An event held by Printing SA and Novus Holdings in Cape Town provided the platform to discuss how various government departments could work with the printing industry to ensure its sustainability, given the contribution of the industry to the country’s GDP and employment.
The event hosted the deputy minister of telecommunications and postal Services Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams, deputy minister of small business development Cassel Mathale and deputy minister of trade industry Gratitude Magwanishe.
Also in attendance were Printing SA Cape Town members and staff. CEO Steve Thobela welcomed the guests and emphasised the importance of such engagements in ensuring the long term sustainability of the industry.
This was followed by a warm welcome to the delegation by FP&M Seta CEO Felleng Yende who also emphasised the need for government to work with the private sector. This particular sector was one that needed government’s full support in developing the future employers of the new generation.
Printing SA Acting President Deon Joubert, gave a presentation on the state of the printing industry and highlighted the fact that the industry was not ‘dead’ but better yet, it was actually thriving. Joubert stated how the industry does not want to be seen as competing with the digital era but should be seen as one that complements the fourth industrial revolution.
His presentation was followed by the deputy ministers, highlighting that they acknowledge the industry’s contribution to the economy as it made up 2.5% of the country’s GDP and was responsible for creating 45,000 direct jobs and up to 150,000 jobs indirectly.
The ministers were unanimous in highlighting the fact that transformation in the industry was an imperative and companies needed to seriously take on the challenge of ensuring that this was prioritised for the industry to thrive.
Members had an opportunity to raise their concerns with the various departments, with one of the major concerns having been the failure by the Department of Trade and Industry to recognise the sector as a priority sector particularly when members were applying for DTI grants and incentive schemes.
The delegation was then taken on a tour of the Novus Holdings plant in Cape Town, which is one of Africa’s biggest printing and packaging processing plants.