Johannesburg, 3 September 2017 – In the face of slow economic growth and rising unemployment, South Africa needs a social compact between the government, business and labour to foster labour market stability and foreign investment, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.
Speaking ahead of this month’s Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, to be held at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 14-15 September, Mr Nyatsumba emphasized the importance of a social dialogue on matters affecting the country’s social partners.
“The recent conclusion of the three-year wage settlement in the metals and engineering sector bears testimony to the commitment to collaborate and cooperate for social benefits. SEIFSA is delighted that the wage agreement was reached without an industrial action. Companies in this sector are taking strain from various factors, including the influx of cheap imports and soft demand for exports.
“There is no doubt that any form of industrial action would have brought the sector to its knees. With the negotiations behind us, we now look forward to further collaborations with government and labour to ensure the sector’s sustainability and global competitiveness. The cooperation which led to the successful conclusion of the negotiations sent the right signals because there is a correlation between labour stability and foreign investment,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
In its third year now, the Metals and Engineering Indaba has an excellent line-up of speakers. They include ANC Treasurer-General Dr Zweli Mkhize and ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) member and former African Union Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who will deliver the Opening and Closing addresses, respectively.
In one of the sessions, delegates will grapple with the significance of a social compact in the quest for stability and investment. Speakers in that session are Minister of Labour Mildred Oliphant, Director at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes University Steven Friedman, Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Matthias Boddenberg, Cosatu General Secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, International Labour Organisation Director Dr Joni Musabayana and Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) CEO Tanya Cohen.
The 2017 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba will also feature sessions focusing on:
- Political Leadership in Southern Africa: Does it Advance or Hamper Economic Growth?
- The Continental Free Trade Area: A Reality Before The End of 2017?
- Winning Together: Can Government, Business and Labour Conclude a Social Compact in the interest of Labour Stability and Foreign Investment?
- The Automotive Production and Development Programme and the South African Metals and Engineering Sector
- The Future of Collective Bargaining
- Do Steel Import Tariffs Benefit or Hurt the South African Economy?
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