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A Third Consecutive Decrease

Does the NDP Still have the Potential to Turn South Africa’s Economic Fortunes Around?

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Johannesburg, 10 September 2018 – Seven years ago, the Government adopted the National Development Plan (NDP), a blueprint for how South Africa could eradicate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.  While the plan drew criticism from some labour formations, many other stakeholders – among them the business community – hailed it as a solid foundation upon which inclusive economic growth could be achieved.

But, seven years on, just how much of the plan has been implemented – and does it still have the potential to turn South Africa’s economic fortunes around?

Wits School of Business Professor Patrick Bond, Political Economy South Africa Executive Director Siya Biniza and Department of Trade and Industry Acting Deputy Director-General Dr Anneline Chetty will provide an assessment of South Africa’s implementation of important policies, including the NDP and the Industrial Action Policy Plan, at the Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre on Thursday and Friday, this week.

Speaking ahead of the Indaba, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said he remains of the view that, if implemented correctly, the NDP and its strategic infrastructure projects (SIPs) have the potential to help South Africa turn its economic fortunes around.

“The Government’s expenditure on the projects would revive industries such as construction and our very own metals and engineering, which have been in the doldrums for years. South Africa has, for a very long time, been embattled by slow growth, unemployment, the continually widening gap between the rich and the poor and most recently widespread attacks on foreign nationals that one could argue are fueled by poverty and hopelessness. The NDP, through its SIPs, has the potential to help turn the situation around,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics, among others:

  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
  • Africa is Open for Business: Is Local Manufacturing Ready to Leverage Opportunities Presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area?
  • The Economy, Labour Stability and the 2020 MEIBC Negotiations on Wages and Conditions of Employmen

The line-up of speakers includes:

  • NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim;
  • Ayanda Mngadi, Chairperson of the Manufacturing Circle;
  • Elias Monage, Executive Chairman of Afika Holdings and Member of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council;
  • Massmart and Asphen Pharmacare Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini; and
  • Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;

Mr Nyatsumba encouraged those who have yet to register for the 2019 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba to do so speedily to avoid missing out.

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

Continental Free Trade Agreement

Trade and Industry Minister to Address Delegates Attending 5th Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba

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Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel will address hundreds of delegates attending the fifth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre on Thursday and Friday.

Along with National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa Director Mike Mabasa, National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufactures Executive Director Renai Moothilal and Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Economist Dr Michael Ade, Minister Patel will provide a critical assessment of the likely impact of the new Automotive Production and Development programme on the metals and engineering sector.

In November last year, the Cabinet adopted the revamped South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM), which replaced the Automotive Production Development Programme. The plan aims to double employment in the sector from the current 112 000 to 224 000 jobs by 2035, f and position South Africa to produce 1% of global vehicles, or 1.4-million vehicles.

“There is no doubt that SAAM will have a positive impact on South Africa’s economy and jobs. The metals and engineering sector should benefit from the plan, given the fact that it is a supplier to car manufacturers. It is for this reason that we decided that it would be appropriate to invite the Minister to address delegates to the Indaba so they can better understand how our sector will benefit from the plan,” SEIFSA CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said this morning.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics, among others:

  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
  • Re-imagining Industrial Strategy and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation.
  • Africa is Open for Business: Is Local Manufacturing Ready to Leverage Opportunities Presented by the African Continental Free Trade Area?
  • The Economy, Labour Stability and the 2020 MEIBC Negotiations on Wages and Conditions of Employment

The line-up of speakers includes:

  • NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim;
  • Ayanda Mngadi, Chairperson of the Manufacturing Circle;
  • Elias Monage, Executive Chairman of Afika Holdings and Member of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council;
  • Massmart and Asphen Pharmacare Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini.
  • Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business; and
  • Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;

Mr Nyatsumba encouraged those who have yet to register for the 2019 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba to do so speedily to avoid missing out.

Issued by:

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

State Owned Companies

Are State-Owned Companies Enablers Or Blockers of Economic Growth?

