The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
PLAYERS in the foundry sector in Zimbabwe and South Africa are set to come together and set up an exchange programme that will see sharing of knowledge and skills between the two countries, which will result in growth and production of world class products.
Foundries are facilities that produce metal castings and offer casting-related services. In every country the foundry sector plays a critical role as it does not just produce metal products for engine, railroad, or pipe components. It also creates components for machines that are required to make many of the essential consumer products, while 90 percent of all manufactured goods rely on metal castings.
Recently in Zimbabwe for the Zimbabwe Institute of Foundries (ZIF) Metal Casting Indaba and AGM that was held in Bulawayo, South African Ilembe Foundry director, Mr Raymond Keman said they were keen to partner with players in the country.
“It was very exciting to be here in Zimbabwe and as our first time to get this opportunity to engage with our counterparts who are in the same industry as we are we got very pleasing insights. The sector here has a vision to work and l think there is a lot of business that can result in strategic partnerships between the players in the two countries,” said Mr Keman.
As a supplier of sugar mill spares to one of the leading sugar producers Tongaat Hulett, he said they were keen to the adoption of an exchange programme between the two countries. Mr Keman said this would create opportunities for foundry players in both countries to learn, to prosper and to work with each other to solve shared problems and ensure a secure future of the industry.
“As Ilembe we produce cast iron, stainless steel and a variety of different metal grades supplying different sectors in South Africa and other countries. The indaba has been an eye opener for us to get to know more about the foundry sector in Zimbabwe. What has been interesting about this country is that due to the resources it has and major projects being done throughout the country in various sectors, there is potential for us to get many clients we could supply and a number of players we can partner,” added Mr Keman.
He said the partnerships that will be built with the foundry sector will aid production of world class products using advanced technologies and at the same time create employment and grow revenue for the countries.
“I hope that as their counterparts we can make a difference in the near future and from the contacts l made l hope to visit the country again before the year end and see where we go from here.”
ZIF chief operating officer (COO) Mr Dosman Mangisi said the exchange programme which will start soon will allow impartation of knowledge and critical skills required to develop modernised foundries using new technologies. He said this will also reshape metal beneficiation from raw material to final products and re-candle activities in established organisations that need resuscitation.
Meanwhile, according to statistics published last month by the Business Research Company, global foundries market grew from US$156.72 billion in 2021 to US$169.82 billion in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.4 percent. The foundries market is expected to grow to US$205.22 billion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 4.8 percent, with the growth aided by stable economic growth forecasted in many developed and developing countries. While, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts that the global GDP growth is 3.3 percent in 2020 and 3.4 percent in 2021.