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Working together to uplift the South African Electronics Industry.

January 2023

Dear AREI Members, 

AREI Chairman’s report – AGM 2023

Welcome to the AREI AGM 2023. The first month is almost done and dusted, making one wonder who pressed the fast forward button on the world’s clock!!!

After the lifechanging past few years, I think many of us are wondering what surprises we can expect in 2023. And I guess many of us think, ‘Well nothing can surprise me anymore, bring it on’

Many of us have accepted that change is inevitable. And more importantly we have realized that the pace of change is ever increasing. (Just look at Eskom’s load shedding schedule)

Charles Kettering, an American inventor from the last century said:

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought change”

Change can be viewed as an enemy or a friend. Change is not your enemy unless you choose to make it your enemy.

Change is growth, change is life.

Our local electronics industry too has also seen many changes in recent times. Those who have been in the industry for longer than even 10 years will have seen how the industry has gone through changes, and cycles of good years and bad years. We who are in the distribution sector of the electronics industry particularly have realized that customers are no longer reliant on the traditional supply chain. The world has opened up electronic components can be sourced from every conner of the world. Even from unlikely channels such as Amazon and Takealot. So unless we change our value proposition and business model, we will become irrelevant.

Those of you in the manufacturing sector will know that it is so easy to have your PCBs manufactured outside our country. Yes, these changes do come with risks, but also opportunities. Yes there are still very good opportunities in our country, even with all the political uncertainty and chaos at Eskom.

I want to quote from a recent article by Chris Yelland “In the energy and electricity sectors in SA, there is much that could be done and should be done, that is not being done. On the bright side, this should be a cause for some optimism, as it points to the massive opportunities that are within our grasp.” Chris Yelland, EE Business Intelligence
So how do we ensure that our local electronics industry continues to grow and remain relevant for the next generations. How do we as role players make sure that young engineers work in our local industry rather than looking for opportunities elsewhere in the world. How do we as component distributors make sure that customers continue to buy from us and not from channels outside our borders.

Only by standing together and supporting each other can we move forward. More than ever, an association like AREI is needed to represent the electronics industry. AREI’s mission statement is “Working together to uplift the South African Electronics Industry”

In order to fulfil its mandate and mission AREI needs to grow its membership base, and thus we call upon all members to get involved with promoting AREI at every opportunity.

At the AGM on 25 January, a new committee will be elected. We urge our members to make themselves available for nomination so we can elect a team which is committed to growing our industry, our livelihood. Fresh ideas and ways of promoting our industry, using new methods like social media to reach out to the wider industry.

Looking forward to an exciting 2023 and hoping we can achieve far more than we realise.

Kind regards 

Erich Nast