was successfully added to your cart.

Domestic Manufactures Must Work Together To Survive

Domestic Manufactures Must Work Together To Survive

By | Press Release

Johannesburg, 20 September 2018 – The global trade war between two of the world’s largest economies has the potential to render global growth less synchronised, less certain and less supportive of emerging economies. Moreover, weaknesses in the global economy would make it even more difficult for South Africa to accelerate its fortunes and for the metals and engineering (M&E) cluster, the mining and construction sectors and the auto manufacturing industries to maximise their potential, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa Chief Economist Michael Ade said this afternoon.

Speaking at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, Dr Ade said the four sectors needed higher growth levels underpinned by better productive efficiency. He also said that instead of continuously depending on government to boost demand via various interventions, stakeholders in these sectors needed to rally to support each other.

“Proactivity rather than reactivity is needed to take advantage of promising regional prospects, where healthy GDP growths have been projected. Targeted growth in lucrative markets of Asia and Europe should also be taken advantage of, in order to increase market share,” Dr Ade said.

He said that the four groups can leverage on existing linkages. “The M&E cluster should support the mining sector more by increasing its current procurement spend in the mining sector to over 63%.”

SEIFSA Dr Nkosazana Zuma

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN STILL RELEVANT DESPITE SLOW PACE OF IMPLEMENTATION – DR NKOSAZANA DLAMINI ZUMA

By | Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 20 September 2018 – South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP) was still relevant despite the slow pace of its implementation, Minister in the Presidency Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba this afternoon.

“We have not made sufficient progress as far as eradicating the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality, but we still feel strongly that the NDP is still relevant but needs to be approached differently, with us having learned from the last six years. We also think that there was an oversight to think we could implement without breaking it down into five-year implementation plans. This is what we will begin to do with the remaining years of the NDP. We will also use the last two years of the plan to monitor and evaluate,” Dr Dlamini-Zuma said.

Going forward, the Minister said Government needed to improve planning generally, not only across all departments, but also across different spheres of Government.

Mathews Phosa Thumbnail

SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS COHERENT AND WELL-EXECUTED ECONOMIC STRATEGY TO GROW

By | Press Release | No Comments

SOUTH AFRICA NEEDS COHERENT AND WELL-EXECUTED ECONOMIC STRATEGY TO GROW – DR MATHEWS PHOSA

Johannesburg, 20 September 2018 – A change in attitude towards the metals and engineering sector from Government, particularly the Department of Trade and Industry and the Gauteng Provincial Government is urgently needed, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said this morning.

Speaking at the fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre today and tomorrow, Mr Nyatsumba said the Indaba has not yet had to the full extent the enthusiastic support of Government.

“While we have deeply appreciated the involvement of Former President Kgalema Motlanthe, then-ANC Treasurer-General Dr Zweli Mkhize, Ministers Mildred Oliphant, Pravin Gordhan, Lindiwe Zulu, Ebrahim Patel and, this year, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, hitherto we have struggled to get the President of the country, the Deputy President of the country, the Minister of Trade and Industry, other key Ministers, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Cities of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni to show the metals and engineering sector the respect worthy of them by participating in this conference,” he said.

He added that while the business community welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s commitment, during his inaugural State of the Nation Address in February, that the Government will place an emphasis on manufacturing, business was deeply concerned that a higher level of commitment to the metals and engineering sector from the Department of Trade and Industry and other parts of his Government (including the Presidency itself) was yet to be seen.

“They were all invited to this conference but waited until the eleventh hour to inform us that, once again, they would not bother to join us. We find that deeply concerning and hope that there will be a change in attitude after next year’s elections,” said Mr Nyatsumba.

He said SEIFSA believed in working in collaborative partnership with all stakeholders, starting with the three spheres of government, regardless of whichever party is in power in that sphere at the time.

Kaizer Nyatsumba MEI 2018 Opening Address

SOUTHERN AFRICAN METALS AND ENGINEERING INDABA 2018 OPENING ADDRESS

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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

By | Featured, Press Release

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…

Metals and Engineering Sector Crucial in Turning South Africa’s Economy Around

Metals and Engineering Sector Crucial in Turning South Africa’s Economy Around

By | Featured, Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 13 September 2019 – South Africa is facing significant headwinds, coupled with a growing sense of negativity as illustrated by Wednesday’s announcement of the business confidence index having reached a 20-year low, so said BUSA Vice President Martin Kingston.

Delivering a closing address at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton this evening, Mr Kingston said the environment facing the country is one that is hallmarked by a constrained global macro environment, aided and abetted by unprecedented geopolitical tensions; stubbornly-high unemployment, with South

Africa’s expanded definition of unemployment at almost 40%, whilst youth unemployment is 55%; infrastructure challenges; a hostile labour market and the need to address the skills shortage as well as the country’s credit rating at risk of being downgraded to sub investment grade.

