According to jobs portal CareerJunction, in its index for May 2018, the manufacturing sector has experienced a recent upswing in hiring activity – a clear indication that the manufacturing sector could be entering a turnaround in fortune.

In the National Development Plan (NDP 30), Policy Context 2 in the Industrial Policy Action Plan for 2017/2018 to 2019/2020 addresses the importance of manufacturing in the country.

According to the NDP presentation to the portfolio committee on trade and industry, ‘The manufacturing sector has high economic multipliers because of its value-addition, linkages to the upstream production sectors of the economy (mining and agriculture) and the downstream sectors, including services; and because of its all-round contribution to strengthening integrated value chains.’

In his State of the Province Address (SOPA) in February, KwaZulu-Natal premier Willies Mchunu said that provincial government remains committed to radical economic transformation to ensure inclusive, expanded and sustained economic output that creates more jobs. The provincial government’s short-term focus, he added, is on manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.

The KwaZulu-Natal Industrial Technology Exhibition (KITE), to be held between 24 and 26 July 2019 at the Durban Exhibition Centre, is the ideal platform for industrial technology equipment and services providers to actively interact with manufacturing companies and government agencies.

“We are committed to providing industry with a forum to deliver added value to the manufacturing sector. Our exhibitors represent the cream of the crop in industrial technology development and innovation. These companies are able to provide the manufacturing sector with customised solutions that are characterised by their ability to increase productivity, decrease operating costs and ensure business sustainability,” says Nick Sarnadas, portfolio director at Specialised Exhibitions Montgomery.

In addition to providing visitors with access to the knowledge base, experience and expertise inherent in the 150-plus exhibitors, KITE has a number of complementary visitor attractions that include the free-to-attend SAIMechE Seminar Theatre with about 18 seminar sessions on current trends and legislation.

“On the second day of the exhibition, we hope to once again host the Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association (MESA)special interest group as well as the Lifting Equipment Engineering Association of South Africa (LEEASA) conference. Both of these events proved very popular with the KITE 2017 visitors and provide yet another conduit for knowledge transfer,” says Sarnadas.