Johannesburg, 10 September 2018 – Seven years ago, the Government adopted the National Development Plan (NDP), a blueprint for how South Africa could eradicate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. While the plan 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, seven years on, just how much of the plan has been implemented – and does it still have the potential to turn South Africa’s economic fortunes around?
Wits School of Business Professor Patrick Bond, Political Economy South Africa Executive Director Siya Biniza and Department of Trade and Industry Acting Deputy Director-General Dr Anneline Chetty will provide an assessment of South Africa’s implementation of important policies, including the NDP and the Industrial Action Policy Plan, at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre on Thursday and Friday, this week.
Speaking ahead of the Indaba, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said he remains of the view that, if implemented correctly, the NDP and its strategic infrastructure projects (SIPs) have the potential to help South Africa turn its economic fortunes around.
“The Government’s expenditure on the projects would revive industries such as construction and our very own metals and engineering, which have been in the doldrums for years. South Africa has, for a very long time, been embattled by slow growth, unemployment, the continually widening gap between the rich and the poor and most recently widespread attacks on foreign nationals that one could argue are fueled by poverty and hopelessness. The NDP, through its SIPs, has the potential to help turn the situation around,” 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, among others:
- 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?
- Africa is Open for Business: Is Local Manufacturing Ready to Leverage Opportunities Presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area?
- The Economy, Labour Stability and the 2020 MEIBC Negotiations on Wages and Conditions of Employment
The line-up of speakers includes:
- NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim;
- 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;
- Massmart and Asphen Pharmacare Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini; and
- Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;
Mr Nyatsumba encouraged those who have yet to register for the 2019 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba to do so speedily to avoid missing out.
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