On 20 July, SAMED held the Gauteng SAMED Chairperson’s Forum. Newly elected SAMED Chairperson, Peter Mehlape opened the forum by outlaying his vision for SAMED as SAMED enters an exciting new era.

An association that elevates medtech

Peter was keen to elevate the position and visibility of the captains of industry and all medtech. This visibility would aid in recognising the role and importance of medical technology in saving and improving patients’ lives. He planned to create seats at the table for SAMED through key stakeholder engagement and strategic communications. Peter celebrated the successes of members and encouraged the industry to brag about its successes. Showcasing real and tangible examples of the impact of medtech on individuals would make the value of medical technology more real to the public and stakeholders.

An association that partners with key stakeholders

Significant inroads have been made to build relationships with key stakeholders and this would continue to remain a focus for SAMED. Peter intended to build on these relationships with a collaborative tone that strengthens the partnerships, raises key concerns in constructive manners and addresses risks to industry and healthcare through though leadership and shared responsibility.

An association that provides value to members

It is essential to SAMED’s continued growth that it be a benefit to members. A key area that SAMED was currently working on was the outstanding public sector debt that threatens company sustainability, hampers job creation and creates supply chain issues that could put the patient at risk. This would be achieved through the highest level of engagement and with the required urgency the situation demanded.

An association that is diverse and inclusive

The medtech industry needs to embrace diversity and inclusion and SAMED members seem to be poised to transform in a meaningful and sustainable way. The Youth Employment Services (YES) programme was an easy way to bring the right skills to the industry and to develop the next generation of medtech employees and leaders. By partnering with YES, SAMED is choosing to be an enabler for transformation, youth employment and healthcare capacitation.

Peter urged members to sign up with YES, stating how rewarding it was to see the development and growth of the youth. He added that SETAs could be approached to fund these youth within a member company and essentially, the member could get additional human resources without the overhead cost.

Peter is leader of the most diverse Board that SAMED has had since its inception and Peter vision was to bring the right skills to SAMED and the SAMED Board to enable the association to contribute positively to the medtech and healthcare sector.

GGDA and Innovation Hub are committed to medtech growth

The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency  (GGDA) supported by the Innovation Hub were guest speakers at the Gauteng SAMED Chairperson’s Forum and overviewed their strategies and programmes to enable investment and socio-economic transformation. They created supportive environments for local businesses including physical and intellectual resources needed to create, develop and sustain a feasible business.

GGDA shared information on the ORT SEZ economic zone which was targeting medical devices for precinct two partners with various benefits such as

  • lower tariffs
  • one-stop benefits – registering an entity
  • bulk services
  • local materials suppliers
  • tax incentives

Vat exemption & duty free importation of production-related materials and assets
Their innovation hub cultivates innovation in healthcare with a through the line from concept to market – graduating them into an alumni support programme. The innovation hub’s biopark which was aimed at commercialising research and development (R&D) offered the following for participating entrepreneurs:

  • subsidised office space
  • subsidised manufacture space
  • business and skills resources
  • legal services
  • access to internal and external funding opportunities
  • market access and networking opportunities

Additionally, GGDA noted the worrying public sector debt and committed to supporting SAMED to address this within the province.