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Norman Seymore, vice president of the Chryso Group, says the admixtures and construction chemicals sectors should have a better year in 2014, but growth depends on many extraneous factors.

For the admixtures and construction chemicals sector, economic conditions should marginally improve next year, says Norman Seymore, vice president of the Chryso Group.

The Chryso Group consists of admixture producer, Chryso Southern Africa; and construction chemicals manufacturer, a.b.e. Construction Chemicals.

Seymore, who is CEO of both companies, says: “We are not expecting a massive upsurge in construction activities but there should be a slight improvement compared with 2014. It is, however, essential that the long-awaited roll out of projects for government’s National Development Plan should start in earnest in 2015. This would have a major positive impact on our industries and the entire construction industry. It is also essential that labour stability improves in the year ahead. South Africa cannot afford to lose more investor confidence.”

The construction sector’s critical skills shortage is also affecting the Chryso Group, Seymore says, and skills development and retention – which is becoming increasingly difficult – holds the key to the Group’s business development plans. “The Chryso Group has an ongoing training programme for staff in place and we also offer product and application training for our customers. Training is one aspect of our business that is absolutely non-negotiable.”

He says both Chryso and a.b.e. are committed to the health and safety of its employees and to sustainable construction, as evident in the Group’s recent product launches as well as its manufacturing sites where significant measures have been introduced to reduce the impact of production processes on the environment.

Looking at growth plans for 2014 and beyond, Seymore says the Chryso Group has recognised Africa as a growth area and is concentrating on expanding its operations in sub-Saharan Africa. “Being part of an international group, we are always exploring new areas to enter. At present our focus is mainly on Africa, the Middle East and Asia, but we are not confining our long-term future plans to these continents,” Seymore added.

He recently announced that the Chryso Group was investigating the establishment of production facilities in both East and West Africa.

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