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Artisan Training Initiatives

SEIFSA Awards to Recognise Companies for Artisan Training Initiatives

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Johannesburg, 17 March 2019 – Unemployment –  in particular youth unemployment –  is without doubt one of the most pressing challenges currently facing South Africa’s young democracy, and is reported to have reached all-time highs of about 27% when using the narrow definition.

South Africa has identified re-industrialisation as one of the key initiatives with considerable potential not to only unlock the country’s economic growth possibilities,  but also to create much-needed jobs, particularly for young people. When it takes off, South Africa’s re-industrialisation will demand technical skills, such as those offered by artisans, among others.

“South Africa, however, does not produce a sufficient number of artisanal skills on an annual basis, compared to the skills produced by universities, universities of technology and private colleges. Chief among the reasons for this is that South Africans generally associate ‘good jobs’ with university qualifications, with skills produced by Technical and Vacational Education and Training (TVET) colleges often regarded as inferior,” Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.

“Generally, as South Africans, we tend to place too great an emphasis on sending children to universities to improve their chances of getting employed, notwithstanding the fact that every year thousands of university graduates struggle to find employment. We need to start taking TVET colleges more seriously. Artisanal skills produced by TVET colleges are often in demand but, as a country, we aren’t producing enough of them. Therefore, we need to start seeing TVET colleges as significant contributors of skills required by the economy,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

He said that it was for this reason, among others, that SEIFSA introduced the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence in 2015 to celebrate companies that have embarked on the continuous journey of developing a pool of artisans that South Africa can count on.

Mr Nyatsumba said that SEIFSA will present the Artisan Award to a company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2017 and December 2018.

Mr Nyatsumba said although there were no entries and, therefore, no winner for the Artisan Award last year, there is no doubt that there is a lot of companies out there –  including SEIFSA members – which  are doing their best as far as the training of artisans is concerned.

“I would, therefore, like to encourage companies which have heeded the call to act against high unemployment through skills development to take pride in the work that they do and to allow themselves to be acknowledged and honoured by industry players by submitting entries for this important Award category,” My 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;
  • 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 (www.seifsaawards.co.za).

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.

 

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.meindaba. seifsa.co.za

 

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.

POSITIVE GROWTH IN MANUFACTURING PRODUCTION ENCOURAGING BUT VOLATILE, SAYS SEIFSA

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Johannesburg, 14 March 2019 – The sustained positive trajectory in production of the broader manufacturing sector is encouraging but still volatile, so says Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Economist Marique Kruger.

Speaking after this afternoon’s release of manufacturing production figures by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), Ms Kruger said “although the year-on-year output had consecutively decreased in the three months leading to December 2018, production was still positively trending”. The encouraging performance has continued into the new-year as companies stay buoyant despite a generally softening domestic business confidence and business expectation. However, the volatility in the data is more pronounced when analysed on a month-to-month basis.

The latest preliminary seasonally-adjusted data published today captures a year-on-year increase in production in the broader manufacturing sector in January 2019 when compared with December 2018. Manufacturing production increased by 0,3% in January 2019 compared with January 2018. On a month-to-month basis, output in the broader manufacturing sector decreased by 2,0% percent in January 2019, compared with December 2018.

“Despite the encouraging long-term performance in the wider manufacturing sector, a major concern still remains, as the largest negative contributions in the three months ended January 2019 were made by the broader metals and machinery cluster of industries. In addition, the apprehension is that of a broad-based weakening in activity in industrial production – including the mining, electricity, gas and construction sectors impacting negatively on manufacturing, given the high level of interdependence,” Ms Kruger said.

She added that moreover, the manufacturing sector continues to face headwinds underpinned by increased volatility, low domestic demand, high petrol prices which compounds logistics costs of companies and increasing energy cost. She said encouragingly, the expansion in annual output in January 2019 provided a basis for companies to increase their capacity towards higher production and profits, driven by a firming domestic and regional demand.

“SEIFSA is confident that companies in the broader metals and engineering cluster will continue to stay resilient despite the continuous headwinds and less than required improvement in domestic demand. This is important towards ultimately growing the domestic economy and sustaining current job levels,” Ms Kruger concluded.

Ends

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.
SEIFSA Chief Economist, Dr. Michael Ade featured in Business Day Thumbnail

SEIFSA Chief Economist, Dr. Michael Ade featured in Business Day

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As we accept the reality that Eskom’s load-shedding is once more upon us, we should also shed a tear for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s noble plans to fix the SA economy, and for his investment envoys and job creation initiatives. Eskom’s decelerating profit levels and increasing inability to repay its almost R435bn debt or the compounding loan interests are worrisome.

