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GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS AND POLICY CERTAINTY KEY TO IMPROVING SOUTH AFRICA’S SOVEREIGN CREDIT RATING

By | Featured, Press Release

Johannesburg, 20 September 2018 – The prioritization of economic growth, global competitiveness and policy certainty and predictability are key to improving South Africa’s Sovereign credit rating, so said Massmart Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini.

Speaking at the fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba currently taking place at the IDC Conference Centre, Mr Dlamini said South Africa needed to be fully aligned on the growth imperative if other socio-economic goals such as employment creation, investment attraction and retention are to be achieved.

He said the country also needed to embrace global competitiveness as part of a national culture.

“The success of the country’s automotive manufacturing industry, the renewable energy independent power producer programme and the country’s world class financial services sectors are concrete examples of global competitiveness at work which must be replicated in other sectors,” he said.

In addition, Mr Dlamini said South Africa should attract and retain foreign direct investment. This, in turn, required a concerted and sustained collective effort by SA Inc. through the alignment of messaging on the country’s attractiveness as an investment location of choice.

Kaizer Nyatsumba MEI 2018 Opening Address

SOUTHERN AFRICAN METALS AND ENGINEERING INDABA 2018 OPENING ADDRESS

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OPENING REMARKS

Thank you, Melissa.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba. Our inaugural conference took place at Emperors’ Palace at Ekurhuleni in 2015, before we concluded a strategic partnership agreement that saw us meeting here at the IDC Conference Centre over the past two years. This is now the third conference here at the IDC, and we are immensely grateful to the Corporation.

Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, for your support and patronage. It always means so much to us to have you turning out in such numbers at this important industry conference. The starting point in arranging a conference is getting the right topics and relevant speakers to address them, but the most important is ensuring that there is an active, participative audience to engage meaningfully with the speakers and the topics under discussion. Therefore, this conference would not be the success that we would like it to be without your presence.

We are immensely grateful to all our Speakers, all of whom are busy men and women who have put time aside to be with us in the course of today and tomorrow. Quite a number of them have become regulars, and have addressed the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba at least once or even twice before. They are the lifeblood of this annual conference: without them, there is no conference.

From our inaugural year, we have been very fortunate to get top-quality speakers for this Indaba. We thank each one of them – those already here with us this morning, and the many others yet to join us in the course of the day and tomorrow.

As always, our Partner, the Industrial Development Corporation, and our Sponsors are richly deserving of our appreciation and gratitude. As with some of our speakers, quite a number of our Sponsors have come to be reliable, regular Partners of ours when it comes to the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba. MerSeta and Standard Bank have been with us from the very beginning, and over the past two years we have been delighted to welcome Sanlam, Investec, Novare, Kagiso Asset Management and SMS Group on board. We are delighted to welcome Rand Mutual Assurance on board this year.

We are immensely grateful to and appreciate all our sponsors, but wish to acknowledge, in particular, the 100-year-old Sanlam, which is our Gold Sponsor this year, and which was also our Primary Sponsor for the annual SEIFSA Golf Day last month. We know that Sanlam has expressed a wish to grow that partnership with SEIFSA stronger from year to year, and we eagerly look forward to that.

Finally, we also acknowledge and appreciate our media partners: Engineering News, Independent Newspapers and Classic FM.

Ladies and Gentlemen, 2019 will mark the fifth anniversary of the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba. Coinciding as it will with SEIFSA’s 76th year, we have every intention of making it our biggest and best conference ever. To accomplish that goal, we will need the dedicated support of all our delegates, our Strategic Partner the IDC and all our Sponsors. Indeed, we will need the active support of the governments that we and our compatriots elected at local government level and will have elected next year at provincial and national levels.

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN TO FEATURE PROMINENTLY

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NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN TO FEATURE PROMINENTLY AT THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN METALS AND ENGINEERING INDABA

 

Johannesburg, 3 September 2018 – Six years ago, the Government adopted the National Development Plan (NDP), a blueprint for how South Africa could eradicate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 – with business and other stakeholders enthusiastically welcoming the initiative.