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Johannesburg,  5 September 2019 – State-owned companies (SOCs) have long played a pivotal role in South Africa’s economy. Not only do they provide basic infrastructure without which  businesses cannot operate –   such as water, power, road and rail – – but they also employ millions of South Africans, thus enabling them to participate in the economy.

However, during  the last dacade, SOCs such as Eskom, Transnet, South African Airways and the SABC have been criticized for being engines that have enabled the cancer of corruption and State capture to take place. Corruption and poor corporate governance have resulted in a growing number of South Africans calling for the privatization of some of the SOCs.

But how should SOCs be turned around to be enablers to the economy? That is one of the  questions that will be deliberated upon at the upcoming Southern African Metals ad Engineering Indaba scheduled to take place on 12-3 September 2019 at the IDC Conference Centre is Sandton.

Providing answers to the questions will be the Department of Public of Enterprises,  IDC Divisional Executive: Mining and Metals Industries Trevor Arran; University of Johannesburg Associate Professor Nicholas Ngepah and SEIFSA Chief Economist Dr Michael Ade.

Remarking on this plenary session, SEIFSA CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said there’s no doubt that SOCs have a big role to play in providing infrastructure development and reducing administered  prices in the country, but added that  a whole new strategy is required to manage them more effectively.

“There is reason to believe that, managed properly,  SOCs have an important role to play in our economy, but proper governance structures and new strategies are required to ensure that they become enablers of economic growth, and not inhabitors,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics:

  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
  • eRe-imagining Industrial Strategy and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation.

The line-up of speakers includes:

  • Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition;
  • Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business;
  • Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;
  • Ayanda Mngadi, Chairperson of the Manufacturing Circle;
  • Elias Monage, Executive Chairman of Afika Holdings and Member of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council; and
  • Massmart and Asphen Pharmacare Holdings Chairman Kuseni Dlamini.

My Nyatsumba said the agenda for the 2019 Indaba was informed  by the state in which the metals and engineering sector currently finds itself.

Issued by:

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

Kaizer M. Nyatsumba

Over 200 Stakeholders Will Be Attending The Metals And Engineering Indaba On 12-13 September 2019.

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WILL YOU BE THE ONLY ONE MISSING OUT?

More than 200 stakeholders with an interest in the welfare of the Metals and Engineering Sector in particular and Manufactuing in general will be attending the Fifth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba (M&E Indaba) in Sandton, Johannesburg on 12-13 September 2019.

Will you be the only one missing out? Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to make your voice heard as South Africa grapples with various economic and political challenges. Don’t wonder what happened. Be there to make yourself heard and to watch it all unfold.

The M&E Indaba offers all stakeholders – business executives and captains of industry, policy makers and Government Ministers, as well labour leaders – a vital opportunity to discuss matters of common interest calmly, robustly and yet constructively in order to improve the performance of our sector and to revive economy.

Speakers include, among impressive others:

  • Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel;
  • Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan;
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini;
  • BRICS Business Council Chairperson Busi Mabuza;
  • Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett;
  • Department of Trade and Industry Chief Director for Africa Multilareral Economic Relations Wamkele Mene;
  • NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim and Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis;
  • Manufacturing Circle Chairperson Ayanda Mngad; and
  • National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers Renai Moothilal.
MEI 2019 Register CTA

Be part of the search for a solution to South Africa’s manufacturing challenges. You are not as powerless or helpless as you may believe. Unfortunately, challenges do not yet have the ability to resolve themselves. That is why we have to work together to resolve them. Make your voice heard. Engage. Contribute. Innovate. Sustain. Register for the Fifth Indaba, where matters of concern to you and all of us will be discussed. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to be heard.

Register now on www.meindaba.co.za, where you will also find the detailed conference programme. Key Government, business (including some of your customers) and labour leaders will be there. Don’t be the only one missing out. I look forward to seeing you at the conference at the Fifth M&E Indaba at the IDC Conference Centre on Thursday, 12 September 2019 as one of the more than 200 sufficiently concerned stakeholders.

Yours Sincerely
Signed electronically
Kaizer M. Nyatsumba
Chief Executive Officer

Kaizer Nyatsumba

SEIFSA CEO, Kaizer Nyatsumba, talks about stimulating and growing the South African Metals and Engineering Sector and the upcoming Indaba on 12-13 September.

