The Conveyor Manufacturers Association of SA Ltd (CMA) was incorporated in 1973, with the intention of promoting high standards of design, quality, manufacture, service and ethics in the conveyor belt industry. As cooperative ventures with industry increased and the CMA initiated special projects like technical services, academic and government relationships and education and training programmes, membership grew steadily, and currently stands in excess of 70 member companies.
The CMA is regarded as southern Africa’s primary source of up-to-date belt technology information which is communicated to members and the conveying industry in general via regular technical meetings, joint forums with other interested bodies, symposia, conferences, lectures and short courses. The biennial International Materials Handling Conference (Beltcon) is recognised as the leading international platform for presenting new ideas and technology relevant to the conveying industry, drawing hundreds of delegates from all corners of the world (Fig. 1). On behalf of the industry, the CMA also liaises with government on industry issues and is responsible for compiling national industry standards for the SABS, as well as negotiating with the Department of Mineral Resources on various issues, including further improvement to safety guidelines.
Conveyor systems are potentially one of the most dangerous structures in mining operations if safety standards and mechanical specifications are not strictly followed, and safety aspects have been put under the spotlight. The demand for higher rates of cost-effective production has resulted in major technological advances, and materials handling has become more sophisticated. The lack of a well-trained and competent work force is thus of increasing concern. Recognising this, the CMA is concentrating its efforts to raise the level of competency in the materials handling industry by providing a number of practical, focused training programmes that aim to improve skills and workmanship, optimise safety and ensure conformance to standards and specifications (Fig. 2).
Besides an intensive splicing course there are three new certificated courses designed and offered to the industry: the CMA Beltsman Certificate Course, the CMA Conveyor Certificate Course, and the Conveyor Belt Splicing Certificate Course to counter the lack of suitably qualified skilled and semi-skilled workers.