Newsletter – 29 February

Foundry Energy Challenge

Every foundry in South Africa has felt the dramatic increases in energy prices. Energy has historically been a cost advantage to us, but the consecutive increases from 2008 onwards have brought a quick end to this situation. The 2011 increase has landed us in an area where our industrial energy cost is now well above the cost in our major competing countries, particularly for electricity supplied through the municipalities and for gas. Given the dependence of our industry on energy, this is nothing less than a catastrophe. Have you already seriously considered what your electricity bill will look like in July after another 25% jump? And in July next year after another 25% increase from municipalities?

There are two ways for us to look at just one of the critical areas that are facing our industry. Give up and leave the country…or stand up, join hands and find a solution. The important aspect to remember is that the solution might have more angles than what you have envisaged. NFTN with all its stakeholders formed 7 working groups end of last year with the intention to find solutions for the most pressing matters facing foundries today.

The NFTN energy management working group has sent out an individual questionnaire to all foundries. This serves to assist acquiring key data to create enough evidence to motivate a more favourable electricity and energy price for all the Foundries in our country. As such, it is very important that you respond to this questionnaire. We are truly grateful to the 42 foundries who have already responded. In the event that you have not yet responded, please do so now by completing the template. For the movement to be successful it needs to have a lot of names on the list. Please take the time to make a difference.

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The Green Energy Efficiency Fund

The IDC and the German Development Bank (kfw) have partnered to establish a R500 million facility for energy efficiency projects within South Africa. The purpose of the Green Energy Efficiency fund is to:

  • Stimulate energy efficiency investments
  • Support self-use renewable energy technologies
  • Promote long term enterprise competitiveness
  • Contribute to global climate protection

The fund is targeted at businesses that are interested in loans to the size of R1 – 50 million at a very competitive interest rate of prime less 2%. A term period on up to 15 years, based on payback of the investment can be looked at.

For the eligibility criteria of the fund click here

DST Research and Innovation in Foundry Technology initiative

The Research and Innovation in Foundry Technology is an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology. The purpose of the programme is to develop high‐end expertise (or human capital) to support the technology and innovation capabilities of the South African Foundry Industry. The research Masters programme will be offered fulltime over two years in Germany and South Africa. Once the students have completed the programme they will return to South Africa to offer their services to foundries, research and academic institutions. University of Johannesburg (UJ) in partnership with Freiberg University, Germany and Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in partnership with RWTH Aachen, Germany and Rzeszow University of Technology, Poland are part of making this programme a reality.

Over the past 6 months these two South African Academic institutions with their partners have been hard at work to identify local industry research requirements, advertise, interview and appoint candidates for this programme. Preparation for the successful students to embark on this life changing experience is nearing its end.

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NFTN Working Group Page

The purpose of the industry working group page is to keep stakeholders informed of the progress of activities on key areas/challenges that affect the competitiveness of the South African foundry industry. It gives participants the opportunity to ask questions, get information and give advice. The aim of the working groups is to create a Foundry Community of Practice.

On 21 November 2011 NFTN hosted a Foundry 10-year road map workshop. The aim of the event was to mobilise public and private sector to initiate a change process to a common goal for the foundry industry. Seven working groups were formed around these key areas, these groups are:

The working groups are envisaged to be the vehicles and communication tools of addressing the areas.

Soon to be released!

FEEDBACK on South African Foundry Conference Poll

We have requested your valuable input regarding the South African Castings Conference to be held this year co-hosted by the Metal Casting Technology Station at the University of Johannesburg with the South African Institute of Foundrymen and the National Foundry Technology Network. Within a period of three days we have received 46 responses from you.

The following questions were asked also showing your response to these.

  • Would you attend a SA foundry conference in the Kruger Park area?The majority of respondents indicated that the Kruger National Park, even though an attractive venue might not be feasible due to traveling time and cost factors.
  • Would Thursday – Saturday be a suitable time of the week for foundrymen to attend?Some respondentes indicated that Saturdays are not good days for foundries to be attending any events and other respondents felt that three days and more away from the foundry might not be wise.
  • Would 29 November – 2 December 2012 be a suitable time of the year?The majority of respondents indicated that the timing for the conference is not suitable due to year end pressures.
  • Any comments on the above?

Some respondentes indicated that the majority of foundries are in the Gauteng area and that travelling to other provinces by road/car can be time consuming.
Upon your response the following were decided:

1. The conference shall not be held in the Kruger Park area, but closer to the Gauteng region.
Details on the venue to follow

2. The main conference activities shall be on the Thursday and Friday.

The date has been changed to 13 – 16 March 2013

Please keep an eye out for further information about the conference in the next newsletter.


Metal & Metallurgy China
International Exhibition Centre, Beijing
9 – 12 May 201270th World Foundry Congress in Mexico

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
25 – 27 April 2012
MIDST, 2012

Nord Villepinte, Paris Exhibition Center
6 – 9 November
South African Automotive Week

Port Elizabeth
10 – 13 October
AFSA Aluminium Introductory course

AFSA, Germiston
24 February
QTE training

The new intake for N1 Foundry Theory, N2 Patternmakers Theory, Moulders Theory, Will be open for registration from the 28th – 30th March 2012.

Application forms can be down loaded from our web site:

Or contact Bets to email or fax the forms.

For apprentices, make sure that they are registered with merSETA.


  • 3 April 2012 – Patternmaking N2 Every Tuesday until exams. (8.30 – 12.30)
  • 4 April 2012 – Moulders Theory N2 Every Wednesday until exams (8.30 – 12.30)
  • 5 April 2012 – Foundry Theory N1 Every Thursday until exams (8.30 – 12.30)

National Foundry Technology Network (NFTN) is a proud initiative of The dti

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