SAFPA


From the President’s desk

2nd Quarter 2018 SAFPA

The SAFPA committee once again experienced a busy period during the last quarter, particularly in the field of education.

Economy

Continuing with the theme of the economy reported on during the first quarter edition of Motion Control, it is evident that there is more optimism amongst our member companies. Further statistical information released by several bureaux indicates growth numbers in several of the sectors where fluid power products are used. There has been a marked improvement in the local mining sector, and manufacturing and engineering are recovering.

The IMF released figures for international market growth recently and there is sustainable improvement globally. This is positive for our market sector and we have entered a period of modest improvement. Worldwide there will be increased demand for resources which will drive the local economy to higher levels. The IMF also adjusted South Africa’s growth prospects upwards above those expected during the last quarter of 2017.

The fluid power industry normally lags the market by a few months, and there are signs of an improved market during the second quarter of the year. Projects previously put on ice are being dusted off and given the go ahead. Locally, the recruitment of staff has increased.

SAFPA President, Manny Vieira.
SAFPA President, Manny Vieira.

Education

Previously we reported on our challenge in securing a pipeline of students wishing to enrol for studies in our industry. We urge our member companies to identify possible recruits and guide them in the direction of fluid power. There is a lack of qualified professionals and a shortage of young apprentices. Our industry is experiencing a wide age gap between our current business owners and senior management and new apprentices coming in. Skills transfer takes many years to transfer to the next generation.

Threats facing local companies

At SAFPA we have been sensitised to the fact that several OEMs are choosing to purchase complete engineering solutions offshore. These systems are being imported from low cost producing countries and it has become a concern to SAFPA. The imports are predominantly in the hydraulic sphere but there is information that this is occurring in the pneumatic sector as well.



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