dtic seeks to create a competitive medical technology industry with new master plan

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater

14th May 2024

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel has launched the Medical Technology (MedTech) Master Plan, which is aimed at creating a proficient and competitive medical technology industry over the next three years that will supply domestic and international markets.

“The medical technologies sector offers a unique and significant opportunity for growth in South Africa. The sector has emerged as an increasingly innovative sector, developing technologies that can service both our local market and abroad.

"With the modalities for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreed, the African market provides a significant opportunity for growth in the sector. The African continent is currently a significant importer of medical technologies, with much of this demand within the scope of South African producers,” the Minister commented at a launch event on May 13.

He added that the long-term viability of the South African MedTech value chain was a priority for the country and the continent as a whole.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic) pointed out that the South African MedTech industry was valued at about R21-billion, with more than R4-billion in exports.

It added that the industry had the potential to be an important economic contributor, not only because of its economic impact but also because it helps to develop security of supply in key medical products.

Over the next three to five years, the MedTech Master Plan seeks to expand the number of workers in the sector by at least 1 000, as there is an opportunity to localise up to an additional R1-billion worth of goods that are currently imported.

“This action-oriented plan is based on identified competitiveness improvements, and measures to reduce levels of imports, drive demand and reposition the industry to become resilient under the intense global competition and pressure. The master plan places greater attention to effective implementation and impact to improve industrial performance and enable the sector to become more sustainable and competitive,” Patel said.

The master plan – the twelfth to be finalised since the start of the current administration and the eighth dtic-administered master plan to be finalised – encompasses a partnership between government, represented by both the dtic and the National Department of Health; manufacturers and procurers of medical technologies; and organised labour, with the aim of establishing a sustainable, globally competitive and job-rich value chain.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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