Printing SA Unpacks Benefits And Services To The Industry


Printing SA invited members and non-members to a free webinar, proudly sponsored by Agility Health, where they unpacked the benefits and services the association has to offer those in the printing, packaging, signage and visual communications industry.

The session was moderated by Meggan McCarthy, Editor of Sign Africa. This was an interactive session where attendees could ask questions and get advice. Attendees had an opportunity to ask the panellists questions. Those who couldn’t attend can watch the full length webinar below.

Each of the panellists were asked the following questions:

Abisha Katerere, Printing SA Marketing Manager and B-BBEE Specialist

Please could you give us an overview of what Printing SA does:

Printing SA is the only industry federation for the printing, packaging and visual communications sector, covering all aspects. Our members give us our mandate in terms of how we approach what we call conferring, consulting, campaigning and training. When we confer, we get our members together in various business forums so that we share insights as to what is happening in the industry as well as technical insights.

We invite guest speakers, whether it’s regionally or nationally (this happens in all of our regions) at least six times a year. Unfortunately with Covid-19, this has not been possible this year, so we have innovated with virtual platforms.

Our consulting ranges from HR to IR to B-BBEE and a whole array of other consulting services that we offer. We also have an affiliation with other third parties. We are the only industry accredited body that offers training for our specific sector, and we are affiliated to a number of bodies.

Our CEO and other members of the organisation sit on various boards ranging from the FP&M SETA to the South African Trade Union to the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, of which our regional chambers are also members of their chambers of commerce and industry, amongst a whole array of others.

We are also affiliated with FESPA, an organisation that has about 36 associations like ours around the world, so we have a platform where we share insights on how industries are operating, from Brazil to Mexico to Australia to England. It is definitely a good resource that we use.

We have set up a great platform on our website which is for our members where they can get exclusive information that they can use in terms of planning their business strategy going forward. The platform has research papers, marketing material, as well as a tender board where we post tenders for the industry, which means you don’t need to go out and market to or subscribe to any platforms, you can get it directly from Printing SA as a member.

A big part of Printing SA is our advocacy in terms of how we engage and interact with government. At the moment, we are dealing with the Air Quality Control Act – we recently had a meeting with the The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries – and we are now busy with compiling feedback to the draft regulation that was gazetted, which will impact the industry quite severely in some instances.

So if members or potential members are looking at Printing SA as a body that offers guidance and lobbies on the industry’s behalf in terms of reduced tariffs etc., then we are the port of call.

To become a member or let Printing SA know what you need assistance with, click here (membership fees are determined by the number of skilled and unskilled employees. Please click on the link so that Printing SA can quote you).

Ken Leid, Printing SA Director of National Training and Development

What types of training does Printing SA offer, how in-depth are these sessions, and are these qualifications officially recognised by an industry body?

The training that we offer is broken down into three categories:

• Introductory courses.
• Technical courses.
• Administration courses.

Our introductory courses include:

• FLP (currently running with 90 Learners around the country via Google Classrooms – thanks to the FP&M SETA grant funding).
• Introduction to Printing and Packaging Industry programme.
• Occupational Health and Safety programmes.
• Work life orientation programmes.
• ID2.

Our technical courses include:

• TT Modules.
• IMW.
• Guillotine Operator Skills programme.
• Folding Machine Operator Skills programme.
• CDP.

Our administration courses include:

• Team leader programme.
• BMP.
• MDP.
• Estimating for printers.
• Production planning and estimating.
• Labour law workshops.

Printing SA is an FP&M SETA accredited training provider. As such, all our courses are recognised by the FP&M SETA as either pivotal courses, like the TT modules, and skills programmes like the Guillotine and Folding Machine Operator courses, or as non-pivotal courses.

What new training courses are Printing SA currently developing for the industry?

We are developing 12 new trade qualifications with FP&M SETA, QCTO and NAMB. These qualifications incorporate 26 occupational qualifications, which allow for career progression from FLP to Team Leader to Artisan. All these qualifications are being registered on the NQF by SAQA and as such successful learners will obtain National Occupational Qualifications.

