Centurion MicroElectronics is a company that supplies industrial PC products to a number of local companies. In general, these companies - one exception being companies involved in the fruit industry in the Cape - seem to be very successful in marketing their products locally and abroad.
Typical applications include advertising, security, gaming, instrumentation, underground monitoring, farming, mining, telecommunication etc. A steady growth is experienced in most of these fields on a year-to-year basis.
One thing that makes 2001 different from previous years is the value of our currency. From R8 to the dollar now, it could well fall to R12 towards the end of the year. If there is turmoil in Africa our currency falls. If there is turmoil in the US our currency falls as well. These low rand values make our skilled labour (design capabilities) extremely cheap and potentially highly marketable worldwide.
During the eighties, South Africa had a large number of electronic engineers working in arms-related design capacities. We had our own Space program, designed high-tech avionics and other weapon systems. Most of these engineers now have 15-plus years of design experience. If we could market this capability worldwide we could, in my view, generate good income into the country.
Problem is, many of these engineers have either left the country, gone into management, or left the engineering field for other business ventures.
In summary, we should do our best to keep our experienced engineering people in the engineering field and in the country. Secondly, we should increase our worldwide marketing efforts a 100-fold.
If we can achieve this, 2001 and the years following can be very fruitful.
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