“We are in the eye of the storm where we need to take responsibility for the circumstances confronting us. All stakeholders need to urgently accelerate efforts to create an environment conducive to stability and investment given the significant headwinds we need to navigate. The private sector, including the metals and manufacturing sectors, has a critical role to play in assisting the State to achieve inclusive economic growth and reach its developmental goals, primarily through investment but also through collaboration with government and its social partners.”

Remarking on the role of the metals and engineering sector in turning South Africa’s economy around , Mr Kingston said the mining, metals, engineering and manufacturing sectors have long been viewed as labour-absorbing industries that could provide a significant solution to

South Africa’s structural unemployment and assist in driving GDP growth. However, both manufacturing and mining industries have seen a decline in their contribution to the overall South African economy.

He said the downturn in South Africa’s manufacturing sector has been driven largely by unreliable and uncompetitive electricity supply, high administrative costs, inadequate skills, outdated technologies, cheaper global competition and weak demand.

“Rectifying this is critical as manufacturing is a key enabler of development given its role in promoting productivity growth, skills development and relatively high income elasticity of demand in world markets. The metals sector has a significant role to play in South Africa’s economic trajectory.”

Commenting on Eskom, Mr Kingston said the manufacturing, metals and mining sectors account for just under two thirds of South Africa’s electricity consumption.  Eskom’s current financial crisis (in excess of R440bn in debt), represents a material threat to these industries (as it does for the rest of the South African economy), with the key issues relating to the reliability, predictability and competiveness of electricity.

He said failing to deal comprehensively with Eskom is no longer an option.  It must be restructured, a significant proportion of its debt must be assumed by the state directly, its workforce must be right sized, its cost base and clients addressed and competition introduced.

“It is critical that all stakeholders recognise that economic growth is the most effective instrument to address South Africa’s challenges. Whilst the private and public sectors are collectively looking to drive growth and attract investment, it is in fact private sector investment that is the key lever to delivers sustainable and inclusive growth given public sector constraints.”

In conclusion, Mr Kingston said South Africa can be saved if we work together as a team.

“I fully agree that neither government not business can achieve this independently of one another.  We need to harness the energy that I have seen here, speak openly and directly and commit to implementable actions where we take individual and collective responsibility for navigating our problems thus ensuring that South Africa properly positions itself for success.”

 

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

Closing Address Metals and Engineering Indaba Thumbnail

Closing Address: Metals and Engineering Indaba

By | Featured, Press Release | No Comments

13 SEPTEMBER 2010: 16:45 – 17:00
DELIVERED BY: MARTIN L KINGSTON
VICE PRESIDENT – BUSA

1. Introduction

As we mark the 25th anniversary of South Africa’s democracy and within the first few months of the 6th democratic Government in our country, we have the opportunity to reflect on the advances that South Africa has made over the past two and a half decades:

  • We have the most advanced economy on the continent with a thriving democracy;
  • Real GDP per capita has almost doubled from c.$3,500 p.a. in 1994 to c.$6,300 p.a. today;
  • [Our banking sector, with assets that have grown more than 15 fold since 1994 to R5.8tn today, is one of the leading in the world; and
  • Foreign direct investment, although coming off a low base and currently under pressure, has grown almost 15 times to R71bn in 2018].

However, and as discussed earlier, South Africa is facing significant headwinds, coupled with a growing sense of negativity as illustrated by Wednesday’s announcement of the business confidence index having reached a 20 year low. The environment facing the country is one that is hallmarked by 6 key issues:

  1. A constrained global macro environment, aided and abetted by unprecedented geopolitical tensions;
    Current growth levels continue to significantly lag global GDP growth of 3.3% (Q1 2019). South Africa’s growth now lagging both developed economies (2.2%) and emerging economies (4.2%). The constant downward revenue of our growth statistics undermines both our credibility and confidence levels in the environment. Importantly, in recent years GDP growth has lagged population growth, implying that average incomes are falling;
  2. Stubbornly high unemployment, with South Africa’s expanded definition of unemployment at almost 40%, whilst youth unemployment is 55%;
  3. Infrastructure challenges, SOE governance and fiscal constraints;
  4. A hostile labour market. Accordingly to the most recent WEF Global Competitiveness Report, South Africa is ranked 136th out of 140 countries in terms of cooperation in labour employer relations;
  5. The need to address the skills shortage. The most recent OECD Survey ranked South Africa 75 out of 76 countries based on maths and science; and
  6. The country’s credit rating at risk of being downgraded to subinvestment grade. Moody’s, the last remaining investment-grade rating, is set to reassess South Africa’s credit rating in November 2019, although recent indications may offer us a brief respite.
  • We are in the eye of the storm where we need to take responsibility for the circumstances confronting us.
    • All stakeholders need to urgently accelerate efforts to create an environment conducive to stability and investment given the significant headwinds we need to navigate.
    • We need to accept the link between investment, growth and jobs. In so doing, we must honestly assess the constraints and address them decisively and collaboratively, involving all social partners (government, business, labour and community).
  • As outlined by the National Development Plan (“NDP”) and National Treasury’s recent Economic Strategy for South Africa, the most effective weapon in the campaign against the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality is faster economic growth, underpinned by education and skills development.
  • The private sector, including the metals and manufacturing sectors, has a critical role to play in assisting the State to achieve inclusive economic growth and reach its developmental goals, primarily through investment but also through collaboration with government and its social partners. It is increasingly acknowledged by government including the Minister this morning that it is the private sector that is the key contributor to economic activity: GDP, taxes, employment, fixed direct investment. However, that does not translate adequately into clear and aligned patterns of co-operation and partnership.
  • Structures such as Business Unity South Africa, and its members including SEIFSA, SACCI, Business Leadership South Africa, and other sectoral and country chambers play an essential role in ensuring a coordinated effort across all stakeholders to optimise the investment environment.