Of greater concern is that the details of loan agreements signed between Eskom and the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim), with ample support from the China Development Bank, are shrouded in secrecy.

SEIFSA Welcomes Continuous Improvement In SA’S GDP And Urges Companies To Capitalise On Improving Local Demand To Boost Competitiveness

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Johannesburg, 5 March 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes South Africa’s continuous improvement in the gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2018, and urges companies to capitalise on improving local demand to boost competitiveness.

South Africa’s real GDP increased by 1,4% in the fourth quarter of 2018, following a revised seasonally-adjusted 2,6% quarter-on-quarter (q/q) increase recorded in quarter three of 2018. The broader manufacturing sector’s performance was equally encouraging, with the sector significantly contributing to growth in GDP in the fourth quarter by 0,6  percent.

Speaking after today’s release of GDP numbers, SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade said hitherto the South African economy had looked vulnerable and faced prospects of a continuous slowdown amid high debt and deficits, increasing production costs and unemployment. However, since the rebound in growth in quarter three 2018 from a technical recession, there is a promising basis for increased economic activity and expansion of industry activity, driven by firming local demand and promising manufacturing production.

Dr Ade said despite the improvement in domestic economic activity, there is still a need for policy consistently to support initiatives aimed at continuously improving GDP in order to ensure sustainability. This is especially given that the World Bank, the National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank all slashed their initial GDP growth forecasts for 2019, based on an increasingly difficult domestic environment.

Dr Ade said continuous support for business is vital. He said although challenges to local business operations are still prevalent and business expectation is still very volatile, the robust domestic demand will provide impetus for companies to service not only the local markets, but also the regional African and global markets, despite the additional logistics costs involved.

He said the prospects for improved international trade for South Africa are rosy, given the boost early last week by the news that US President Donald Trump granted China another amnesty on possible further import tariff hikes. In return, China promised not to depreciate its currency as a weak yuan makes Chinese exports cheaper. Dr Ade said the scenario creates a conducive atmosphere for increased South African exports which will help reverse a negative domestic trade balance recorded in January 2019.

“The slowdown in global trade war will also boost trade patterns and production patterns,” he said.

Dr Ade said in the current era where companies are increasingly making use of advance manufacturing processes – involving the use of innovative technology – to improve products or manufacturing processes, there is hope that capital intensity will also translate to higher GDP. He said while the improvement in GDP growth will ensure that in the longer term changing patterns of trade and technology are moving to the benefit of local businesses, there is a need to improve efficiency correspondingly and promote job friendliness.

“SEIFSA applauds the Government’s efforts aimed at generally supporting and reconfiguring strategic but beleaguered State-owned enterprises (SOEs), while also containing high debt levels. The initiative will also rectify the dreadful situation at several SOEs by taking decisive measures to improve governance, strengthen leadership and restore stability. The efforts which will also deal with profligacy and the corrosive effects of corruption will help in restoring the integrity of the identified institutions, which are key to the survival of the manufacturing sector, including its diverse metals and engineering cluster of industries,” Dr Ade said.

He added that SEIFSA specifically welcomes urgent interventions aimed at preventing the recent electricity blackouts by Eskom from spiraling out of control. He said the ripple effect from load shedding will inevitably place businesses under duress, discourage investment and impact negatively on manufacturing production and growth levels.

Dr Ade said continuous support for the broader manufacturing is key, especially considering that manufacturing is amongst the sectors which contributed positively to the lift in fourth-quarter GDP growth momentum, increasing by 4,5%.

He said the manufacturing sector seems to be slowly regaining its influence, as evidenced by repeated recordings of positive monthly output figures since April 2018. He said the sector is arguably the most attractive sfor job creation, with the largest indirect job creation multiplier potential, but needs more support to ignite investment and employment.

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.
Purchasing Power

SEIFSA Concerned About Further Decrease In The PPI For January 2019

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Johannesburg, 28 February 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is concerned about a further decline in the Producer Price Index (PPI) data for intermediate manufactured goods as released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today.

SEIFSA Economist Marique Kruger said the latest PPI data affirm a further decrease in selling price inflation for the sub-industries in the metals and engineering (M&E) cluster.

The data show that the annual change in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods, which is measured in factory gate prices, slowed from 5 percent in December 2018 to 3.8 percent in January 2019. The deceleration in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods is in line with a slowdown in the PPI for final manufactured goods, which decreased to 4.1 percent in January 2019, from 5.2 percent in December 2018.

“The PPI for intermediate manufactured goods is a proxy for selling price inflation in the M&E sector. A decreasing trend in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods, therefore, does not bode well for producers in the sector, who have less leeway to recover the losses incurred due to volatility in input costs, thereby preventing them from improving on margins,” Ms Kruger said.

