The Intsimbi Future Production Technologies Intitiative (FPTI), is a national (South African), multi-stakeholder initiative that was established under the auspices of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the Production Technologies Association of South Africa (PtSA) to implement a turnaround strategy for South Africa’s distressed tooling industry. The Initiative is enabling government and industry to cooperate on the large-scale interventions required to rehabilitate the South African Tool, Die and Mouldmaking (TDM) sector for the benefit of the South African manufacturing sector. The partnership between the tooling industry (PtSA) and government (the dti) on the development and implementation of the Intsimbi (FPTI) Programme is governed by an overarching memorandum of agreement (MOA) and supported by an annual service level agreement (SLA) between the two parties.
Why the Intsimbi FPTI? The local TDM industry has over the past 25 years lost considerable (80%) tooling capacity. Local companies currently satisfy less than 15% of the local and less than one per cent of global TDM demand as they have failed to adopt the technology and production efficiencies of their developed counterparts. Ageing skills capacity in the sector was not replaced timeously which lead to a serious skills shortage in the TDM industry. The performance of the sector remained curtailed by the low demand in South Africa's main export markets in the developed world. Since its onset the INTSIMBI FPTI, however, sought to not only halt the decline of the sector but to embark on a robust rehabilitation programme to put the local TDM industry on a firm trajectory to international competitiveness.
The Initiative is driven by two programmes namely the TDM Powered Skills Development Programme and the Enterprise Development Programme. The TDM Powered pilot programme was introduced in 2009 and approximately 1 400 students are currently (2015) enrolled in the programme. The TDM Powered Skills Development Programme is presented at 15 training institutions across South Africa and offers academic, practical workshop and on-the-job training for the Foundation, Apprenticeship, Master Toolmaker and Engineering programmes. The Enterprise Development Programme has to date benchmarked 56 companies in conjunction with the WBA Institute in Germany, a world authority on tooling-related research and consulting. Corrective strategies were put in place and the majority of the companies have already been turned around successfully.
The National Technologies Implementation Platform (NTIP), Intsimbi’s project management company serves as implementing agency and is responsible for the facilitation and management of all Intsimbi FPTI programmes.