Employers must drive implementation of the Steel Master Plan, says SEIFSA

The pivotal role that employers must play in ensuring the objectives of the Steel Master Plan become a reality was highlighted at the Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa’s (SEIFSA’s) Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference on May 19 and 20.

This is the view of SEIFSA CEO Lucio Trentini, who said that everyone who attended the conference – captains of industry, senior member of government and union leaders must stand together in wanting the Steel Master Plan to succeed, though employers have a particularly important role to play.

Furthermore, as a body representing employers in the steel industry - both upstream and downstream – SEIFSA, through its eighteen Employer Associations, is best positioned to ensure the objectives of the plan are met. Trentini said a lot was riding on the SMP and neither government, business nor labour could expect to do it on their own.

“SEIFSA’s associated employer membership employs the vast majority of employees in the sector and has a long-established track-record of successfully representing the interests of its membership.  Hence, SEIFSA is ideally placed to champion the aspirations of the Steel Master Plan,” said Trentini.

While the conference heard about many of the SMP’s early wins since it was signed in June 2021, stakeholders expressed their impatience with the lack of implementation.

SEIFSA COO Tafadzwa Chibanguza said the discussions about the SMP at the conference have shown the important role industry can play in making public-private partnerships work. The SMP represents a collaborative approach with stakeholders working together in pursuit of agreed end objectives, he said.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel also emphasised the importance of partnership. He said that building a sustainable path involved business, labour and government all understanding that for the plan to work, difficult choices and sometimes compromises would need to be made. The focus needed to be on partnership and working together, rather than any party expecting their demands to be met in absolute terms.

Ensuing that more can be done in the months ahead, Patel said his department was committed to reducing red tape in internal processes. SEIFSA has also identified this as an opportunity for collaborative efforts where the private sector can contribute to identifying areas where red tape is unnecessarily hindering progress, especially in areas that may be a blind-spot for the state.

“The Steel Master Plan Conference was a successful two-day event, with participants leaving with a renewed appreciation of the plan and, importantly, the work that needs to be done.” said Trentini.

“In championing the Metals and Engineering Sector recovery and growth, SEIFSA will avail itself to working collaboratively with all like-minded employer bodies,’’ Trentini said.

SEIFSA is working on a comprehensive report of the conference proceedings.


Important announcement: SMP conference venue change

Due to the Minister of Health extending the government’s coronavirus transitional rules at midnight for a further three-months, we unfortunately have had to find an alternative venue to accommodate the numbers we expect at the Conference.

Seating at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) under the status quo is limited to 60 which unfortunately is not suitable. We have been able to confirm an alternative venue, Emperors Palace, Kempton Park which we are confident will be able to accommodate all expected delegates.

In their practical effect, the extension of the transitional rules, means that masking for indoor public spaces and restrictions on indoor gatherings remain unchanged. As before, all gatherings are limited to 50% of normal occupancy and no more than 1,000 people may gather indoors unless proof of vaccination or a coronavirus test result is checked on entry.

We have confirmed with the venue and in anticipation that we will not breach 1,000 delegates neither will be required on registration.

Thank you for your understanding and our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Nuraan Alli

MSC Executive


Save the date for SEIFSA's Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference

The Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) will give Government, Business and Labour a chance to assess the progress of the Steel Master Plan (SMP) at its Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference on May 19 and 20.

The Plan — which was launched on June 11 2021 and signed by representatives of Government, Business and Labour — provides a series of practical steps for the steel and engineering industry to follow in order to reinvigorate itself.

Almost one year after the plan was signed, the industry is ready to see it take shape. SEIFSA CEO Lucio Trentini said: “This industry stands ready to make its contribution to translating the government’s vision of reindustrialising the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, and to start translating visions, promises and policy into action and deliverables.”

“We need government to roll-out its promised infrastructure spend, which is absolutely central to the reigniting of industrial capacity in the sector.”

The steel industry, as a direct driver of growth, investment and jobs, and as indirect supporter of the construction, automotive and mining sectors, is a crucial component in boosting the country’s industrial capacity.

“It’s going to be about increasing domestic demand for steel,” Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel said at the signing of the Steel Master Plan.

