The manufacturing industry in general and the metals and engineering sector in particular are in dire need of not only transformation, but also female leadership.
This is the case not only when it comes to general business ownership, but also with regards to occupation of senior leadership positions.
“While there are commendable exceptions in some companies, most companies in our sector continue to be among the poorest performers when it comes to transformation,” Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.
The 2013 BEE Survey conducted by KPMG ranked the manufacturing sector the second-worst performer, after mining, as it struggled to adhere to the codes on employment equity, skills development and transforming management control.
“As a sector, we need to embrace change and advocate transformation. Not only is it in South Africa’s interest for that to happen, but it is also fundamentally in business’s long-term interest,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
As far as the absence of women is concerned, Mr Nyatsumba said that the sector needed to achieve a critical mass of women to take the industry to new heights.
“It is of critical importance that a concerted effort is made by the sector towards creating meaningful opportunities for women to play crucial roles in taking our industry to new heights,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
Sharing their insights on the important topics of transformation and the absence of women in the sector will be:
- NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim;
- Transman Chief Executive Officer Angela Dick;
- Progressive Professionals Forum President Jimmy Manyi;
- B&D Solutions Chief Executive Officer Dr Namane Magau;
- Department of Labour Acting Deputy Director-General Thembinkosi Mkalipi;
- Ernst and Young Director and Black Management Forum Deputy President Koko Khumalo;
- MerSeta CEO Dr Raymond Patel;
- and Transnet Human Resources Group Executive Nonkululeko Sishi, among others.
The Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba will be attended by policy and decision makers, business owners, senior executives and other stakeholders in the metals and engineering sector in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and will focus on the following topics, among others:
- Does Manufacturing Have a Future in Southern Africa?
- Striking a Healthy Balance Between International Competition and Dumping
- Transformation in the Metals and Engineering Sector
- International Competitiveness and Intra-African Trade
- South Africa and the National Development Plan
- Southern Africa and the Huge Infrastructure Backlog – How To Finance It?
Organised and hosted by SEIFSA, the Indaba is aimed at encouraging growth in the sector, which has under-performed over the past five years. The conference, which will take place at Emperor’s Palace in Ekurhuleni, will bring together business owners, trade unionists and policymakers from across the SADC to deliberate on turn-around strategies.