Featuring high-profile speakers and panelists such as Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, Business Leadership South Africa Chairman and mining veteran Bobby Godsell, ArcelorMittal Chief Executive Officer Paul O’Flaherty and NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim, among others, the Indaba is aimed at deliberating on and coming up with sustainable solutions to address challenges currently facing the manufacturing sector.

SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said it was of paramount importance that Government, business and labour get together to deliberate on issues affecting the manufacturing sector and come up with solutions that will address the challenges.

Among the challenges faced by the sector are unfair competition from highly-subsidized countries, high input and administered costs and electricity outages. “The Indaba is certain to become a major feature on the calendar of the steel and engineering sector in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Those not attending the inaugural event this week will be missing out,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

He said that the conference is set to reach the same heights as the annual mining indaba and is intended to revive the fortunes of manufacturing, but especially the metals and engineering sector, in Southern Africa.

“The mining sector has the annual Mining Indaba, which has become synonymous with Cape Town and is attended by all players in the mining sector and the relevant Government stakeholders from different parts of the world, but especially the African continent.

The metals and engineering sector, which is a vital supplier to the mining, auto and construction industries, had no such international conference of its own. Therefore, it was very important that SEIFSA stepped in and corrected that situation,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

To be attended by policy and decision makers, business owners, senior executives and other stakeholders in the metals and engineering sector in the SADC, the Metals and Engineering Indaba 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?
  • South Africa’s Electricity Constraint and its Impact on the Economy

It will be attended by business owners, labour leaders and policymakers from across the SADC region.