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Johannesburg, 19 September 2018 – High-calibre speakers – including Cabinet Ministers senior business leaders and labour leaders – will address delegates attending the fourth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton tomorrow and on Friday.

The Indaba, now in its fourth year, 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 not only to discuss the challenges facing the sector, but also to collaborate in search for sustainable solutions for manufacturing in general and the metals and engineering sector in particular.

Among the speakers will be Minister in the Presidency Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Highveld Structural Mill Chief Executive Officer John Burger and ArcelorMittal South Africa General Manager Alph Ngapo. Former ANC Treasurer-General Mathews Phosa will deliver the opening address tomorrow morning, with Democratic Alliance Leader Mmusi Maimane delivering the closing address on Friday afternoon.

SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said this year 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.

Meanwhile, SEIFSA Economist Marique Kruger said innovation and excellence as strategic levers for global competitiveness will also come under scrutiny at this year’s Indaba. She said prior to 2017, the metals and engineering sector had been in decline for three consecutive years. This had resulted in production declines, under-utilisation of production capacity, employment losses, unprecedented low-profit margins and near-stagnation in investment.

“Despite the up-tick in production recorded in 2017, the aforementioned challenges contributed significantly towards reducing the sector’s competitiveness, leading to a loss of international and domestic market share. Therefore, the international competitiveness of the M&E sector will have to improve significantly for the sector to regain its position as preferred suppliers domestically and in international markets,” said Ms Kruger.

Leading discussions on innovation and excellence as strategic levers for global competitiveness will be Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Executive for Industrial Development Dr Rachel Chikwamba, Hazelton Pump International Managing Director Mathys Wehmeyer and Atlantis Foundries Managing Director Mervin Moodley.

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

  • How much of the National Development Plan has been implemented – and is it still relevant?
  • Constraints to investing in the Metals and Engineering Sector and improving trade on the African continent
  • Exploring and Leveraging the Link Between the Metals and Engineering Sector and the Mining, Construction and Auto Manufacturing Industries
  • Radical Economic Transformation, the Black Industrialists Programme and the Metals and Engineering Sector
  • Administered Prices As Factors Negatively Affecting South Africa’s International Competitiveness: Can we Change the Situation?

Among the high-profile speakers expected to address the conference are:

  • Business leaders like Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane, ArcelorMittal General Manager: Africa Overland Alph Ngapo, Hazleton Pump International Managing Director Mathys Wehmer, Atlantis Foundries CEO Mervyn Moodley, 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 Deputy Director-General Zeph Nhleko;
  • Representatives of global organisations like International Finance Corporation Senior Investment Officer Paul Mukasa;
  • Civil society leaders like Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini; Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse Executive Director Wayne Duvenage and Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo; and
  • 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.

For more details on the conference, please visit www.meindaba.seifsa.co.za.

 

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala

Communications Manager

Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725

Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za

Web: www.meindaba. seifsa.co.za

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