Gerhard Hauptfleish: Climbing to the Top of the World

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Gerhard Hauptfleish: Climbing to the Top of the World

Lately, Honingcraft has taken a special moment to highlight some of the stars in the company. If you missed these heartwarming and inspiring stories, visit our blog to catch up. This month we discover the man behind the Honingcraft brand.


Gerhard was born in Elsburg, Germiston. His father sadly passed away when he was very young. Gerhard was financially poor but blessed with a loving and supportive family. Despite his limited education, he luckily got an extra helping of common sense.

In 1987 Gerhard co-founded Kappa Engineering to manufacture hydraulic cylinders. He realised there was a gap in the market for tubing suppliers because the supplier he had back then wasn’t great.

“In 1991, I went to Europe with a suitcase in my hand and a song in my heart. I boarded a plane to Germany in search of a tubing supplier to fill the gap I had identified.

Since then, Honingcraft has become a market leader in supplying hydraulic cylinder manufacturers with materials and value added services. Honingcraft is Gerhard’s sole project and his main focus. Honingcraft has a reasonably flat management hierarchy with all hands on deck. Most importantly, every person is encouraged to sell because sales are the lifeblood of any business.

Honingcraft values its team’s extensive knowledge and value its suppliers. According to Gerhard, it’s good people that make it all happen in Honingcraft.

“There’s never a dull moment, says Gehard. We take on exciting projects daily. A significant moment for me was when we moved. We purchased and moved Honingcraft into the current premises at Dekema Road in Wadeville. We extended that factory and enlarged our footprint. Because the company was growing rapidly, that moment was a significant achievement. South Africa has a lot of opportunities for anyone to conquer more opportunities in South Africa than any one person could conquer in a lifetime”.


Gerhard has summited Kilimanjaro three times and Kala Patthar in Nepal. “My favourite travel destination is Nepal. Hands-down, there is no contest. It’s a lovely country with beautiful people and scenery, and I’d love to return if time allows”.

Gerhard prefers to pursue endurance sports because it’s challenging, and his whole family has a drive for excellence. For Gerhard, it builds memories that can sustain him when the chips are down.

“My wife and I had kids very young, which made it easy for us to pursue adventurous projects like climbing Kilimanjaro with them. We could enjoy our children whilst we were young enough to do the activities that they found interesting. That was a true blessing”.

From a parent’s perspective, that approach to inclusion is lovely to hear. Gerhard shares, “My advice to parents would be – spilt milk needs a rag, not a hiding. I was tough on my kids because I wanted the best for them. I don’t have regrets, but I would have liked to know that piece of wisdom sooner in life”.


Playing polo cross with his children was quite a moment for him. Gerhard and his family started a polo cross club in Boksburg Called Raintree Polo Crosse Club. Raintree won SA club champs once and took the plate in another year. Gerhard received provincial colours for representing Gauteng and received national colours representing the SA Veterans Touring Team.


For those who missed the news, this year’s Trans Baviaans competition left 200 people injured and out of the 1,200 athletes who entered, only 911 started the race. 390 people had to be evacuated. 522 people finished the race, and Gerhard was one of them (wow!)

“No matter what sport you pursue, perseverance is always the key. I just thought that not being prepared for the elements wasn’t a good excuse not to finish the race. 80% of the preparation is mental. The remaining 20% is overcoming friction”.


When we asked Gerhard how he balances it all, he answered, “ We try not to take work home. I train as soon as I wake in the morning, and that’s the secret to my success. My wife is the best companion I could have asked for. She supports me in everything I do, but she’s a formidable business person in her own right. Without her, none of our success would be possible. She’s always been candid, and she gives me great advice. I might not like the advice, but she is rarely incorrect, and her advice is on point more often than not.

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