mobile | classic
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology Magazine

Follow us on:
Follow us on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn


Electronics Buyers' Guide

Electronics Manufacturing & Production Handbook 2017


Where to for the SA electronics industry in 2019?
14 November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News

With 2018 drawing to a close, we start dusting off the old crystal ball and start gazing into prospects for 2019, and particularly what it holds for the electronics industry in South Africa.

Before looking forward, just a short reflection on the past year. For most South Africans, 15 February 2018 was a day of hope, with the start of a new era as Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in as our new president. Almost immediately we saw positive reaction from the markets, the currency strengthened and a new energy was evident in the way we went about business.

Erich Nast.
Erich Nast.

But as ‘Ramaphoria’ has faded, we have settled back into our trusted, regular routines. Much like a step change in an electronic circuit, there is an overshoot, and then as the overshoot is damped, the signal settles down to a new steady state. With Ramaphosa at the helm, I do believe that the new steady state is at a much higher level than before, but still below where it could be.

What are the prospects for the electronics industry in 2019? There will be new challenges and opportunities, and this is what engineers thrive on, is it not? By definition engineers are problem solvers, but often the problems are outside our domain or outside our control.

As AREI (Association of Representatives for the Electronics Industry), we have realised that we need to make our collective voice heard more loudly. To this end we are reaching out to other engineering disciplines, educational institutes, and of course government (specifically the department of trade and industry and the department of science and technology) to assist in growing our important industry. But this is no easy task, and we must simply keep knocking at doors. One thing we cannot afford to do is stand still; for if we stand still… we go backwards.

For 2019 one of the disruptive technologies we will hear more about is the 4th industrial revolution, also referred to at the Digital Industrial Revolution (DIR). The key components of the DIR – the Internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, new processes and materials, additive manufacturing, logistics, marketing techniques and sales channels – will mean we all have to start thinking differently about how we do things. If you are interested in seeing developments of this in South Africa, you can visit

A major problem that has faced the electronics industry in 2018 from a component supply point has been the severe shortage of multi-layer ceramic chip capacitors (MLCC). Who would ever have imagined a simple component like a capacitor could go on allocation? MLCC chip capacitors are used in almost every electronic product, and even with annual production estimated to be around 1 trillion pieces, demand is still outpacing supply. This of course is a worldwide problem, and according to many of the chip capacitor manufacturers, the situation will only improve in 2020.

On a more positive note, AREI and our members will be exhibiting at the Local Manufacturing Expo taking place in May 2019 at NASREC. This expo will be attracting exhibitors and visitors from all manufacturing industries, including our electronics industry. If you are interested in exhibiting, please contact AREI for more information.

In closing, the South African electronics industry has proved its resilience and innovation over many decades. Our engineers are still some of the best trained and skilled. Because of our remote location, our engineers must often find their own solutions, and cannot easily rely on help from Europe and the US. But what we need is greater support from government. AREI’s mission is to grow the South African electronics industry through collaboration with all stakeholders.

For more information contact AREI,,

  Share on Facebook Share via Twitter Share via LinkedIn    

Further reading:

  • Optical networking and sensing with POF
    14 November 2018, TRX Electronics, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless
    POF is bringing the advantages of optical networking to communication and optical sensing applications that cannot be satisfied using copper cable, wireless or glass fibre.
  • NB-IoT’s place in the South African LPWAN picture
    14 November 2018, Quectel Wireless Solutions, This Week's Editor's Pick, Telecoms, Datacoms, Wireless
    At the start of 2018, there was much talk on the NB-IoT side but little design activity, however in the third quarter of this year we are seeing greater interest in the base line solution.
  • Products of the Year 2018
    14 November 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    OpenVPX board for radar and DRFM    Altium Designer 18    PICkit 4 in-circuit debugger    Time-of-flight sensor    Ultra-portable spectrum analyser    Infiniium UXR oscilloscopes    Dual-core signal controller    High-precision ...
  • In memoriam: Zalman Orlianski
    10 October 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    The South African electronics industry reacted with shock and deep sadness to the passing of Zalman Orlianski, founder of Zetech, last month.
  • First-of-its-kind aircraft being designed in SA
    10 October 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    Dubbed the Pegasus Vertical Business Jet (VBJ1), the aircraft aims to combine the best features of a helicopter and a business jet.
  • Top 10 development boards of 2018
    10 October 2018, Altron Arrow, This Week's Editor's Pick, Computer/Embedded Technology
    In order to support the most innovative year yet in 2018, Altron Arrow presents its top 10 recommended development boards and kits.
  • EMS trends in 2018 and beyond
    10 October 2018, Omnigo, This Week's Editor's Pick, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    The first nine months of the year have passed and it has become more apparent that Industry 4.0 and automation have been the leading trends so far.
  • Beat the exchange rate blues with local manufacturing
    10 October 2018, Otto Wireless, This Week's Editor's Pick, Interconnection
    It is not uncommon for companies to be attracted to the relatively low cost of imported, complete cable assemblies, but how does this hold up against a weakening Rand?
  • Consider renting versus buying test equipment
    10 October 2018, Coral-i Solutions , This Week's Editor's Pick, Test & Measurement
    Coral-i Solutions weighs the benefits of renting versus buying, and the equipment available within the company’s rental pool.
  • The future of energy-harvesting IoT applications
    10 October 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, News
    Energy harvesting offers significant advantages to the development and improvement of the Internet of Things (IoT). It is a critical component for creating an enhanced class of autonomous and mobile applications ...
  • How to make sure your designs are properly grounded
    10 October 2018, EDA Technologies, This Week's Editor's Pick, Design Automation
    In the fields of electrical and electronic engineering the word ground is used to describe parts of systems or PCBs (printed circuit boards). The reason for using this word is to denote some part of a ...
  • A guide to manual cleaning of PCB assemblies
    10 October 2018, This Week's Editor's Pick, Manufacturing / Production Technology, Hardware & Services
    Manual cleaning of soldering residues can be inconsistent across the industry. After rework or second-stage assembly, manual cleaning is difficult to guarantee that all residues have been removed and ...

Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd
1st Floor, Stabilitas House
265 Kent Ave, Randburg, 2194
South Africa
Publications by Technews
Dataweek Electronics & Communications Technology
Electronic Buyers Guide (EBG)

Hi-Tech Security Solutions
Hi-Tech Security Business Directory

Motion Control in Southern Africa
Motion Control Buyers’ Guide (MCBG)

South African Instrumentation & Control
South African Instrumentation & Control Buyers’ Guide (IBG)
Terms & conditions of use, including privacy policy
PAIA Manual


    Classic | Mobile

Copyright © Technews Publishing (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved.