Twims, the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies in Kloof near Durban, on Thursday announced sponsorships of R18 million for five new research chairs that it said will further Africa’s industrialisation.
Speaking at the event, chair of Toyota SA, Dr Johan van Zyl, said the only way for an economy to grow sustainably is through industrialisation. “Unfortunately, South Africa has lagged the rest of the developing world in harnessing manufacturing for this purpose and it is even more pronounced for the rest of the continent. We thank the corporate sponsors for their generous investment, which will go a long way towards addressing this issue,” he said.
Sponsor of lean manufacturing research and CEO of Toyota SA Motors, Andrew Kirby, said lean manufacturing was much more than just-on-time delivery, but a methodology to reduce waste and optimise productivity.
Sponsor of future manufacturing research, CEO of The Foschini Group (TFG) Anthony Thunstrom, said the company became South Africa’s largest clothing manufacturer by focusing on vertical control of supplies and local manufacturing. He said TFG has proven that imported clothes are not always cheaper.
Sponsor of African trade and industrialisation research and Group MD of Illovo Sugar, Gavin Dalgleish, said agricultural processing has a large role to play in Africa’s future. He said Illovo, which started in KwaZulu-Natal 125 years ago, has learned a lot about minimising input costs from small scale growers in East Africa.
Professor Justin Barnes, executive director of Twims, told The Witness the institute this year has 37 students submitting their masters’ dissertations, adding to the 46 manufacturing leaders who have graduated from Twims since 2018.