The NFTN and the NCPC-SA partner to assist the casting industry achieve production efficiency and market competitiveness.
In June 2021, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, along with business and labour from the steel and metal fabrication sector signed a master plan which, according to the introduction, aims to ‘guide the stabilisation and progress of the Industry’. The master plan aims to be a focused set of practical steps which must be implemented on a consistent basis. It’s a far-reaching set of goals and issues to tackle, and will take a joint commitment by the many players that are involved.
Two industry support programmes hosted in the CSIR are prioritising the steel industry in support of the master plan and the sustainability of the sector. These are the CSIR Smart Places Hosted Programmes, the National Foundry Technology Network (NFTN) and the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA). Whilst the NCPC-SA provides industry support across the entire steel industry, the NFTN remains a specialised casting industry support programme. The Hosted Programmes Manager, Ndivhuho Raphulu, says that the new NFTN business plan has set its sights on skills development, R&D and the issues of greening the economy, including the long-discussed environmental compliance issues.