Posted: November 5, 2021
Two Limpopo manufacturing companies that will participate in the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) that will take place in Durban from 15-21 November 2021, are cherishing the opportunity of broadening their client base for their products both domestically and internationally. The two are part of a group of more than 80 South African companies supported by government to showcase their products and services at the trade fair.
The participation of Delight Softies Manufacturing Enterprise, a Polokwane-based company which manufactures toilet paper, and Akani Paints, which is based in Tzaneen where they manufacture a variety of paints, has been made possible by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic). This has been done through its Export Marketing Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme whose objective is to develop export markets for South African products and services, and to recruit new foreign direct investment into South Africa.
The Managing Director of Akani Paints, Ms Cate Olifant (44), says the gathering of businesspeople and exhibition visitors from across the continent and beyond provides a perfect platform for her to market her products with the aim of clinching deals with distributors from other countries.
“As a company we are aspiring to expand our market to the continent, starting with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. It will be for the first time that we are participating in an international trade fair. We are looking forward to interacting with businesspeople from other countries. We will be targeting distributors that can show interest in our products. We will be happy to see our products being exported to other countries, particularly starting with the neighbouring countries,” adds Olifant.
Akani Paints, which Olifant established in 2016, operates from the Nkowankowa Industrial Park which was upgraded by the dtic to the tune of more than R30 million as part of its Revitalisation of Industrial Parks Programme. The company, which predominantly supplies building contractors and hardware stores with paint, currently employs 22 people, including eight chemical engineering graduates provided by Productivity South Africa for a 12-month internship programme.
The Director of Delight Softies, Mr Thabang Monyepao (25) says he is optimistic that the networking opportunities provided by the IATF2021 will enable him to tap into the African market and expand his company’s footprint in the continent.
“We are looking at networking with other businesspeople, particularly from African countries that import products from South Africa, with the aim of adding our products to their baskets of imports,” adds Monyepao,
The entrepreneurial bug compelled Monyepao to quit his aircraft engineering job in 2018 and started a company that is manufacturing tissues for the local wholesalers. Today 10 people are employed in the company.
According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina, government financially supports Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in particular, to participate in international exhibitions such as the IATF201 as part of its efforts to promote industrialisation, exports, job creation and economic growth.
“Companies that manage to successfully find a market for their products in different countries will be obliged to increase their production of goods that they will export to service the new markets. Increasing production means that more people will be employed and investment will be made in the machinery required to increase production. And the products exported will increase foreign revenue for the country. Above all, African companies clinching deals at the IATF and thereafter starting to trade with each other, will go a long way in achieving what the trade fair is all about, which is increasing the intra-African trade in line with the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement,” adds Gina.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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