From industry feedback received, we have identified 14 priority short learning programmes that will be launched early in 2021, including:

• Colour Management eLearning.
• Sustainable Packaging.
• Graphic Design eLearning.
• Digital Cutting and Creasing.
• Die Cutting and Creasing.
• Folding and Gluing.
• Sheetfed Lithographers Assistant.
• Flexo Plate Maker.
• Flexo Plate Mounter.
• Litho Plate Maker.
• Saddle Stitching Machine Operator.
• Adhesive Binding Machine Operator.
• Printing and Packaging Factory Worker.
• Reelstand Operator.

Danielle Arendorf, Cape Chamber Manager

Does Printing SA offer networking opportunities to members, and what are these?

Yes, this ranges from the annual industry conference to various networking sessions, which are held at least quarterly, and these are set up by our various chambers. This creates platforms for members to discuss updates within the industry as well as to give them insight into the changes and challenges faced by the industry.

Other networking opportunities also include industry functions such as our annual regional and national dinners and in addition to these, we also have regional industry golf days as well as numerous exhibitions and conferences held by Printing SA.

Printing SA has dedicated regional chambers. How does this benefit members?

Printing SA’s work is carried out by the national directorate as well as branches which we call chambers, and the membership of Printing SA is through these local branches, which are situated in our major cities across South Africa. Those include the Western Cape, Gauteng region, Pretoria for the northern region as well as KwaZulu-Natal.

Non-member companies are able to join Printing SA through the chambers nearest to their location. It is through these chambers and at chamber level that the operational assistance is given to our members. This includes regional and provincial issues that our members may be experiencing.

It is also in this way that committed assistance is offered to our members, and of course this assistance is tailored and personalised to each member’s needs. Also, each chamber has a dedicated training centre where members are able to upskill their employees within their own regions in an environment that is familiar to their employees. In this way, it enables students to excel at the training, and saves our members from exorbitant travel expenses.

Jermaine Naicker, Printing SA KZN Chamber Manager

How can Printing SA assist members to get funding from banks and relevant bodies, and help with other financial aspects?

Printing SA has a number of members that supply the industry with access to finance. One such member is SASFIN Bank, which has over the years assisted our members with various funding options, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) grants, incentives, foreign exchange and financial planning.

Relevant chambers also get involved with their local departments of Trade and Industry. An example would be in KZN, where the Chamber keeps close association with TIKZN, who provides us with opportunities for industry and capital funding, business coaching, business growth opportunities and additional tender information.

We also continue to recruit associate members from all aspects of the spectrum, which we believe could add value to the greater membership through offering non-print or packaging related services. Another case in point is our recent partnership with Agility and Health Squared, where members can enjoy tailor-made packages specifically for the industry. We continue to lobby the dti, SEFA, SEDA and other state organs that offer various funding models in order to break the barriers to access of these resources for our industry.

In terms of tenders and other work opportunities, do Printing SA members get notified of these, as well as other opportunities to quote on work they would otherwise not have been privy to?

Printing SA is subscribed to various tender portals on behalf of its members – actively seeking opportunities for members to find work that they fit into and can effectively execute. Some members have even expanded their operations and widened their product lines through this medium. This in turn creates a lucrative Member Benefit, both in saving costs to subscribe to tender portals and also gaining access to tenders that catapults their business.

In addition, Printing SA, being the Industry Federation, receives numerous queries from potential customers, both locally and internationally, regarding work that they require to be done for them. Ordinarily, the odds are rather slim that these potential customers would have hand picked a particular printing or packaging firm (especially if the customer is a first time buyer). Hence, Printing SA then takes the lead by engaging with the potential customers and passing this on to the regional chambers, who then disseminate this to all their members. All members then gain an equal opportunity to put forward their pitch to the potential customer. Printing SA has received numerous distinguished comments from members for creating these opportunities for them, that they would have otherwise lost out on. This we can see is a tangible example of Printing SA bridging the gap between the customer and our members.

However, it doesn’t stop there, there is a whole lot more to tap into with Printing SA. Being more than 109 years old, the federation brings along depth and serious knowledge reserves of the industry. Printing SA also continuously strives to hear our members’ concerns, address those concerns with apt solutions and also remain innovative to provide creative solutions for all members.