2. Role of the metals and engineering related sectors

  • The mining, metals, engineering and manufacturing sectors have long been viewed as labour-absorbing industries that could provide a significant solution to South Africa’s structural unemployment and assist in driving GDP growth.
  • Key Government policy documents, including the NDP, outline the basis upon which these sectors can assist in driving inclusive growth.
  • However, both the manufacturing and mining industries have seen a decline in their contribution to the overall South African economy:
    • Manufacturing’s contribution to GDP has decreased from almost 16% in 1994 to 13% in June 2019.
    • Over this same period, the manufacturing sector’s overall contribution to South Africa’s employment has steadily decreased from 15% in 1994 to just above 10% in 2019.
    • The mining sector’s contribution to GDP has halved over the last 25 years, with the current contribution to GDP being less than 8%.
    • Employment by the sector has followed a similar trend, with the sector’s contribution to employment falling from 11% to below 5%, shedding 220,000 jobs in the process.

3. Key sector challenges

  • The downturn in South Africa’s manufacturing sector has been driven largely by unreliable and uncompetitive electricity supply, high administrative costs, inadequate skills, outdated technologies, cheaper global competition and weak demand.
  • The latest statistics show that South African manufacturing production is running at 81% utilisation – almost 20% below available manufacturing capacity.
  • Rectifying this is critical as manufacturing is a key enabler of development given its role in promoting productivity growth, skills development and relatively high-income elasticity of demand in world markets. The metals sector has a significant role to play in South Africa’s economic trajectory.
  • In mining, a number of leading South African mining companies have restructured their operations. By way of example:
    • Anglo American completed the sale of its domestic coal assets to Seriti;
    • South32 has announced the sale of its SA coal assets; and
    • Impala Platinum recently announced the closure of some of its less profitable shafts.
  • Further challenges facing the sector include:
    • Soft commodity prices, combined with high input cost inflation,
    • Infrastructure constraints including electricity, transportation and water availability and competitiveness; and
    • Labour relations – managing wage inflation, whilst productivity remains under pressure
  • The new Mining Charter was finalised in 2018 and has been a positive development relative to the uncertainty that existed for an extended period of time prior to its finalisation.
  • Although we are making some progress, much more needs to be done if we are to ensure the growth of the mining, metals, engineering and manufacturing sectors.

4. Infrastructure constraints impact growth

  • Eskom:
    • The manufacturing, metals and mining sectors account for just under two-thirds of
      South Africa’s electricity consumption.
    • Eskom’s current financial crisis (in excess of R440bn in debt), represents a material threat to these industries (as it does for the rest of the South African economy), with the key issues relating to the reliability, predictability and competiveness of electricity.
    • In March 2019, the National Energy Regulator of South Africa approved electricity increases of 9.4%, 8.1% and 5.2% for the next three financial years. These increases were significantly below Eskom’s application for double-digit tariff increases – which were opposed by business and labour.
    • However, current and future tariff increases, which are above inflation, will continue to put the mining, metals and manufacturing sectors under pressure.
    • Failing to deal comprehensively with Eskom is no longer an option. It must be restructured, a significant proportion of its debt must be assumed by the state directly, its workforce must be right-sized, its cost base and clients addressed and competition introduced.
  • Other:
    • Rail and port capacity remain a concern.
    • We need to investigate solutions to fund the development of increased capacity to assist in driving new investment and the expansion of manufacturing and mining output.
    • Given the funding constraints of Government and SOEs more broadly, public-private partnerships need to be seriously considered for future infrastructure rollout. There is no doubt that public private partnerships represents not only an opportunity but a fundamental solution to dealing with the deficit of capital and skills in key areas of the economy. I am glad that government is now acknowledging this.

