Exclusive interview with Eric Bruggeman, CEO South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), that is bringing a large delegation of South African suppliers to the DRC Mining Week in Lubumbashi in June.

1)      Let’s start with some background on the SACEEC, your members and the aims of the Council?
The South African Capital Equipment Export Council (SACEEC), a public/private partnership between the capital equipment industry and the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) began its journey as a Capital Equipment Cluster in 1998 and went on to became the first dti Export Council in 2000. The SACEEC currently services more than 140 member companies in manufacturing and allied services, representing a major proportion of the capital equipment industry in South Africa.

The SACEEC provides a facilitating role in assisting capital equipment sector companies to grow their businesses through exporting. This includes being the voice of the sector to government and the rest of the industry on export matters, providing critical and timely information aimed at enhancing its members’ ability to make sound business and management decisions and aggressively assisting it members to access global markets through facilitating National Pavilions, Individual Participation in Exhibitions, Outward Selling Missions and Inward Buying Missions in a focused manner, to targeted customers.

2)      Is the SACEEC involved in any specific projects that you are particularly excited about?
Partnering with the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), the SACEEC are committed to driving public procurement localisation and optimisation, the development of relevant skills and to unlock the industrial potential that exists within black-owned and black-managed businesses within the capital equipment and allied services sector.

The four key objectives over the course of 2017/18 are:

•     To reclaim and develop new market share for Gauteng based OEM’s into the Africa market, predominantly the SADC counties. This will kick off with a marketing, sales and after-sales service and repair hub for SA companies within the Zambian Copperbelt. Gauteng is working towards greater economic upliftment for both SA based companies and their local African partners.

•     Driving Public Procurement Optimisation and Localisation through on-going dialogue with the SOE’s and municipalities; creating a directory of SA manufacturing and services companies and ensuring those responsible for state spend have access to these companies.

•     Identify, matchmake and mentor potential black industrialists within the sector

•     Develop technical, business and entrepreneurial skills in specially designed programmes beginning at high school level where programmes based on the successful Fumana Technical Learnership Project where high school learners are prepared for a career in a trade. Business coaching for companies and mentoring of potential black professionals wishing to acquire a BEE stake within companies.

3)      Tell us more about your participation at DRC Mining Week this year?
The SACEEC will be attending DRC Mining Week for the second year running. Susan Breckenridge, Business Promotions, will be representing the council on behalf of its members and in support of attending members and SA exporting companies.

4)      What South African companies will participate there and what are the specialised offerings that they are bringing to the DRC?

SACEEC members as part of the SA National Pavilion:
–    AZMET – Ruan Kukard, Engineering Services
–    AZ-Armaturen – Erich Ermel, Lubricating Plug Valve and Sampling Valves
–    WEBA Chutes – Brendon Viljoen, Chute designed
–    Fabchem – Freddy Mugeri, Dome plates, Pumps

SACEEC members as individual exhibitors:
–    FL Smidth
–    Aard Mining Equipment

SA Companies as part of the National Pavilion:
–    African Mixing Technologies – Nadine Brockman, Pumps & agitators
–    Hose manufacturers – Julian Hendricks, Boreline, flatlay
–    APE Pumps – Richard Harper, Pumps
–    Nitralife – Tom Sowry, Nitrogen generators
–    Tru-Trac Rollers – Jonathan Rogoff, Conveyor Equipment
–    Turner Morris – Alwyn Coetzee, DRIVE units, generators, Bio-mixers, Conveyors
–    OE Bearings – Warwick Steinhobel, SRB Brandsplit Roller, Bearing housing support, Hanger units, Flanges

5)      How would you like to see the cooperation between DRC and South Africa develop?
The DRC is potentially one of the richest mining countries in Africa. The country was the world’s fourth largest producer of industrial diamonds during the 1980s, and diamonds continue to dominate exports, accounting for nearly half of exports. Trade relations between South Africa and the DRC are showing positive growth from a relatively low base, with bilateral trade being heavily skewed in South Africa’s favour due to limited productive capacity on the part of the DRC’s economy. In response to the extended period of globalisation, the focus has now swung to localisation and SA and SA companies are looking ways to provided long-term and meaning partnerships with companies within the DRC.

6)      What are the opportunities for South African companies there?
SA is currently the biggest exporter of foreign goods and services into the DRC. Abundant in mineral and agricultural resources such as copper, cobalt, cadmium, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, germanium, uranium, radium, bauxite, iron ore and coal as well as timber, and vast hydropower potential.

7)      What will be the SACEEC’s message at DRC Mining Week?
Renewing the presence of the SA National Pavilion at the DRC Mining Week positions South African companies as leading players in the mining and power sectors will allow them to enhance their presence in the region, and for new companies to increase the South African foothold in the DRC. The event is a key driver for local and international companies to network, exchange best practices, get first-hand vital information, to export their products, to find local partners, to maximise their reach and exposure; to enhance their brand and image positioning.

DRC Mining is the ideal business platform to start business relationships in the SADC region.

8)      What are you most looking forward to in Lubumbashi?
The capital city of Lubumbashi, is the second largest city in the DRC and sets the stage for a business-to-business forum of facilitated sessions and meetings with key stakeholders. The SACEEC will also be looking at establishing a Business Centre in Lubumbashi to assist SA companies doing business in the country. Meetings have been arranged to further this objective.

More about Eric Bruggeman:
CEO of the SACEEC (January 2016 – Present)
Chairman of the Board SACEEC (2010 – Present)
Managing Director at Bruggeman Consulting, Ltd. January (2007 – Present)
Managing Director APE Pumps (Pty) Ltd (1997 – 2007)
University of Johannesburg – Engineering & Mechanical, (1977 – 1981)
Activities and Societies: Rotary, SANCA
Contact details: Eric.bruggeman@saceec.com 011 849 7388 / 083 459 3073


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