Africa’s surging GDP attracts pump industry

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South Africa’s stagnant mining sector is driving local pump manufacturers and distributors to launch aggressive export growth strategies beyond the country’s borders.

A number of them are planning to use the upcoming Pumps Valves and Pipes Africa expo to position themselves in the global mining sector and pursue new business opportunities.

“The South African mining sector has suffered a serious drop in production of between 4 to 5% over the past year due to various local and international factors,” says John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the Pumps, Valves & Pipes Africa Expo (PVPA).

“The ailing mining sector is affecting all its ancillary suppliers, including local pump manufacturers and suppliers,” says Thomson.

“They are consequently moving into mining-friendly African countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana and Burkina Faso, in search of more lucrative new markets. A number of our exhibitors have indicated that they are using this year’s show specifically to grow this sector of their market.”

PVPA is one of 10 component shows in the SA Industrial and Technology Fair taking place at Gallagher Convention Centre from 14 to 16 May 2013.

Gavin Doran, Vice Chairman and EXCO member of the South African Pumps Manufacturers’ Association (SAPMA) says the current mining climate has made investors more wary of spending on South African mining, which has made the local pumps industry highly vulnerable.

“Most of our members are now chasing markets in Africa where many new mines are opening up,” adds Doran.

“They are supplying pumps to mines in Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo; some are supplying the Middle East and making inroads into international markets.”

Pump Industry

“PVPA 2013 provides a huge opportunity to network, grow our markets, develop new strategies to promote our industry and products, and keep in contact with our current partners – that’s why the association is supporting the event and exhibiting again this year,” says Doran.

Africa’s surging GDP

Johann Malherbe, Managing Director of Performa Pumps, says current challenges have not stopped the pumps industry from growing in other areas.

“We are expanding into Africa where continental GDP is growing by more than 5% a year – this opens up many opportunities for us,” says Malherbe.

Africa has huge resources and is a major producer of more than 60 of the world’s most important metal and mineral products, including gold, diamonds, uranium, manganese, chromium, nickel, bauxite, cobalt and platinum group metals. Although some parts of Africa are still untapped, the continent still holds about 30% of the planet’s mineral reserves, including 40% of its gold, 60% of its cobalt and 90% of the world’s platinum group metals reserves.

“Businesses around the globe are now looking at Africa as a continent of massive business opportunities,” continues Malherbe. “

New mines and industries are starting up, and that is creating new markets for other businesses like the pumps industry outside of South Africa,” he says.

“The opportunities for doing business in Africa have never been greater,” concludes EMS’s John Thomson. “

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