Isizinda Aluminium – Unlocking opportunities

Isizinda Aluminium (Isizinda) is a strategic partnership between Bingelela Capital (Bingelela) and Hulamin. Bingelela is a KwaZulu-Natal based black economic empowerment group with a majority black female ownership. Bingelela owns a majority 60% stake in Isizinda while Hulamin holds the remaining 40%. Isizinda means “Hub” in isiZulu and our vision is to make Richards Bay the hub of aluminium beneficiation in Southern Africa with metal from the Hillside smelters flowing to all industry participants.

Isizinda has acquired the Bayside casthouse in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal from BHP Billiton, subject to approval by the Competition Commission. In addition to the acquisition of the Bayside casthouse, Isizinda has concluded a five-year metal supply agreement with BHP Billiton that will see liquid metal supplied by the nearby, BHP Billiton owned Hillside smelter, directly to the Bayside casthouse. Hulamin, in turn, has concluded a matching slab off take agreement with Isizinda, securing the supply of rolling slab to Hulamin for the next five years and beyond.

The acquisition of the Bayside casthouse includes more than just the equipment and machinery used in the production of rolling slab. In 2009, as part of a restructure of its South African assets, BHP Billiton closed and mothballed casting facilities for aluminium wire rod, rim alloy and extrusion billet (rod, rim and billet) at the Bayside casthouse. Thereafter, these value added products were imported while the majority of Hillside’s output was exported as beneficiated metal and a number of downstream industry players that relied on the local supply of these value-added product lines downsized and/or closed down. These three additional operating lines are still in existence at the Bayside casthouse even though they are not in current use.

Frank Bradford (Director), Zodwa Manase (Chairman), Sizwe Khumalo (CEO)
and Hector Molale (Director) not in the picture: Phiwo Thango (Director)


In line with the strategic objectives and vision of Isizinda (to unlock the potential of aluminium and aluminium beneficiated products within South Africa), discussions with key strategic stakeholders in South Africa (such as local and national government and local downstream users of these value-added product lines) to form partnerships will be held to assess future opportunities to reopen these lines and unlock new potential for these aluminium related products in South Africa.

These operating lines will bring new opportunities for economic development and reduce South Africa’s reliance on imported finished products. Value-added products (rod, rim and billet) from these operating lines are used in many different sectors within the South African economy on a daily basis.


Aluminium wire rod is used pervasively in electrical transmission applications due to its superior conductivity and non-corrosive nature. With the expansion and need for electricity in growing economies such as South Africa and neighbouring countries, the manufacture of wire rod locally will reduce our need for imports and create valuable skilled jobs in the local economy. Every-day products produced from aluminium rod wire, rod and bar include chain-link fence material, aluminium antennas and zippers.


Rim alloy is used in the manufacture of aluminium alloy wheels. Trade & Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) has identified aluminium alloy wheel production in KwaZulu-Natal as a key strategic investment within the province in order to support the local motor industry in the establishment of the Durban Automotive Cluster.


Extrusion Billet is an aluminium “log” that is produced in many different diameters and cut to various lengths. The billet is heated and forced through a die to produce the desired shape of the customer. Extrusion billet can be used in the manufacturing of windows, doors, shower enclosures, computer heat sinks, and decorative trim.

By unlocking these operating lines, it is envisioned that Richards Bay will become the hub of aluminium beneficiaton in Southern Africa. Isizinda’s Bayside casthouse and the Hillside smelter owned by BHP Billiton are key strategic assets in aluminium beneficiation situated in Richards Bay. Local innovation and economic development can follow and in turn create Richards Bay as an aluminium beneficiary development zone through investment in these other operational lines that will benefit the Southern African economy.

Aluminium is a light-weight, innovative product that is used in meaningful ways daily by people throughout the globe. Examples of such innovative ways are beverage cans, motor vehicle body panels (automotive is a large strategic sector within South Africa), electricity conduction and the use in white appliances (such as air conditioners, microwaves and fridges).


The leadership team of Isizinda Aluminium has a wealth of knowledge in the aluminium industry. The CEO of Isizinda (Sizwe Khumalo) has been active in the aluminium industry for more than 20 years. His industry experience ranges from working as a chemical engineer to leading operations and process teams, including those at the BHP Billiton’s Hillside smelter when it was newly commissioned.

The strategic partnership between Bingelela and Hulamin, places Isizinda in a position to further develop the beneficiation of aluminium in South Africa that will benefit all stakeholders.