THE R100 million investment pledged by Siyaka in the packaging industry is set to enable a significant portion of imports to be produced locally, create more jobs and raise standards of living. The investment was pledged at the fifth South African Investment Conference held in April this year.
Siyaka specialises in printing high-quality flexographic and gravure packaging for the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) market. Being in the industry since 2000, Siyaka is an established brand with both suppliers and power-brand customers.
Special projects executive at Siyaka, Jessica Busa says Siyaka has established that the wide-web providers serving the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) do not have production facilities in South Africa or do not have enough capacity to service the market after conducting thorough research of the current flexible packaging industry.
“This void has resulted in a large segment of flexible packaging being imported. Therefore, Siyaka has chosen to invest in a competitive local manufacturing solution for the market. This will allow for a large percentage of imports to now be produced locally, including increased employment and skill upliftment,” she says.
According to Busa, the investment incorporates setting up and installing a state-of-the-art printing plant at the Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone in Durban, including varied printing and finishing machinery and equipment.
“Our vision is to increase market share locally and drive exports, whilst improving the economy and livelihoods of our communities by allowing our products to grace the shelves of retail stores both nationally and internationally. The additional machinery will assist us in achieving this vision,” says Busa.
Busa further says the investment will be implemented in stages, with the opening of the plant projected for March 2024. She says the initial impact will include twenty job opportunities for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled employment, with the number rising by the fifth year to a projected fifty jobs.
“Gravure printing and finishing requires a level of artisanal skill and education that is not fully provided in South Africa. Siyaka provides an internship programme for employees with a five-year plan of furthering the current local skill pool to meet market demands. This includes knowledge and practical application experience in running the machinery as printing operators, managing ink viscosity for high-definition print quality, and print cylinder care and use amongst other things,” she says.
Addressing challenges and issues of competition in the market, Busa says there are other large international printing and packaging businesses in the market, which means competition is stiff in a commodity-costed item.
Siyaka has over 20 years of extensive experience in printing as well as the broader label and packaging industries, and is supported by a focused group of 109 experienced executives and staff, many with long service levels in the company. Siyaka manufactures from KwaZulu-Natal and services the Southern African region.