5. Investment

  • Inbound FDI was at its lowest level in a decade in 2017 – at R27bn. In 2018, the FDI recovered to R71bn assisted, in part, by President Ramaphosa’s drive to attract investment of $100bn over a five year period. The Investment Conference held
    November 2018 and scheduled to occur again in November 2019 are designed to provide a platform to maximise investor interest.
  • South Africa is in desperate need of increased investment, this starts with the government actively taking steps to increase investor confidence, which will drive increased investment leading to improved economic growth, creating sustainable jobs
    and employment. We cannot create jobs without investment and growth. Increased tax revenue, enabling the government to tackle poverty and inequality as well as to address the challenges facing the public sector, will predominantly come from the private sector.
  • As BUSA, we recognise that if we are to maximise investment and deal with constraints underpinning viable and sustainable commercial operations at an individual, sectoral and national level, a number of key issues need to be addressed. We have accordingly raised them directly with the President and the political leadership of the country. These include:
    • Lack of policy alignment and implementation;
    • Corruption, maladministration and malfeasance (both in the public and private sector);
    • Failure to address political and populist rhetoric, which alienates investors and the citizenry more broadly, including the vexed issues of the status of the SARB, land expropriation, attitude towards immigrants;
    • An inflexible attitude often displayed by labour suggesting that there is an inadequate acceptance of the parlous state of the economy;
    • Dysfunctional, poorly managed and governed SOEs, which are inadequately capitalised and generally not fit for purpose. We need to take difficult decisions as to how we address these challenges, recognising that failure to do so will simply exacerbate problems in the future;
    • The recent examples of gender-based violence, civil unrest and xenophobia, the high levels of criminality and a culture of impunity matched by a limited accountability; and – Debt levels that are unacceptably high, threatening the viability of individual businesses and the economy at large.

6. Other actions that could be taken by the Government to assist

  • National Treasury, in its recent Economic Strategy for South Africa Paper, estimated that manufacturing could grow by as high as 3.9% over the short term and 4% over the long term with the right policy approach. I would encourage SEIFSA to review and comment on this paper.
  • In this context, potential areas of Government support include:
    • The Sectoral Master Plan for the Steel & Metals Sector is in the process of being concluded between the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition and industry. This should be encouraged, considering the success of interventions
      such as the Automotive Production and Development Programme – generally seen as a successful example of state support and intervention.
    • Steel products and components for construction are designated by government, meaning that designated sectors’ goods must be manufactured locally. [However, designation is not always implemented by municipalities and SOEs. Consequently, the success story on the Competitive Supplier Development Programme by Eskom and Transnet, for example, is limited. This needs to be addressed and Business has tabled this for consideration by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.]
    • The decline in the Infrastructure Spend Programme arising from the fiscal crunch has resulted in a significant reduction in construction activity, including the demise of a number of large South African construction companies. Government action to invest effectively in infrastructure is critical.
    • To improve the potential of Special Economic Zones (“SEZs”) to incentivise investment.
    • The Chinese interest in and commitment to Africa presents both an opportunity and a threat. To ensure that local businesses and skills development are not prejudiced, Government needs to explicitly prioritise the use of local skills, contractors and engineers and complies with designation of inputs in local projects.
    • The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (“AfCFTA”) has been signed and will enter into force in July 2020. The AfCFTA represents a significant opportunity for South African business. Regional growth opportunities should be harnessed to promote export growth, and , as Minister stressed, the AfCFTA may provide a much-needed boost to South Africa’s manufacturing sector.
  • [To support and encourage the aforementioned areas, BUSA have agreed to participate in various structures recently established by Minister Patel, including:
    • The SEZ Reference Group;
    • A Ministerial Export Promotion Panel;
    • The National Committee on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement; and
    • A Committee on Digital Trade.]
  • Non-tariff barriers in the form of transport and logistics bottlenecks, customs barriers and high port charges, etc. also need to be addressed across the region to fully exploit the potential benefits of regional integration. On this, BUSA has established a BUSA /Transnet working group and has commenced engagements with Government in the context of the Ports Charges Joint Committee (led by BUSA and the DTIC) to explore ways of reducing ports charges to render exports more competitive.

7. Conclusion

  • It is critical that all stakeholders recognise that economic growth is the most effective instrument to address South Africa’s challenges.
  • As I have said, whilst the private and public sectors are collectively looking to drive growth and attract investment, it is in fact private sector investment that is the key lever to delivers sustainable and inclusive growth given public sector constraints.
  • As the apex body for organised business in South Africa, BUSA believes that it is our responsibility to take the lead on behalf of and alongside our members, such as SEIFSA, in defining how business can maximise its contribution and, together with our partners in labour and government, ensure we deliver on South Africa’s undoubted potential, despite the current challenges.
  • As Kaizer said at the opening yesterday, South Africa can be saved if we work together as a team. I fully agree that neither government not business can achieve this independently of one another. We need to harness the energy that I have seen here, speak openly and directly and commit to implementable actions where we take individual and collective responsibility for navigating our problems thus ensuring that South Africa properly positions itself for success.
MEI 2019 New Dawn

Promise of a New Dawn Still Holds But the Private Sector also Has a Role to Play

By | Featured, Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 13 September 2019 –  The ushering in of President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new Head of State in February 2018 brought with it the promise of “A New Dawn” underpinned by four pillars namely: clean governance; anti-corruption; the re-building of a broken economy and improvement of education and training but 18 months later, South Africa still finds itself confronted by pedestrian economic growth, high unemployment rate as well as poverty and inequality.

