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.