On April 10-12, South Africa will be hosting the Tyrexpo Africa in Johannesburg and will gather more than 3,000 participants, including tire producers, tire dealers, traders, OEMs – all representing the tire segment of Africa and neighboring regions. The event will serve as a platform for interesting discussions and solution development, as well as it will let professionals share their expertise in the field of tire recycling.

Over the recent years, Africa has witnessed growth of the tire industry, especially in the branch of the passenger car tire, as the application and the demand for it has increased, reported Modern Tire Dealer’s European Notebook editor, John Stone. The biggest share on the African market belongs to replacement tires. It is expected that in the following years, it will only increase. By 2022, a total projected figure for African tire industry can exceed $8 billion.

In an article published in 2014, Stone stated that $20 billion were received by the South African economy exclusively with the help of the national tire producers. The local tire companies directly create nearly 6,500 jobs for the residents and indirectly help to provide employment to as many as 32,000 people in the areas associated with tire manufacturing for mining, farming and in a number of other industries.

World Bank revealed that South Africa now takes the 15th place in the world among the dominant waste generating states. Given that both officials and society are equally concerned about people’s health and environment, tire producers and distributors are now challenged by cost management in waste tire disposal and introduction of environmental levy for tire import and tire disposal. Therefore, local tire entrepreneurs face anxieties that arise due to the enormous demand for the tires on the market.

Given that Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) has been liquidated recently, tire recycling has become a burning issue both on national and international levels. Now, it is easy to question the viability of tire recycling as a business that could bring profit.

Originally, REDISA was created to diminish the negative effects that tires could have had on people’s health and environment, and support economic development of the country, which would involve locals and could create jobs. The organization managed to get auspicious results: it had assisted a large number of small businesses and processed as many as 12,728 tons of waste tires, as stated by the Department of Environmental Affairs. This is far from what was declared when the organization was launched in 2011, but these results are remarkable. However, REDISA’s model does not work anymore, as entrepreneurs are now giving priority to saving money and cutting costs, which results in decrease in jobs.

With the closing of REDISA, more and more entrepreneurs are searching for the ways to make profit out of waste tire recycling. South Africa already has some of such businesses that effectively recycle waste tires and produce marketable goods.

Local entrepreneurs who are looking for applications for scrap tires could potentially repeat success story of, for instance, SoleRebel’s – a home-grown footwear label. Such a business approach could help find applications for locally recycled tires and, at the same time, provide employment for people, which would not require excessive funding and expensive technology.

It is also possible to develop businesses, which could manufacture products such as furniture, tiles, rubber accessories, doormats, flowerpots, sports equipment and other types of goods.

Stone also mentioned effects of the economy of scale, proposing that bigger businesses could be launched in South Africa. He asserted that they could apply high-end recycling machinery and build partnerships with international companies. One well-known example in South Africa is a tire recycling company called Mathe Group.

Bigger businesses can investigate some ways on how to serve both consumer goods and commercial markets, producing crumb rubber for playgrounds, supply cement producers with tire-derived fuel (TDF), produce fine rubber powder that can be used in coatings, resell tire-derived steel, engage in tire pyrolysis which yields recovered carbon black, tire-derived oil and steel, etc.

With ongoing South Africa’s progress, it is possible to predict that the national tire recycling industry will keep on functioning as an important booster of the county’s economic potential. To help economy and support their own competitiveness, companies that represent the tire industry should collaborate with authorities, policy makers and local communities.

For registration and agenda please see Tyrexpo Africa’s official website.

Article Source: Modern Tire Dealer