She added that a lower trending PPI for intermediate manufactured goods was concerning, especially given the current volatility of input costs for the sector, which is captured by SEIFSA’s composite input cost index.

“A deterioration in selling price inflation has the potential of eroding the existing positive differential between input cost inflation and selling price inflation. This is disappointing news for businesses, which may not be able proceed with business operations, despite a slowly improving domestic economy,” Ms Kruger concluded.

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.

SEIFSA Awards For Excellence 2019 – Call For Entries

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Johannesburg, 26 February 2018 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) invites companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the 2019 SEIFSA Awards for Excellence – which are open to all employers in the sector, including those which are not members of SEIFSA.

 Now in their fifth year, the annual SEIFSA Awards for Excellence were born out of the need to encourage growth and celebrate excellence in the metals and engineering sector. The Awards offer a wonderful opportunity for companies operating in this crucial sector to receive well-deserved acknowledgement and respect by industry peers for their capabilities, expertise and innovation.

“In the current tough economic conditions, we at SEIFSA believe that it is critically important for those companies that excel at what they do to get the acknowledgement and recognition they so richly deserve,” SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

Entrants will be assessed on their performance in the period July 1 2017 to December 31 2018 in seven different categories, namely:

  • 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 in 2018;
  • 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 in 2018;
  • Entries are also invited from companies whose Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programme/s in 2018 had a major impact on the lives of their beneficiaries;
  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance in 2018 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year;
  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that showed the highest transformation level in ownership, the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team in 2018 (this award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 companies against others of similar size);
  • This is the Decade of the Artisan, and an award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans in 2018;
  • The Environmental Stewardship Award will go to a company that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations in 2018.

Mr Nyatsumba encouraged manufacturers operating in the metals and engineering sector to take advantage of the opportunities for recognition offered by the increasingly prestigious SEIFSA Awards for Excellence and submit their entries for the seven categories before the deadline date of Friday, 26 April 2019. Participants can enter by visiting the SEIFSA Awards website (www.seifsaawards.co.za).

Winners of the Awards will be honoured at a ceremony that will take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 23 May 2019.

RISING INFLATION A CAUSE FOR GREAT CONCERN SEIFSA

SEIFSA Welcomes Further Easing Of Inflation For The Month Of January 2019

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SEIFSA Welcomes Further Easing Of Inflation For The Month Of January 2019

Johannesburg, 20 February 2018 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes the further easing of inflation in January, as indicated by Consumer Price Index (CPI) data released by  Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) today.

The StatsSA data indicate that the annual headline CPI was 4.0 percent in January 2019, down from 4.5 percent in December 2018. The month-on-month movement in the CPI was -0.2 percent in January 2019. This bodes well for businesses operating in the metals and engineering (M&E) sector.

Speaking after the release of the data, SEIFSA Economist Marique Kruger said it was reassuring that the headline inflation now trends below the mid-point of the South African Reserve Bank’s target range of 3 percent to 6 percent, providing a basis for firm consumer demand.

This is a third consecutive decrease in headline inflation from November 2018, which is consistent with a general decrease in petrol prices over the same period.

“The continuous slowdown in prices in January 2019 is encouraging, given its extended implications on higher demand for both the final manufactured goods of the broader manufacturing sector and the intermediate goods of the M&E sector,” said Ms Kruger.

She said core inflation had been trending under 4.5 percent from January last year and it was encouraging to note that core inflation – w which excludes food, non-alcoholic beverages, fuel and energy – was 4.4 percent in January 2019, unchanged from December 2018.

“SEIFSA will continue to monitor the inflation variable because of its derived importance for the M&E cluster of industries and the broader economy. The domestic inflation trend will also be an important consideration, amongst other significant factors, when members of the South African Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee) meet in March 2019,” Ms Kruger concluded.

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
GORDHAN, NAIDOO AND DUVENAGE PRESS RELEASE

Further Decrease In Broader Manufacturing Output in December 2018 Worries SEIFSA

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Johannesburg, 12 February 2019 – The decrease in output in the broader manufacturing sector in December 2018, as released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) today, is worrying, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Economist  Marique Kruger said today.

The latest preliminary data published by StatsSA today indicated that production in the broader manufacturing decreased on a year-on-year basis in December 2018, when compared with November 2018. On a continuous three-monthly basis, output in the manufacturing sector has been very volatile, slowing down from 3.0 percent in October 2018 to 1.3 percent in November 2018 and to 0.1 percent in December 2018.

Ms Kruger said the performance in December 2018 was generally unexpected, especially after the release of promising data for the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) which increased to 50.7 points in December 2018, effectively signaling the first time that the data trended above the benchmark level of 50 in 2018.

