Mark Norris in conversation with Mike Bath (SAIP chair) and Thandi Moyo (SAIP vice-chair)
Mark Norris (Editor and Publisher, The GAPP Magazine): “Mike, the 'South African Institute of Printing' has been in existence for several decades, why now are you reviving it?”
Mike Bath (SAIP Chair): “Yes, Mark, it’s true. The 'South African Institute of Printing' has been in existence for over 40 years during which time we have seen a tidal wave of new technology and challenges confront the printing, packaging and signage industries. Forty years ago the industry was analogue and digital was a dream. There were no wide format or digital printers, no sophisticated workflows. Flexography was in its infancy and there was no social media or internet. It was a simpler era!"
"Today we are in very different space and the industry and the people in the industry face many new challenges. It was time to reboot and re-vitalize the institute by offering a revised set of ethics, a new board and logo, updated ways of earning CPD points to keep the industry players up to date, and time to promote professionalism within the industry.”
Mark: “Thandi, as a woman in what has traditionally been a man’s world, how can SAIP drive the print, packaging and signage industries forward to greater heights, equality, quality and ethics?”
Thandi Moyo (SAIP Vice-chair): “The printing, packaging and signage industry is a crucial sector and contributes to the South African GDP. It is a support pillar for every sector. No public or private entity can function and carry out its mandate without the services of this industry. South Africa has been undergoing a transformation process since our dawn of democracy and in the process experiencing a lot of challenges whilst some strides have been recorded. The industry is also male-dominated and requires a concerted effort to implement the transformation agenda and ensure that more women and previously-disadvantaged groups are given the opportunity to play a central and critical role in growing the sector."
"Principles of equality, quality and ethics are foundational. There has to be willingness from both the male and female counterparts to work together as equal partners to make a success of the industry whilst at the same time providing quality service to customers."
"The SAIP supports the directive by the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, regarding ethics and conduct. We will always encourage professionals in the printing, packaging and signage industry to conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner. This is a commitment that if any of SAIP’s members conduct themselves to the contrary, SAIP will certainly take corrective action against such conduct.”
Mark: “Mike, what are the designations that a 'Print Professional' can apply for?”
Mike: “Today, Mark, professional designations include 'SAIP (PO)' for Print Operator, 'SAIP (PT)' for Print Technician, 'SAIP (PM)' for Print Manager, 'SAIP (PD)' for Print Director and 'SAIP (PDT)' for Print Director Technical. These designations are in final throes of accreditation by the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) under the auspices of the Department of Higher Education and Training.”
Mark: “Why should members of the printing, packaging and signage industry join the SAIP? What benefits can they expect to receive or obtain from membership?”
Mike: “As a member, you would be entitled to place letters after your name. Initially this will be SAIP. This will enhance your qualifications, your career, your self esteem, your future job opportunities, your business card and provide a certificate to hang on the wall."
It represents a verification of your qualification; of time spent learning and understanding this industry and most importantly of your continued learning through the time spent earning CPD (continuing professional development) points."
"In addition, with the help of several industry suppliers, we have put together a package of benefits to help members keep abreast of new technologies including discounts to industry events, special subscription options for 'The Gapp Magazine' and other benefits.”
Thandi: “Let me add, Mark, that the SAIP is a non-profit organisation (NPC) with board members representing different companies. SAIP does not receive any funding. It will carry out its mandate by leveraging from membership fees as well as donations and sponsorships. It is therefore our call to all industry players, members and supporters to partner with the organisation and to donate any equipment, material and in-kind contributions which will assist with the operations and facilitate the realization of the objectives of SAIP.”
Mark: “Thandi, I understand that members will be required to engage in earning CPD points to ensure that they stay up-to-date with new technology, up-skill and improve their knowledge of the industry?”
Thandi: “Absolutely Mark. Similar to other professionals, each category of the designations will be required to fulfill certain requirements in order to accumulate points to keep them updated with industry-based information and regulatory requirements. This is important as it will ensure that all the industry professionals are compliant with not only the requirements but also with the ethics and code of conduct.”