According to Eric Bruggeman, CEO at the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), it is critical for the sustainability of local manufacturing operations that they aggressively pursue opportunities to increase their market share. Not only is this relevant to their increased permeation of the overseas market, but furthermore, they need to capture market share that is currently being monopolised by importers.
Bruggeman cites recent statistics which indicate that South Africa currently imports products to the value of a staggering $83.2-billion. If we were able to shift this demand to the local manufacturing sector, we could realistically create 1.329-million jobs. A part of the Council’s mandate is to organise outward selling and inward buying missions. “In line with this, we identified a need to showcase the offerings of the SADC region’s local manufacturers in an interactive manner. The result is the inaugural Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME), which is endorsed by the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura.”
Bruggeman says that approximately 50-70% local content in products would be considered acceptable to the future growth and sustainability of the local manufacturing sector. “We find it unacceptable that many local procurement specialists still insist on sourcing products from overseas when local alternatives have in fact proven to be superior in terms of both performance and reliability. By driving awareness of exactly what is available on the local manufacturing stage at the Expo, our goal is to decrease the unnecessary importation of goods, and to shift the focus to the excellent choices available from local manufacturers.”
Charlene Hefer, portfolio director for the Expo’s organisers, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, says: “There is no doubt that the Southern Africa manufacturing sector is characterised by a pioneering spirit, and both the innovation and quality of locally produced goods is exemplary. We strongly believe that this message needs to be conveyed to those people responsible for the procurement of goods within organisations. The Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo will furthermore create a fertile environment for visitors to find the right BBBEE and technology partners.”
Nurturing the local manufacturing sector is critical given the fact that not only does it provide income and job opportunities to those people directly employed in the sector, but furthermore it has high economic multipliers in its linkages to upstream production sectors (mining and agriculture) and downstream sectors, including services.
“The Expo is underpinned by the recognition and upliftment of local manufacturers and will provide an interactive, educational and practical platform for local manufacturing businesses to showcase their capabilities to a captive target audience. In a show of confidence in the exhibition, the dti (Department of Trade & Industry) has endorsed the event and AREI (Association of Representatives for the Electronics Industry) partnered with LME to provide both its members and the industry with added value,” says Hefer.
In addition to a wide variety of products and services on display at the exhibition, SAIMechE hosted the free-to-attend seminars. There was also an arei (Association of Representatives for the Electronics Industry) Pavilion and the Artisan Training Institute (ATI) hosted the Skills Development Zone. Other Association partners included International Steel Fabricators (ISF), the Minerals Council South Africa (MCSA), Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA), Steel Tube Export Association of South Africa (STEASA) and the Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of South Africa (LEEASA).
The Mandela Mining Precinct and the Mining Equipment Manufacturers of South Africa (MEMSA) hosted the SA Mining Supply Chain Conference and Workshop alongside the Expo on 22 and 23 May 2019.
The Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME) 2019 event attracted a large local and global target audience all looking to source high-quality locally manufactured products and complementary services. The next LME event is 2021. Don’t wait, book a stand for the 2021 Expo now at 2019 prices.