THE South African Department of Trade and Industry recently met with drive and control technologies specialist SEW-EURODRIVE to discuss its R200-million investment into the country on site at the organisations new headquarters in Aeroton, Johannesburg.
This was viewed by both parties as an important conversation ahead of the German Africa Investment Conference, held in London on 11 and 12 October 2021.
“This cutting edge SEW-EURODRIVE expansion is a testament to the progress we have made and the opportunities present in this market,” said Deputy Minister of Trade Industry and Economic Development Fikile Majola, adding that a dynamic manufacturing base was critical for increasing the economic multiplier in an economy and helps to expand its technological base, creating jobs that foster inclusive growth.
Majola said South Africa had implemented a number of policies and interventions aimed at growing its manufacturing base away from a mere provider of raw materials and unprocessed products to the rest of the world to becoming a manufacturing hub on the African continent.
SEW-EURODRIVE South Africa Managing Director Raymond Obermeyer said there was no question that South Africa and the broader continent offered numerous opportunities, and that despite a persistent infrastructure deficit the continent was making progress in mobilising resources for infrastructure development and bridging the gaps in the provision of ICT, energy, water, sanitation and transport.
“The continent boasts the fastest growing and second-largest mobile phone market globally and Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies are starting to play a growing role on the continent including in the healthcare, financial services and agricultural sectors.”
Obermeyer added that for Africa to realise a sustainable economic recovery would require investments into those sectors that have the potential to positively impact the continent’s growth in both the short and long term. An investment in renewable energy capacity, for example, could potentially put the continent at the forefront globally and help it build a climate-resilient and low carbon economy.
An example of the type of investment required, he said, was the company’s new 25,000sqm headquarters. The high-tech facility includes a larger warehousing facility which will allow the company to increase its local stockholding, alleviating potential import delays, and an assembly factory.
The new facilities have been modelled on the organisations factory in Graben-Neudorf in Germany which uses Industry 4.0 technologies, intelligently networking people, things, processes, services and data.