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Manufacturing News

Govt speeding up plans to designate Sedibeng as SEZ

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th October 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola says government is working "with great speed" towards designating the whole of Sedibeng into a special economic zone (SEZ) to be named the Vaal SEZ. Majola was speaking at the Sedibeng Investment Conference, hosted in Vanderbijlpark,... 

Seifsa tables final three-year above-inflation wage offer in an effort to end strike

By: Schalk Burger     15th October 2021 Industry employer organisation the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has made a final wage offer to workers' unions in an effort to bring an end to the nine-day strike in the metals and engineering sector. The offer is for the lowest-paid employees to receive... 

A photo of Numsa members on strike

SABS launches local content verification scheme

By: Donna Slater     15th October 2021 The South African Bureau of Standard (SABS) has launched its new Local Content Verification Scheme, which offers domestic manufacturers the chance to certify the local content portion of their products or services. SABS lead administrator Jodi Scholtz says the new certification scheme, which has... 

Tshwane Automotive SEZ setting a precedent for speedy development

By: Marleny Arnoldi     15th October 2021 Trade, Industry and Competition deputy Minister Fikile Majola this week said the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) represents a turning point in how special economic zones (SEZs) must be owned and operated, adding that Gauteng’s economic development was being led by these... 

Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone construction in progress
Photo by Creamer Media's Marleny Arnoldi
Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone construction in progress

Biogas engines supplied to ethanol producer

15th October 2021 Multinational gas and diesel power plant specialist Clarke Energy has secured the sale of two of gas engine manufacturer Innio Jenbacher’s biogas engines to ethanol distiller PressCane Limited, based in Chikhwawa, Malawi. The ethanol production site generates biofuel in the form of ethanol, which... 

Fastening systems used at solar plants

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     15th October 2021 Industrial equipment supplier Actum Group has recently supplied its Ball-Lok cable ties for installation of cable management solutions at one of the largest solar plants in South Africa. 

Picture of cables tied on a wall with clamps on either side
DIFFERENT OPTIONS The cable ties are designed and manufactured to withstand the most challenging of environments

Vaal SEZ to become South Africa’s ‘pre-eminent hub for the hydrogen economy’

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2021 Vaal Special Economic Zone (SEZ) programme director Xola Sithole says the SEZ is seeking to position itself as South Africa’s “pre-eminent hub for the hydrogen economy”. In so doing, he says, the SEZ will participate in developing the hydrogen market primarily for Gauteng, and beyond, while... 

Company establishes green rare earth fluoride manufacturing plant based on Necsa intellectual property 

By: Donna Slater     14th October 2021 Over the past two years, Pretoria-based rare earth (RE) minerals refinery Rare Earth Refiners (RER) has designed, built and commissioned a demonstration plant for the green production of RE fluorides using a R15-million grant from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). REs, and especially... 

An image of the rare earth fluoride production machine based on intellectual property developed by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation
The rare earth fluoride production machine based on intellectual property developed by the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation

Numsa rejects new wage offer, engineering strike continues

By: Reuters     14th October 2021 South Africa's biggest engineering union, Numsa, has rejected a new wage offer as a national strike that has already hit output at car maker BMW enters its second week on Thursday, employer body Seifsa said. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), with around 155,000 members... 

A photo of striking Numsa members

Manufacturing sector struggling to recover to pre-pandemic output levels

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2021 Manufacturing production increased by 1.8% year-on-year in August, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) reports. The largest positive contributions were made by food and beverages (9.7% and contributing 2.3 percentage points); motor vehicles, parts and accessories and other transport equipment... 

Steel strike could lead to job cuts 

By: Bloomberg     12th October 2021 South Africa’s ongoing steelworker strike is likely to lead to job cuts, further hammering an industry that’s been in decline for several years, according to the country’s main employer body. The week-long walkout by as many as 300,000 members and allies of the National Union of Metalworkers of... 

A photo of Numsa members on strike

Electrolux SA advances renewable energy journey

By: Simone Liedtke     12th October 2021 Household appliance manufacturer Electrolux South Africa (SA) has embarked on a journey to no longer make use of electricity from the national grid and to use solar energy to power its operations. As a result, the organisation is confident of cutting the carbon footprint of its local Kwikot water... 

85% of industrial businesses to increase digital investments - Aveva

By: Schalk Burger     12th October 2021 A survey done by industrial software multinational Aveva shows that 85% of industrial businesses plan to increase their investment in digital transformation over the next three years to tackle climate change, embrace automation and unlock the performance benefits of advanced technologies. The... 

