JOHANNESBURG, 6 May 2021 – The sixth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba will unpack the progress of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “New Dawn”, exploring whether the sixth administration is succeeding in improving business confidence in South Africa.

The Indaba, organised by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, takes place on 24 and 25 May at the IDC Auditorium in Sandton, Johannesburg. It brings together the Government, business, labour and civil society on one platform, to engage on, and find solutions to the challenges facing the Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector.

The session, to be unpacked under the title “‘The New Dawn’: The Sixth Administration, Business Confidence and South Africa’s Sovereign Credit Rating”, will feature a panel of respected political and business commentators, including Wits University lecturer Khaya Sithole, University of Johannesburg lecturer Professor Mcebisi Ndletyana and Executive Director of the Centre for Development an Enterprise Ann Bernstein. 

SEIFSA said the sixth administration was greeted with much optimism and euphoria when it took over amid hopes that a Ramaphosa-led Government would restore confidence in the Government’s ability to grow the economy while forging an efficient, capable and ethical state that is free of corruption. 

“However, given the devastation that the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked on South Africa’s economy, as well as political internal battles in several political parties, it is clear that the Government has a long journey ahead of it to achieve its aims and restore much-needed investor confidence,” SEIFSA said.

“The Indaba, will therefore, take a critical look at the Government’s progress in turning around the economy and provide recommendations on what the Government can do better to ensure that the country can, among other things, grow the economy and arrest its sovereign credit rating decline,” the Federation said.

Other topics that will be delved into at the Indaba include the South African manufacturing sector’s readiness to embrace the fourth industrial revolution, the formation of a scrap metal exchange to benefit local manufacturers and how the M&E industry can strike a balance between growth and environmental sustainability.