was successfully added to your cart.

Basket

Continuous Improvement in Selling Price Inflation Encouraging For Producers in The Metals And Engineering Cluster

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases | No Comments

Johannesburg, 25 April 2019 – The latest Producer Price Index (PPI) data for intermediate manufactured goods indicating a further improvement in selling price inflation in the Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector for March 2019 is encouraging, says the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA).

The data, released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today, shows that the annual percentage change in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods –  which is a proxy for selling price inflation for the M&E cluster –  improved alongside the PPI for final manufactured goods. On a year-on-year basis, the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods increased to 6.3 percent in March 2019, from the 3.9 percent recorded in February 2019. The main contributors to the annual rate of 6.3 percent were basic and fabricated metals and chemicals, rubber and plastic products. Contemporaneously, the PPI for final manufactured goods for the broader manufacturing sector also registered an increase of 6.2 percent in March 2019 from 4.7 percent in February 2019

“Against the backdrop of stalled domestic demand, unpredictable energy supply, ballooning petrol prices which add to increasing logistics costs, the improvement in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods augurs well for the sub-components of the M&E cluster, which now have more leeway to manoeuvre around high operational and intermediate costs,” SEIFSFA Chief Economist Michael Ade said.

He added that the second-round effects of fuel price increases are usually difficult for small and medium enterprises. Given that businesses in the value chain and service providers – including logistics companies – gradually pass the increases in fuel prices on to their customers, resulting in high operational costs, the improvement in PPI is encouraging.

Dr Ade said better selling prices enable businesses to improve on existing margins and it is, therefore, imperative that a positive differential between input cost inflation and selling price inflation be maintained.

 

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 Awards For Excellence

SEIFSA Awards For Excellence – Deadline Looming For Entries

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases | No Comments

Johannesburg, 25 April 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) has urged companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to make use of the remaining two days to enter 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 of a 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 of paramount importance for those companies that excel at what they do to get the acknowledgement and recognition they so richly deserve. It is against this backdrop that we encourage 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 tomorrow’s deadline date (Friday, 26 April 2019), SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

Mr 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 between July 2017 and December 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;
  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2017 and December 2018 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year; and
  • 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.
  • This is the Decade of the Artisan, and an award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2017 and December 2018;
  • The Best CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s between July 2017 and December 2018 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries.
  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award category is split into two by company size: the first covers companies employing fewer than 100 people and the second one looks at companies employing more than 100 people. This, according to Mr Nyatsumba, ensures that companies are judged against their peers to encourage fairness.

The 2019 Award 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.
Kaizer Nyatsumba

The Government and Law-Enforcement Agencies Should Protect Business from Local Thugs

By | Featured, From the CEO's Desk, Latest News | No Comments

The new tendency of pseudo-entrepreneurs demanding a stake in public tenders won by companies poses a serious threat to the country and its economy, argues Kaizer Nyatsumba.

A society’s descent into lawlessness does not happen overnight. It takes place over a number of months and years, often indirectly encouraged by authorities’ failure to take decisive, punitive action against those committing various criminal acts. Inevitably, a society whose leaders tolerate – or conveniently turn a blind eye to – any form of criminality or malfeasance deteriorates over time into a state of utter anarchy.

South Africa is not there yet, but it could easily get there if the situation is not arrested speedily.

Until recently, far too many people in this country got away with so much. As has become evident from the various commissions of enquiry currently taking place in the country, many among our political leaders and those connected or close to them have committed many vile deeds with absolute impunity. They have looted with gay abandon and lived well beyond their legal means. They have turned public office and entities into their own private fiefdoms and milked them dry.

Among the consequences, as we have witnessed in recent days, has been the rolling load shedding that has been visited upon us by Eskom and firmly consigned us to the status of a backward, third-world country. However, perhaps the most insidious consequence of the general criminality by some political mandarins has been the unwitting setting, for the ordinary citizen, of an example that it is fine – if not commendable – to cut corners, to steal and generally to break the law. After all, if putative leaders can shamelessly engage in such activities and get away with it, then, the logic will go, it must similarly be fine for ordinary citizens to do the same.

South Africa desperately needs an urgent, sustained crackdown on all forms of crime, from the most heinous to the apparently benign. That crackdown should focus as much on those in the private sector and ordinary individuals, as it should on those in the private sector. We need a sustained effort aimed at inculcating a new culture of zero tolerance for crime.

While we welcome the good work done by the various commissions of enquiry established by President Cyril Ramaphosa, we wait with bated breath to see if widespread arrests, prosecutions and convictions – especially of prominent, high-profile individuals – will follow suit. Were that to happen consistently, it would go a long way towards sending a powerful message to all and sundry not only that corruption will not be tolerated during the era of “a new dawn”, such as it is, but also that the commission of crime will inevitably lead to dire consequences for those involved.

Precisely because of the kind of example that has been set by South Africa’s political leaders and some of their reckless pronouncements on the economy, in recent years the business community has been on the receiving end of a sustained campaign to harass and intimidate it. A new breed of opportunists – some of whom call themselves entrepreneurs – has sprung up in different parts of the country to target the business community.

