Speaking ahead of the 2nd Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba scheduled to take place on 26 and 27 May at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said that the slump in the global growth and commodity cycle, which has been made worse by recent Chinese economic instability, has increased the need for African countries in general and those operating within SADC in particular to trade with one another.

According to research conducted by SEIFSA, in 2015 Africa accounted for the largest share (38,9%) of total metals and engineering exports. Export to SADC, excluding the Southern African Customs Union, made up 86% of exports into Africa.

Mr Nyatsumba said that although trade within SADC countries has increased over the years, a lot still needed to be done to improve in this regard. It was, therefore, of paramount importance that SADC countries continue to create and sustain demand for products produced by their peers.

“Fishing In A Bigger Pond: Opportunities for the Metals and Engineering Sector in Southern Africa” will come under scrutiny at the 2016 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba. Assessing and unpacking growth opportunities for companies operating in the metals and engineering sector within Southern Africa will be:

  • Mr Duncan Bonnett, Director of Africa House Consulting;
  • SEIFSA Chief Economist Henk Langenhoven;
  • Mr Ian Conolly, Director of O. Conolly & Co Zimbabwe;
  • Mr Martin Cameron, Director of Marcam Consulting; and
  • North-West University Research Professor Wilma Viviers.

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, among others, 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;
  • Massmart Chairman Mr Kuseni Dlamini;
  • US Embassy Economics Minister Mr Laird Trieber,;
  • and National Empowerment Fund Chief Executive Officer Ms Philisiwe Mthethwa.