Manufacturing The OR Tambo Aerotropolis is attracting manufacturing.
he Eastern Corridor of Gauteng, centred on the metropole of Ekurhuleni, is consolidating its leading position in manufacturing by leveraging the advantages of hosting the OR Tambo International Airport and related Special Economic Zones and industrial parks. Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality has the greatest concentration of manufacturing enterprises, especially between Wadeville and Alrode, south-west of Alberton. Germiston is the country’s biggest rail junction and Transnet Engineering has invested hundreds of millions of rands in new equipment at its facility there. The Provincial Government of Gauteng has tabled plans to bolster manufacturing capacity in the province’s western areas. The priorities are mining and mineral beneficiation, capital equipment and machinery, agriculture and agro-processing, tourism, retail and economic development in townships. The industrial parks at Babelegi, GaRankuwa and Ekandustria are to be renovated. Manufacturing contributes 14% to Gauteng’s real economy output and provides 40% of South Africa’s manufacturing overall. Manufacturing related to the mining industry, historically the lynchpin of the Gauteng economy, is still important. Employer organisations like the Manufacturing Circle and government at national and provincial levels are engaging in initiatives to grow the sector, including incentives such as the Manufacturing and Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic). Sectors that have received support include plastics, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, metal fabrication, transport equipment and agri-processing. The Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII), run by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on behalf of the dtic, promotes technology development. Another IDC initiative has allocated R23-billion over three years to support the Black Industrialist Programme to help existing entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Venter Consulting Engineers, manufacturer of precision engineering equipment, recently attracted the attention of Italian company Danieli and won a contract to create two sophisticated globoid gear sets. Also called the hour-glass gear, this technology allows for an increased number of teeth that are simultaneously in mesh and improves the conditions of force transmission. A handful of firms globally are in a position to make these gears, which can stand massive amounts of stress. GAUTENG BUSINESS 2020/21
SECTOR INSIGHT A precision engineering firm is gearing up for international contracts. Packaging company Nampak, which in 2019 celebrated its 50th year as a listed company on the JSE, has metals, plastic, paper and glass operations at various locations. It is the market leader in beverage cans. The country’s biggest glass producer, Consol Glass, has facilities in Clayville, Wadeville and Nigel. Household products manufacturer Unilever represents an example of the lighter industrial capacity of the East Rand. Kellogg’s, KimberlyClark South Africa and Procter & Gamble all have significant manufacturing capacity in the area. Corrugated paper manufacturer Corruseal has purchased the Enstra Mill in Springs from Sappi, giving it greater control of production. The southern portion of Gauteng around Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging is synonymous with steel production. Flat iron is made at the large plants of ArcelorMittal. Scaw Metals has a chain-making factory in Vereeniging. There are 35 aluminium processing firms in Gauteng, involved in both secondary processing to produce foils,