This year’s Manufacturing Indaba will see a panel of industry experts, influencers, academics and policy analysts review strategies for driving South Africa towards advanced manufacturing capabilities. Owing to the rapidly growing influence of advanced manufacturing technologies, in a field which is spearheading the progression of competing economies, it has become more important than ever for South Africa to move into this domain. Delegates at the Indaba will participate in discussions around how this can best be achieved.

The Indaba is a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Manufacturing Circle, a corporate association of private sector manufacturers. In addition to highlighting the significance of integrating advanced manufacturing into production practices for achieving the goals of enhanced productivity, lower costs and improving the competitiveness of export-oriented industries, the event also aims to bring to light the central concern of associated job opportunities.

2018 Indaba to focus on local growth

Hi-tech sectors have created opportunities for low-skilled workers due to the manufacturing industry’s multiplier effect. Innovation related to new products and markets has a direct impact on job creation and new career alternatives, with added opportunities for economic diversification. Advanced manufacturing enables more efficient use of limited resources, a key to enhancing productivity, wages and, ultimately, wealth in South Africa.

Experts note that with the integration of advanced manufacturing technologies within an economy, a multitude of companies seeking to strike a balance between capital-intensive and labour-intensive practices to enhance their global competitiveness emerge. The effects of this change in manufacturing practices spur an increase in exports and research capabilities that stimulate job creation. The marked difference in the job multiplier effect of general manufacturing, which stands between 1.58 and 2.5 times, and a multiplier effect of 3.5 to 4.5 times in the case of high-technology manufacturing, stands testament to this claim.

Existing barriers that South Africa’s economy must overcome to achieve its growth targets are also a concern among manufacturing stakeholders. These areas include the potential of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, improving the competitiveness of export-oriented industries, reducing South Africa’s dependency on Asian logistics and supply chains and focusing on the development of strategies for creating well-paying employment opportunities. Industry experts reflecting on their research and experiences at the Manufacturing Indaba will shed light on these issues, as well as successful examples of economies, such as China, which have profited from driving high-tech manufacturing capabilities.

The Manufacturing Indaba will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre on 19 and 20 June.

Image: http://manufacturingindaba.co.za/event-galleries/


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