SEIFSA’s Chief Executive Officer, Kaizer Nyatsumba, said that the decision, announced at the G-20 leaders’ summit in Hangzhou, China on Monday, was very important not only for domestic steel producers, but also for the international market. He said that it was because of the dumping of cheap, often subsidised steel mostly from China that affected stakeholders in South Africa approached the Government last year with a request for the imposition of import tariffs for steel.
The tariffs, subsequently approved by the International Trade and Administration Commission, have since been very unpopular in certain quarters, especially among downstream steel users.
“The decision by the G-20 leaders to form a global forum that will seek a solution to this challenge and report to the next G-20 summit next year is a most welcome development. The international steel glut has resulted in massive job losses in the sector around the world and the unavoidable imposition of punitive tariffs by most countries with steel production capacity.
“We can only hope that in the months and years to come, excess steel capacity will decline from its current levels of 700 million tonnes and eventually eradicated. More importantly, we hope that the current practice of subsidising steel production through interest-free loans, which makes it possible for Chinese producers to undercut their global competitors, will also give way to fair international competition,” Mr Nyatsumba said.