The conference will play host to senior Department of Trade, Industry and Competition officials, representatives from the Steel Oversight Committee, Business and Labour leaders who will analyse the progress of the plans as well as the commitments that will lay the foundations for the development and growth of the M&E sector in the years ahead.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel will deliver the keynote address, after an opening address from Elias Monage, SEIFSA President. Other speakers include Irvin Jim, the General Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), and Marius Croukamp, Deputy General Secretary of Solidarity.

There will also be a series of panel discussions looking at supply-side measures, demand-side measures, transformation, resource mobilisation and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Trentini said: “The big gains will be made by moving our infrastructure programme from shallow waters to deep waters and to get it moving on a bigger scale and then introducing a localisation requirement not only on primary steel, but also downstream steel.”

The Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan conference will be held on May 19 and 20 at Industrial Development Corporation, Sandton. 

The conference will be organised and hosted by SEIFSA in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

Book and view programme 


SEIFSA attends the fourth SA Investment Conference

In 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa set an ambitious target to attract R1.2 trillion in foreign and domestic investment over a five-year period. This year, R332 billion worth of investment pledges were made, bringing the total investment pledges in four years to R1.14 trillion. This amount strips out project cancellations and deferred projects. Investments announced specific to the metals and metal fabrication sector alone amounted to R18.9 billion.

This leaves an amount of R60 billion needed to meet the target set by the President. Ramaphosa in closing the conference indicated that not only was he confident that this shortfall would be met, but in all likelihood, it would be exceeded.

SEIFSA was represented at the conference by the President of the Federation, Elias Monage, Chief Executive Officer, Lucio Trentini, and Chief Operating Officer, Tafadzwa Chibanguza. SEIFSA’s attendance at the conference was important as the event brings together almost all of the country’s senior role players in the economy under one roof. This platform provided an important opportunity for SEIFSA officials to meet with and lay the groundwork for two important events that are being planned by the Federation, namely: the meeting between SEIFSA and the Group Chief Executive Officer at Eskom which will be held in April 2022 and the Steel Master Plan Conference scheduled to take place in May 2022.

It also allowed an opportunity to meet and exchange details with a number of Presidential and Ministerial advisers, representatives of other organised business formations and government officials that share or serve the strategic interests of SEIFSA and in turn the affiliated membership.

An interesting theme that came to dominate the conversation at the conference was a comment made by Discovery, CEO, Mr. Adrian Gore. While on a panel he highlighted that in many aspects, there is often a divergent understanding between narrative versus reality. South Africa, he indicated is not sparred this fact, where reality is sometimes not as bad as the negative narrative that is continuously peddled. Gore went on to explain that the narrative is often that South Africa suffers from a poor and disappointingly low growth rate (averaging 1% to 1.5%) over the last decade. The reality, he pointed out, is that growth is stable, particularly when compared to other emerging economies with wild fluctuations in their GDP outcomes. Similarly, the fact that a number of sectors have rebounded to pre-covid levels, indicates some resilience in the economy. That is not to say that all is well with the South African economy, however, the point is that the negative narrative often carries the most attention and by extension adversely influences sentiment. The reverse he emphasised should then also hold, namely, that a lot more should be done by leaders to emphasise the reliance of the SA economy, its people, and businesses. This was a message that taken together with the point that perceptions shape our reality and the power of positive narrative stuck for the rest of the conference.

Some of the key points highlighted by companies that announced investments include:

South Africa has a relatively well developed soft and hard infrastructure base, particularly when compared to other African country economies;

  • A lot of the industrial productive capacity competes well globally;
  • A diverse and good skills pool;
  • A resilient economy; and
  • SA remains a springboard onto the continent.

The need to open avenues for greater private sector investment in the provision of infrastructure was highlighted by business leaders across the board. Businesses made the point, amongst others, that infrastructure bottlenecks in electricity, rail, and water are choking the potential of the economy. Reform in these areas will not only attract investment into the country to resolve the infrastructure challenges, but better infrastructure will help to sell and position the country as a preferred investment destination. This is a point of reform that SEIFSA on behalf of its Associations and affiliated membership will continue to lobby and advocate.


Health regulations to deal with Covid-19 and other medical conditions outside of the National State of Disaster

Dear Members

The Department of Health has published the proposed health regulations to deal with Covid-19 and other medical conditions outside of the National State of Disaster for public comment.

