Loskop Cotton ginnery under new management

Following a recent takeover, the well-known Loskop Cotton ginnery will be known as Vaalharts-Loskop Cotton. Industry insiders say Louis Olivier, the new managing director, is ideally positioned to take the gin in Marble Hall to new heights

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The R72-million Loskop Cotton ginnery outside Marble Hall in Limpopo is now under brand-new management.

Following a management takeover, the well-known processing company will in the interim be known as Vaalharts-Loskop Cotton. This, after Hartswater-based Vaalharts Cotton took the reins of Loskop on Friday, 12 March 2021.

While the details are being kept under wraps, Food For Mzansi can confirm that Vaalharts’ managing director, Louis Olivier, and its chief financial officer, Johan Wolhuter, will also fulfil these respective roles at Vaalharts-Loskop Cotton.

A wealth of experience

Olivier is a prominent player in South Africa’s cotton industry. He has nine years’ experience in running a cotton gin and has been working in the industry for 30 years. The farmer and businessman is also a qualified agriculturist.

Register to attend the international World Cotton Day webinar hosted by Cotton South Africa. Photo: Unsplash.
Cotton is now grown in five provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape and North-West. Photo: Supplied/Food For Mzansi

Furthermore, Wolhuter holds financial qualifications and has been handling the financial management function at Vaalharts for the past two years.

Olivier told Food For Mzansi he is well aware of the historical challenges that need to be addressed.

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However, he is optimistic that the South African cotton industry is healthy at its core. With the application of a successful Vaalharts business model, they will once again develop the gin in Marble Hall to new heights.

The Loskop Cotton ginnery was upgraded in 2018. Olivier said this upgrade brought its own challenges, which, along with Covid-19, forced the board to rethink the management of the gin.

The road ahead

Food For Mzansi has reliably learnt that all liabilities up to and including 12 March 2021, which were served under the previous management, will be managed by Vaalharts on merit.

The Vaalharts-Loskop Cotton ginnery will continue to operate without any interruption in any of the services. Rumours that Loskop would be forced to close its doors is there unfounded.

Going forward, Vaalharts Cotton and Vaalharts-Loskop Cotton will be managed as two independent business units, each with its own board of directors.

Relationships restored

The board of directors, chaired by Jannie Terblanche, is satisfied that the processes to sort out the problems are in place and that relationships will be restored to stimulate the growth of the local cotton industry anew.

Terblanche said that he and the board of directors are grateful for the expertise Vaalharts Cotton brings to the table and for their willingness to assist the Loskop directors with their new strategic journey. He looks forward to the collaboration for the benefit of the greater cotton industry.

Meanwhile Olivier said he believes in a transparent management style with open communication between the gin, the producers and all the role players in the cotton pipeline. He is convinced that cooperation and trust between role players is the basis on which the industry must build its success.

ALSO READ: Cotton: Will government save ‘agriculture’s stepchild’?

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