The manufacturing industry in general and the metals and engineering sector in particular are in dire need of transformation. 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.

A recent BEE Survey conducted by KPMG ranked the manufacturing sector as 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.

“It is of critical importance that a concerted effort is made by the sector towards creating meaningful opportunities for all South Africans (black and white) to play crucial roles in taking our industry to new heights,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Sharing their insights on the important topic of industry transformation as a strategic weapon and business enabler in Southern Africa will be:

  • MerSeta CEO Dr Raymond Patel;
  • Shell South Africa Executive Chairman Mr Bonang Mohale;
  • Black Business Council Vice-President Mr Sandile Zungu;
  • Business Unity South Africa CEO Ms Khanyisile Kweyama; and
  • Diversi-T Managing Director Teresa Oakley-Smith.

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:

  • Government Policy Interventions for a Sustainable, Globally-Competitive Steel Sector
  • Partners, Not Adversaries: How to Forge A Stronger Partnership Between Business and Labour to Improve Southern Africa’s International Competitiveness
  • A Delicate Balancing Act: The Link Between the Metals and Engineering Sector and the Mining, Construction and Car Manufacturing Industries
  • Parasitic or Symbiotic: Relations Between Small Business and Big Business in the Metals and Engineering Sector
  • Southern Africa and the Huge Infrastructure Backlog – How to finance it.

Organised and hosted by SEIFSA in partnership with the IDC, the Indaba is aimed at encouraging growth in the metals and engineering sector, which has underperformed over the past five years.

The list of the 2016 Indaba speakers and panelists includes Former President Kgalema Motlanthe, International Monetary Fund Senior Resident Representative Dr Axel Schimmelpfennig, Executive Chairman of the EU Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Southern Africa Mr Stefan Sakoschek, US Embassy Economics Minister Mr Laird Trieber, National Empowerment Fund CEO Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa and Cadiz Corporate Solutions Director Mr Peter Major.