Printing SA Continue To Lobby Government For Members’ Inclusion Under Essential Services


Printing SA CEO, Dr Abdool Majid Mahomed, has issued a statement outlining the efforts that have been made for its members during the COVID-19 lockdown.

With the advent of COVID-19 lockdown, many printing and packaging companies have had to close down as they were regarded as not ‘essential’, creating severe hardship, and possibly resulting in some closures and job losses, (essential services only including print and packaging related to the health, hygiene, pharmaceutical and food manufacturing supply chain).

Some companies were not able to register on the Bizportal, even though they were servicing the manufacture of essential services by extension. These include OEM suppliers of spare parts machinery and equipment, or consumables like inks or chemicals needed for continued production, or paper, board and adhesive labels for the printing of cartons, boxes or insert leaflets in medication boxes, or labels for bottles.

Printing SA has asked the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) to consider expanding the definition of Essential Services to include this category of printing and publishing, and to this end, SACCI and BUSA have heeded our call to take up this request on the industry’s behalf. We hope that in the next drafting of what is deemed Essential Services, printing and packaging related to the manufacture of these items for COVID-19 will be taken seriously and will be listed as such.

Printing SA represents the interests of over 450 member companies in South Africa, serving as the representative body for the visual communications sector working to ensure the long-term sustainability of the print and allied industries through conferring, consulting, campaigning and training.

While our sister organisations, Integraf in the European Union, and Print Industries Association in USA, have called on their governments to consider all printing and packaging as Essential Services across the board, Printing SA has taken the stance to support the SA government initiatives to flatten the curve quickly by requesting that only some companies be allowed to operate within the guidelines given.

We are hopeful that the new guidelines to be released will take cognisance of our industry needs and that the guidelines will be amended accordingly to broaden the scope of application, becoming more inclusive in the process. We also look forward to the speedy lifting of the lockdown restrictions, so that the battered economy can start pumping again.

I wish to provide assurance and comfort to our members and the industry at large, that Printing SA will continue to work diligently behind the scenes in engaging vigorously with the various government and business structures to represent and lobby on behalf of the industry and our members, with the aim of ensuring sustainability, recognition and growth.

To this end, we have ramped up our communication with bi-weekly personalised e-mails and weekly communiqués on our website and social media platforms. We will continue keeping our members abreast of the latest developments and in providing advice and assistance with navigating through the various UIF and TERS processes for those who qualify.

Additionally, Printing SA has updated the industry with the following:

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