The medical device sector is a priority sector for the South African government. Whilst a number of the products in this market are imported, analysts expect that the African device market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6.3% from 2017-2023, reaching around $ 7.1 billion in revenue by 2023. As a result of the Corona virus onset, global supply chains disrupted giving way to emerging opportunities presenting itself in the SA and African market. Local production of ventilators and diagnostic kits started as a result of global shortages for such products.
In South Africa, the medical device sector consists mainly of multinationals whose products are imported. Domestic manufacturing is a small market with a number of products being imported. Manufacturing is mainly focused production of low technology and low value devices such as surgical goods. Most of the manufactured goods are based in H=Gauteng, followed by Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal. According to the South African Medical Research Council estimate, there are 135 local manufacturers registered. As of 2 June 2020, a total of 1392 medical devices have been issued by SAHPRA to distributors, wholsesalers and manufacturers.
Some of the leading manufacturers globally with a presence in South Africa include : Medtronic, J&J, Abbot Laboratories , GE, Simens Healthcare, Philips, Becton Dickinson and Fresenius Medical Care and B Braun.
Some of the local manufacturers in South Africa include : Drager,B Braun, Megrotex, Medtex, Evergreen Latex, AMKA, Lodox Systems, Acasia Medical, New Horizons Metals, BSN Medical, Cape Ray Medical, Medical Diagnoshtech, Medical Plant Africa, Sinapi Bio Medical, BioVac, Cape Bio to name a few.
A number of opportunities for local manufacturing has been created as a result of the Corona Virus and local manufacturing being encouraged.
South Africa is a primary hub for medical device industry in Sub Suharan Africa. The South Africa Development Community (SADC) free trade area ensures tariff free exports for South Africa. The African Continental Free Trade Area presents an opportunity for manufacturing and distribution of medical devices . Other free trade agreements in place by South Africa which also open the opportunities for SA manufactured goods include EU, USA and South America.
There are a number of associations in the country that work in collaboration with government and can provide assistance to the companies include : South African Medical Devices of South Africa (SAMED), Medical Devices Manufacturers Association for South Africa (MDMSA) and South African Laboratories and Diagnostics Association (SALDA), all providing technical and industry information to potential companies that may set up manufacturing facilities in the country.
A dedicated service offered by Invest SA, a focal point for all investors interested in setting up a manufacturing facility in the country provides information and support to all foreign investors including developing a strategic framework of structured engagements through the investor life cyle. Based on the relationships with key and strategic stakeholders in the country, Invest SA is able to facilitate the necessary introductions and engagements with the key roleplayers in the value
A number of government institutions and developmental financial institutions that can be accessed to provide funding and non funding assistance include Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, Department of Science and Innovation and their implementing agency Technology Innovation Agency, South Africa Medical Research Council, National Research Foundation, CSIR, Department of Small Business Development and their implementing agencies including Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and Single Enterprise Financing Agency (SEFA). There are a number of incubation facilities and partnerships between the government and the private sector that also offer assistance to the small and medium and new companies looking to establish themselves in the market through initiatives such as EgoliBio, SAVANT, Innovation Hub
Companies can establish in Special Economic Zones and enjoy the suite of incentives offered by Special Economic Zones. There are special economic zones in all of the nine provinces with Dube Trade Port positioning itself as a Pharmaceutical Hub and the Western Cape having a medical device cluster within the province.
A number of other programmes are offered through the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition including the Black Industrialist Programme, Export Marketing and Investment Assistance , Support for Industrial Innovation and Technology for Human Resource Industry Development.
Invest SA looks forward to partnering with the potential investors in the sector.