from NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN – THE upcoming Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2021) will offer South African companies a platform to broaden their client base domestically and internationally.
The second edition of the expo is set for Durban on November 15-21.
The government will support more than 80 South African companies to showcase their products and services at the trade fair.
Two Limpopo-based companies- Delight Softies Manufacturing Enterprise and Akani Paints – are among the recipients of the government’s support.
The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (DTIC) has granted support through its Export Marketing Investment Assistance (EMIA) Scheme whose objective is to develop export markets for South African products and services.
It also aims to recruit new foreign direct investment into South Africa.
Cate Olifant (44), the Managing Director of Akani Paints, said the company was aspiring to expand its market to the continent, starting with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
It will be for the first time it is participating in an international trade fair.
“We are looking forward to interacting with businesspeople from other countries,” Olifant said.
“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.”
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.
Thabang Monyepao (25), the Director of Delight Softies, is optimistic 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,” Monyepao said.
He quit his aircraft engineering job in 2018 and started a company that is manufacturing tissues for the local wholesalers.
The company employs ten people.
Nomalungelo Gina, Deputy Minister of DTIC, said 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,” she said.
The expo is in line with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.
– CAJ News