The first consignment of SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) approved Conch cement from China has arrived in South Africa.
Lim Hong Siang, the managing director of Evermont International, said yesterday that 18 000 tons of Conch cement, in 50kg bags with SABS marks, had arrived at the Durban port last Thursday on board the Gear Bulk Shipping Group-owned MV Windfield.
Lim said the cement, which was sold to ICC UK and shipped from China, was being stored at the company’s warehouse.
He said that there was no damage to the consignment and Evermont International was a responsible seller and had fulfilled its commitments.
The shipment comes after reports of bogus agents attempting to take advantage of the shortage of cement supplies in the country in an alleged scam targeting building material merchants, government buyers and agents.
This led to confusion in the market about who legally had the right to sell Conch cement in South Africa.
Lim previously said that while Evermont International had obtained SABS certification last year for Chinese-manufactured Conch cement, it had not appointed any agent or distributor in South Africa for Conch cement and had the sole right to export the cement into the southern African market.
He added that there were a number of companies or people who were falsely claiming they were agents or distributors for Conch cement in South Africa, although he confirmed that ZF Trading and FM Globe Traders were local “commission agents” for the Chinese company.
“In another words, the price offer must come from us and payment of [letters of credit] must be made in our favour directly,” he said.
“Further, they have to import directly from us at their own capacity. However, so far they have not conducted any business with our company.”
The sensitivity of the consignment follows media reports about bogus agents claiming access to vast quantities of cement from local producers PPC, Lafarge, Holcim and Conch Cement, which allegedly took deposits from buyers but failed to deliver the product.