Spotlight on technology at PE event

Andile Msimang from research and innovation hub eNtsa uses a 3D scanner at the African Advance Manu- facturing Show on Wednesday
Andile Msimang from research and innovation hub eNtsa uses a 3D scanner at the African Advance Manu- facturing Show on Wednesday
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

Technology has taken over Port Elizabeth for two days, with the city hosting the African Advance Manufacturing Show at the Tramways Building as well as the Jendamark drone night racing event at the NMB Stadium.

The two-day African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show, which concludes on Thursday,   is a technology expo  aimed at introducing technological advancements to improve the economy and environment in SA. 

The event brings together different industries and gives them an opportunity to promote the technological advancements they have made. 

It also shares simple and effective advancements aimed at improving the lives of those who come from less fortunate environments.  

One of the technologies highlighted is Aqua Screen, a water quality testing kit, the brainchild of former Rhodes student and  Lugaju Innovations managing director  Dr Bonga Zuma.

Zuma was also involved with the production of an easily transportable water tank which maintains the quality of water at National Association of Testing Authorities standards.

“The ease of transportation allows for the tanks to be distributed to even the most rural areas and the product comes in at only half the price of a regular water tank.

“The tank also has the added bonus of being produced right here, in the Eastern Cape,” he said .

While technology remains the theme of the event, other institutes such Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, a non-for-profit enterprise that addresses the challenges of youth unemployment in SA, was  also in attendance on Wednesday.  

Thabisa Dlali,  a brand co-ordinator and a former participant in the Harambee programme, says it has had a high success rate over the last few years. 

“We invite people to register with us, it is free of charge and we give training to allow applicants to be more employable and we offer opportunities based on the outcome of your training.

“But whether you get the job or not is entirely up to you and your skills set,”  Dlali said. 

Other stallholders were also on hand to demonstrate how their technology and software was helping manufacturing and production. . 

One such example on display was Odin, a fully integrated software system designed by Port Elizabeth-turned-international company, Jendamark. 

Odin is designed to drive efficiency on production lines and digitally upskill employees, the company’s Juane Schutte said.

“It does this by tracking the assemblers’ actions and guiding them by providing animated work instructions.  

“This is incredibly important for keeping the worker relevant in a time where automation and artificial-intelligence is slowly taking over.

“Jendamark has planned meetings with a presidential panel to discuss the implementation of Odin in SA,” Schutte said.

Jendamark is also hosting the first-ever drone race in Port Elizabeth.

The event takes place on Thursday evening at the Nelson Mandela Bay  Stadium. Tickets are available at Computicket.