Manufacturing in contraction as demand remains depressed due to Covid-19 restrictions

JOHANNESBURG – MANUFACTURING production in South Africa is expected to stay in contractionary territory in the short to medium term as demand remains depressed due to the extension of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Data from Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) yesterday showed that manufacturing output continued its downward spiral in November, falling 3.5 percent compared with the same month a year before. This was the 18th straight month of declines in factory activity and at the quickest pace since August as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continued to affect demand. StatsSA…

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African manufacturers will need to boost efficiency to master the challenges of the current market

By Gerhard Hartman, Vice President: Medium Business, Sage Africa & Middle East In the aftermath of the virus outbreak, 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for the manufacturing sector. The World Bank predicts the pandemic will push Sub-Saharan Africa into its first recession in 25 years with growth predicted to fall to -3.3% for 2020. Reduced demand has taken its toll on the balance sheet and cash flow of most producers. Pandemic effects to linger Many side effects from the pandemic could linger for years – from a scramble to…

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Artificial intelligence in manufacturing

  By Florian Güldner, vice president, ARC Advisory Group.   Depending on your perspective, your thoughts on artificial intelligence (AI) probably fall somewhere between the technology being an abstract threat or possibility, and a real-world solution with concrete use cases where you may not even know the technology is at work. This article summarises the case studies presented at the AI workshop at ARC’s recent virtual European Industry Forum and shows potential usage of AI in machinery applications within today’s smart factories.     One of our key findings is…

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Multibillion-rand plan to boost south Durban economy and create hundreds of jobs

Durban – MULTIBILLION-RAND plans to develop areas south of Durban, including the development of an automotive supplier park special economic zone (SEZ) to attract Japanese and other investors and a R4 billion logistics park, are expected to revive the region and create hundreds of jobs. Among the plans include the possible manufacturing of the first hybrid vehicle by Toyota South Africa in Durban next year and the development of a locally branded vehicle. Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (Edtea) MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said the government had been negotiating with…

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SA manufacturing decline slows

South African factory output contracted less than forecast and at the slowest pace in seven months in September on increased production of food and beverages.Output fell 2.6%, compared with a revised 11.1% decline in August, Statistics South Africa said Tuesday in a report published on its website. The median estimate of nine economists in a Bloomberg survey was for a 7.7% drop. Production rose 3.2% in the month. . The largest positive contribution came from food and beverages in September, the first full month that alcohol was allowed to be…

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South Africa Factory Sentiment Jumps to Record High On Demand

An index measuring South African manufacturing sentiment rose to the highest level yet in October as the demand continued to recover from coronavirus lockdown measures. Absa Group Ltd.’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, compiled by the Bureau for Economic Research, increased to 60.9 from a revised 58.5 in September, the Johannesburg-based lender said Monday in an emailed statement. That’s the first time the index has topped 60 and is the highest since record-keeping began September 1999. Key Insights The increase in PMI was supported by the business-activity and new-sales orders sub-indexes, which…

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National Glass Distribution is a leader in glass and aluminium manufacturing in SA

“Unbreakable transparency is the secret ingredient that gets you to 25 years,” says Belinda Louw, National Glass MD. “Cold, hard facts and the truth are the keys to great customer service. We don’t always walk on water, but if there is a problem we will fix it. At the end of the day, it’s our family name and reputation at stake.” National Glass is the only privately owned glass and aluminium wholesaler and manufacturer with a national footprint, supplying the wholesale trade from Polokwane to Vredendal, while exporting to many…

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South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as Eskom monopoly ends

South Africa’s cities to switch to solar as Eskom monopoly ends  In addition to improving security of supply, the move will allow the cities to boost their fight against climate change by using power that doesn’t result in the emission of greenhouse gases. Still, it will slash revenue for Eskom, which is struggling to service a $30 billion debt bill. “Internationally many cities are at the forefront of dealing with climate-change disasters and so have adopted proactive climate-change responses,” Lauren Hermanus, director of Adapt, a South African company that provides…

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Automotive industry investment in SA set to decline

    Planned capital investment by South Africa’s automotive industry, which increased in 2019 to its second highest level on record at R7.2 billion, appears set to decline until there is a global recovery in GDP growth and export markets from the impact of Covid-19. A new National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) confidence index, which anonymously canvassed the opinions of each of the CEOs of the seven automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in South Africa, revealed that 64.7% of them believe investment expenditure declined in the…

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Why a South African community mistrusts big industry and what needs to change

  For most of the 20th century, manufacturing, mining and other industries in South Africa developed without many legal restrictions. This resulted in industrial risks such as environmental pollution, contamination and health impacts. The fact that industrial development took place close to poor communities wasn’t considered important. Unfortunately, the post-apartheid geographic landscape hasn’t changed much. There are many examples of South African communities and environments exposed to industrial risks. Since the country’s democratic transition in 1994, important regulations and legislation have been developed about the impact of industry on the environment and society. But air…

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