“The deceleration in output does not augur well for manufacturers since a positive performance is imperative towards lifting the real Gross Domestic Product figures for the fourth quarter of 2018,” said Ms Kruger.

However, Ms Kruger said the expectation was for businesses to remain resilient in the face of the current difficulties, including volatility in production, subdued domestic demand and high unemployment levels.

“Hopefully, a rebound in production in January 2019 will help in clawing back lost job opportunities from the sector,” concluded Ms Kruger.

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

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.

SEIFSA Welcomes Improvement in Employment Numbers, But Remains Concerned About Apparent Trade-Off between Manufacturing Production and Employment

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Johannesburg, 12 February 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes the improvement – announced by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) today – in the unemployment numbers in the domestic economy.

The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), a household-based sample survey by StatsSA that captures labour market activities of persons aged 15-64 years, indicates an increase in jobs in manufacturing on a quarter-on-quarter basis. The StatsSA data generally capture a decrease in the unemployment rate from 27.5% during the third quarter of 2018 to 27.1% during the fourth quarter of 2018.

Speaking after the release of the figures, SEIFSA Economist Marique Kruger said the broader manufacturing sector – including its Metals and Engineering (M&E) cluster of industries – recorded employment gains of 48 000 jobs during the fourth quarter of 2018, representing a 2.8 percent quarter-on-quarter increment. However, the sector disconcertingly lost 24 000 jobs in the year, a 1.4 percent year-on-year change, despite an encouraging increase in output, highlighting an urgent need for sector-specific interventions.

The changes in employment numbers were varied in other industrial sectors. The mining sector recorded a net gain of 31 000 jobs on a quarter-on-quarter basis, adding to the net increase of 27 000 jobs year on year, while the construction sector shed 21 000 jobs on a quarter-on-quarter basis.

“The unemployment dilemma continues to be one which is difficult for policy makers and captains of industry to deal with. This is despite increased political will, as highlighted in both the jobs summit held late last year and in last week’s State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa. It is clear that efforts aimed at easing unemployment are bearing fruits, although time is needed for initiatives aimed at stabilising employment to become more effective,” said Ms Kruger.

Moreover, SEIFSA is confident that identified interventions aimed at accelerating inclusive economic growth and investment (both domestic and foreign) will improve employment numbers slightly in the medium to long term, Ms Kruger said.

 

Issued by:
Ollie Madlala
Communications Manager
Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725
Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za
Web: www.seifsa.co.za

 

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.

COSATU’S INTENDED PROTEST ACTION ON 13 FEBRUARY 2019

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INTRODUCTION

 Management will be aware, from recent media reports, that the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) is preparing for a protest action in the form of a national strike on Wednesday, 13 February 2019.

 This Management Brief provides some basic background to the issue and guidance to Management in dealing with the intended protest action.

PROTEST ACTION AND THE LABOUR RELATIONS ACT

 Cosatu has been quoted in various media reports that it would stage a nationwide strike on 13 February over large-scale layoffs at ailing State-owned firms and at private companies.

The Labour Relations Act (LRA) permits registered trade unions or a federation of trade unions, such as Cosatu, to undertake protected protest action to promote the social and economic interests of workers, provided that they observe the procedural requirements contained in Section 77 of the LRA.

It is important to note that protest action in terms of Section 77 of the LRA is only protected if the issue in dispute has been considered by NEDLAC and the applicant concerned has given to Nedlac 14 days’ notice of its intention to proceed with such protest action. In the absence of these conditions, any protest action would not be protected.

However, it has been confirmed that Cosatu has filed a Section 77(1)(b) notice with NEDLAC, advising of its intention to participate in a socio-economic strike on 13 February 2019.

The NEDLAC Section 77 Standing Committee has determined the notice to be compliant with the administrative requirements of the LRA.

Consequently, employees participating in any form of stay-away or protest activity on 13 February 2019 will be protected by the normal rules regarding protected protest action to promote or defend the socio-economic interest of workers, namely: no-work, no-pay and no-disciplinary action.

RECOMMENDED MANAGEMENT ACTION

SEIFSA recommends that Management adopts the following course of action in dealing with any stay-away on 13 February 2019:

Inform all workers that any absences related to the protest action will be treated on the following basis:

  • No work, no pay;
  • No disciplinary action;
  • A shift for leave pay and leave enhancement pay qualification purposes will be lost in respect of the day’s absence; and
  • Any overtime worked during the course of the week will be paid at ordinary rates to make up for the lost ordinary working hours on 13 February 2019.

The Staff of SEIFSA’s Industrial Relations and Legal Services Division are available on (011) 298-9400 to provide any further advice and/ or assistance to Management on the contents of this Management Brief.

 

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