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February 1, 2008

Blessed Gérard blessed by foreign invester

Austrian company RHI Refractories who recently opened their new factory in Isithebe have expressed disappointment over Eskom's load-shedding.

In his speech at the opening on January 23, RHI CEO Andreas Meier said that they chose South Africa because of its stable and cheap energy supply and now "the reputation of South Africa is at stake".

RHI, the second largest producer of refractory products in the world spent an estimated R100 million on their new factory. The factory produces raw material by smelting Calsumite magnesia, which is a 100% export product.

"The new factory is a significant investment and will create wealth and add value to the raw materials available in South Africa, which is why Eskom should not let us down," said Meier.

Despite this RHI, as an act of their corporate social responsibility, decided to give back to the community through the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.

At the event the organisation's Father Gérard was presented with a cheque for R220 000 and the promise of more to come.

The non-governmental organisation, situated in Mandeni, cares for people infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. It is an umbrella organisation for a children's home, education programmes, a clinic and a hospice among others.

Meier expressed the hope of building a long-standing relationship with the organisation. RHI is the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard's biggest South African donor to date1.

Mandeni Mayor Lawrence Magwaza commended RHI on their involvement in the community and the fight against HIV/AIDS and welcomed the offer of job-opportunities and skills-development for the people of Mandeni and Isithebe.

1 The donation was made by RHI Refractories Africa (Pty) Ltd and represents the largest single donation ever received by the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard from a South African donor.

Top management of the RHI Isithebe project are (from left) Operations manager Ingo Gruber, CEO Andreas Meier, Mandeni mayor Lawrence B Magwaza, manufacturing director Albert Render, raw materials production manager Franz Korbler and local financial director Gavin Standing.

Andreas Meier and Albert Render hand a donation cheque to Father Gérard Lagleder of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.

The fused product before it is broken down for export.

The North Coast Courier, No. 1004 Vol 24 ˇ Friday, February 1, 2008, Page 26

Corrections of the original and an additional footnote had to be made for this online edition, which are marked by using Italics.

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