Experts: 'KZN industries robust'

2009-03-26 00:00

Although the manufacturing sector in KZN faces tremendous challenges at present, it is a robust and resilient sector that can face the global economic downturn head on and emerge from the crisis stronger.

This is according to two local analysts from Deloitte, Andy Dillon (Lead Technology Innovation) and Paul Botha (Director Consulting).

Professional services firm Deloitte recently held a workshop in Durban where some of KZN's biggest manufacturing companies gathered to discuss their response to the economic meltdown.

About 40 representatives from KZN's top manufacturers, including Toyota, Bell, UEC, GUD, Feltex and Grafton Everest attended the workshop.

The meeting came hot on the heels of the announcement by Statistics SA that manufacturing output in SA contracted by 20% in the last quarter.

In KZN, manufacturing is reportedly the biggest contributor to the province's gross geographic product. "Manufacturing in KZN is going through a tough time at the moment. There are rising input costs and markets are softening," said Dillon.

"Manufacturing companies are well aware of the challenge," said Botha.

"In these uncertain times, when people are worried about their future, it is important for business leaders to remain calm and to display inspirational leadership," said Dillon.

The focus of manufacturers should be on cost saving and innovation.

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