While the NDP drew criticism from some labour formations, many other stakeholders – among them the business community – hailed it as a solid foundation upon which inclusive economic growth could be achieved.

But, six years on, just how much of the plan has been implemented to date – and just how relevant does it continue to be? That is the burning question that Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, University of the Free State Visiting Professor JP Landman, Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth and Wits School of Governance Professor Patrick Bond will grapple with on the first day of the Fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, which will take place on 2 -21 September at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton…

COLLABORATION REQUIRED TO IMPROVE SOUTH AFRICA

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COLLABORATION REQUIRED TO IMPROVE SOUTH AFRICA’s SOVEREIGN CREDIT RATING

 

Johannesburg, 26 August 2018 – Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will, on the first day of the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, meet with Business Unity South Africa CEO Tanya Cohen, Federation of Unions of South Africa General Secretary Dennis George and Centre for Development and Enterprise Executive Director Ann Bernstein to assess what Government, Business and Labour need to do together to improve South Africa’s sovereign credit rating.

Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern African CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said the need for this plenary session to form part of the 2018 Indaba comes on the back of South Africa having suffered credit downgrade blows from global ratings agencies such as Standard & Poor’s, which last year lowered the country’s foreign and local currency ratings by one notch as a result of the further deterioration of the country’s economic outlook and its public finances.

“If nothing is done to improve South Africa’s sovereign credit downgrade, we can expect foreign investors to find favourable markets elsewhere. This will result in the further weakening of South Africa’s economy and subsequently negatively impact employment creation and social cohesion.

“There can be no new employment created without economic growth and there can be no social cohesion amidst a widening gap between the rich and the poor. It is, therefore, vitally important that we collaborate to find ways to improve our credit ratings,” Mr Nyatsumba said…

GORDHAN, NAIDOO AND DUVENAGE TO SPEAK

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GORDHAN, NAIDOO AND DUVENAGE TO SPEAK ON EFFORTS TO END THE SCOURGE OF CORRUPTION

 

Johannesburg, 20 August 2018 – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse Executive Director Wayne Duvenage and Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo will meet to hammer out solutions to deal with corruption in South Africa’s public and private sectors on the first day of the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba.

The last decade has seen the cancer that is corruption spread in both the public and private sectors, resulting not only in credit rating agencies downgrading South Africa, but also in halting South Africa’s sustainable economic, political and social progress.

The 2016 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index found that South Africa was ranked as the most corrupt country in Africa by respondents in the Global Corruption Barometer on Africa. The report identifies elevated levels of vulnerability in the private sector’s provision of services to State-owned companies and government departments.

Allegations of state capture, misdemeanor at State-owned entities such as Eskom as well felony at Steinhoff also serve as evidence of corruption that has stifled South Africa over the last decade.

Commenting on this plenary session, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said business needs to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to corruption…

A MILLION JOBS IN MANUFACTURING BY 2027

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A MILLION JOBS IN MANUFACTURING BY 2027 – A REALISTIC PLAN OR A PIPEDREAM

 

Johannesburg, 12 August 2018 – Can South Africa’s manufacturing sector create a million jobs by 2027 amidst a stagnant economy and the much-anticipated fourth industrial revolution, which is likely to result in further mechanization within the sector, and a possible influx of imported goods from China as it seeks new markets following the current  trade war with the US?

This question will take centre stage at the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, which will take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 20-21 September. Deliberating on this question and suggesting ways to make a million jobs target achievable will be Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth, SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade, Highveld Structural Mill CEO Johan Burger and Department of Economic Development Deputy Director-General Zeph Nhleko.

Last year, the Manufacturing Circle launched its “Map to A Million New Jobs in a Decade” plan, with the organisation’s chairman André de Ruyter saying at the time: “If manufacturing can expand to 30% of GDP, between 800 000 and 1.1 million direct jobs can be created, with 5 to 8 times that number in indirect jobs,” he added. “Our ‘Map to a Million’ puts forward detailed proposals to deliver a million jobs in manufacturing in the next decade.”

