EC exporters share best practice on navigating the export market

EC exporters share best practice on navigating the export market

It takes plenty of perseverance, creativity and agility to make it in the export market – but all these efforts are worth it in the long-run when considering the economic impact on the Eastern Cape province.

Local panellists shared some key insights into “Navigating your way through the export market”, during an Exporters Eastern Cape panel discussion hosted last night (Wednesday, June 26) at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Port Elizabeth.

Exporters Eastern Cape Vice-Chairperson Jane Stevenson, who led the discussion, summarised some key insights shared by the line-up of panellists representing top exporters in the region including Volkswagen Group South Africa Managing Director Thomas Schaefer, The Swartkops Terminal PTY (Ltd) Managing Director Steve Kapp and Sovereign Foods Export and Financial Manager Blaine Nell.

“The agility, the ability to look at opportunities and to grasp them as they happen, focussing on your customers and asking what they’re wanting, and influencing your internal industry stakeholders are all factors to consider when navigating the export market. It is important to always strive for greatness and to never become complacent,” said Stevenson.

She encouraged members of Exporters Eastern Cape who attended last night’s panel discussion to make use of the platform of organisations like Exporters Eastern Cape to network, be aware of what is going on in other industries and markets, and to learn from other exporters’ best practice.

Even though Sovereign Foods only embarked on diversifying its customer base by looking into exports two and a half years ago, Nell shared some valuable lessons learnt as the company had made great in-roads in the export markets of the UAE and Hong Kong.

“Not only the poultry producers, but the entire value chain will benefit from these new markets. In terms of Sovereign Foods, we are looking at creating a facility within a facility that will deal with all our export products. This will create 400 to 500 jobs for the Uitenhage area,” said Nell.

His advice to emerging exporters is to understand the markets, products and competitors thoroughly, and to have a division/ department that focuses exclusively on exports.

While it also took four years for The Swartkops Terminal PTY (Ltd) to get a foot in the door with regards to South African manganese exports, Kapp said being flexible, available and proving to the market that they can deliver, helped to grow this award-winning business. The company receives manganese from the Northern Cape at the old Swartkops PowerStation, dealing mostly with emerging miners.

“There has been a lot of development in manganese in South Africa and we are very well-placed to export to the rest of the world. It is a valuable industry, which is still growing. For every million tons of manganese exported out of South Africa, 500 jobs are created from the mine to the port,” said Kapp.

Schaefer encouraged exporters to embrace Africa as an export market and said intra-regional trade and collaboration held the key to great economic growth for the region.

 “PE is still the perfect place to operate from. We have abundant labour, we have two ports, and a beautiful automotive policy that has put South Africa on the map. We are still doing really well, VWSA had produced the highest number of vehicles ever this year with the three-shift system,” said Schaefer.

Kuwait and Qatar – Outward Selling Mission in September 2019

Kuwait and Qatar – Outward Selling Mission in September 2019

The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) invites you to apply and participate in an Outward Selling Mission (OSM) to Kuwait and Qatar taking place from 13 to 20 September 2019.

The Mission forms part of the dti’s objective to create and identify export markets for South African value-added products and services. The Mission also serves to promote South Africa’s product and service offerings in high growth Middle East markets. The dti has planned a programme of activities, which will include trade and investment seminars, business-to-business meetings and site visits.


Dates: 13-20 September 2019


This invite is open to South African exporters in the sectors below:

  • Agro-processing (excluding alcoholic beverages)
  • Automotives
  • Healthcare and pharmaceuticals
  • Infrastructure development
  • Oil and gas


The closing date for receipt of application forms is 2 July 2019.


All documents must be hand-delivered or couriered to:

Utangamiri – the dti Group House     

EMIA Division
Building A: Ground Floor
77 Meintjies Street
Pretoria, 0002                                                       


For enquiries, contact:

Ms Sharlotte Valoyi

Tel: 012 394 1008



Ms Mpho Sebatana

Tel: 012 394 3415




Navigating Your Way Through the Export Market

Navigating Your Way Through the Export Market

You are invited to a Panel Discussion with Exporters Eastern Cape on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 at Radisson Blu Hotel. 

