Delivering an Opening Address at the 2nd Annual Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton this morning, the former President said in order for the South African economy in general and the metals, engineering, mining, construction and automotive sectors to rise out of the doldrums and grow, it was important for Government, labour and business to work together to devise solutions that would turn the South African economy around.
“The complexity of challenges currently facing the metals, engineering, mining, construction and automotive sectors of the South African economy requires collaboration of the various stakeholders to come up with integrated solutions aimed at addressing these challenges. Collaboration will also improve the trust deficit that currently exists between Government, business and labour,” Mr Motlanthe said.
He added that it was equally important for African countries to increase trade among one another. African countries, he said, had a shared history and it was equally important for them to share solutions aimed at stimulating economic growth in the continent. “Enhanced cooperation between African countries in general and countries with the Southern African Development Community region is of critical importance in facilitating economic growth and creating employment,” said Mr Motlanthe.
￼In addition to collaboration and intra-Africa trade, the former President said that it was also of critical importance for the Government not only to craft policies, but also to create policies with implementation in mind.
“In such turbulent economic conditions that are felt throughout the world, it is of paramount importance that Government does not only come up with policies that look good on paper, but that these policies are implemented,” he said.
Mr Motlanthe commended the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), the conference organiser, for providing a platform for policy makers, captains of industry and labour representatives to come together and devise solutions aimed at ensuring that the four strategic sectors of the economy not only rise out of the doldrums, but also thrive.
“While it goes without saying that providing a platform such as the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba is of paramount importance to map challenges currently facing the economy, it is also of equal importance to monitor progress,” Mr Motlanthe concluded.
The 2nd Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba is organised and hosted by SEIFSA in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Industrial Development Corporation.
The 2016 conference line-up includes international speakers such as:
- 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;
- International Labour Organisation Acting Director Dr Joni Musabayana; and
- Zimbabwean industrialist Mr Ian Conolly.
These international speakers are in addition to senior South African leaders in business, labour and Government, including Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan who will deliver the Closing Address tomorrow and Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu, who will be the main speaker in a plenary session focusing on relations between small business and big business in the metals and engineering sector.