Johannesburg, 24 March 2018 – Doing business in a manner that focuses on creating a positive experience and satisfaction for the customer is one of the key ingredients for successful entrepreneurship. Businesses which ensure that customers are at the heart of their strategies, operations and innovation tend to do much better than those which don’t do so, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

“We live in an age where customers have so many choices. They dictate the products and services they want businesses to provide for them. Long gone are the days when companies used to dictate to the customer. This is why customer-centricity should always be at the heart of businesses if companies are to succeed and thrive in an environment where both markets and customer preferences are changing,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

He said it was for this reason, among others, that SEIFSA introduced the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence in 2015. To celebrate companies that have gone out of their ways to ensure that their customers are at the centre of their businesses, SEIFSA will present the Customer Service Award of the Year to a company rated the highest in customer service performance during the period July 2017 – December 2018.

Last year there was no winner in the Customer Service Award category because there were no entries submitted. This year, Mr Nyatsumba encourages SEIFSA members and non-members to take pride in the work they do to satisfy their customers and submit entries for this category.

“The sole purpose of the SEIFSA Awards is to celebrate excellence, be it in innovation, health and safety or customer centricity. Therefore, I would like to encourage companies which have gone out of their way to ensure that the customer is king in their businesses to submit entries for this category and allow themselves to be acknowledged and celebrated by industry peers,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Other awards that form the seven categories of the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence are:


  • The Most Innovative Company of the Year, which will be awarded to a company that showed the best level of innovation in research and development or production between July 2017 and December 2018;


  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that showed the highest transformation level in its ownership and the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team between July 2017 and December 2018 (this award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 people against others of similar size);


  • 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 between July 2017 and December 2018;


  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2017 and December 2018 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year; and


  • The Environmental Stewardship Award will go to a company that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations between July 2017 and December 2018.

Mr Nyatsumba encouraged companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the seven categories before the deadline date of 26 April 2019. Participants can enter by visiting the SEIFSA Awards website (

The Awards are open to all companies in the metals and engineering sector, and not only those that are members of Associations affiliated to SEIFSA. Awards winners will be honoured at a ceremony that will take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 23 May 2019.


SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 23 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.

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