To take place on 26 and 27 May at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Conference Centre in Sandton, the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba is aimed at encouraging growth in the metals and engineering sector, which has under-performed over the past five years.
To date, other sponsors of the Indaba – which is presented by SEIFSA in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and the IDC – are MerSeta, Aveng Trident Steel, SMS Group, MIBFA, Transman, Atlas Copco and Sage HR and Payroll. Engineering News, The Star, Business Report, finweek and The African Independent are the media partners.
SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba expressed gratitude and appreciation to all the sponsors and partners, saying that their support concretely signaled the value that they placed on manufacturing in general and the metals and engineering and related sectors of the economy in particular.
Mr Nyatsumba said that SEIFSA was very pleased to see that, even during these tough times, captains of industry in different sectors recognized the strategic importance of the metals and engineering and related sectors – mining, construction and auto manufacturing – to our ailing economy enough for them to partner with the Federation in making the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba possible. He said that collectively the four strategic sectors directly contributed 17% (R570 billion) to South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, earn up to 80% of the country’s foreign exchange and directly employ about 1,7 million people.
One of the important sessions at this year’s conference will focus on the linkages among the metals and engineering, mining, construction and auto manufacturing sectors, featuring speakers from all four sectors.
“Therefore, it makes sense for anyone concerned about the state of the economy in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region to support a worthy initiative that brings all relevant stakeholders together in a constructive search for solutions. We are immensely grateful to all our sponsors. Their support indicates that they are businesses with the necessary foresight,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He said that the partnership that the Federation had concluded with the Department of Trade and Industry – which is the champion of business in government – and the IDC, an institution with a proud, 75-year history of supporting industrialization, was of strategic importance to SEIFSA, the metals and engineering sector and manufacturing as a whole.
“I can only hope that this important partnership will continue in the years to come and, in the process, take the metals and engineering sector to great heights,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
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 region, and will focus on the following topics, among others:
- The Economy, GEO-Politics and Manufacturing: Has Brics negatively affected South Africa’s Economic Relationship with the West Irrevocably?
- 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 and the Department of Trade and Industry, the 2016 Indaba features speakers and panelists such as Former President Kgalema Motlanthe, Shell South Africa Executive Chairman Mr Bonang Mohale, Black Business Council Vice-President Mr Sandile Zungu, 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, and US Embassy Economics Minister Mr Laird Trieber, among others.