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SEIFSA Welcomes Improvement In The GDP Data

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Johannesburg, 3 September 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes the news that the South African economy avoided a technical recession during the second quarter of 2019.

Speaking after the release of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers by Statistics South Africa today, SEIFSA Economist Marique Kruger said the improvement in the data is encouraging, especially given the need for improved business activity to ensure that companies thrive.

The Stats SA data indicated that South Africa’s real GDP increased to 3.1 percent during the second quarter of 2019, from a revised seasonally-adjusted -3.1 percent
quarter-on-quarter decrease recorded in the first quarter of 2019.

Encouragingly, the broader manufacturing sector, including its heterogenous Metals and Engineering (M&E) cluster of industries, was amongst the positive contributors to GDP growth in the second quarter, increasing to 2.1 percent and contributing 0.3 of a percentage point in the second-quarter GDP growth.

“Given that manufacturing is amongst the sectors which contributed positively to the increase in second-quarter GDP growth, continuous support for the broader manufacturing sector is crucial. Support is also needed for the mining sector, which is a key driver of the M&E sector demand, given its robust growth of 14.4 percent,” Ms Kruger said.

She added that given the continuous headwinds faced by manufacturers amid increasing operational and intermediate input costs underpinned by high logistics and energy costs, the uptick in domestic growth is encouraging to businesses in the sector. This is because the slow economic growth environment makes it increasingly difficult for companies in the M&E sector and in the broader domestic economy to plan business activities accurately in the short to medium term.

While the improvement in growth is a step in the right direction, Ms Kruger cautioned that the challenges faced by businesses are likely to prevail, given low-capacity utilisation and the recent dip in the PMI.

“There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to sustainably revive the pedestrian domestic economy and to support industrial growth and expansion. More attention should also be paid to the reconfiguration of key State-owned enterprises, which are important drivers of growth for businesses and investment.”

 

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 21 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.

Managing The Impact of Administered Prices for M&E Sector’s Survival and Global Competitiveness

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Johannesburg, 1 September 2019 – As the South African economy continues to struggle to grow, businesses in the manufacturing sector also continue to face headwinds, including increasing logistics and input costs, which impact negatively on production and job creation.

“High transportation costs, including rail and road, are increasingly adding pressure on businesses. Increasing electricity costs also impact negatively on the cost of doing business, especially for those companies  operating in the M&E cluster of industries,” Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa Chief Economist, Dr Michael Ade, said.

He said that electricity costs represent, on average, just over three percent or R14.9 billion of intermediary inputs for the (M&E) cluster and varying percentages of turnover recorded in the basic iron and steel products (10.64 percent), the basic non-ferrous metals (2.19 percent) and rubber (1.22 percent). For some basic metals companies, such as smelters and foundries, this can be a significant portion of their input costs, thereby restricting future production capacity.

In addition to continually rising transport and electricity costs, Dr Ade said that the tariffs charged at South African ports are among the highest globally. The South African port system comprises both multi-purpose ports (Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London) and specialised bulk ports (Saldanha, Richards Bay and Mossel Bay), as well as a port developed predominantly for future transshipment cargo – Ngqura. Therefore, being a multi-port authority adds to costs and also makes it hard to benchmark against other ports globally.

“Inefficiencies at the hinterland are often transferred to the ports, adding difficulties in the operating environment at ports. This invariably adds to delays and additional costs at the ports,” Dr Ade said.

He said it is very important that logistics and rising input costs are contained in order to reduce overall production costs, which may ultimately lead to more job losses and the closure of strategic industries, including those of the metals and engineering sector.

But how can we change the negative impact that administered prices have on the manufacturing sector? That is the question to take centre stage at the upcoming Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place on 12 – 13 September at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton.

Taking part in this plenary session will be Transnet Acting Group CEO Mohammed Mohamedy, Eskom Corporate Specialist for Finance and Economic Regulation Deon Joubert, EE Publishers Managing Director Chris Yelland and Energy Advisor Ted Blom.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics:

  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
  • The Industrial Policy Action Plan and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation

The line-up of speakers expected to address delegates includes:

  • Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises;
  • Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition;
  • Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business;
  • Dr Thulani Dlamini, CEO of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research;
  • Ayanda Mngadi, Chairperson of the Manufacturing Circle; and
  • Ms Busi Mabuza, Chairperson of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council.