Companies within their legal right to effect mandatory vaccination

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th October 2021 Several of the country’s leading companies, including Discovery and Sanlam, have announced their intention to introduce mandatory vaccination policies within their organisations, but the debate continues about whether this is the right strategy . Business for South Africa (B4SA) on October 8... 

Covid-19 vaccine being administered
Jab in progress

Numsa considers new offer to end engineering strike

By: Reuters     8th October 2021 South Africa's biggest metalworkers union said on Friday its members were considering a new proposal to end a strike in the engineering sector, now in it's fourth day. The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), with around 155 000 members organised in the sector, have been on... 

An image of the Numsa logo

New pumps series now available

8th October 2021 Multinational manufacturing company Atlas Copco has extended the WEDA electric submersible pump series to include slurry, drainage and sludge units, which feature several enhancements in a bid to meet the fast growing demand for these high performing, compact, rugged, reliable and efficient... 

WEDA S pump being used outdoors
NEW AND IMPROVED The WEDA L slurry pumps, WEDA D drainage pumps and WEDA S sludge pumps feature flow rates of up to 16 500 ℓ/min

Load-shedding hinders holistic growth

By: Nadine Ramdass     8th October 2021 For custom plastic injection moulding company Bambisana Plastics, a subsidiary of Bambisana Holdings, the biggest challenges it has to contend with are labour and electricity. However, despite these challenges, along with the effects of the pandemic, the company has managed to not only avoid... 

An aerial image of Bambisana Plastics factory
BAMBISANA PLASTICS FACTORY Load-shedding is the biggest challenge the company faces

Machine learning can enhance manufacturing productivity

By: Nadine Ramdass     8th October 2021 The South African manufacturing sector is diverse and contributes 11.8% to gross domestic product and 10.3% to employment. Although these figures are small, compared with the figures of other countries, embracing machine learning could enhance the sector and assist in its growth, says University... 

Moderna plans to spend $500m on vaccine plant in Africa

By: Bloomberg     7th October 2021 Moderna said it would spend as much as $500-million to build a factory in Africa that could produce half a billion messenger RNA vaccine doses a year. In a statement, the company said that the new factory would produce the drug substance for messenger RNA vaccines, including its Covid-19 vaccine... 

Covid-19 vaccines

PG Bison's R560m investment in eMkhondo plant to increase capacity by 25% in early 2022

By: Schalk Burger     6th October 2021 Wood-based panel products manufacturer PG Bison is investing R560-million in its eMkhondo facility, in Mpumalanga, which will result in a 25% capacity increase at the plant when it is completed in early 2022. The project team is completing the replacement of its preparation line for the eMkhondo... 

A photo of PG Bison's eMkhondo factory, in Mpumalanga
PG Bison's eMkhondo factory, in Mpumalanga

Bearings International launches new Rexnord bearing solution 

6th October 2021 Bearings and power transmission products distributor Bearings International has launched a new bearing solution for demanding applications. Natasha Odendaal tells us more. 

Real Economy Report image
Bearings International launches new Rexnord bearing solution

Messe Frankfurt South Africa appoints Michael Dehn MD

By: Donna Slater     5th October 2021 Events organiser Messe Frankfurt South Africa has appointed Michael Dehn as its new MD, effective October 1. He succeeded Joshua Low who resigned from the company.  

An image of Messe Frankfurt South Africa MD Michael Dehn
Messe Frankfurt South Africa MD Michael Dehn

Numsa starts indefinite strike, auto industry fears impact

By: Reuters     5th October 2021 South Africa's biggest metalworkers union on Tuesday launched an indefinite strike, seeking pay rises and threatening to block supplies of parts to make new cars and accessories, industry and union officials said. With around 155 000 members organised in the sector, the National Union of... 

An image of Numsa members on strike
Photo by Reuters
Numsa members have embarked on a strike in the metals and engineering sector

Numsa members begin metals, engineering sector strike

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2021 Members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) embarked on a national strike on Tuesday following a deadlock in negotiations for a new wage deal. Union members didn’t report for duty in five of the country’s nine provinces and will begin picketing and marching during the... 

Local furnace builder playing its part in global urban mining

By: Darren Parker     5th October 2021 Foundry and engineering company Thos Begbie is supporting recycling and the circular economy by supplying specialist critical components for pyrometallurgical smelting in furnaces designed for reclaiming rare metals. Reclaiming rare metals from waste – called urban mining – involves extracting... 