In the past two decades, the manufacturing sector has shed half a million jobs. At just under 13%, it contributes less than half to GDP than is appropriate for South Africa’s stage of development…

MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES TO ADDRESS 2018 INDABA DELEGATES

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MAIN POLITICAL PARTIES TO ADDRESS 2018 INDABA DELEGATES

 

Johannesburg, 5 August 2018 – South Africa’s prominent political parties will get an opportunity to unpack their economic manifestos to business leaders attending the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, scheduled to take place on 20-21 September at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton.

The African National Congress’s Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Zweli Mkhize, his colleague Enoch Godongwana who heads the Economic Transformation Committee, along with the Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry Geordin Hill-Lewis and Inkatha Freedom Party’s Head of Energy, Trade and Industry and Mineral Resources Jan Adriaan Esterhuizen, will tell the business community how their political parties will turn the economy around.

Commenting on this important plenary session, which will take place on the second day of the Indaba, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said the Federation  felt that it was of critical importance that the main political parties are given an opportunity to outline their plans for the economy ahead of the 2019 General Elections.

“Over the last decade, South Africa’s economy has been dealt many painful blows, including sovereign credit downgrades, stagnant growth and a jobs bloodbath in critical sectors including mining, manufacturing and our very own metals and engineering sector. It goes without saying, therefore, that whoever gets to govern the country in 2019 has a mammoth task of ensuring that a conducive environment is created for South Africa’s economic fortunes to be turned around for the better,” My Nyatsumba said…

CONTRIBUTING IN SHAPING POLICY

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DELEGATES TO 2018 METALS AND ENGINEERING INDABA TO CONTRIBUTE IN SHAPING POLICY

 

Johannesburg, 25 July 2018 – Delegates attending the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 20 and 21 September will have an opportunity to influence economic policies that have a direct impact on the businesses they operate.

The Indaba, now in its fourth year of existence, is organized and hosted annually by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), and its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors t not only to discuss the challenges facing the sector, but also to collaborate in a search for sustainable solutions for manufacturing in general and the metals and engineering sector in particular.

SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said the Indaba will afford its participants an invaluable opportunity to influence policy by adopting conference resolutions that SEIFSA – in collaboration with other business bodies and stakeholders like labour  partners – will lobby policy makers on.

During the 2015 inaugural Indaba, delegates adopted resolutions which included expressing serious concerns about the awarding of tenders by State-owned enterprises to foreign companies when local businesses can manufacture the same product, calling on the Government to impose necessary tariffs to protect local manufacturers from cheap, subsidized Asian imports as well as calling on the Government to reconsider its position on the introduction of the carbon taxes in South Africa. Conference delegates argued that the introduction of such a tax would impose additional costs to business, harm the economy and impact negatively on jobs at a time when South Africa badly needed more jobs to be created…

SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS INNOVATION TO CAPITALISE

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SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS INNOVATION TO CAPITALISE ON GROWTH PROMISED BY NEW ERA

 

Among other imperatives, local industrial manufacturing, including SA’s heterogeneous metals and engineering (M&E) sector, needs innovation to spur industrial growth.

The public has not often viewed machinery and equipment makers as leading innovators, despite the fact that over the years, innovation in industrial manufacturing has had an enormous effect on society.

Automation has transformed factory floors and made it cheaper and faster to produce everything from cars to televisions. Smarter cutting tools are imminent and new technologies for wind turbines and electrical grids are laying the foundations for a shift to cleaner energy.

The recent uptick in agricultural output has been largely supported by innovative equipment and processes, which have made farming more efficient. A growing body of work highlights a strong correlation between innovation and industrial growth at the macro level and also between innovation and firm revenues at the micro level.

Many studies report that the most innovative companies are growing significantly faster.

The difference for industrial manufacturing companies was dramatic, with the most innovative recording growth levels more than four times those of the least innovative companies…