The SEIFSA mission encapsulates the essence of its product and service offerings to its affiliated member companies. SEIFSA is a Federation of Employer Organisations which collectively represent the views, goals and objectives of almost 2000 member companies. SEIFSA strives to be the most respected advocate for the metals and engineering industries in order to create innovative businesses positioned for growth and working in partnership with all stakeholders in the interests of Southern Africa.

Running a business in the South African environment, especially in the metals and engineering industries, is an enormous challenge. Policy uncertainty, over regulation, political own goals, labour volatility and inflationary and administered cost pressures all affect management’s ability to plan for the future.

Business owners must wish that they could adjust levels of stability by some cosmic switch. SEIFSA’s product and service offerings, whilst not quite the silver bullet, are specifically designed, tested and proved to assist in managing levels of volatility in the market place. Two of SEIFSA’s most well-known services are:

To ensure that member companies are up to speed with the latest in legislation and regulations,  SEIFSA also runs a suite of training in the following disciplines: Human Capital and Skills Development, Industrial Relations and Legal Services, Economics and Commercial, as well as  Safety, Health, Environment and Quality (SHEQ). These interventions all have one thing in common: ensuring that employers understand the rules of the game so that businesses can mitigate volatility and maximize stability. Stability has become a business imperative in South Africa. Shareholders, business owners and managers need to use every tool available to achieve stability in their businesses.

The Main Agreement has been crafted over many years to be a tool for both stability and  flexibility; it has numerous advantages over and above the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA).

Traditionally, the South African business community’s Achilles heel has been its struggle to deal with labour disputes and unrest. Labour law is derived from the South African Constitution, which is dedicated to the achievement of social justice. Collective bargaining is a cornerstone of the system and the reduction of disproportionate income differentials is one of its main purposes. The right to strike, which is constitutionally entrenched for the purpose of allowing workers to exercise economic pressure, is a reality, and business must be knowledgeable, skilled and ready to deal confidently in the Industrial Relations sphere. This need is even more acute in sectors such as the metals and engineering, mining and manufacturing. Industrial unrest, strikes and work stoppages pose a very serious threat to the well-being of companies.

Joining one of SEIFSA-affiliated Employer Associations adds a significant tool to your armoury. There are five distinct ways in which joining SEIFSA will protect your business:


The Main often a three-year deal. There is a no-strike clause and a clear and defined protection against a compulsion to be pulled into plant-level bargaining. For SEIFSA-affiliated member companies, the costs are fixed, clear and defined


If a SEIFSA member company cannot afford the parameters of the deal (i.e. wage increases, leave bonus, etc.), there is a clear and simple exemption procedure to apply for partial or full exemption from any monetary provision of the Agreement. Exemption applications are not dependent on the agreement of employees or their unions, but on the financial situation a company finds itself.


There are no short-time, lay-off or overtime exemption provisions in the Basic Conditions of Employment Act. However, all these options are available to SEIFSA member companies. Once again, this gives business owners more flexibility and options when faced with down-time or up-ticks in production.


For SEIFSA member companies, the use of Labour Brokers continues unchanged. If a company is a member of a SEIFSA-affiliated Association, the Main Agreement permits the contracting of employees to a client via a labour broker (which is also a member of SEIFSA) for reasons related to site work, turnaround work, ship-repair work and short-term fluctuations in work load linked to time or the completion of the specific work, project or job detailed in the contract. In other words, the 2018 Constitutional Court ruling on deeming (i.e. that an employee supplied to a company by a labour broker becomes the permanent employee of the client after three months) has no bearing.


SEIFSA member companies run their businesses under the knowledge that for the duration of the Main Agreement (at the moment until 30 June 2020), all terms and conditions of employment are locked into the Agreement and remain unchanged under a full and final settlement provision that guarantees exactly what business owners need: certainty, stability and a business environment free of industrial unrest and labour volatility.

To join an Employer Association federated to SEIFSA, call Ms Theresa Crowley on (011) 298-9419 or email

To contract with a Labour Broker or TES which is a member of SEIFSA, email Ms Christa Smith on