top of page
  • Writer's pictureSafic


Article by: Eric Platt

Dated: 19 October 2021


Some History:

National Chemsearch Corporation

  • In 1919 a certain Milton Levy started a chemical Company called NCH Corporation in Dallas Texas in the USA with 6 products and a dream.

  • In 1946 Milton died and his wife Ruth and three sons Lester, Milton and Irvin took over the business with an annual turnover of $ 300 000-00 approximately R4,5 million.

  • NCH changed their name to National Chemsearch Corporation in 1960.

  • In 1969 they listed on the New York Stock Exchange having 250 products and an annual turnover of $48 Million approximately R720 million rand.

  • In 1981 National Chemsearch Corporation disinvested from South Africa.

  • In 1990 they became a leader in wastewater. HVAC and water treatment innovations.

  • In 2002 the Levy family purchased 100% of the shares which ended 37 years of being listed.

  • Today National Chemsearch Corporation is in 53 countries have 500 000 customers and a turnover of $1,3 Billion approximately R20 billion rand.


  • In 1981 Safic was established.

  • In 2006 it was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange through the holding Company namely Safic Holdings which later changed their name to Accentuate.

  • In 2012 Saic did a joint venture with the leading water treatment company in India namely Ion Exchange India.

  • In 2020 Safic was sold out of the listed company in a Management Buy Out and ended 14 years of being listed.

  • In 2021 Safic did an empowerment deal with Sorospace Capital which now own 26% of Safic.

Willie Coetzer was the Sales Manager for National Chemsearch Corporation in South Africa when they disinvested in 1981 and was also one of the founders of the newly formed Safic. National Chemsearch Corporation and Safic followed a similar pattern in starting private then moved into the listed environment, got involved in water treatment and eventually returned to private shareholding. National Chemsearch Corporation has recently celebrated their 102 years in business and Safic its 40th. We can also dream that one day with the correct leadership and committed employees our business will grow to the extent that they have done!

Since 1981 Safic survived four global recessions, political instability, economic turbulence, the recent pandemic and many other business challenges, but have managed through all of this to grow our business and we look forward to continue to increase our market share in the markets we serve.

None of the above would have been achieved if there was not good leadership and I would like to honour all the leaders that have come before me.


The definition of leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or an organisation”.

Whilst management is the day-to-day supervision and guidance of the team, leadership is the inspirational and motivational aspects that help each of them understand their purpose within the company and encourage them to challenge themselves. Each member of the Team is a cog in a machine, some are larger cogs than others but without all of them working together, the machine falls apart.

That being said, a leader’s role is to enable their Teams to do their best work by guiding them towards success. They must inspire others by displaying excellent self-leadership and encourage others to develop leadership qualities.

20 Leadership traits of a good leader:

  1. Truthfulness

  2. Responsibility

  3. Accountability

  4. Loyalty

  5. Self-awareness

  6. Impression management

  7. Vision

  8. Assertiveness

  9. Personal happiness

  10. Self-belief

  11. Ability to talk

  12. Ability to listen

  13. Appreciation

  14. Empathy

  15. Networking

  16. Result orientation

  17. Organisation

  18. Task focus

  19. Attention to detail

  20. Reliability

I have learned that Trust is the single most important factor in building personal and professional relationships. Trust implies accountability, predictability and reliability. More than anything else, followers want to believe in and trust their leaders.

Trust is something that is built over time and calls for consistency.

Time – Take time to listen to people and give feedback

Respect- Show respect to people

Unconditional - Show acceptance of the person

Sensitivity - Anticipate the feelings and needs of people

Touching lives - Give encouragement to people

It has been an honour and pleasure to serve as the leader of this great Company for the past 14 years and it has been fantastic to see employees develop themselves, take responsibility and accountability and make a difference in the day to day running of the business. I look forward to the day that the new generation will take over as the new leaders and trust that they will continue with the same passion to grow this business into the future. Let’s continue to be guided by the light of excellence as we enter this new season.

Safic, Lets Care

142 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page