“We were also, in 2018, promised by then Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba that ‘drastic measures would be put in place to implement meaningful and far-reaching reforms in State-

Owned Entities (SOEs), it is now  2019, South African Airways still doesn’t have a new board and Eskom does not have a CEO,” Accountant and Commentator Khaya Sithole said at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC this afternoon.

Mr Sithole attributes the lack of implementation of the New Dawn to indecision, leadership vacuum and Luthuli House civil wars, among other factors. This, he said has, in turn negatively impacted business confidence.

Speaking on the same panel, Massmart and Aspen Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini said we have to accept the fact that there are elements of the New Dawn that are good and there are elements that are not.

“There are elements of success in the New Dawn including the fact that there is a new style of engagement between Government and business that is honest and transparent, the New Dawn has also brought with it hope amongst the business community.”

He said while the New Dawn appears to be waning amongst South Africans, the international community remains positive about South Africa as one of the emerging markets.

“The reform of SOEs hasn’t worked and yes there are other challenges but this challenges all of us to work together to deliver on the promise of the New Dawn, Government will not do it alone,” said Mr Dlamini.

Meanwhile, South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Allan Mukoki said for South

Africa’s economy to grow and its credit ratings to improve, we need to restructure, change and renew the public service by bringing to the public sector highly-skilled and competent individuals to lead the sector.

“We also need to solve the problems with our SOEs. It is incorrect to expect a Minister who has never worked outside the public sector to be able to choose SOE board members. We need to reconsider how Board members are elected. If we don’t get these fundamental things right. We will not be able to deal with the bigger challenges confronting the country.

 

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

Metals and Engineering Sector Masterplan Key to Unlocking Growth Opportunities

By | Featured, Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 13 September 2019 – The Metals and Engineering Sector Masterplan, which is currently being formulated will unlock growth opportunities for the embattled metals and engineering sector, which faces, among other challenges, rising input costs and lack of demand, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said this morning.

Addressing delegates attending the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, Minister Patel said the sector is a critical bedrock of the economy and there is a need to expand its productivity and advance its capabilities to increase the sector’s contribution to South Africa’s GDP.

Industrialisation, Minister Patel said, will be at the centre of economic recovery and there is a need to refocus on the industrial strategy.

“We are working on the Masterplan for the sector, we have met with metals and engineering sector stakeholders in an effort to ensure that they contribute to the formulation of the Plan. Subsequent to the meeting, we have received more than 40 submissions from industry players. I will be appointing a Facilitator so we can further engage the contributors and finalise the plan. The final Masterplan will be a concise, action-oriented and implementable plan,” he said.

He said Government has recommitted to the sector through the R1.5 bn steel fund and the  establishment of the metal fabrication support programme. He added that Government has also played a key role in  restoring Highveld Steel to become Africa’s only manufacturer of rail lines. In addition, the Minister said Government has spearheaded the initiative, which resulted in Totoya minibuses, which were previously imported, being assembled locally, thus contributing towards employment creation.

“We did the same with buses, which we previously imported from Brazil. We realised that South Africa had the capability and drove the process, to date more than 750 busses have been assembled in South Africa and not only are they assembled locally but they also boasts about 80% local content .

Furthermore, the Minister said his Department will focus on monitoring that the local content law is applied and that there is a committee to ensure consequences for non-adherence.

In conclusion, Minister Patel said enormous opportunities will also be presented by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Africa is the new growth frontier, it has an about $100 billion infrastructure gap, this will require at least five times the amount of steel that South Africa currently consumes.  Opportunities are enormous but proper planning will be required in order for the metals and engineering sector to benefit.

In response to Minster Patel’s remarks, SEIFSA President Elias Monage stressed the need for regular engagements between Government, business and labour.

“For the M&E Masterplan to succeed, we need to move away from event-driven communication where challenges are raised then we disappear only to meet the following year and raise the same challenges. We require full commitment from all metals and engineering sector stakeholders and we need Government to provide a conducive environment for the

Masterplan to work and for the sector to grow.” Mr Monage said.

 

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

MEI 2019 Thumbnail

New South African Automotive Masterplan bodes well for Metals and Engineering Sector

By | Featured, Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 12 September 2019 – The recently launched South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) bodes well for companies operating in the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, National Association of Automotive Component & Allied Manufacturers, Executive Director Renai Moothilal said at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba.

“The New Materplan is very likely to have a positive impact on the M&E sector provided companies operating in the sector put competitive measures in place to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the plan,” Mr Moothilal said this afternoon.

He said given the fact that the SAAM places local content at the centre of any future support for the industry, with government having set a target of raising local content from less than 40% currently to 60% by 2035, the M&E sector, which is a supplier to the automotive industry, can expect positive outcomes.

“There will be a role for the whole sector to play. Component manufacturing is currently dominated by multinational manufacturers. This will change going forward. These companies will be compelled to contribute towards the growth of smaller local manufacturers by sourcing certain components from them, thus making them part of the value chain.