A photo of a Thos Begbie smelter component
SPECIALISED APPLICATIONS Owing to the complexity of extracting so many different metals, the design of smelters for e-waste processing is more complex than usual

First Egypt smartphone maker wants to build Africa’s electronics

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2021 Egypt’s first smartphone maker will assemble handsets for other companies as it seeks to become the main contract builder of electronics bound for the rest of Africa. SICO Technology, which makes its own Nile X brand of handsets that sell for as low as $80, has begun to build smartphones for... 

Sakhumnotho partners with start-up to deploy EV technology

By: Simone Liedtke     4th October 2021 Investment holding company Sakhumnotho Group Holdings has partnered with start-up Everlectric to deploy global electric vehicle (EV) technology, coupled with a disruptive commercialisation model, in the logistics value chain in South Africa. Sakhumnotho has long invested in the energy sector... 

Pic of a Everlectric-branded vehicle.
Sakhumnotho Group Holdings invest in green energy through Everlectric

Clear understanding between govt, business needed to boost economic recovery – Mavuso

By: Donna Slater     4th October 2021 Little can be done to drive an economic recovery without a clear understanding between business and government, says Business Leadership South Africa CEO Busi Mavuso, who joined other business representatives in a meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa and his senior colleagues at the end of... 

Absa PMI stable at 56.8 points in September

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st October 2021 The seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) stabilised at an elevated level in September. This comes after large swings in the prior two months when several well-documented shocks pushed the PMI sharply lower in July, followed by a robust rebound in August. 

Freight costs, semiconductor shortages weigh on global manufacturing recovery

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th September 2021 The recovery of global manufacturing will be muted this year, with ongoing semiconductor shortages, rising freight costs and growing worker scarcities continuing to create problems for manufacturers, market intelligence firm Interact Analysis states. In its latest Manufacturing Industry Output... 

Numsa to start metals, engineering sector strike on Oct 5

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th September 2021 The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) has officially served a notice of strike action in the metals and engineering sector. The strike action will start at 05:00 on October 5 with a march in Gauteng, as well as potentially in KwaZulu-Natal and Cape Town. 

Global economy to face several headwinds going into second half – Fitch Solutions

By: Donna Slater     29th September 2021 Despite the global economy having performed strongly in the first half of the year, global economic activity has peaked and is starting to face several headwinds, says financial risk management, solutions and insights company Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research (Fitch Solutions)... 

DCD, Sherp to welcome more Sherp vehicles to Africa for use in remote, search and rescue conditions 

29th September 2021 Particularly well-suited to adverse weather and remote ground conditions, the Sherp heavy-duty vehicle provides an efficient mode of transport when access to remote areas is required, either for exploration, humanitarian, or search and rescue needs. 

Image of Sherp vehicle
DCD, Sherp to welcome more Sherp vehicles to Africa for use in remote, search and rescue conditions

Energy features strongly in IDC’s R24bn pipeline as Patel makes ‘go green’ call 

By: Terence Creamer     28th September 2021 The State-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is aiming to convert a significant portion of a R24-billion investment pipeline into commitments following a steep fall in both approvals and disbursements during its Covid-afflicted 2020/21 financial year. The development finance... 

A photo of IDC CEO TP Nchocho
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
IDC CEO TP Nchocho

Arise IIP gets carbon neutral certification for Gabon SEZ

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th September 2021 Pan-African industrial parks developer Arise IIP has been awarded a carbon neutral certification for its Gabon special economic zone (SEZ). The certification provides a transparent third-party assessment of the SEZ’s carbon footprint and offsetting. 

Africa needs $2tr for green manufacturing, McKinsey says 

By: Bloomberg     27th September 2021 Africa’s lack of industrial development puts it in a strong position to develop low-carbon manufacturing without the costs of transitioning from fossil fuel-based factories, McKinsey & Co. said. In the process of striving toward net-zero emissions by 2050, the continent could create a net... 

Steel federation warns Numsa's strike could top 2014's action that cost SA's economy R6bn 

By: News24Wire      23rd September 2021 South Africa's steel and engineering sector body says the decision by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) to down tools indefinitely in October could lead to a situation that's worse than's 2014 four-week strike that cost the economy R6-billion. Numsa secretary general... 

An image of a person welding
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