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Barely a month after showcasing its business offerings at the Electra Mining Africa Expo in Johannesburg, a local emerging business, Metal Engineering Manufacturing Works (MEM Works) has secured over R1 million worth of new business.

MEM Works was one of the South African small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMMEs) supported by the Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic) in partnership with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) to showcase their business offerings at the annual international exhibition which took place in Johannesburg last month.

The exhibition allows companies to display their products to demonstrate the latest technology advancements and at the same time get feedback from buyers. The exhibitors also get a chance to engage with their peers in the industry to forge collaborations and partnerships, and identity gaps between their offering and what the world is offering especially in relation to digitisation, sustainability, and supplying equipment that speaks directly to the bottom line for mining companies.

MEM Works has received orders from major local companies, among them Process Engineering, Nexus, and Otsem. Their products include specialised fastening equipment, as well as tool and die machinery for the extrusion industry. The orders have been on items such as plating, shims, and specialised precision engineering equipment.

The Managing Director of MEM Works, Mr Kofi Asiedu-Darkwah, says they are positively overwhelmed by the level of uptake of their products and the new customers they have gained from their exposure at the Electra Mining Africa Exhibition. He believes this is a testament to the true value of such initiatives.

“We were optimistic when we applied for support, but we thought if we are able to get R200 000 worth of orders in a space of six months, we would regard that as success.  We are therefore elated to have generated R1.1 million within three weeks. We have quoted a lot more and we have had to turn down some orders, that we believed were not beneficial to our business.  We got more positive leads from the exhibition, so we are confident that there is more revenue in store for us,” he said.

In addition, Asiedu-Darkwah is happy that their rapid progress contributes to demonstrating what is truly possible when the transformation is genuine and done right.

“The engineering sector has been somewhat slow to warm up to the transformation agenda. So we were conscious of that when we bought the 51% stake in MEM Works and ensuring we were in the trenches in terms of the day-to-day running and management of operations. We have committed ourselves to showcasing the true benefits of transformation and we are on the right track, because since we joined this business in 2019, we have managed to grow the revenue by up to 80%, and this happened during the tumultuous time of the Covid- 19 pandemic.” he said.

The Chief Director of Competitiveness Incentives at the DTIC, Mr. Hawie Viljoen says the department spent over R568 702 to fund 10 companies to participate in the exhibition to transform and improve supply chains and the economy of the country.

Government is alive to the fact that to change the structure of the economy the promotion of increased value-addition per capita, characterised particularly by movement into non-traditional tradable goods and services that also compete in export, whilst reducing imports through localisation,  is essential. The mining value chain plays a very critical role to diversify further and intensify industrialisation within a knowledge economy,” he said.

Source: The DTCI Media Statements