With construction under way at its new R8,2m headquarters in Walmer, representatives from Mohair South Africa, the Mohair Trust and the Mohair Empowerment Trust will start packing up their current North End offices towards the end of December.
Deon Saayman, general manager Mohair SA, says because Port Elizabeth leads the mohair industry globally, the time had come for a location that reflects its status in the world.
Port Elizabeth is home to these production facilities while the mohair itself originates from the Angora goat farms of the Karoo, spread across the Eastern, Northern and Southern Cape.
South Africa accounts for 52% of global mohair production.
“We want to be a one-stop shop for mohair, so the brief from the trustees is that we needed to be close to the airport for easy access for tourists and visitors.
There will also be a library space for students, as well as a crafting space. We will also have our own mini-conference centre for functions and fashion shows.”
The new headquarters was designed by Jason Erlank Architects while BSP Construction is in charge of the building, which has been inspired by agriculture.
“The style is based on the industry we are in, so it will be shaped like two barns that have been linked by a walkway.
We are pleased by the progress so far and believe the building will be stunning once completed,” Saayman says.
“The builders have encountered delays as a result of all the rain.
There are always challenges that need to be addressed, but they have done their utmost to recoup the time.
Now it is really starting to take shape and is going to be quite unique.”
Saayman says it took time to find the perfect location for the new premises, which are situated on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Fordyce Road in Walmer.
“Visibility was the most important factor,” he says, adding that the premises in North End, occupied since 1973, have already been sold.