Home » Sanitech celebrates 50 years with a commitment to community and future growth

Sanitech celebrates 50 years with a commitment to community and future growth

by Tia

Sanitech, a leader in integrated hygiene and sanitation solutions, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. Reflecting on the company’s journey from a small plumbing business to a comprehensive sanitation provider, Sanitech’s Managing Director, Robert Erasmus, shares insights into the company’s history, recent initiatives, and future aspirations.

The Sanitech name was registered in 1974 by Grant Murray in KwaZulu-Natal. Initially, it was a small plumbing business, but Murray quickly identified a market for portable sanitation services. Over the years, Sanitech expanded, albeit on a limited scale, by partnering with various agents. The significant transformation began in the 1990s and early 2000s when private equity ownership enabled national growth. In 2007, the business continued to expand following the acquisition of Sanitech, which marked the beginning of global support for WACO International.

Erasmus joined Sanitech in 2008, marking a pivotal moment. “My role was to transform Sanitech into a corporate entity aligned with WACO International’s standards in health, safety, policies, and procedures,” Erasmus explains. Under his leadership, Sanitech expanded from eight locations to 24 and diversified its services beyond portable toilets to include integrated hygiene services, water and waste treatment, and pest control. Today, Sanitech employs over 3,000 people, a substantial increase from 350 in 2008.

Instead of a traditional celebration event for its 50th anniversary, Sanitech chose to invest in Corporate Social Investment (CSI) projects. Sanitech sponsored 50 Khusela sanitation units across various regions in South Africa. These units were installed in disadvantaged  schools in areas such as Witbank, Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Cape Town, providing proper sanitation facilities and meals for the day. “It was a school-focused initiative, ensuring that learners have access to clean and safe sanitation, which is crucial for their health and education.”

Looking ahead, Erasmus envisions Sanitech continuing its trajectory of growth and innovation. “We aim to expand our product and service offerings in the hygiene and sanitation sector, especially as we face new challenges like the potential water crisis. Sub-Saharan Africa presents significant opportunities, and we’ve already established a presence in Mozambique,” he notes. Sanitech plans to enhance its contributions to clients’ Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) requirements by expanding its hygiene, cleaning, and pest control services.

Reflecting on the impact of their CSI projects, Erasmus shares a poignant experience: “Visiting the school in Palm Ridge where we installed new sanitation units was eye-opening. The conditions these young learners face are challenging, yet their discipline and resilience are incredible. It was a humbling reminder of the importance of our work.”

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