This article is the first in a series of hard-hitting writings about the sad state of affairs that is the supply chain of electronic components in South Africa, and what their role is in holding this country even further back.
Firstly I would like to state that I really couldn't give a fuck less about they think of me before, or after this piece, but I feel its about time the bullshit gets the exposure it needs. The whole industry is more or less unchanged from the Apartheid years, dominated by people with agendas, and plenty of unethical behaviour behind the scenes. Its largely a kickback driven business, I am not entirely sure of the inner workings but judging by the kinds of vehicles these glorified salespeople drive, they sure make a FUCKLOAD more tom than even the best software developers I know.
Make no mistake, this lot will discuss you behind your back, spread rumours about you, snitch to your former employers about where you are working now, and make it as difficult as fuck to get another job in the industry. This was one of the key reasons why I got out of the industry to begin with, and changed careers to the somewhat liberal world of IT and software development.
Before I get into the meat of this article, I wish to point out that these suppliers are typically the suppliers that deal with the trade, they are not the same as the local Communica, Yebo Electronics, or Mantech, and this is very important, because the smaller suppliers, typically those that deal with the general public have service levels orders of magnitude better than this lot.
Recently I have had the need, to deal with this industry again, because I have been required to do some electronic design for my employer, to solve some problems with the terminals. I also deal with them from time to time because I do develop stuff at home- I am after all part and parcel of the maker scene.
The bottom line is that if you check any one or more of the following boxes, they really just wish you would fuck off and stop wasting their time:-
Exposed: HI-Q Electronics
This is one of the newer companies established somewhere along the line, not nearly as big as the two big beasts (Arrow and Avnet) but nonetheless a supplier. The unfortunate issue here is that they are franchised for Renesas, and for the two projects I am developing (HDM01 and TOXC28) I need an e-volume chip. So I thought I'd hit them up and ask for info, and by that I mean, a datasheet or two, and possibly the procurement of a sample or two.
It has taken me a week basically to get anywhere with these people. Firstly their much-advertised e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org is so overloaded with FUCKING SPAM probably that any e-mail sent there bounces back.
So I proceed to call the Cape Town office and I am told that a certain Ettienne is the guy in charge of the Renesas product line. So I get given the e-mail address. No response. So I decided to call them again this time the Gauteng office. I was put through the FAE for Renesas, Callie is his name, and I must admit when he heard about the application he was less than enthusiastic. I then was put through to a certain Jody and he took down my request info, and I followed that up with an e-mail. Cool, or so I thought, until I get an e-mail in the dead of night where they are discussing me in Afrikaans and obviously copied me in by mistake. The term "eish" was used, which for my overseas readers translates roughly to throwing your hands in the air and saying "I don't know what the fuck to do with this"
So, HI-Q is the second entrant on my personal blacklist of suppliers who will never see my business again. Avnet South Africa has held the top spot for a while now, especially since Des Hefer made the mistake to forward correspondence I sent to the company to my former employers, which anyway you look at it, is unethical and illegal.
So let's see:
That is how he rolls! Sonikku ga omocha ja nai desu!