The outlook is, therefore, positive. Yes there will be challenges but there are companies in the M&E sector who are doing well inspite of the current challenges facing the economy because they have adopted a positive mindeset and invested in skills development, etc. More companies need to adopt a positive, growth oriented mindset and most importantly ensure they enhance their competitivenes,” Mr Moothilal said.

In addition to the local content, the SAAM, adopted by Cabinet in November last year also aims to double employment in the sector to 224 000 jobs by 2035, from 112 00 currently, and position South Africa to produce 1% of global vehicle production, or 1.4-million vehicles.

Speaking on the same panel, SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade said policy has a role to play in ensuring that the plan does benefit the domestic M&E sector.

“Active support for pro-South Africa approach to industrilalisation within the World Trade Organisation rules should characterise trade policy to provide an immediate boost to align busineses in both the metals and engineering and automotive industries,” said Dr Ade.

He said empirical evidence shows that  the M&E cluster benefifted from previous and existing auto industrial policies namely the Motor Industry Development Plan and the Automotive Production and Development Programme.

“Prevailing evidence also points to continuous benefits post 2020 and during the Materpan years; there is, however, a need for consistent policy support to maximise the existing symbiotic relationship between the M&E sector and the auto industry.
In conclusion Dr Ade said targeted, conducive and enabling policies should aim at improving reciprocal domestic demand in both industries.

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

South Africa’s Economic

A Coherent, and Focussed Strategy Required to Make Sure South Africa Benefits from 4IR

By | Featured, Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 12 September 2019 – South Africa needs a coherent and focused strategy on how to take advantage of opportunities that will be presented by the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), so said Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Thulani Dlamini.

Speaking at the annual Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba currently taking place at the IDC Conference Centre, Mr Dlamini said there is no denying that the 4IR is already happening and as a country South Africa needs to not only make sure that it is ready to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the 4IR but to also be in a position to deal with the concerns that have been raised including job security and impact on global competitiveness.

“Countries such as Japan, Germany and South Korea have formulated coherent strategies aimed at ensuring that they increase their countries’ competitive advantage. South Africa needs to do the same. Failure to do this will result in South Africa getting left behind and unable to compete at a global level, Mr Dlamini said.”

He said there is also a need for the country to make concerted efforts in developing human capital and equipping them with high-end skills that will be needed to take advantage of the 4IR.

Speaking on the same panel, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Buti Manamela said Government is already putting numerous initiatives in place to ensure that South Africa does not get left behind.

“We recognise the rapid increase in technological advancements and we are making sure that the public sector responds with favourable policies that will support and enhance the country’s ability to take advantage of the 4IR,” the Deputy Minister said.

He said in its efforts to make sure that South Africa does not get left behind Government, in 2018, participated in the South Africa/European Union 4IR dialogue and will feed the outcomes of that dialogue into Government Policy development.

He added that as a country we also need to grow high level research capabilities and ensure stronger links between research institutions and business.

Department of Trade and Industry’s Future Industrial Production and Technology Chief Director Ilse Karg said South Africa has an advantage over developed countries to be a leader in 4IR due to its young and growing population.

“More than 50% of our population are young people under the age of 35. We, therefore, need to design skills development programmes that will make sure that young people are trained and employable. We have, for the last ten years, been running a pilot programme that has been an ernoumous success and we will scale it up nationally in collaboration with other Government departments including the Department of Education,” Ms Karg said.

Speaking on a panel which reflected on a growing Chinese Presence in South Africa, Black Business Council’s Judy Nwokedi said South Africa needs to make sure that small and medium enterprises benefit from China’s presence in South Africa.

“We also need to ensure that we don’t get exploited as a country. We must safeguard against exploitation of resources and cheap  labour and we must ensure  that Chinese loans don’t come with conditions similar to the Stractural Adjustment Programmes imposed by the World Bank and the IMF when providing funding to third world countries.”

BRICS Business Council Member Elias Monage said South Africa lacks focus and leadership alignment between Government and business. This he said  is the reason why South Africa’s manufacturing sector has eroded over the last ten years.

“Part of the reason why China is taking over the world is that its Government and businesses work together, they are focused and they take decisive decisions together. We ought to learn from them and our Government needs to support and partner with the manufacturing sector if we are to stand a chance to compete against China.”

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

South Africa Needs New Anti-Corruption Agency To Deal With Public Corruption And Corporate Malfeasance

SEIFSA Calls Upon All South Africans to Work Together to Reverse High Unemployment, Xenophobia and Violence against Women

By | Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 12 September 2019 – Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba has called upon Government,  business leaders, labour representatives and the general public to join hands and get involved in various efforts to reverse the many ills confronting South Africa including high unemployment, poverty, xenophobic attacks as well as violence against women and children.

Speaking at SEIFSA’s fifth Annual Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba currently taking place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, Mr Nyatsumba said as a country, we need to face up to the challenge that ours is a sick country that is dangerously close to tipping over – unless we fold our shirt sleeves and put shoulder to the wheel.