The agenda for the 2019 Indaba is driven by the state in which the metals and engineering sector currently finds itself.

 

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

2020 Metals and Engineering Wage Negotiations: What Should Employers Expect?

2020 Metals and Engineering Wage Negotiations: What Should Employers Expect?

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Johannesburg, 25 August 2019 – The 2014 wage negotiations culminated in a month-long strike that subsequently led not only to closure of smaller companies operating in the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, but also to a jobs bloodboth that left thousands of employees jobless. The 2017 negotiations, on the other hand, yielded positive results in the form of a three-year deal, and no strike action.

What should empoyers expect from the 2020 MEIBC negotiations on wages and conditions of employment?

That  is the question that panelists taking part on the second day of the 2019 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba will focus on. Providing a preview of what to expect from next year’s wage negotiations will be Minister of Employment and Labour Thulas Nxesi, National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) General Sectretary Irvin Jim, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Operations Director Lucio Trentini, Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis and Department of Employment and Labour Chief Director Thembikosi Mkalipi, who is responsible for labour policy and industrial relations.

Commenting on this important plenary session, Mr Trentini said while employers will be hoping for a similar outcome in the 2020 negotiations to that achieved in 2017, it is worth noting that negotiations don’t take place in a vacuum.

“A number of key sectors are currently involved in respective sector negotiations; outcomes in these sectors will set the scene for what we can expect in 2020. The metal industry strike in 2014 followed strike action in the auto, motor and tyre sectors in 2013 and a five- month strike in the platinum sector. In 2016 auto, motor and tyre sectors concluded multi-term agreements without strike action, which positively influenced the outcome for the M&E sector in 2017.”

Mr Trentini added that as the 2020 negotiations get nearer, it is important to bear in mind the state that the South African economy currently finds itself in – a mostly negative economic and business environment characterized by a stagnant economy and job losses currently being experienced in the metals and engineering sector and other economic sectors.

Remarking on possible industrial action, Mr Trentini said there was hope that the amendments to the Labour Relations Act introduced last year –  which brought back the secret ballot, introduced advisory arbitration and a code of good practice on collective bargaining and default picketing rules –  will mitigate the chances of the kind of prolonged and violent strike action seen in 2014.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics:

  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
  • State-Owned Companies As Economic Enablers, Infrastructure Development and the Metals and Engineering Sector
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
  • The Industrial Policy Action Plan and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation

The line-up of speakers expected to address delegates includes:

  • Ted Blom, Energy Advisor: Energy Expert Coalition;
  • Chris Yelland, Managing Director: EE Publishers;
  • Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises;
  • Tshokolo Nchocho, Industrial Development Corporation CEO;
  • Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business;
  • Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Deputy Director General: International Trade and Economic Development Division;
  • Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Chairperson of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Accounts, and
  • Ms Busi Mabuza, Chairperson of the South African Chapter of the BRICS Business Council.

The agenda for the 2019 Indaba is driven by the state that the metals and engineering sector currently finds itself in.

 

Issued by:

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

Kaizer Nyatsumba

DON’T MISS OUT – REGISTER NOW. Among The Items On The Agenda Are The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Brics, The 2020 Wage Negotiations, Etc.

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Kaizer Thumbnail

The Fifth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba (MEIndaba), which places the spotlight on our sector in particular and manufacturing in general, is just under a month away. It offers all stakeholders – business executives and captains of industry, policy makers and Government Ministers, as well labour leaders – a vital opportunity to discuss matters of common interest calmly, robustly and yet constructively in order to improve the performance of our sector and to revive economy.

