Long has the JoJo tank been around, but it wasn’t until South Africa’s dire water crisis became a nationwide disaster that it became a prominent fixture in suburban households.
Although there are currently over two million scattered about the country, little is known about the humble, squat green tank.
So let’s take a look.
According to Business Insider SA, the company is named after Johannes Joubert (get it?), a Groblersdal farmer who founded it in the 1970s. Talk about proudly South African, hey?
Now, however, JoJo is owned by the Oppenheimer family’s investment group Stockdale Street, as well as Rand Merchant Bank, Pan African Private Equity Fund Managers, and JoJo executives:
The Oppenheimers invested in JoJo with a sliver of the $5.1 billion (R40 billion) they earned from selling their 40% stake in De Beers to Anglo American in 2011. According to Forbes Africa’s Billionaires list, Nicky Oppenheimer continues to be the richest person in South Africa, with personal wealth of $7.7 billion (R89 billion). His family’s Stockdale Street outfit bought JoJo from the previous owners, an Investec consortium, in 2012.
Here’s Nicky – say “hi”:
It was just after Stockdale Street invested in JoJo that sales of the tanks rose, as widespread drought affected South Africans:
Households, businesses, and farmers scrambled to retain precious rainwater as the widespread drought culminated in SA’s driest year on record in 2015. Build It, a network of 300 hardware stores, reported that its sales of JoJo Tanks increased by 500% over the five years to end-2016.
And now, thanks to the Cape drought, Grant Neser, managing director of JoJo, expects sales to match the surge seen in 2016, as Cape Town households wait up to four months to receive a tank order:
The current growth will solidify the grip JoJo has on SA’s growing market for water tanks. According to its own assessment, it controls more than half of the market. This has earned it opposition from the Competition Commission, which recently blocked JoJo’s planned merger with another water tank producer.
To keep up with the demand, JoJo is “expanding production capacity in response to a surge in demand in the Western Cape,” says Neser.
But water tanks aren’t the only products produced by the company. They also made fish breeding tanks, “and a couple of other ideas that we will keep under wraps for now,” Neser says.
For those of you who aren’t able to fit a massive JoJo tank in your house / apartment, these 25 litre containers will suffice as water storage units for Day Zero.
Hope you’re still doing your part to keep that date being pushed further and further into the future.
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