Johannesburg, 21 September 2018 – The ruling party is cognisant of and appreciates challenges facing South Africa’s metals and engineering (M&E) sector including lack of demand, proliferation of illegal imports, high input costs, unemployment and lack of investment, its head of Economic Transformation Committee Enoch Godongwana said this morning.

Speaking at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba currently taking place at the IDC Conference Centre, Mr Godongwana said in response to the challenges currently facing the M&E sector, Government’s industrial policy needed to reverse the deindustrialization trend, focus on labour intensive sectors to create jobs and, in collaboration with the private sector, invest in vocational training to address the shortage of skills in the sector.

Mr Godongwana said he also believed that Government needed to incentivize business owners who reinvested their profits into labour intensive production.

“Massive investment also needs to be made in capital infrastructure projects to reverse the challenges facing the M&E sector, particularly lack of demand. We also need to tighten the framework for localization but all these efforts must be done in a manner that enables Black people to participate in the economy to ensure social cohesion,” said Mr Godongwana.