a.b.e. Construction Chemical is celebrating 70 years of successful business operations in South Africa. The company is today one of the leading suppliers of specialised construction products to the building, civil engineering and building maintenance industries. The roots of the company can, in fact, be traced back to 1932 when the Durban shipping company, Corrie Man George, acquired 50% of the English company, International Bitumen Emulsions (IBE).
The South African operations of IBE were then named ‘African Bitumen Emulsions’ (a.b.e.). But it was in 1939 that a.b.e. started distributing its range of primarily bitumen products to municipalities in what was then known as Natal.
Distribution was handled by hardware stores, cooperatives and builders’ merchants. a.b.e. subsequently established further branches in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.
Over the years the ever-growing company has seen various changes in ownership and shareholdings. Two years ago a.b.e. listed successfully on the JSE AltX exchange and, despite the current difficult trading conditions, has continued to produce sound results.