This effort is part of Government’s transition plans from the current National State of Disaster which has been in place for more than 2 years. These regulations have been presented to the NATJOINTS structures including the Legal and Regulatory Measures Workstream. Once approved, these regulations will be implemented within the National Department of Health with the support of some of the public entities reporting to the department and will not be tabled before Parliament as they are subordinate legislation.

The proposed regulations seek to introduce a number of control measures which include the:

• Surveillance and Control of Notifiable Medical Conditions;
• Public Health measures in points of entry;
• Management of Human Remains;
• Regulations relating to Environmental Health;

The regulations propose the following:

• Measures in ports of entry: all people entering or exiting South Africa during the pandemic, should present negative PCR test results not older than 72 hours, in the event that they do not- have a full vaccination certificate. This repeals the current requirement of negative PCR test results for all incoming travellers- with or without a vaccination certificate.

• As part of efforts to manage transmission during large gatherings considered to be possible super spreader events, the regulations proposed the restriction of night vigils and after-funeral gatherings. The indoor and outdoor gatherings may be occupied up to 50% of the venue capacity provided there is production of a valid vaccine certificate; practice of social distance of at least one metre and compulsory wearing of masks. The attendance of outdoor gatherings without proof of vaccination will be limited to only 1000 people and 2000 for outdoors with social distancing of at least one metre social distance.

SEIFSA being part of BUSA will contribute to the broader business response to these regulations.

Click here for the regulations for your perusal

Draft-Health-Regulations-published-for-public-comments-46045-15-March-2022


Metals sector urged to seize South Africa’s beckoning Steel Master Plan opportunity

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africa’s historic metals sector employer organisation on Wednesday urged all the sector’s employer bodies to roll up their sleeves on May 19 and 20 and get their teeth into the Steel Master Plan, which is seen to have promising reindustrialisation elements.

President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the Steel Master Plan in last month’s State of the Nation Address.

An upbeat Lucio Trentini, in his capacity as the CEO of the nigh-80-year-old Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa), described the challenges faced by the metals and engineering sector as being “quite daunting” and highlighted the amazing resilience that members had displayed in the last 12 to 18 months. (Also watch attached Creamer Media video.)

Seifsa has a combined membership of more than 1 200 companies that employ more than 170 000 personnel. Formed in 1943, its members range from giant steelmaking corporations to microenterprises employing fewer than 50 people.

“The message that I want to put out is that this industry stands ready to make its contribution to translating government’s vision of reindustrialising the metals and engineering sector, and to start translating visions, promises and policy into action and deliverables

“What we need is for the government to roll out its promised infrastructure spend, which is absolutely central to the reigniting of industrial capacity in the sector. I can assure you, if we see half of what government has promised, the sector will ignite, move forward and create the much-needed economic growth and consequent jobs and job opportunities that this country so sorely needs. We’re ready, we want to do our bit,” said Trentini in a Zoom interview with Engineering News & Mining Weekly.

The knock-on effects are felt throughout the economy owing to the sector’s role as supplier and customer into the mining, automotive, motor, construction and other manufacturing sub-industries.

“Because of the nature of our economy and its size, the major sectors of our economy are all interrelated, so when one cog in the wheel experiences a stutter, the effects are felt throughout the value chain,” said Trentini.

During the three-week stoppage of the sector last year, more than R300-million a week in lost wages and more than R600-million a week in lost revenue was shed by the sector – and those are very conservative figures.

“The knock-on effect into mining, construction, automotive component manufacturers, automotive assemblers was felt very deeply,” said the head of the organisation that sets out to foster mutually-beneficial relationships between employers, labour and government in creating a business environment conducive to growth.

When Trentini joined South Africa’s metals and engineering sector from JCI Gold and Uranium Company 30-odd years ago, it employed more than half-a-million blue-collar workers. Sadly, it is now down to half that number.

“Jobs are scarce and we need to hold on to the jobs we have and allow the government to create an enabling environment,” said action-orientated Trentini.

He sees the Steel Master Plan, already signed by representatives of business, labour and government, as being an integral part of the new enabling environment that the government is heralding, and urges all relevant organisations to put their shoulder to the plan’s wheel at its upcoming conference on May 19 and 20.

“It’s not going to create any miracles overnight but it’s the first time that government, through Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, has come to business to ask what it can do together with labour, to address the challenges that we face as a sector,” he said.

Localisation and designation without having to compromise on cost and quality is the plan’s focus.

