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Johannesburg, 8 April 2020 – Manufacturers that  continue to invest in bettering the lives of communities surrounding their operations, despite South Africa’s economic woes, are encouraged to submit entries for the annual SEIFSA Awards for Excellence, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) said today.

Despite South Africa’s social progress since the advent of democracy, sustained poverty, inequality and unemployment continue to translate into structural, social and fiscal challenges and economic under-performance.

SEIFSA CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said current economic woes underpinned by stagnant growth, low demand for manufactured products, rising operational costs and more recently Covid-19 and a credit downgrade do not make it any easier for South Africa’s already embattled economy, in general, and the manufacturing sector, in particular.

“This is why it is now, more than ever before, of paramount importance that companies that continue to do good, through various corporate social responsibility programmes, are saluted and celebrated for the difference they make in improving the lives of people who reside in areas in which they operate,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

The CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries. Last year, Schneider Electric’s “Isiboniso: creating access to education and energy programme” – situated at the semi-rural Isiboniso Primary School in Gauteng’s Orange Farm – won the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

Along with the Best Social Responsibility of the Year Award, the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence have six other categories. These are:

  • The Most Innovative Company of the Year, which will be awarded to a company that has shown the best level of innovation in research and development or production;
  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that recorded the highest transformation level in ownership as well as the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team. This award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 people against others of similar size;
  • The Health and Safety Award of the Year will be offered to a company with the best legal compliance record in Health and Safety or the lowest Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate between July 2018 and December 2019;
  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year;
  • The Artisan Development Award will go to the company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2018 and December 2019; while
  • The Environment Stewardship Award will go to a company that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations during the period under review.

Mr Nyatsumba said awards entrants will be assessed on their performance in the period 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2019. He urged companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the seven categories before the deadline date of 28 April 2020.

Entries are open to members of Associations federated to SEIFSA as well non-members. The 6th SEIFSA Awards for Excellence ceremony will take place on 28 May 2020 at Summer Place in Boksburg.

SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 21 independent employer Associations in the metals and engineering industries, with a combined membership of 1600 companies employing around 200 000 employees. The Federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.