Fabulous Furniture for Africa’s Best

Furnishing some of South Africa’s finest hotels for over 24 years, Nelco Furniture Manufacturers (Pty) Ltd. has its eyes on global expansion, while remaining fiercely proud of is local roots.

As a famous designer by the name of Paul Rand once said, design is everything. Everything!

With the hospitality industry on the rise in South Africa – and especially prime for growth within the budget boutique hotel and B&B-type hotel market according to tourism and hospitality industry consulting firm Pam Golding Hospitality – the demand for well-crafted, unforgettably-designed, customised furniture goes hand-in-hand, which is exactly what Nelco has been offering to the market for over two decades.

Nelco Furniture Manufacturers has been catering the hotel, conference and leisure industries since 1988 and has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the largest exclusive suppliers of hotel and leisure furniture in South Africa and beyond.

“Nelco proudly manufactures its own furniture [in South Africa] and supplies various hotel chains, both locally and internationally,” said Ryal Rosen, CEO of the privately owned company in an interview with The African Business Journal. “We are one of the most established surviving manufacturers with the capacity to manufacture a large volume of furniture and deliver good service at a good price due to our long standing relationship with our suppliers.”

The company was founded by Jacobus Adriaan Nel over twenty years ago, and like any great entrepreneurial story, part of its early success was due to industry experience – Nel was previously a woodwork teacher and later a factory manager of a prominent furniture manufacturer – as well as that unique instinct entrepreneurs tend to have of knowing exactly when to strike to best meet the needs of the market place, in this case the hospitality industry.

Solidly Committed to Quality and Service

Nelco Furniture Manufacturers is meticulous not only in its careful design and production, but also in its commitment to its customers.

Working with the customers every step of the way, Nelco’s team of up to 90 employees during peak season are committed to “an impeccable standard of service” while representing customer interests during the design, pricing, manufacturing and installation process. In fact, a thorough due diligence process is devised at the beginning to specifically suit the client’s requirements and the manufacturing process only happens after prototypes are approved by all parties. Additionally the team works with customers to offer innovative ideas to enhance their designs as well as providing tailor-made solutions that will address their concerns.

Rather than being a jack of all trades, master of none, Nelco focuses on its “core competency, which is the manufacturing of timber related furniture,” whilst outsourcing all non-core activities. The company sources its material from “only the best suppliers of solid timber, board related products and furniture fittings, thus keeping to its commitment to quality.”

Furnishing Africa’s Best

Whilst targeting clients ranging from hotels, guest houses, conference centres, hospitals and apartments, over the years Nelco has completed over 720 installations of custom designed bulk furniture not only within South Africa, but reaching out to Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and even as far as Florida, U.S.A.

One of the company’s notable projects include South Africa’s luxury resort, The One & Only in Cape Town, where 129 rooms were furnished with sleekly designed wooden furniture, complimenting the chic and sophisticated aesthetic of the rooms. With design like that, it’s no wonder it’s been named the number one city hotel in Africa and the Middle East in the Travel and Leisure 2012 World’s Best Awards.

Nelco has also worked on the 546 rooms of Southern Sun’s Holiday Inn on the waterfront in Cape Town as well as the luxurious The Michelangelo Hotel in Johannesburg, furnishing its 240 rooms with elegant pieces perfectly completing the renaissance-inspired décor.

Rosen says the company is currently working on a project with Africa’s leading hotel group, Tsogo Sun’s The Cullinan Hotel on the famous V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, furnishing over 400 rooms.

Proudly South African with Global Perspective

Considering the adverse global economic conditions, specifically within the hospitality industry of South Africa, Rosen is confident Nelco’s competitive edge will help it to not only stand strong as a market leader, but to grow extensively into Africa to become the largest manufacturer of locally made, high-quality furniture.

“Since the incorporation of the business in 1988, the industry has evolved tremendously. Globally our biggest competitor is China and Indonesia, as they are South Africa’s largest importer of furniture. Competition locally has also increased substantially across all provinces,” said Rosen.

He added: “Clients are also becoming more business savvy and take the time to really understand and learn the differences between good quality products versus products that look good, but lack quality.”



Asime Nyide, known as DneinNuqer, is the insightful mind steering the helm at tabj.co.za. With a keen eye for business trends and a commitment to delivering cutting-edge insights, Asime curates a dynamic space where industry enthusiasts and entrepreneurs alike converge. Unveiling the latest market developments, strategic analyses, and thought-provoking perspectives, Asime Nyide fosters a community of forward-thinkers at tabj.co.za, making it a go-to resource for those navigating the ever-evolving landscape of business. E-mail / Instagram