SKF South Africa celebrates 100 years

August 2014 News

SKF South Africa first opened its doors as Skefko Ball Bearing Company in Pritchard Street, Johannesburg, on 12 April 1914. Swedish holding company, SKF AB, founded in 1907, upholds the motto, ‘Equipping the world with knowledge’ and its expansion programme led to the establishment of subsidiaries outside Sweden, with SKF South Africa as the first on the African continent. In 1953 SKF South Africa started an engineering division to cater for the needs of the mining industry and in 1970 it appointed its first regional distributor.

“A number of contributing factors played a fundamental role in our rich and successful history, and indeed continue to do so,” says SKF South Africa’s managing director, Ian Cillié. “We would not be where we are today without our loyal customers, our dedicated distributor network and our committed SKF employees.

“There were many highlights over the past 100 years. Some examples include the expansion of SKF’s product offering with the introduction of the six global core technologies. Then, on the local front, SKF opened the Bearing Remanufacture Centre in Whitfield in 2008 for the remanufacturing of large sized bearings and a year later the Solutions Factory was established.”

The SKF distributor network is also an essential part of the family and is a true reflection of its tremendous success. Today SKF’s distributor network, which also includes Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi, comprises authorised independent industrial distributors and lubrication, commercial vehicle and agricultural experts. This is the way SKF delivers its engineering, product and service solutions to customers across the continent.

“As our partners, our customers are the reason why we do what we do; relentless investment in R&D to develop new technologies that deliver sustainable, ever more efficient solutions to keep operational costs low and plant availability high,” explains Cillié. “But none of this would be possible without our committed employees. The calibre of people that have walked through SKF South Africa’s doors over the past 100 years pays tribute to our success. Each and every staff member has made a contribution to our history and I thank everyone for their hard work and dedication. Together, we can look forward to the next 100 years with confidence.”

For more information contact Samantha Joubert, SKF South Africa, +27 (0)11 821 3602,,


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