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Turnall Fibre Cement
Bulawayo , Zimbabwe
For more than 50 years Turnall Fibre Cement (Pvt) Ltd has been a regional market leader in the manufacture and supply of fibre cement products made from select quality Chrysotyle Asbestos.  Turnall Fibre Cement scooped second runner-up awards in the CZI Industrialist of the year and CZI Exporter of the year categories for 2005. This was announced at the Econet CZI Congress held in Bulawayo.

Our comprehensive product range includes:

  • Pantiles
  • Turnall Ceiling Board
  • Turnall Partitioning Boards
  • Turnall Fascia Boards
  • Endurite
  • Traford Tile
  • Standard Roofing Sheets
  • Ridge Cappings
  • Nails, Rivets and Washers
  • Turnall Roofing Slates
  • Reeded Roofing Tiles
  • Reeded Wall Cladding
  • Curved Down end Sheets
  • Curved Sheets
  • Barge Boards
  • Pressure and Sewer Pipes
  • Pipes Accessories
For the past decade, Turnall has been exporting into the SADC region with 95% 
of exports going into the RSA.

In 2003, a deliberate position was taken to grow other markets outside RSA and 
significant inroads have been made into the other markets.

The following are the key markets of focus and their respective contributions.

i) RSA
The key export market contributing 87% of the total export business. The future, will see the market generating 80% with a growth of 15% in market share. This is reflecting a positive real growth and efforts are underway to sustain this growth.

Itís a key strategic target market Turnall has made significant inroads into this market and has managed to build strong relationships based on highly effective delivery and customer service in 2005. The market contributed 11% of the total export business which was achieved during the 2nd half of the year.

Focus for future will aim to grow the business by an ambitious figure of 94% and contribution to 15% of the whole export business. Focus is also on maintaining the high level of customer service and take advantage of our SABS accreditation, which is our most powerful unique selling point in this particular market.

The year 2005 focused mainly on building strategic relationships which we managed to achieve though still a relatively virgin market, Malawi has received our product and it has done reasonably well on the market. 2006 will focus on consolidating the relationships and making sure that reasonable volumes are realized during this year. Overally Malawi will contribute 2% to the export business.

Although still a virgin market, again focus will be on consolidating the relationships developed in 2005, and start realizing significant volumes. The strategy will focus on addressing anti-asbestosis issues targeting particularly the NGOs who do not want to use A.C based products.

Turnall has supplied reputable and huge projects in Namibia.
Focus for 2006 will be to identify strategic partners to work on upcoming sewer and water reticulation projects across Namibia.

Our product range on offer includes the following:

i) Turnall Ceiling Boards
These are manufactured to various sizes and thickness.
The product has a wide range of application for use in the interiors of residential, commercial and industrial properties.
It can also be used for wall partitioning, paneling and wall turnings.

ii) Straight Endurite Sheeting
These are corrugated roofing sheets made in the following sizes, 1.2m, 1.5m, 1.8m, 2.1m, 2.4m, 2.7m, 3.0m, 3.3m, 3.6m.
The sheets have been on most roofs across Southern Africa for over half a century and proves how strong and durable the product is.

iii) Building Columns
These are manufactured in various sizes and specifically Turnall is the sole supplier of this product in Southern Africa.

vi) Piping Products
Turnall has supplied for the past half a century both sewer and pressure pipes. The pipes are tried and tested to prove a long life span. In actual fact our range of pipes are tested twice to the working pressure. Pipes have been supplied to all countries in the Southern Africa, Mozambique, RSA, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi.

vii) Fascia Boards
Turnall manufactures the best of strong, durable and long life fascia boards. These are found in a wide range of sizes and thickness to suit customersí needs and specifications.

viii) Bargeboard
Turnall bargeboard has been on most exquisite homes across southern Africa for decades. Its strong, durable and dependable and again can be manufactured to suit your needs. The most common standard size being the 80x200x3000. Other sizes can be made on request

Turnall Fibre Cement boasts a rich history in International Trade having started exports into South Africa, Mauritius, Malawi and Mozambique from as early as mid 60ís.

The main product line that exported then was sewer piping.

The momentum in exports increased with time to include the USA, Botswana, and Namibia with the product portifolio growing to include water pipes, rainwater goods as well as barge boards, tapboards and roofing sheets.

Turnall uses two basic locally produced raw materials, asbestos fibre and cement.  Asbestos fibre is supplied by African Associated Mines ("AAM") which has mines in the Mashaba and Zvishavane areas.  AAM, which is a division of SMM Holdings, supplies 18% of the World's requirement and is ranked the third largest producer in the world.  Turnall purchases from SMM Holdings on an arms length basis at market prices.

Turnall is one of Circle Cement and United Portland Cement's largest customers and consumes approximately 10% of Zimbabwe's cement production.  However, in the short term, cement supplies are regarded as a potential constraint to growth as the cement manufacturers struggle to meet demand.  This situation has been taken into account in TFC's forecasts.  Additional cement
capacity is scheduled to be available from 2002.
Production capacity is approximately 115 000 tonnes of sheets and 25 000 tonnes of pipes per year.

At a time when the economy is on the down-turn and everyone around you is complaining and finding excuses for performing badly, economic heroes take a deliberate decision to focus on the challenge at hand and identify opportunities, craft strategies to take advantage of the identified opportunities, employ sound financial management policies and put their hands to the plough! More often than not, this is what separates performers from pretenders.

When most companies were busy pointing fingers and crafting explanations for closing shop, Turnall took the decision that they were not going to be the statistics of failed companies. Management sat down and designed a path to follow that was going to take the company out of the woods. 

For Turnall it was not going to be a case of keeping our heads above water, but to swim! The company made sure that they were not going to be distracted by challenges in the economic and political environment, instead finding strategies of making the most out of the opportunities presented by the prevailing environment  it was really a matter of managing the environment instead of allowing the environment to manage the company.

The companyís performance in the first quarter was phenomenal, attaining sales volumes last achieved at the peak of the construction boom of the mid 90ís. Whilst the average person would think that Turnall benefited from Operation Garikayi Hlalani Kuhle and hence did exceptionally well as a result, this was not really the case because the company performed even better before the implementation of the operation. Even with the down-turn in traditional volume drivers for the business, namely agricultural crop output and mining, opportunities presented themselves in irrigation rehabilitation and in regional markets. The company was able to tap into those markets with a good level of success. With such levels of success on the sales front coupled with astute financial management, sound levels of profitability were an expected outcome.

Market watchers were quick to see that Turnall was flying and this saw the companyís share value rising phenomenally. It is Turnallís paradigm shift to adopt a success culture that brought success. To be the only player supplying the construction industry named amongst the top three performers demonstrates the impact of having a positive attitude and the determination to succeed where many would give up. To be ranked winners with high profile companies such as COTTCO, CAFCA, Hippo Valley and BAT is no mean achievement.

Management at Turnall feel honoured to have their efforts recognized. This recognition has brought new motivation and a passion to keep up the good work and continue playing our part in economic revival.
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