Speakers include:

  • Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel;
  • Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan;
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini;
  • BRICS Business Council Chairperson Busi Mabuza;
  • National Development Commission Secretary Tshediso Matona;
  • Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett;
  • Department of Trade and Industry Chief Director for Africa Multilareral Economic Relations Wamkele Men;
  • NUMSA General Secretary Irvin Jim and Solidarity General Secretary Gideon du Plessis;
  • Manufacturing Circle CEO Phillippa Rodseth; and
  • National Association of Automotive Components and Allied Manufacturers Renai Moothilal.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is due to deliver the Opening Address on Thursday, 12 September and Gauteng Premier David Makhura is due to deliver the Closing Address on Friday, 13 September.

Don’t miss out! Register now!!!

Be part of the search for a solution to South Africa’s manufacturing challenges.

In the past decade, the South African economy has been seriously under-performing. If nothing is done to arrest the situation speedily, things can only get worse. None of us can afford such a scenario.

What are you doing to arrest and reverse that terrible trend, which has seen manufacturing in South Africa coming under tremendous pressure from cheap, mostly Asian imports? You are not as powerless or helpless as you may believe.

Unfortunately, challenges do not yet have the ability to resolve themselves. That is why we have to work together to resolve them.

Make your voice heard. Engage. Contribute. Innovate. Sustain.

Register for the Fifth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, where matters of concern to you and all of us will be discussed.

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to be heard.

Register now on www.meindaba.co.za, where you will also find the detailed conference programme.

Key Government, business (including some of your customers) and labour leaders will be there. Don’t be the only one missing out.

I look forward to seeing you at the conference at the Fifth Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba at the IDC Conference Centre on Thursday, 12 September 2019.

Yours Sincerely

 

Kaizer M. Nyatsumba
Chief Executive Officer

Continental Free Trade Agreement

Are South African Manufacturers Ready To Take Advantage Of The Opportunities Presented By The African Continental Free Trade Agreement?

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Johannesburg, 11 August 2019 – May 2019 saw the official launch of the much-anticipated African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which not only provides access to a continent-wide market of 1.2 billion people worth $2.5 trillion, but also effectively places Africa as the world’s largest free trade zone by population since the 1995 creation of the World Trade Organisation.

The agreement which effectively breathes life into the largest trading bloc in the world enabled the creation of a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business people and investments.

“There is no doubt that the AfCFTA has remarkable potential for intra-continental trade.

The deal cuts duties on 90% of goods. It is expected to boost regional and international trade and to improve on the proportion of trade by African nations with continental neighbours,” Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

He said the deal presents a unique opportunity for South African companies to trade with those of other regions, such as in the West and Central Africa regions, where there is a dearth of trade agreements.

But just how ready are South African manufacturers to take advantages of the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA? The assessment of local manufacturers’ readiness will be discussed at the upcoming Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 12 and 13 September.

Taking part in this plenary session will be Deloitte Managing Director: Africa and Emerging Markets Dr Martyn Davies, Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett; Department of Trade and Industry Africa Multilateral Economic Relations Chief Director Wamkele Mene; Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth; and SEIFSA Vice-President Alph Ngapo.

Mr Nyatsumba said that panellists in this plenary session will also propose necessary interventions to ensure that companies operating in the metals and engineering sector are ready to take advantage of the opportunities presented and to be competitive.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics:

  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?
  • State-Owned Companies As Economic Enablers, Infrastructure Development and the Metals and Engineering Sector
  • “The New Dawn” and South Africa’s Sovereign Credit Rating
  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?
  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?
  • The Industrial Policy Action Plan and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation
  • The Economy, Labour Stability and the 2020 MEIBC Negotiations on Wages and Conditions of Employment

The line-up of speakers expected to address delegates includes:

  • Tito Mboweni, Minister of Finance;
  • Irvin Jim, General Secretary of NUMSA;
  • Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe;
  • Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises;
  • Thembinkosi Mkalipi, Chief Director: Labour Policy and Industrial Relations at the Department of Employment and Labour;
  • Tshokolo Nchocho, Industrial Development Corporation CEO;
  • Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business;
  • Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Deputy Director General: International Trade and Economic Development Division; and
  • Cas Coovadia, Acting CEO of Business Unity South Africa.

Mr Nyatsumba said the agenda for the 2019 Indaba is driven by the state that the metals and engineering sector currently finds itself in.

 

Issued by:

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