Tyre factory for harbour town

First-of-its-kind business for Erongo
A company, specialising in the retreading of truck tyres, opened its doors last week in the harbour town.
Leandrea mouers
Spending three years behind bars did not deter Fabian Langenhoven from opening his own business in Walvis Bay.

Having served a sentence for dealing drugs, he is now the proud owner and managing director of Tyre Tech Solutions, which currently employs 20 individuals.

He started the business in June 2019, which specialises in retreading truck tyres, a first of its kind in the Erongo Region.

“I opened a small workshop in the old industrial area of Walvis Bay, where I first started repairing truck tyres and selling second-hand tyres. Now, we opened a retreading factory, where old truck tyres are retreaded. These tyres can last as long as a brand new one.”

Langenhoven said he decided to establish his own company after conducting extensive market research and interviews. “Walvis Bay is a logistics hub, and every second or third car is a truck. If you look at the harbour, it’s very strategic in the SADC region."

During his time in prison, Langenhoven was part of the Coastal Drug Awareness Campaign (CODAC), spearheaded by prisoners incarcerated at the Walvis Bay Correctional Facility.

The campaign visited schools and various institutions, using testimonies of offenders and ex-offenders to educate and sensitise learners, teachers, parents, caregivers, employees and employers as well as community leaders about the dangers of tobacco, substance and alcohol use and abuse.

'Everything fell into place'

“I met Jesus Christ, my Saviour, while serving time and upon my release, I just pursued God more. Everything fell into place when I started doing things in a righteous way.

"God provided me with various opportunities. I was released early in 2019. This is also the first time a retreading factory has been opened in Erongo. The favour of the Lord truly made everything possible," he said.

Langenhoven is also in the process of establishing a project to assist youth in his local community.

“The youth are very close to my heart. Some of them are not academically inclined but are technically gifted, so we are looking at these issues. We want to do assessments with school dropouts and with learners at school.

"We are busy sorting out the details and want the youth to keep their hands busy, be employed and receive an income to cover their basic needs.

"I believe when your basic needs are covered, you are less inclined to do crime to sustain these needs.”

A second chance

Langenhoven expressed his appreciation to the community of Walvis Bay. “Thank you for believing in me. There are some people who really believed in me. Never undermine anybody in life. Everybody deserves a second chance. "Anyone has a gift and potential. Let’s look at how we can hold hands and help each other.

"If someone asks you for bread or water, you can actually help prevent a crime by fulfilling that need at that moment. Let’s not give up on each other," he said.

Walvis Bay mayor Trevino Forbes attended the official opening of Tyre Tech Solutions and labelled the establishment "a brilliant business move".

“The process of retreading tyres contributes to cost-efficiency and sustainability in the vehicle fleet. It is a smart business decision that offers great flexibility in a fleet’s supply chain and cash management strategies.”

For the environment

Forbes explained that the retreading process can assist a business’s environmental commitments as well. “Retreaded tyres requires fewer raw materials and less energy than to manufacture new tyres, thus benefitting the environment. Retreaded tyres are an economical and environmentally responsible business practice that also contribute to jobs and economic value. The benefits of retreading go beyond cost-saving.”

The mayor added that retreading tyres also results in the diversion of waste from landfills.

“Environmentally sensitive retreading contributes to the productive life of a tyre. By utilising the original quality casing, a retread can eliminate millions of scrap tyres being sent to landfills each year.”