company reconstructed into a South African company with a share capital of 755 000 Pounds, with the head office and works now situated in Vereeniging. The company made shells at the Vereeniging works during the war years (1939 to 1945), with many women employed to fill the gaps left by men answering the call for military service.
During the post war years right up until the early eighties, Stewarts & Lloyds supplied a wide range of products to the gold fields in Welkom and Odendaalsrus, the coal mines, diamond mines and farming industries. The Vereeniging works was renamed Tosa and subsidiary companies such as Salister, Salweir, Salvalve, Salmac, Salchain and Salcast were formed. Stewarts & Lloyds Trading was set up to be the trading arm of most of the Stewarts & Lloyds manufacturing companies.
The Stewarts & Lloyds group of companies was acquired by Dorbyl during the mid eighties, some of which were sold off and the rest were placed under the Dorbyl Light and General banner. Stewarts & Lloyds remained a separate company in the Dorbyl stable.
During the mid nineties, Robor Industrial Holdings, a Barloworld company, entered into a joint venture with Dorbyl to run Stewarts & Lloyds Trading. Shortly hereafter, Robor Industrial Holdings took 100% control and renamed the company Robor Stewarts & Lloyds.
Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, Barloworld sold Robor Stewarts & Lloyds to Stockwell, a company of 15 years standing. Stockwell purchased the branches in Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Witbank, Rustenburg, Wadeville and Vereeniging and added these to their existing 10 branch network.
Derek Franks and Graham Thomas, the joint CEO's of Stewarts & Lloyds, started Stockwell in 1988 and although they have the majority shareholding in all the branches, the individual branches are run by shareholders. Besides the national footprint having grown to 30 outlets, the product portfolio has grown from the traditional Stewarts & Lloyds offering to include a wide spectrum of steel products and added value services.
Stewarts & Lloyds have always been the front runners in training, having realised the importance of ensuring that a continual flow of suitably trained personnel are available to staff the group's extensive branch network. The company has a dedicated training centre to put personnel through their paces and also have a trainee scheme in place.
Stewarts & Lloyds is regarded the market leader in a number of sectors. Industries the company operate in include light and general engineering, building and construction, mining, rural water, chemical, petro-chemical, automotive, agriculture, water reticulation, fire protection and local authorities.
Stewarts & Lloyds supplies steel and tube, pipes and fittings, valves, pumps, irrigation, laser products and fencing; as well as value added products such as profiling, guillotining, bending, rolling and plasma cutting. The cash and carry outlets throughout the country sell the Stewarts & Lloyds products, as well as wire, fencing, industrial hardware and security products.
Branches are located in the following centres: Head Office (Bedfordview), Alrode South, Bedfordview (Exports), Bloemfontein, Boksburg, Booysens, Durban, Edenvale (Irrigation, Pumps and Valves), George, Germiston (Fencing), Hazyview, Kimberley, Laser Products, Mafikeng, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Robertville, Springs, Vanderbijlpark, Vereeniging (Steel Service Centre), Vereeniging, Wadeville, Wadeville Distribution Centre, Wetton, Witbank and Wynberg.