17 May 2021

Lebone Litho breathes new life into the newly revamped precinct in the South

Submitted by Archy Hlahla

In support of the City of Johannesburg’s mission to develop and expand business in the Central Business District of Joburg, Lebone Litho Printers, a leading specialized printing company responsible for the print and delivery of Matriculants Examinations, annual Grade 1-9 workbooks and digital archiving services recently revamped their block of buildings in Selby, south of Johannesburg.

The company which was established more than 20 years ago has gained great value from investing in technology, its facilities and workforce thus enabling them to grow revenues by an extra 20% in the past difficult year.

‘The most important asset at Lebone is our workforce’, says Keith Michaels the CEO. As much as the company invests in tech, it still recognizes that up skilling people is more important to ensure that they can operate new machinery and software to remain employable.

Beauty Phasha is one of the employees at Lebone who had an opportunity to upgrade her skills. “I joined Lebone in 2013 as a general worker and a machine loader. In 2015, I then underwent some training to upgrade my skill sets, thereafter I was promoted to CTP operator/plate maker’.

Phasha now aims to study further and become a supervisor or qualified designer.

To stay ahead of competition and up to date with international standards, Lebone invested in latest heavy duty machinery, pay marker (a new concept used to compensate matric exam markers) and e-marking technology to ensure that education in South Africa does not lag. The company has invested over R50 million towards moving to a digital way of operating.

An example of the machines they use at their Headquarters in Selby is the Corona Compact CC12 which bonds about 30 000 books on a busy day, a major development from previous machines which took double the time to do half the job.

Lebone has partnerships with many SMMEs in the distribution of workbooks across the whole country. To empower disadvantaged small businesses, the company provides financial aid through upfront payments, assistance in hiring of vehicles and storage spaces plus the provision of training to ensure that small players can perform, grow  and overcome challenges to become sustainable.

"SMME's are the backbone of our economy. We need to support them in every way possible as they employ majority of SA's workforce", Michael adds. Lebone has about 3000 SMMEs on its database and spends over R200 million to support them annually through its consortium with DSV and Novus Holdings.

“We have invested heavily in the precinct and now occupy a few blocks in the inner city. We moved into the new building on the 4th of January and currently have over 174 permanent employees’, highlights Michael.

The showcasing of the newly revamped building was held in Selby on the 10th of May 2021 and provided insights into the large-scale infrastructure of the inner city and print industry.