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.

“The Map to a million is an initiative we strongly support as a Federation representing companies operating in the metals and engineering cluster, which forms part of the broader manufacturing sector. We believe that, similar to mining and agriculture sectors, manufacturing is one of the backbones of South Africa’s economy.We are of the view that it is of paramount importance that South Africa reindustrializes and restores its manufacturing sector to its former glory, in the interest of economic growth and employment creation.

“It is, therefore, against this backdrop that we felt it was important to use the platform provided by the Indaba to critically review the initiative and find ways of ensuring that it succeeds,” SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

Other topics that will take feature prominently during the 2018 Indaba include:

  • Working Together to Improve South Africa’s Sovereign Credit Rating
  • Public Corruption and Corporate Malfeasance in South Africa: What Needs to Be Done to End or Contain It?
  • The Continental Free Trade Area: How Much Progress Has Been Made to Date?
  • How much of the National Development Plan has been implemented – and is it still relevant?
  • Exploring and Leveraging the Link Between the Metals and Engineering Sector and the Mining, Construction and Auto Manufacturing Industries
  • Constraints to investing in the Metals and Engineering Sector and improving trade on the African continent
  • Radical Economic Transformation, the Black Industrialists Programme and the Metals and Engineering Sector
  • Innovation and Excellence as Strategic Levers for Global Competitiveness
  • Administered Prices As Factors Negatively Affecting South Africa’s International Competitiveness: Can we Change the Situation?

President Cyril Ramaphosa is billed to deliver the opening address. Among the high-profile speakers expected to address the conference are:

  • Cabinet Ministers Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Nhlanhla Nene, Pravin Gordhan and Deputy President David Mabuza;
  • Business leaders like Business Unity South Africa CEO Tanya Cohen, Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane, ArcelorMittal General Manager: Africa Overland Alph Ngapo, Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett, Africa@Work CEO Dinna Games, Hazleton Pump International Managing Director Mathys Wehmer, former Atlantis Foundries CEO Pieter du Plessis, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama, PWC South Africa Director Andrew Shaw, National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA Director Nico Vermeulen and Master Builders Executive Director Roy Mnisi;
  • Policy makers and civil service representatives like Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) Director-General Lionel October, and Dti Chief Director for Africa Multilateral Economic Relations Wamkele Mene;
  • Representatives of global organisations like World Bank Group Lead Economist John Gabriel and International Finance Corporation Senior Investment Officer Paul Mukasa;
  • Civil society leaders like Federation of Unions of South Africa General Secretary Dennis George, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse Executive Director Wayne Duvenage, Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini;
  • Politicians like ANC Economic Transformation Head Enoch Godongwana, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry Geordin Hill-Lewis and DA Shadow Minister for Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone; and

Academics like University of Stellenbosch Social Justice Chair and former Public Protector Professor Thuli Madonsela and University of the Free State Visiting Professor JP Landman.

For more details on the conference, please visit



Issued by:

Ollie Madlala

Communications Consultant

Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725


Web: www.meindaba.

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