“We now know that there are going to be massive increases in the price of steel because of what is happening in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and the price of steel, which is a major input into all of this industry, is a major issue up for discussion,” said Trentini.

Sought will be a way of bridging the gap between the upstream primary steel producers and the downstream fabricators.

“We have to sit down, we have to talk, we have to be honest, and we have to confront the so-called brutal truths if we are going to make progress. If we don't do that, the Steel Master Plan will be another vision that doesn’t see the light of day – and I don’t think we have much time.

“There’s a lot happening in our country and the sooner we start sitting down and rolling up our sleeves and getting our teeth into the various issues that the Steel Master Plan wants to focus on, the better,” Trentini added.

Seifsa will be using the period ahead of the next round of wage negotiations in 2024 to get stuck into what it highlights as ten critical objectives.

In addition to the Steel Master Plan, these include skills development and human capital, transformation, revival and inclusiveness, electricity and energy, import-export and international trade, and talking to the economic cluster about what they see unfolding in the next year to three years.

“I was bitterly disappointed that, at the signing of the Steel Master Plan, Seifsa was the only employer organisation present. Yes, Seifsa is the largest and the most influential, but it’s not the sector's only employer organisation, and I think it’s critically important that all employer organisations play a role because all employer organisations represent their respective constituencies and those remaining outside are doing their constituencies a disservice. We don't have another metals and engineering industry. This is the only one we have. It’s best that everyone comes in to attend and best if everyone brings their sharp minds and their intellect and their creative ideas to try to move this industry forward as quickly as possible, because, I stress, we don’t have a lot of time,” said Trentini.

As Engineering News has reported, the launch of the Steel Master Plan took place amid the constant hum of heavy machinery at Hall Longmore’s factory in Wadeville, Gauteng.

The 80-page document has been published following nearly two years of “robust” talks, facilitated by Dr Bernie Fanaroff, the former trade unionist and leading post-Apartheid government administrator, who also played a prominent role in South Africa’s successful bid to co-host the Square Kilometre Array project.

It has been signed against the backdrop of serious Covid-linked steel supply backlogs.

During the ceremony, Barnes Group director Doron Barnes, whose company acquired steel pipe manufacturer Hall Longmore from Murray & Roberts in 2014, was quoted as saying that he had already witnessed first-hand the power of collaboration, with government’s intervention having played a key role in averting the closure of Hall Longmore and having its equipment relocated to Nigeria.

“It is always easier to complain, blame and criticise rather than to put in a meaningful effort to create sustainable solutions,” Barnes said in his address on the factory floor, adding that the master plan created the platform to “map a way forward” with the support of government.

It was stated that the plan had been developed on three pillars, namely:

boosting demand for steel and steel products, primarily by reviving South Africa’s stalled public infrastructure roll-out; driving localisation, or import substitution; and by leveraging the market access being created through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement;
addressing supply-side constraints, including electricity disruptions and tariff hikes, logistics bottlenecks, uncompetitive inputs and inadequate skills, and research and development; and
a series of cross-cutting interventions, including the creation of a Steel Industry Development Fund, to be capitalised through the introduction of a levy of between R5/t and R10/t on all steel sold domestically, whether it be produced locally or imported.
“It’s going to be about increasing domestic demand for steel,” Patel explained at the signing.

“The big gains will be made by moving our infrastructure programme from shallow waters to deep waters and to get it moving on a bigger scale and then introducing a localisation requirement not only on primary steel, but also downstream steel.”

Patel reiterated his contention that there was scope for higher levels of localisation, including localisation of steel and metal products and that an accord had been reached at the National Economic Development and Labour Council to drive progressive localisation of up to R200-billion of additional production over a five-year period.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa general secretary Irvin Jim, who put his signature to the master plan, argued that the steel industry needed to begin casting its mind beyond being in “survival mode” and use the platform to reverse deindustrialisation and put a stop to the jobs “bloodbath”.

 


Metals and engineering sector production expands but downside risks remain

Johannesburg, 10 March 2022: Production in the metals and engineering sector started the year on a relatively strong note. On a year-on-year basis, production in the total sector expanded by 1.2% in January 2022. On a month-on-month basis between December 2021 and January 2022, production in the sector expanded 4.7%. Total sales increased by 6.2% between these two months from R67.4 billion to R71.6 billion, notes SEIFSA’s Chief Operating Officer, Tafadzwa Chibanguza.