“The responsibility to save South Africa belongs to us all. In any society, this is way too important a task to leave to politicians alone. It is even worse in our case, where a growing number of politicians are exposed in various forms almost on a weekly basis to be self-serving individuals who worry only about themselves, their families and their political parties, with the country coming stone last, Mr Nyatsumba said.”

He added that South Africa has been taken over by angry, vile and unemployed men who rape, murder and pillage with gay abandon, comfortable in the knowledge that they will get away with it because the police are either on the take or useless and  law-enforcement agencies are impuissant.

He said amidst the state that South Africa currently finds itself in, it appears as though leaders have either gone to ground or are too pre-occupied with their internecine conflicts and sundry machinations.

“This is why we cannot leave the mammoth tasks of growing the economy, creating employment, fighting the scourge of xenophobia and protecting women to political leaders. It would, infact, be very irresponsible of us, as business and labour leaders, to stick our necks in the sand and pretend as though everything is hunky-dory. In my view, we all have a duty, individually and collectively, not only to face our current reality squarely in the face, but also to do something about it.”

In conclusion, Mr Nyatsumba said he believes that South Africa can be saved provided Government, business, labour and the general public work together as a team.

“We believe that however much the men and women of goodwill and integrity in Government may be willing to do so, the Government cannot execute this mammoth task alone. Obviously, with business not pulling the levers of legislative power, business also cannot do it alone. Instead, we need a strong partnership involving, in the first instance, Government, Business and Labour, followed by the general community.”

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

Kaizer Nyatsumba MEI 2018 Opening Address

Introductory Remarks At The Fifth Southern African Metals And Engineering Indaba

By | Press Release | No Comments

By Kaizer M. Nyatsumba, Chief Executive, SEIFSA

Date: 12 September 2019

Thank you, Melissa, for that fantastic introduction.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we meet at a most inauspicious time for our beautiful country. Unlike a year ago when there was so much hope of a New Dawn in the air, when the Commission into State Capture had just begun its public hearings and so much was expected to come of the President’s inaugural Investment Conference, we meet today at a time when our country is engulfed with bad news and our leadership has been exposed to be weak and so far unequal to the gargantuan task ahead.

Everywhere we look, leadership has taken cover and, as I had occasion to write in a poem more than two decades ago, “the sanguinary are in control”. We have become the rape and misogyny capital of the world, where just having been born female is enough to mark one out for all kinds of abuse. Our mothers, sisters, wives and daughters live in palpable fear of being molested and murdered with what looks like absolute impunity, while our leadership limply throws its hands into the air, mouths yet more empty condemnations and makes more unconvincing promises and undertakings.

Our streets have been taken over by angry, vile and unemployed men who rape, murder and pillage with gay abandon, comfortable in the knowledge that they will get away with it because our police are either on the take or useless and our law-enforcement agencies are impuissant. With unspeakable savagery, they lay into men and women whose only sin is that they are from another African country; torch trucks on the country’s roads for no reason other than that those who drive them across our towns, cities and borders are employed and are unknown to them; and target construction sites in our industrial areas to demand – by brute force – a stake in other people’s businesses, to which they will add not an iota of value.

Our borders exist in name only, with anybody who so desires free to walk in and out of them any time, in the process worsening our unemployment crisis and seriously inflaming passions among the indigent who do not know where their next meal will come from and for whom the only asset they have in abundance is time. Our borders are porous, our police are useless – I guess I have earned the right to say so: my brother was murdered in 2009 and, more than a decade later, nobody has yet been arrested – and our Department of Home Affairs and the National Defence Force are laughing stocks.

All this goes on while our political mandarins are either conspicuous through their silence or, when they dare surface to make some pronouncements, either make the same mealy-mouthed excuses for their failure to do the jobs for which they were elected or threaten – yet again – fire and brimstone, fully knowing that their words are not worthy of the pieces of paper or the Notepads from which they read them.

To our utter dismay, it would seem that our beautiful country is on auto pilot. Its leaders have either gone to ground or are too pre-occupied with their internecine conflicts and sundry machinations. It is as if we are left to our own devices.

Is it any wonder, then, that our economy has continued to flounder so badly and that our State-owned companies are in such a pitiable state? I don’t think so.

Far be it from me, Ladies and Gentlemen, to depress you right at the beginning of our Fifth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba. That is not at all my intention. I point these things out because it would be irresponsible of us, as business and labour leaders, to stick our necks in the sand and pretend that everything is hunky-dory. In my view, we all have a duty, individually and collectively, not only to face our current reality squarely in the face, but also to do something about it. We are not as helpless as we may sometimes believe ourselves to be.

We are far more powerful beyond measure. We must, each one of us, speak out robustly against the many ills confronting our country, and join hands with those who are similarly concerned and are keen to get involved in various efforts to reverse the very evident decay confronting us. We need to stop romanticising about a non-existent nirvana and face up to the challenge that ours is a sick country that is dangerously close to tipping over – unless we fold our shirt sleeves and put shoulder to the wheel.

