It is Thursday evening, 30 March 2017 as I jot down a few ideas for this column. As I am bombarded with rumours of a cabinet reshuffle, I ponder on a song performed by Barry McGuire that I had heard a few days earlier titled ‘Eve of Destruction’ – and it surely was.
The rumours were confirmed on 31 March 2017, but one has to wonder if this is just a lead up to a sick April Fool’s joke. Alas, there are no Zapiro cartoons in the Sunday papers with the words “Heh, Heh, Heh – I was only joking” bubbled from the shower head.
Despite the utter despair, the uncertainty and the anger, South Africans have to gather up all they can and stand together to defeat this injustice. Already by 2 April 2017 there is some mobilisation on different petitions, #BlackMonday and #StayAwayFriday. All these are positive initiatives with a common message of “standing together”.
The Association of Representatives of the Electronics Industry (arei) of South Arica has a defined pay-off line similar to this message, namely “Working together to grow the South African Electronics Industry”. With a weakening Rand, opportunities for local manufacture and export arise, and at arei we believe that by growing the association and collaborating with all the stakeholders in our industry we will achieve this objective.
Since our first FY17/FY18 committee meeting, we have defined a strategy and elected portfolio managers to assist in achieving our goals. The strategic key initiatives include:
• More focus on interfacing with government, educational institutions and related associations.
• Growth of the membership.
• More accurate measurement of the industry KPIs and statistics.
• More frequent networking sessions.
• Benchmarking with related associations such as IDEA.
The respective portfolio managers have been elected as follows:
• Chairman – Warren Muir (Muirlenium Technology).
• Vice Chairman – Philip Hall (Avnet South Africa).
• Secretary – Jenny Gooding.
• Finance – Stephan Martinussen (Arrow Altech Distribution).
• Statistic Management – Warren Muir (Muirlenium Technology).
• Public Relations Management – Malckey Tehini (Dataweek/Technews).
• Institutional Relations (Government, Education, etc) – Erich Nast (Avnet South Africa).
• Stakeholder Relations – Lesley Bebbington (Proactive Marketing) and Sean Flynn (Projects Concern).
• Related Association Collaboration – Vacant (formerly Petrus Booyens).
The effort from the committee has already yielded some fruits with three new memberships in 2017, preliminary meetings with the dti to formulate a relationship, initial discussions to start collaborating with the SAEEC and IESA, and events coordination for our annual breakfast with a well-known guest speaker.
We encourage stakeholders in the electro-technical sector to consider joining arei. As we build momentum with our strategy, we believe that we offer our members substantial value for their annual fees. Should you be interested, please contact Jenny Gooding on +27 (0)11 462 3256 or email@example.com.