Overlooking the Indian Ocean on the slopes above this characterful naval town, the Navy Publications Unit is housed in a string of rather barn-like structures. But outward appearances can be deceptive … stepping into the recently-refurbished Printing Division is to enter a world of world-class technology.
To the tune of some R20-million, the new unit boasts a complete array of Heidelberg equipment, from a Suprasetter 105 CtP system to a gleaming four-colour Speedmaster XL 106 press, plus all the attendant finishing equipment – a Stahlfolder KH 56 folder; a Stitchmaster ST 100 saddle stitcher; a Eurobind 600 adhesive binder; and two Polar 137 X Plus guillotines.
Led by Vice Admiral J Mudimu, Chief of the South African Navy, and Graham Billimore, the Warrant Officer who spearheaded the project to transform the Printing Division, the official commissioning of this facility was attended by a large number of naval officers. The team on hand from Heidelberg South Africa included MD, Jimmy Joujou, and the Cape Town team of Steven Wiggill (branch manager), Malcolm Hurst (consumables manager), André Thiart (electrician) and Martin Groenewald (demonstrator).
In fact, this relationship between Heidelberg and the Navy goes back four decades, a fact that was emphasised by Jimmy Joujou in his address to the gathered dignitaries.
‘Today is a celebration of two institutions with a long-standing heritage – the South African Navy and Heidelberg. We have worked together for over 40 years and today we see the fruit of this relationship. The South African Navy now has the most up-to-date equipment on the entire African continent,’ he remarked.
‘It’s an honour and a matter of great pride that the Navy has cemented its trust in our company and our products. It has been a long journey with lots of effort from both parties but especially from the Navy,’ Jimmy added.
He went on to praise project leader Warrant Officer Graham Billimore and his team. ‘Without their professional efforts, this project would have taken a lot longer to complete. They should be commended for their hard work and exceptional assistance,’ he continued.
Wishing the Navy great success and high-quality printing, Jimmy pledged Heidelberg’s continuing support for the next 40 years.