The responsibility to save South Africa belongs to us all. In any society, this is way too important a task to leave to politicians alone. It is even worse in our case, where a growing number of politicians are exposed in various forms almost on a weekly basis to be self-serving individuals who worry only about themselves, their families and their political parties, with the country coming stone last. We need to reach out across the racial, political, class, gender and whatever other divides to work with all who profess to love South Africa and want to see it prosper.

That is the context in which we hold this Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba. We believe that South Africa can – and will – be saved, if we all work together as a team. We believe, as I often point out, that, however much the men and women of goodwill and integrity in government may be willing to do so, the Government cannot execute this mammoth task alone. Obviously, with business not pulling the levers of legislative power, business also cannot do it alone. Instead, we need a strong partnership involving, in the first instance, Government, Business and Labour, followed by the general community.

Regrettably, it is sad to observe that, even during this period of a supposed New Dawn, we still have some people in Government behaving as if they were some demi-gods, rather than Servants of the People who elected them into office in the first place. It is a great pity, for instance, that among the nine members of the Ramaphosa Government invited to address this conference and interact with you, the Shareholders of this Beautiful Republic, all but two contrived to come up with various excuses for their absence. Even with one of the largest Cabinets in the world, in which every Minister has a Deputy, those who showed disdain to the metals and engineering sector by spurning our invitation would not even dispatch their Deputies or Directors-General to address this conference.

Sadly, both we and others who organise similar industry conferences have come to know that some among our Cabinet Ministers prefer events where theirs will be the only voices to be heard, without any other stakeholders to challenge them or hold them to account. Some would even go as far as to seek to control a conference’s agenda by insisting that members of political parties other than their own should not be invited.

We at SEIFSA have doggedly resisted such pressure – and will continue to do so. We are a Federation representing important stakeholders in our economy, and have no appetite whatsoever for any political gimmickry or games. We invite to our conferences any individual that we deem to have the experience, insights, wisdom and the power to contribute meaningfully to discussions of any issues being considered.

As always, Ladies and Gentlemen,   we look forward to a fruitful, robust engagement with our speakers in the course of the next two days.

As you may recall, during the Indaba last year, we asked you to consider adopting resolutions on some of the important issues that came under discussion. To refresh your memory, those resolutions saw delegates:

  1. Expressing disappointment at the failure of some Cabinet Ministers to attend important sessions of the conference to which they were invited;
  2. Calling on the Government to enforce designation of local content more rigorously in production processes across all value chains and expressing disappointment at the awarding of tenders to foreign companies by some State-owned enterprises when there is capacity for local businesses to manufacture the same products;
  3. Calling on the Government to include the local manufacturing industry in decision making regarding foreign and domestic investments to promote beneficiation and job creation;
  4. Calling on the Government to prioritize local businesses in all investment and construction projects, including Black Economic Empowerment partners, to comply with South African rules to address racial disparities;
  5. Calling on the Government to find a way of extending to the mid- and downstream group of industries in the metals and engineering sector the support available to primary steel producers; and
  6. Calling on the Government to reconsider the introduction of a carbon tax in the country, at a time when business is already struggling.

These resolutions have formed the basis of SEIFSA’s lobbying activities during the course of the last year. Regrettably, we have all lost the fight on the carbon tax, thanks in no small measure to the parlous state of the fiscus.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we at SEIFSA believe very firmly that, however difficult things may be at the moment, there continues to be a future for Manufacturing in South Africa and our region, and we believe that that future also includes a thriving Metals and Engineering Sector. However, for the sector to realize its full potential, it behoves all of us – in business, Government and labour – to get all hands on deck.

Thank you very much, yet again, for your attendance. Let us have a fruitful engagement that will be seen by future generations to have been vital for the continued survival of our Sector.

Thanks, too, to our host, the IDC, and all our Sponsors and Media Partners.

MEI 2019 Thumbnail

High-Calibre Speakers To Address Metals And Engineering Indaba From Tomorrow

By | Press Release | No Comments

Johannesburg, 11 September 2018 – High-calibre speakers from Government, labour, business and academia will address delegates attending the fifth annual Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba which takes place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton tomorrow and on Friday, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.

Speaking ahead of this year’s annual gathering of captains of industry, policy makers and entrepreneurs, Mr Nyatsumba said the 2019 Indaba boasts highly-respected business leaders, politicians and academics, including Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel, NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim, Massmart and Aspen Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini, Wits Business School Professor Patrick Bond and Deloitte’s Dr Martin Davis, among others.

These speakers will tackle challenges currently facing South Africa’s economy, which is marred by slow growth, high unemployment, high inequality and most recently attacks on foreign nationals.

Mr Nyatsumba said the speakers will 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

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.

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.

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

South Africa’s Economic

Does the NDP Still have the Potential to Turn South Africa’s Economic Fortunes Around?

By | Press Release | No Comments

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.

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za