Johannesburg, 5 September 2019 – State-owned companies (SOCs) have long played a pivotal role in South Africa’s economy. Not only do they provide basic infrastructure without which businesses cannot operate – such as water, power, road and rail – – but they also employ millions of South Africans, thus enabling them to participate in the economy.
However, during the last dacade, SOCs such as Eskom, Transnet, South African Airways and the SABC have been criticized for being engines that have enabled the cancer of corruption and State capture to take place. Corruption and poor corporate governance have resulted in a growing number of South Africans calling for the privatization of some of the SOCs.
But how should SOCs be turned around to be enablers to the economy? That is one of the questions that will be deliberated upon at the upcoming Southern African Metals ad Engineering Indaba scheduled to take place on 12-3 September 2019 at the IDC Conference Centre is Sandton.
Providing answers to the questions will be the Department of Public of Enterprises, IDC Divisional Executive: Mining and Metals Industries Trevor Arran; University of Johannesburg Associate Professor Nicholas Ngepah and SEIFSA Chief Economist Dr Michael Ade.
Remarking on this plenary session, SEIFSA CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said there’s no doubt that SOCs have a big role to play in providing infrastructure development and reducing administered prices in the country, but added that a whole new strategy is required to manage them more effectively.
“There is reason to believe that, managed properly, SOCs have an important role to play in our economy, but proper governance structures and new strategies are required to ensure that they become enablers of economic growth, and not inhabitors,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.
The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics:
- The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
- A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
- eRe-imagining Industrial Strategy and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation.
The line-up of speakers includes:
- Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition;
- Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business;
- Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;
- Ayanda Mngadi, Chairperson of the Manufacturing Circle;
- Elias Monage, Executive Chairman of Afika Holdings and Member of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council; and
- Massmart and Asphen Pharmacare Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini.
My Nyatsumba said the agenda for the 2019 Indaba was informed by the state in which the metals and engineering sector currently finds itself.
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