Unitrans Africa

Business Operations

Our Leadership

Key Management

Rob Hayworth | CEO

Rob as chief executive officer of Unitrans Africa has a reputation as an experienced executive with a demonstrated history of people management and negotiations in the agriculture, logistics and supply chain industry.

Adriaan de Beer | CFO

Adriaan leads the team on the corporate finance front with a refined sense for judgement and decision making. His thirty two years of serving global companies provides a solid foundation for overseeing Unitrans Africa business that requires asset intensive investments.

Gert Brits | COO

As Unitrans Africa chief operating officer, Gert demonstrates a great disciplined for running operations across vast African territories. Each country provides its own challenges to quickly comprehend and address which requires critical thinking.

Jauk Kuiper | Technology
and Innovation Executive

Jauk has demonstrated his passion for applying relevant technology and the critical role it plays in competitive advantage of companies. As an accomplished value chain analyst he specialises in technology, risks and innovation to provide value growth for Unitrans Africa and its customers.

Noddy Ramroop |
Fuel and Energy Executive

Noddy exhibits a keen sense of service to Unitrans Africa customers and team members alike. Through close coordinating with all stakeholders, he has built a reputation as an expert in the Africa energy and fuel industry. He maintains close, long-term relationships with its customers.

John Kettlewell |
Agriculture Executive

John draws on broad experience in sales, operations and supply chain in the service to Blue Chip companies, to lead the operations and development of strategic programs in the agriculture division. As an effective leader he is able to engage across all levels of organisations to implement innovation.

In review

Our Proud History

Unitrans has been in business as United Transport since 1962, our company is one of South Africa’s most recognisable logistics and supply-chain brands, with fleet on roads all over Southern Africa. Now well over 100 years old, Unitrans Africa continues to grow and innovate.

1892 > The story begins
The origins of the company date back to the 19th century, long before the existence of United Transport. The original core of the business was Thornton’s Transportation, a solid and respectable family transport business founded in 1892 by native Californian Samuel Thornton. Thornton’s steady growth through the acquisition of other transport companies eventually resulted in a major buyout by the United Transportation Company. In turn, the United Transportation Company had started life as a bus operating company in the United Kingdom in 1930. The bus company evolved into a diversified freight and bus business which, prior to the Thornton acquisition and the entry into SA, successfully operated in several other African countries.

1962 > United Transport looks to the future
In this year United Transport was first incorporated in South Africa. In the same year the newly incorporated business acquired the well-known Greyhound passenger bus business, which is to this day a Unitrans company. Greyhound had itself grown from humble origins in 1944 in Port Elizabeth, and matched the United Transport company’s ambitions to develop a passenger side to the business as well as diversified freight transportation.

1971 > A focus on growth
By the early 1970s in South Africa, United Transport had become the country’s largest road transport organisation, with capabilities and major interests in freight haulage, passenger transport, tourism, tanker services, as well as crane and plant hire. The group operated a fleet of some 1 400 buses and commercial vehicles, making it the second largest fleet in the country after the SA Railways. It had also branched out into a car hire business with some 900 vehicles.

1987 > Unitrans is born
United Transport finally listed on the JSE in 1987, with all of its subsidiary businesses assuming the name Unitrans.

1998 > From the late 1990’s onwards,
Several significant acquisitions expanded the range and geographical reach of the Unitrans business. These included the acquisition of Matthysen Bus Transport, which would be renamed Mega Bus and Coach – still an integral part of the Unitrans passenger transportation business. Malbak Motors, a leading national vehicle distributor at the time, was acquired and renamed Unitrans Motors. This was followed by the launch of Unitrans Finance to provide consumer credit to the burgeoning motor vehicle market. Unitrans Motors’ subsequently acquired the balance of shares in Hertz Rent-a-Car. The Unitrans Motors successes were followed by the acquisition of the entire shareholding in Roadway Logistics(Pty)Ltd., which had been a 50/50 JV with Steinhoff Africa.

2006 > A modern restructure
In this year a major restructure of the business saw the creation of Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions. This response to sophisticated changes in the supply chain market saw the existing operations of Unitrans Freight, Fuel and Chemical, Agriculture and Mining Services and Roadway Logistics grouped under the new holding division. An important new function, Unitrans Customer Solution Development, was created to deliver new business to these operational divisions.

2015 > One Unitrans
In the same spirit of constant innovation and sustainable business growth, a new business model was successfully implemented at Unitrans late last year.  Unitrans has firmly changed gears, embarking on a new phase of development for the company. Unitrans now operates as one business and function as one team. The key approach is customer first.

2018 > Unitrans Africa
Unitrans Africa emerged as a focused Africa business in 2018. Following in depth evaluations of the ways of doing business in Africa, the shareholders thought it most appropriate to let the operations in Africa stand independently and be able to grow at an accelerated pace. Unitrans Africa has gone through a phase of re-alignment and is successfully building on its existing footprint in 9 countries.

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