Elri Van Zyl, Printing SA Central Chamber Manager

Can you give a short overview of some of the main things Printing SA has done for the industry during Covid-19? 

Members were continuously kept updated with regards to the Disaster Management act, different lockdown levels, how to apply for essential services certificates and TERS legislation as amended from time to time. Printing SA submitted a proposal to the Minister of dti, Ebrahim Patel, to address that printing needs to be allowed to operate as an essential service during lockdown.

A step by step guide on how to apply for TERS was put together and made available to members. When we moved from lockdown level 5 to 4 and specific requirements in terms of Covid-19 and OHS came in, a risk assessment was done for the industry to assist members to draw up a risk assessment for their own business.

Members were continuously assisted with enquiries regarding how to communicate with employees, TERS, health and safety regulations, how to deal with a positive Covid-19 case and COIDA applications if Covid-19 was contracted or possibly contracted at the workplace.

The next issue on the table is waste management, can you please elaborate on how this affects the industry and what Printing SA is doing in this regard?

There is a draft regulation regarding extended producer responsibility (EPR). This includes businesses that commercially manufacture, convert, refurbish or import new and/or used products. Waste becomes pollution, and it is the responsibility of printers as part of the value chain of the environment to collect waste as printers discarded, produced and printed on paper, plastic and vinyl and would have to belong to a scheme to minimise the effects of this waste.

The scheme is for waste products from the paper and packaging sector. The intention of the EPR is to extend a producer’s financial and physical responsibility for its products across its life cycle until post-consumer stage. The paper and packaging EPR sectors will need to implement EPR schemes to ensure the effective management of waste streams within the paper and packaging sector.

Printing SA is meeting on behalf of the industry, and in collaboration with Packaging SA, with the minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries and we are applying for an extension to the submission date in order to consult with the industry regarding this. We are inviting the industry to collaborate with us on this.

Zayed Bagus, Printing SA Director of Member Development and Operations

Please could you touch on the research and advocacy that Printing SA is involved in and the benefits thereof?

Printing SA commissioned its own research in 2018/2019 with the financial assistance of the FP&M Seta and conducted by BMi Research. The study was aimed at providing a view on the state of the industry and input into the industry growth strategy. It provided insights into the use of various printing processes, manufactured products, player views and opinions, as well as understanding and anticipating changes in customer behaviour in terms of buying print.

Our collaboration partner, SATU, with the Institute for Futures Research from Stellenbosch University, also conducted a research study in 2019, which aimed to explore the plausible futures of the printing industry in South Africa.

The study had two objectives:

• To explore and understand the current and future challenges and opportunities facing the printing industry in South Africa.

• To imagine plausible futures of the South African printing industry toward 2030, with a particular focus on the roles of people.

As an industry body, we are constantly looking at local and global research studies that will enhance and grow the industry, by empowering our members in terms of future trends and opportunities. We are the official FESPA representative in Africa and share our local experiences with international industry bodies, but also have access to their research studies, papers and articles.

All research reports and pertinent industry information can be found in the member’s portal of our website. Our advocacy involves lobbying government directly and through bodies such as the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Business for South Africa and the Copyright Act Coalition, amongst others, to voice our industry views on various topics such as the Copyright Act, the Waste Management Act, Air Quality Act and so forth.

Through our marketing department and Commercial and Technical department, we not only advocate for the industry at a local level, but also at international forums. The industry at large benefits from our interaction with government, not only Printing SA members.

In terms of the Members Forums – what do they entail and why are they important?

While research studies and advocacy gather and disseminate important industry information on behalf of our members, our Members Forums represent a platform for us to share these and other industry topics with our members in a more in depth and personal manner. So, aside from unpacking research studies and the learning that can be gained from these, other operational-related topics, such as how to take care of printing rollers, or a topic on design and layout for example, are presented at Members Forums by industry professionals. Again, this is meant to benefit our members by providing them with not only a networking opportunity, but also to provide them with the tools to make informed business decisions.

Tel: +27 11 287 1160
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