File image: Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies. (Photo: Leon Nicholas).
CAPE TOWN - Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies launched the new Intsimbi Future Production Technologies Initiative ( IFPTI), a skills development programme, in Cape Town this week.

Davies said the new programme was developed in line with the principles of new production technologies for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

He said the government was building capacity in response to the impact and opportunities that the 4th Industrial Revolution would bring about.

The launch took place at the National Tooling Initiative Programme’s (NTIP) Centre of Excellence, recently equipped with new state-of-the art industrial machinery for the artisan programme, with more than 500 companies from key industries participating.

“The launch of the new programme includes the renaming and rebranding of the previous NTIP. The key oversight body will remain the Intsimbi Board and the implementation agency NTIP,” said Davies.

He said  NTIP would no longer be the National Tooling Initiative, but would be named the National Technologies Implementation Platform (NTIP), the same acronym because of its international standing,” he said.

The launch of Intsimbi marks an expansion of the previous pilot NTIP into a fully-fledged 4th Industrial Revolution programme, which will include among others, training in robotics, mechatronics, and industrial maintenance.

Davies said the Intsimbi model had succeeded in creating highly innovative industry driven solutions that could sustainably be expanded and would position South Africa’s advanced manufacturing sector for the the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is transforming global competitiveness in manufacturing.

Davies said the concept of digital industrial technologies was profoundly shaping the government’s efforts to promote industrial development in an already complex global economy, in terms of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) 2018/19.

Devon de Freitas, an Intsimbi beneficiary, said the programme had exposed him to more advanced aspects of toolmaking.

“During my stint I was taught the science of computer numerical control machining as well as computer aided designs. All these equipped me with a competitive edge in my pursuit of employment opportunities as prospective employers are more trusting of candidates that possess basic knowledge in advanced machining,” said De Freitas.

- BUSINESS REPORT