Johannesburg, 5 August 2018 – South Africa’s prominent political parties will get an opportunity to unpack their economic manifestos to business leaders attending the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, scheduled to take place on 20-21 September at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton.

The African National Congress’s Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Dr Zweli Mkhize, his colleague Enoch Godongwana who heads the Economic Transformation Committee, along with the Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry Geordin Hill-Lewis and Inkatha Freedom Party’s Head of Energy, Trade and Industry and Mineral Resources Jan Adriaan Esterhuizen, will tell the business community how their political parties will turn the economy around.

Commenting on this important plenary session, which will take place on the second day of the Indaba, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said the Federation  felt that it was of critical importance that the main political parties are given an opportunity to outline their plans for the economy ahead of the 2019 General Elections.

“Over the last decade, South Africa’s economy has been dealt many painful blows, including sovereign credit downgrades, stagnant growth and a jobs bloodbath in critical sectors including mining, manufacturing and our very own metals and engineering sector. It goes without saying, therefore, that whoever gets to govern the country in 2019 has a mammoth task of ensuring that a conducive environment is created for South Africa’s economic fortunes to be turned around for the better,” My Nyatsumba said.

He said that in South Africa, like in other parts of the world, an obvious relationship between business and politics exists since  Government’s policies have a direct impact on how business is conducted in the country, which is why business leaders continuously lobby politicians for policies conducive for businesses sustainability and growth.

“Therefore, it is against this backdrop that we have decided to invite political parties to address the business community attending this year’s Indaba,” Mr Nyatsumba explained.

Other topics that will take centre stage 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
  • The Manufacturing Circle’s “Map to a Million New Jobs in a Decade”: A Realistic Plan or An Empty Promise?
  • 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, Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth, ArcelorMittal General Manager: Africa Overland Alph Ngapo, Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett, Africa@Work CEO Dinna Games, Highveld Steel CEO Johan Burger, 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, Dti Chief Director for Africa Multilateral Economic Relations Wamkele Mene and Department of Economic Development Deputy Director-General Zeph Nhleko;
  • 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 LandmanFor more details on the conference, please visit

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala

Communications Consultant

Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725



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