The Safurnco-Saubatech Story

Safurnco (Pty) Limited was founded in 1957 by J R Mitchell (ex Steam & Mining Equipment). He was joined by W H van der Mey in 1959, D A Kirk in 1962 and H Singleton in 1972.

The principal agencies in the early days were Delapena Honing Equipment, M H Detrick Company (Furnace Roofs) and Stamco metal processing lines, shears and slitters, also Kleinewefers recuperators. Other agencies for equipment for the steel industry were obtained and also a small steam boiler was developed and manufactured locally. Safurnco have facilities to modernise existing mills.

In 1977 an agreement was reached with Hubert Davies/Blue Circle Limited whereby Blue Circle obtained financial control of Safurnco, enabling John Mitchell to retire in 1979. Safurnco was asked by Blue Circle to run Hubert Davies Projects. The name was changed to Blue Circle Projects (Pty) Limited and subsequently Safurnco became a division of the new organisation under the management of W H van der Mey.

In 1982, D A Kirk took over as Managing Director from W H van der Mey who was keen to retire.

In June 1984, it was decided amicably and mutually by Blue Circle and Safurnco that it would be to Safurnco’s advantage to seek a new partner with similar interest to form a company outside the Blue Circle Group. This led to Protectaire (Pty) Limited making a bid for the assets of Safurnco and its good name.

Protectaire was formed in 1973 by S P Dowdle with H P Thieme joining the company in 1975. The Company dealt mainly in industrial heating equipment with reputable agencies such as MACROburn Incinerators, Peabody Combustion Equipment and Marine & Industrial Oil Heaters. Their activities were considered to be most complimentary to those of Safurnco.

The company merger took place on the 1st September 1984, and it was decided to retain the name SAFURNCO for the Trading Company. D A Kirk and H Singleton remained members of the Safurnco Board throughout the periods of change and amalgamation (both have now retired) being joined on the board by S P Dowdle as Managing Director and H P Thieme as Marketing Director.

We believe that the Protectaire-Safurnco tie-up has produced mature, well-balanced company that will continue to do full justice to the products handled by them and provide clients with the type of service and after-sales service that they would expect.

In June 1992 the company converted to a Close Corporation. The ownership and management remained unchanged until the untimely passing away of S P Dowdle in January 2000. His son, J S P Dowdle took up the position as Managing Director shortly afterwards.

In July 2003 Safurnco split into Saubatech( Pty) Ltd and Safurnco SA(Pty)Ltd in order to give more focus to the marketing of the various products offered. . Saubatech (Pty) Ltd is headed by Andreas and Peter Thieme whilst Safurnco(Pty) Ltd stayed under control of JS Dowdle.