Day 1 Manufacturing Indaba 2018 Highlights

Online since 20.06.2018 • Filed under Press Release
  Day 1 Manufacturing Indaba 2018 Highlights

Some of the highlights of day 1 of Manufacturing Indaba (MI) 2018 have included-:

  • Increased support from government and in particular from the Department of Trade and Industry with a significant delegation of dti officials available throughout the conference who spoke and supported manufacturers. A large dti exhibition stand in the exhibition hall is also available to provide assistance and backing to manufacturing companies.
  • The launch of the Factory of the Year Award has been expanded to include South Africa and was announced at Manufacturing Indaba in the presence of some of the industry’s most respected players. Factory of the Year, a vital contributor to economic growth and job creation aims to support South Africa’s drive to reinvigorate and develop the local manufacturing sector exposing ultimately the winning team to global benchmarks. The Factory of the Year endeavour is considered to be the most challenging manufacturing benchmarking competition worldwide and is supported by the leading global management consultancy firm, A.T. Kearney, the Manufacturing Circle, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Manufacturing Indaba.
  • Significant presence of manufacturing heavyweights at the conference including Volkswagen South Africa Group CEO, Thomas Schaefer, Ally Angula, Group CEO of Leap Holdings, representing a large Namibian manufacturer, Yanesh Naidoo from Jendamark, Nizam Kalla from Amka Products, etc.
  • Insights at the conference have touched on emerging market currencies which are in for a rough ride due to the current extra confidence in the dollar. Ironically, a risk-off situation has been created in spite of erratic US policy decisions such as $100 billion tariffs levied against China, and other US controversial political initiatives.
  • However, what did emerge out of an SABC 3 TV interview with Chris Gilmore an independent analyst at MI 2018 was that although currently the rand is weaker, this is the perfect time for manufacturers to be selling as much as they can and taking advantage of the weaker local currency status.
  • Further coverage of the Conference alluded to the state of Manufacturing in South Africa with its contribution to the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) declining over the years. However, the report also placed emphasis on the very diverse array of manufacturing in South Africa featured in the Exhibition Hall at MI 2018 with displays that included electric cars, toy trains, cleaning equipment, make-up, handbags, wines as well high-tech manufacturing helping equipment such as robotic arms.
  • One of South Africa’s success stories has been to attract car manufacturers and have them manufacture their cars in SA and export them around the world. Thomas Schaefer Chairman & Managing Director Volkswagen Group South Africa, one of the speakers at MI 2018 emphasised the fact that, “we need growth in Africa” and that Volkswagen are pushing into various African countries because they do see a future.
  • Another pertinent topic addressed here was that an economy cannot have or maintain growth without creating jobs, and it is not sufficient to have growth only at the high end of the skills bracket which only provides employment to a small highly skilled section of the population such as in trade and banking.
  • Manufacturing is labour-intensive, and in order to maintain the ability to produce and to not resort to imports and remain self-sufficient, the economy needs to facilitate the upskilling and the employing of a whole range of people from a vast range of skill sets.


These essential topics relevant to Manufacturing were discussed yesterday, and other pertinent Manufacturing topics are again being debated in the various discussion forums at MI 2018 today; the second day of this prestigious African Manufacturing conference.

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