 

Increases were noted in the electrical machinery products (14%), rubber products (12%) and basic iron and steel (11%). On the contrary, production decreases experienced in in the vehicle parts and accessories (-12%), household appliances (-9%), and structural metal products (-6%).

 

This is also on the back of the 2.9% year-on-year production growth recorded for the total manufacturing sector in January 2022. Between December 2021 and January 2022, total manufacturing production expanded by 1.9%. The metals and engineering sector, made up of 13 sub-sectors, constitutes 30.9% of the total manufacturing sector. It is encouraging to note that at an aggregate level, production levels in the metals and engineering sector reached pre-covid-19 levels by December 2021.

 

Chibanguza said “The positive production data recorded in January 2022 is very much in line with the other data points released in the last few days, namely the Purchasing Managers Index and the Business Confidence Index, which all showed notable improvement. This confirms the fact that from the last quarter of 2021 into the first few months of 2022, global economic recovery was starting to take shape and generally supportive of domestic growth in various sectors. However, the geo-political developments involving Russia and Ukraine present downside risks for this recovery”

 

Risks include heightened uncertainty, volatility and inflationary risks that will manifest through food and the commodities complex including oil prices. This will likely to force the South African Reserve Bank to act much sooner and more aggressively than originally anticipated hurting the prospects of the recovery. Domestically, the recent bouts of load shedding will also dampen the outlook of the productive sectors.

 

While South Africa cannot do too much about the global geo-political landscape and the risks that will manifest from the developments in that arena, resolving domestic challenges, through implementing urgent reform in the electricity supply industry is entirely in the country’s control. Hence, SEIFSA will continue to press for the necessary reforms to safeguard productive capacity in order to stimulate much-needed growth, Chibanguza concluded.


Economic reform is critical to put the economy on a sustainable growth path

Johannesburg, 8 March 2022 - Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures released by Statistics South Africa today, show that the South African economy grew by 1.2% in fourth quarter of 2021 and 4.9% for the full year. In 2020, the economy contracted by 6.4% as a result of the economic disruption associated with the covid-19 pandemic. The manufacturing sector grew by 6.62% on the back of a 12.3% contraction in 2020. The metals and engineering sector constitutes 30.9% of the manufacturing sector.

 

SEIFSA’S Chief Operating Officer Mr Tafadzwa Chibanguza said, “The outcome of the economy’s performance in 2021 should be read in the context of the base effect that will influence the readings. That is, the covid induced lower readings of 2020 will naturally exaggerate the 2021 outcomes, when the two years are compared on a year-on-year basis”.

 

However, on the metrics of measuring the economy’s performance over the last two years, what is evident is that the economy has not clawed back the ground lost due to the covid-19 pandemic. Chibanguza said, “This is a worrying outcome considering the reasons. Firstly, although supply chain disruption did impact global trade since the onslaught of the pandemic, generally the global economic environment was supportive toward recovery. However, the economy experienced a substantial contraction of 1.7% in quarter three of the year due to the civil unrest in July 2021, which naturally eroded from the gains. The unrests were akin to an economic own goal, highlighting the urgent need to urgently address the security situation in the country. A second reason has been the generally lackluster approach to implementing the economic reform programs that are necessary to turn the economy around”, he said.

 

Gross fixed capital formation for the year 2021 increased by a disappointing 2.03%. The metals and engineering sectors fortunes are linked to higher levels of economic activity which is driven by greater investment into the economy, particularly fixed investment. The GDP outcomes for two key markets of the mentals and engineering sector output, namely, the mining and construction sectors experienced varied outcomes, of 11.8% and -1.9% respectively.

 

The economic growth rate for 2022 is projected to be 2.1 percent, and it is expected to average 1.8 percent over the next three years. SEIFSA has previously highlighted that this economic performance is too weak to provide a platform for higher demand for M&E sector products such as steel. Mr Chibanguza concluded that, “An aggressive reform agenda, focused on implementation, in the energy, transport, water, security and greater fixed investment into the economy is therefore urgently required if the South African economy and the metals and engineering sector are to grow”.


SEIFSA Value Proposition

SEIFSA members get value-added service exactly when they need it

The Steel & Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is the voice of the metals & engineering (M&E) sector and acts as an intermediary between the industry, government, business and labour.

