If recent investments in the manufacturing industry are indicative of the trend going forwards, then the future is looking bright for this often beleaguered market sector.
In addition, the South African government recently announced that it was embarking on an offensive to attract $100-billion (approximately R1.3-trillion) in foreign direct investment (FDI) over the next five years to bolster the local economy.
Charlene Hefer, portfolio director for Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, says that a number of notable manufacturing plant projects have created a sense of hope for the country, including the R50-million Automotive Industry Centre (AIDC) mega-development in Rosslyn near Pretoria. Fuchs Lubricants South Africa also recently opened its R125-million grease plant expansion in Isando and Russian rolling stock manufacturer Transmasholding (TMH) launched a R500-million investment in a South African manufacturing facility through its subsidiary TMH Africa.
Not only does the manufacturing industry in the country 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.
Recognizing the importance of promoting local manufacturing to other countries, Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery, in association with the South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), is launching the Local Southern African Manufacturing Expo (LME) in Johannesburg between 21 and 23 May 2019.
Endorsed by the Premier of Gauteng, David Makhura, LME will provide an interactive, educational and practical platform for local manufacturing businesses to showcase their capabilities to a captive target audience. Significantly, AREI (Association of Representatives for the Electronics Industry) is partnering with LME 2019 to provide both its members and the industry with added value.