JOHANNESBURG, 13 FEBRUARY 2020 – Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba welcomed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s undertakings to stimulate economic growth through infrastructure investment and to crack down on the criminal syndicate that has been confronting the construction industry and other sections of business.
Commenting on the President’s State of the Nation Address, Mr Nyatsumba said there was a lot positive in the President’s speech, and the important thing now will be to ensure that there is delivery on those plans.
“Our philosophy at SEIFSA has always been that the country needs a solid partnership involving all important stakeholders, starting with the government, business and labour, to advance the country’s interests. We are pleased that the President has explicitly committed to that partnership,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He said SEIFSA was particularly pleased with the President’s declaration that a task team has been set up to target the “construction mafia” and all those who engaged in various forms of economic disruption. Also, to be welcomed was the re-statement of the commitment to fight corruption in all its forms and eliminate any remnants of state capture.
Mr Nyatsumba said the R700 billion infrastructure investment fund and the construction of Umzimvubu Dam were likely to breathe life into the near-moribund construction subsector, which forms an important part of the broader and more diverse metals and engineering sector.
“We were encouraged by the President’s direct acknowledgement that the country finds itself in a perilous state that requires all stakeholders to collaborate much more closely than ever before. We at SEIFSA remain committed to working with the Government and our labour partners, including on the finalization of the mooted Steel Master Plan,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
Other aspects of President Ramaphosa’s speech that he welcomed were the commitment to build a university of science and technology at Ekurhuleni, the commitment to make public Ministers’ performance contracts once they have been signed, the commitment to overhaul the Durban port, as well as the undertaking to enforce more rigorously designation of South African manufactured products.