TOPIC: Navigating your way through the export market – leveraging opportunities, overcoming challenges and successes achieved.


  • Thomas Schäfer, Managing Director at Volkswagen Group South Africa
  • Steve Kapp, Managing Director at The Swartkops Terminal
  • Blaine Nell, Export and Financial Manager at Sovereign Foods


DATE:     Wednesday, 26 June 2019

TIME:      17:30 for 18:00 to 20:00

VENUE:  Radisson Blu Hotel, Marine Drive, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth

Click on the button below to RSVP.

Advanced Manufacturing Awards to Recognise and Inspire South Africa’s Innovators

Advanced Manufacturing Awards to Recognise and Inspire South Africa’s Innovators

Leading lights in the field of advanced technology, including 4IR will be acknowledged at South Africa’s official National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards on November 27.

The National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards, is co-hosted by South Africa’s Department of DTI and the national Composites Cluster to showcase South Africa’s capabilities and promote Advanced Manufacturing innovation in industry and research.

According to organisers all companies, entrepreneurs and researchers operating in the advanced manufacturing field, including engineering,  3D printing, robotics, automation, AI, laser cutting and etching, CNC machining, software, big data, IOT and composites will be eligible for national recognition. 

Companies or organisations may make submissions in six categories including:  Scholarly impact in advanced manufacturing, Industry advancement in advanced manufacturing, Export proficiency, Contribution to Import replacement, Composites Innovation and Most promising “start- up or newcomer”.  

Composites Cluster MD Andy Radford said up to three nominees per category would receive specific acknowledgment, significant exposure and in identified categories financial support to commercialise and grow promising concepts.

The actual awards function will take place as part of the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show which will include a dynamic, interactive exhibition, conferences and factory tours at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on November 27 and 28.

Radford, said the awards would play a key role in advancing the country’s advanced manufacturing agenda.

“As we push to consolidate and develop our manufacturing strategy, it is essential that as a collective –  government and private sector stakeholders identify, promote and reward innovation in the advanced manufacturing and composites industry.”

The awards, would be made annually at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show, which would rotate across South Africa’s major manufacturing hubs.

“While manufacturing remains an essential part of South Africa’s economy – contributing around 19% of GDP, our efforts towards Advanced Manufacturing in South Africa are highly fragmented, but we do have significant pockets of excellence,” Radford said.

“The African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show will not only bring all the key role-players and technology partners together towards a common vision, and trade,  it would also inspire emerging engineers.”

“Three-dimensional printing, lasers, automation, drone technology and artificial intelligence are exciting tools to encourage a new generation of engineers and scientists but we need to expose them and industry to these technologies and there is no time to waste,” Radford said.

The show and dazzling awards networking dinner would be accessible to both trade and public visitors.

Radford said the organisers of the Show have a vision and strategy to ensure that the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show attracted global role-players in all areas of Advanced Manufacturing, including Composites and especially African role-players.


For more information:



Issued by Deon Engelke, Inkanyezi Events

CEO: Andrew Binning – or 082 372 9247


Mandela Bay Composites Cluster

MD: Andy Radford – or 072 375 3671

CAPTION: Composites Cluster MD, Andy Radford pictured at the 2018 National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards where 25 organisations in six categories were recognised for contribution to and excellence in Advanced Manufacturing.

BBBEE Amendments

BBBEE Amendments

Naacam-LogoOn 31 May 2019 the DTI gazetted updates of the Preferential Procurement, Enterprise and Supplier Development element, Skills Development Element, General Principles, and further updates on Interpretations and Definitions.

Of specific importance in an autos manufacturing context are the changes to statement 400 which addresses some of the auto specific issues around procurement and ESD given the typical contract/turnover ranges prevalent in the sector.


Download the summarised document below.