Reindustrialise South Africa – don’t let it be just another catchphrase

In June we had the winter solstice here in the Southern Hemisphere. As we all know the winter solstice is the day when the longest hours of darkness are recorded. For me it is always the turning point in the year when we in the Southern Hemisphere begin tilting back towards the sun and we are on our way to experiencing warmer temperatures and longer days for our summer months. There is nothing like soaking up a bit of vitamin D to be healthy and positive.

Some say the solstice is the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection. There are many yarns, customs, lore, symbols and rituals associated with this period in the year, as there are celebrations and festivals in many countries. Sadly, many of these joyous occasions would have been cancelled or postponed this year. Running of the bulls, food fights with tomatoes and red wine battles all seem insignificant except for the devastating effect on local economies through the lost revenue from tourism.

I concluded my editors comment in the last issue requesting we begin a period to support local businesses. This issue reflects the positive outlook and forward thinking that some companies have and they deserve to be supported.

King Bull Industrial Supplies and Sales, an importer and distributor of threading tools (taps and forming taps) manufactured by German specialist manufacturer Schumacher Precision Tools GmbH, has developed and manufactured a range of soft jaws for use on lathe chucks and a range of hand tap wrenches – South African designed and manufactured. They have taken steel that was filling up their shelving and turned it into meaningful products that could even be used by their opposition.

A local scuba diving equipment manufacturer has developed a new range of high-quality, re-usable face masks suitable for public, professional and patient use to combat COVID-19. Wizard Tool & Die manufactured all six new moulds in six weeks to get the product into production. No mean feat.

Somta Tools has announced the launch of its brand-new multi-purpose cutting tool range, designed specifically to assist manufacturers who machine multiple material types.

Custom CNC sheet metal fabricator Budget Sheet Metal has purchased another press brake that will make the company more flexible and efficient at processing smaller components. Besides experiencing an upturn from existing clients, they are now acquiring new clients – those that used to get their processing done in China and other countries. Logistical problems are forcing these companies to reshore.

Then there are the three South African foundries that have been accredited with the PED 2014/68/EU certification standard, which enables them to supply castings with internationally recognised CE marking.

Livestock handling systems manufacturer Tal-Tec have invested in a fiber laser that has enhanced the company’s efficiencies and productivity. They have also been busy developing new products for our farmers – products that will help make it easier for farmers to handle and manage their livestock.

Anceriz Engineering have been manufacturing and supplying product to the mining industry for a number of years and they have found it necessary to invest in another CNC turning machine, which was installed over this period of lockdown.

In no ways am I trying to downplay the hardships that many have suffered. Those in the tourism and travel industry must feel that they have been hit by a stampede of wildebeest trying to cross the Mara River in the migration. Many make it to the other side and come out healthy and strong. I am sure there will be many in manufacturing. Let’s make an effort and support them.