In 2013 the South African Pump Manufacturers Association (Sapma) was requested by the dti as well as Eskom to form the South African Pump Cluster. In order to comply with the dti requirement to form a cluster, Sapma had to change from being an employer’s association to become a development association and to register as a non-profit company and as a result the Southern African Pump Systems Development Association (SAPSDA) was formed.

The new board of directors of SAPSDA decided to emulate the structure of the Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (SASSDA), which has been in existence since 1964 and has more than 400 members, by joining up with SASSDA.

SASSDA is one of the most active stainless-steel industry associations in the world and has been involved in increasing the awareness and use of stainless steel in Southern Africa. The organisation provides a platform for SASSDA members to collectively promote the sustainable growth and development of the industry with the main emphasis on stainless steel converted within the South African economy.

SASSDA also provides a comprehensive list of services to its member base falling into eight categories:

• Marketing of stainless steel to grow the demand for stainless steel finished products
• Education and training to remove barriers to the specification, fabrication and use of stainless steel
• Safeguarding the industry to strive to achieve a level playing field in trade
• Raising SASSDA’s profile to ensure that SASSDA is the voice of industry
• Export promotion to grow export markets for SASSDA members
• Market development to grow the local market for SASSDA members
• Member engagement to ensure that SASSDA is a member driven association
• Transformation of the industry to ensure the long-term sustainability of the stainless steel industry

As part of safeguarding the industry, SASSDA forms sectors and clusters when needed to provide a platform for members to competitively work together.

With the South African foundry industry being under pressure due to the impact of the importation of cheap cast iron products, a survey was done on the industry. It was established that the South African foundry industry is internationally competitive for stainless steel castings and in particular where duplex stainless steel is required. SAPSDA and SASSDA will promote the manufacture of stainless steel products such as pumps, valves and sealing systems to compete internationally and stimulate growth in at least three of the SAPSDA sectors.

Besides the drive to manufacture specific stainless steel products in South Africa both associations have put a development plan in place to promote local manufacture as well as skills development. Education, training and skills upgrading are without doubt three of the most important factors determining the successful growth of an industry.