"SEIFSA represents the interests of its members and the industry. The federation continues to increase value for all those it represents, based on an impeccable track record driven by decades of experience, ensuring an amicable business environment and further enhancing opportunities in the sector," says Theresa Crowley, associations manager at SEIFSA.

Elias Monareng, human resources executive for Mitek South Africa , is clear on how his company has benefited from its SEIFSA affiliated membership - industrial relations and legal issues. "Labour matters are complex and costly if standards and/or protocols are not followed. Being an affiliate member of SEIFSA, most of our labour matters are handled at the collective bargaining level and not at plant level, giving us more room and time to focus on operational issues. If there is a problem at plant level, SEIFSA is just a phone call away for any industrial relations and/or legal advice and in most cases for free. That is what we call value-added service," says Monareng.

SEIFSA has also helped Mitek with job grading for all scheduled positions to align wages to the industry pay grades and rates; the training of employees; and wage negotiations at national level as well as legal advice during strikes.

For Terresa Frankenberg, quality assurance manager at Evapco South Africa, training is what she is most grateful for when it comes to SEIFSA.

"It has been very beneficial, I've got so much out of training. I have done all the training that SEIFSA offers in terms of my job - disciplinary hearings and the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, and so much more", she says.

The other area where Evapco has reaped the rewards of its SEIFSA membership is with labour relations. "When it comes to things like negotiating wages, SEIFSA has really helped. Last year was incredibly stressful for all of us and the SEIFSA guys were just doing their best, throughout, including negotiating wages.

"I could WhatsApp any of my SEIFSA contacts at any time and I would get a response. They are so accessible," she says.

Niren Rohanlal, the senior regional product and solution manager at Grundfos, says that as a multinational the company has found SEIFSA's advice on local regulations invaluable.

"As an international company it is hard to navigate the labour law and other regulations, but SEIFSA acts on behalf of Grundfos. In fact, SEIFSA goes well beyond the call of duty in facilitating and accommodating international companies. As a multinational in South Africa, Grundfos would have been lost without the support of SEIFSA."

Wage negotiation is another area where Grundfos has been happy to be part of the SEIFSA family. "SEIFSA has played a very important role in this. They helped with talks with the bargaining council and also the union wage increases. There is always the offer of support from SEIFSA," he says.

SEIFSA offers its members a wide range of services, and at a time when South Africa's M&E sector is under enormous pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a shrinking domestic market, increasing unemployment and cheap imports, this level of support can make all the difference.

"SEIFSA is not only a national employer federation that represents the M&E sector, we also provide a comprehensive range of services and products to member companies and any other interested companies inside and outside the sector. These services include advice, assistance, consultancy - on issues such as labour legislation, dispute resolution, health and safety and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment - publications, training courses, seminars and conferences," says SEIFSA’s Crowley.

 


SEIFSA welcomes back Tafadzwa (Taffie) Chibanguza as Chief Operating Officer

Taffie returns to SEIFSA in a revised and expanded capacity, whilst still retaining the Chief Economist portfolio. Taffie as SEIFSA's Chief Operations Officer (COO) will be working closely with the Executive Team and Chief Executive Officer, Lucio Trentini. The SEIFSA Team headed by Lucio and Taffie and ably assisted by the Executive Team comprising of Louwresse Specht (Head of Industrial Relations and Legal), Mariaan de Jager (Head of Finance), Nuraan Alli (Head Marketing, Sales and Communication), and Nita Govendasamy (Head Human Capital and Skills development) who together, will be working to roll-out SEIFSA’s revised strategic vision focusing on lobbying, advocacy, and collective bargaining.

Taffie brings a wealth of academic, expert, and industry experience to SEIFSA. Taffie in his previous stint at the Federation progressed to being SEIFSA’s Senior Economist before leaving for an opportunity to grow and expand his horizons with the Minerals Council.
 
I have little doubt that Taffie will bring energy, ingenuity, and a fresh approach coupled with well-honed academic and practical expert experience to the important work of SEIFSA.
 
Taffie holds a BCom Economics and Econometrics degree from the University of Johannesburg, a BCom (Honours) Degree in Economic Policy from the University of Witwatersrand, and a Master of Commerce Degree in Economic Policy from the University of Witwatersrand and is due to complete a Master of Science in Mining Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand in 2022.
 
I’m sure you will all join me in welcoming Taffie back to SEIFSA.