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Johannesburg, 15 March 2020 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa calls on innovative companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to showcase their products and services by submitting their entries for the 6th annual SEIFSA Awards for Excellence.

South Africa’s manufacturing sector, including its metals and engineering cluster, needs innovation, among other imperatives, to stimulate industrial growth,” SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

He added that there is a growing body of work which highlights a positive correlation between innovation and industrial growth at the macro-level and between innovation and firm revenues at the micro-level.

“Numerous research studies report that the most innovative companies overall are growing significantly faster than the least innovative, with the most innovative companies recording growth levels about four times those of the least innovative companies.”

However, in spite of the evidence, South Africa remains a laggard when it comes to innovative economic growth, which is why there is an urgent need to harness the country’s untapped potential for innovation and ultimately to create jobs.

“In such a challenging economic environment, underpinned by slow growth and record-high unemployment, we at SEIFSA believe that companies operating in the manufacturing sector in general and the metals and engineering sector, in particular, should invest in innovative technological advancements if they are to benefit when the sector’s fortunes ultimately turn around for the better.”

Mr Nyatsumba said the Most Innovative Company of the Year will be awarded to a company that showed the best level of innovation in research and development or production during the period 1 July 2018 to 31 December 2019.

To be held at Summer Place in Boksburg on 28 May 2020, the SEIFSA Awards recognise excellence and honour small and giant manufacturers that excel at innovation, transformation, skills development, creating a safe working environment and embracing good business ethics and excellence.

My Nyatsumba encouraged companies to enter the awards before the 28 April 2020 deadline not only so they can be recognised and celebrated by their industry peers, but also so that they serve as an inspiration to others.

Other categories are:

  • The Health and Safety Award of the Year, will be offered to a company with the best legal compliance record in Health and Safety or the lowest Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate;
  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2018 and December 2019 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year;
  • The Environmental Stewardship Award will go to a company that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations;
  • The Artisan Award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans during that 18-month period;
  • The Best CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s between July 2018 and December 2019 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries; and
  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award category is split into two by company size: the first covers companies employing fewer than 100 people and the second one looks at companies employing more than 100 people. This, according to Mr Nyatsumba, ensures that companies are judged against their peers to encourage fairness.

Winners of the 2020 SEIFSA Awards for Excellence will be honoured on 28 May 2020.

SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 21 independent employer Associations in the metals and engineering industries, with a combined membership of 1600 companies employing around 200 000 employees. The Federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.