Repeat for all needing Honeywell Re-establishes South African Subsidiary
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Honeywell Inc. announced Monday that it is re-establishing a subsidiary in South Africa, seven years after the Minneapolis-based company shed its operations there.
Honeywell purchased the Martech business of Murray & Roberts, a diversified engineering and construction firm based in Johannesburg, to create its wholly- owned subsidiary named Honeywell Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Purchase terms were not disclosed. However, Honeywell said all 130 Martech employees were offered jobs with the new company, which will report to Honeywell Europe.
″It’s the right thing to do and it’s the right time,″ said Michael Bonsignore, Honeywell chairman and chief executive officer.
″With the positive things taking place in South Africa, responsible investment by global companies such as Honeywell is critically needed to help provide a sound economic foundation for South Africa’s transition to a multiracial society.″
Bonsignore said Honeywell believes there are significant long-term business opportunities, not only in South Africa but in all of the southern part of the continent below the Sahara Desert.
″We will be broadening our offerings from industrial controls to include controls for homes and buildings and the aircraft industry,″ Bonsignore said.
Martech has been a distributor of Honeywell systems and products in South Africa and other sub-Saharan countries. Murray & Roberts purchased Martech from Honeywell in December 1986, when Honeywell divested its South African operations after 17 years in the country.
The divestiture came as the manufacturer of building and industrial control systems faced pressure from major customers who said they no longer would do business with companies that did business in South Africa.
Honeywell Southern Africa will institute several programs to support social reform and improve social conditions for black South Africans, said Giannantinio Ferrari, president of Honeywell Europe.
Those programs include establishment of a multiracial board of directors, appointment of an affirmative action task force, educational programs for employees, their children and customers and working with black South African colleges.
″Honeywell wants to be a role model in working with the community and business alike to create programs that are necessary and appropriate in the context of a changing South Africa rather than simply adopting a standard international blueprint,″ Kitchen said.