4 April 2024


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Article by Nampak 19 February 2019


Celebrating a half century is always a special occasion.  Today, Nampak marks the 50th anniversary of its listing on the JSE.  But Nampak’s proud and illustrious history dates back to 1918 when a box-making business was started by John Herzberg in Cape Town.  Over the years, various packaging companies were started, merged and bought.  A few key events led to today’s anniversary:

  • In 1929, Oscar Fruman started Transvaal Box in Johannesburg which in 1957 took a 25% shareholding in Herzberg Mullne. Oscar was confirmed as the Group’s first chairman when Nampak was later listed
  • In 1944, Amalgamated Packaging Industries (API) was registered  and comprised eleven businesses  
  • In 1963, National Packaging Ltd (Natpack) was established and listed  
  • In 1968, National Amalgamated Packaging (Nampak) was formed to take over the share of API and Natpack 
  • Nampak listed on the JSE on 19 February 1969
  • Another big milestone was the merger of Nampak and Metal Box SA in 1983 making it South Africa’s largest packaging company 
  • 2007 saw Nampak moving into the rest of Africa, with its greenfield operation in Nigeria. Further investment was made in 2011 when Angola’s first beverage can plant was commissioned. This was followed by the acquisition of another beverage can facility in Nigeria in 2014 as Nampak solidified its footprint in the rest of Africa 
  • In 2012, Nampak converted its South African beverage can facilities to aluminium from steel. This has had a major impact on recyclability of Metals in South Africa and more than 80% of cans produced are recycled


During Nampak’s history, there were many acquisitions, disposals, expansions and new developments.   Over all this time, Nampak has made a valuable contribution to the SA economy, employment and customers.  

Today, with 49 manufacturing operations across 13 countries, Nampak’s vision is to be Africa’s leading diversified packaging manufacturer.  Says André de Ruyter, CEO, “to do this, we need to continually develop and create world class packaging products, to not only meet the demands of our customers and the needs of their consumers, but being mindful of the impact on our environment. The current global phenomenon against single-use plastics is an example of how much more sophisticated and environmentally conscious end-customers are becoming. While it poses a challenge for manufacturers, we at Nampak see is as an exciting development.  We can advocate for, and with, consumers to influence customers/retailers to moving towards sustainable packaging and reduce the overreliance on plastics as a substrate, where alternatives with a better environmental footprint are available.”

De Ruyter adds “Nampak is already pursuing opportunities and is working with committed retailers towards eliminating single-use plastic. Our focus is largely on liquid packaging and we are assisting our customers on how to find the best alternative packaging for their products. For carbonated drinks, aluminium cans are ideal as they are impermeable and retain carbonation well. Non-carbonated liquids such as juice and milk  can be packaged in paper-based cartons. Our cartons factory in Isithebe has capacity to ramp up materially and we are actively pursuing opportunities to leverage this facility. We also have developed paper-based cartons from FSC sources (i.e. 100% sustainable paper) with sugar cane derived ethanol closure caps for non-carbonated drinks.”

De Ruyter emphasises that “While plastic has its advantages, it will have to be utilised more responsibly going forward. Nampak has the technology to reduce the volume of raw materials by techniques such as light-weighting (in which Nampak is a world leader), and where possible to close the loop through recycling. Substitution, light-weighting and recycling are all imperatives for the future.”

De Ruyter concludes, “Evolution and a continually changing landscape is the name of the corporate game and ongoing transformation is vital to Nampak’s continued existence and sustainability into the future.  We will continue to invest, to enhance the performance of the base business in South Africa, while accelerating investment in the rest of Africa.  We are excited about our future!”



For further information:
Nondyebo Mqulwana, Group Investor Relations Manager:  011 719 6326

For interviews:
Anne Dunn:  082 448 2684 / anne@annedunn.co.za

About Nampak

Nampak is Africa’s largest diversified packaging manufacturer by volume and revenue. We leverage the skills of our 6 678 people and capitalise on our substantial investment in state-of-the-art facilities to produce world-class metal, glass and rigid plastics packaging from facilities in 11 countries across Africa, and in the United Kingdom as well as Ireland. Our customers – many of them large fast-moving consumer goods companies – benefit from our extensive research and development services, which provide them with innovative solutions that promote their own products while keeping their impact on the environment in check. www.nampak.com

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