The Printing SA Northern Chamber hosted its annual member dinner and 50th Printing Competition (sponsored by Xerox) at the Pretoria Country Club, with a Great Gatsby theme, on 31 May.
CEO Steve Thobela thanked all those present for their support, emphasising that without it neither Printing SA’s functioning nor the evening’s event would be made possible.
Thobela began his presentation with a breakdown of Printing SA’s background and its benefits to members.
He also summarised industry trends over the past year, gathered from data compiled by Smithers Pira, which is available to members.
‘Contrary to popular belief, offset and inkjet are still doing well and growing; packaging is growing along with the world’s population; and textile – small as it is – is experiencing accelerated growth,’ he said. Thobela, who recently returned from FESPA 2018 in Berlin, reported that half a hall was devoted exclusively to textile.
Other trends indicate that Africa is currently a minute player in print compared to the rest of the world but there is much opportunity for the continent nonetheless.
While digital is still growing, it is not necessarily destroying offset. Digital is building its own niche, and as a printer one should fine tune which part of their production is digital, and is which is offset.
Urbanisation plays a vital role in printing, as growth is directly proportionate. South Africa is urbanising in a big way, with lots of people moving from rural areas. Japan is leading the way in this regard.
With the bulk of books being printed outside of Africa, Thobela emphasised that it’s important to reverse that trend.
From a local point of view, Thobela reported that members are performing above 90% in terms of the association’s operational plans placed together over the years. ‘Membership retention has remained constant over the past three years, with membership above 700 members.’
Printing SA has also invested in a marketing campaign, moving away from billboards and into televsion. Thobela implored guests to attend the national gala dinner in September, which he described as the signature event.
Also mentioned was the continued success of the training and skills development programme, with presence in every chamber. They aim to equip youngsters with printing and technical skills that are not available in the normal education system.
Thobela concluded by encouraging members and attendees to join the South African Institute of Printing (SAIP), a professional body that recognises professionals. The SAIP keeps professionals relevant with conferences and seminars. Application forms can be found on the Printing SA website.
The South African Reserve Bank won the Gold award in the Large Format Canvas/Paper/Vinyl category.
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