Routinely, they target various companies that have won tenders from the public sector and demand 30% sub-contracting of the said business to them. They unleash violence to take over construction sites and to prevent any work from taking place, unless the companies thus victimised yielded to their vile blackmail. Often, this is in addition to members of the local communities demanding to be prioritised for employment on those projects, even if they may not have the requisite skill, experience or expertise.

This terrible culture is fast spreading to different parts of the country, in the process posing a serious threat to investment. Some companies are known to have packed up their bags and walked away from tenders that they had won, while others have even reconsidered their investments in South Africa – at a time when the country desperately requires investment to grow the economy and create jobs.

Among the companies that have been terribly affected by this scourge of lawlessness have been members of employer associations affiliated to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA). Many of them have laid charges against those involved in such acts of criminality and even obtained court interdicts, all to no avail. Others, on their own or in partnership with SEIFSA, have registered their concerns with the various provincial governments and some national Cabinet Ministers.

Regrettably, none of these efforts has so far yielded positive results. Precisely because of the aforementioned culture of impunity and the general inefficiency of our police service, the thugs – who often appear to be politically connected – have continued to harass, victimize and generally terrorize the business community. In a country in which “demand” is possibly the most popular word, where everybody – including students, local communities and workers – demands something from somebody else, often the Government, these pseudo-entrepreneurs have also continued to demand, shamelessly, 30% of the value of won business opportunities.

We are not talking here about people who have sought to negotiate black economic empowerment partnerships with companies winning public tenders, or who could add some value to the companies thus cornered. Instead, these are men and women who are eager to muscle in because they can – and know that there is a high probability (if not certainty) that they will get away with it.

We in the metals and engineering sector join other sectors of the economy to call on government and the country’s law-enforcement agencies to move swiftly to bring an end to these horrible acts of intimidation, violence and economic sabotage. We fully support and champion transformation, but will have no truck with economic terrorism.

Although we have previously raised our concerns on this matter in meetings with the relevant stakeholders, including with President Ramaphosa and his Ministers during the last CEO Initiative gathering at the Union Buildings in September last year, we have not yet witnessed any change for the better. If anything, we have seen these acts of criminality spreading to other parts of the country and affecting even more of our members.

In the interest not only of our sector or the business community, but also of South Africa itself, we call on President Ramaphosa and all tiers of government to condemn this new tendency equivocally and to urge compatriots to desist therefrom, and we call on the SAPS and other law-enforcement agencies to do their work.

Kaizer M. Nyatsumba is the Chief Executive Officer of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA).

Increase In Inflation Does Not Bode Well For Beleaguered Businesses In The Metals And Engineering Cluster – Says SEIFSA

By | Featured, Latest News | No Comments

Johannesburg, 17 April 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is concerned with the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) today which reflects an increase in the general level of prices for goods and services, against the backdrop of existing volatility in fuel prices, SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade said this morning.

According to the Stats SA data, the annual CPI was 4,5 percent in March 2019, up from 4,1 percent in February 2019. The index increased by 0,8 percent month-on-month in March 2019.

“The latest inflation data is of great concern to beleaguered businesses in the metals and engineering sub-sectors and the broader manufacturing sector, which are facing continuous headwinds including rising intermediate inputs costs. Moreover, over-indebted consumers are not afforded a reprieve from oscillating petrol prices and a general rise in the prices of goods and services underpinned by a weaker rand and a difficult economic environment,” said Dr Ade.

He added that consistent and unpredictable fuel prices, increasing intermediate input costs and passive domestic demand impacts negatively on the margins of businesses, also negatively affecting profitability. Dr Ade said the difficult operational environment faced by businesses is of great concern, and the added pressure in the form of higher CPI figures is worrisome. A constant rise in the general level of prices which decreases the purchasing power of the rand does not augur well for broader manufacturing which imports the bulk of its inputs.

Dr Ade said it is also disconcerting to see that CPI data is now delicately poised at the mid-point of the South African Reserve Bank’s official inflation target range of 3 percent to 6 percent.

“Given this context, businesses still have to closely monitor petrol prices, the volatile exchange rate and the unpredictability in electricity supply, as upside changes of these variables may lead to additional costs with compounding inflationary effects,” Dr Ade 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 Innovative Excellence

Innovative Excellence To Be Celebrated At SEIFSA Awards

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases | No Comments

Johannesburg, 14 April 2019 – Amongst other imperatives, South Africa’s manufacturing sector – including its metals and engineering (M&E) cluster – needs innovation to spur industrial growth, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation (SEIFSA) said today.

Empirically, there is a growing body of work which generally highlights a strong positive correlation between innovation and industrial growth at the macro level and also between innovation and firm revenues at the micro level, the Federation said. It added that numerous research studies had reported that the most innovative companies overall were growing significantly faster than the least innovative. SEIFSA said the recorded difference for industrial manufacturing companies was dramatic, with the most innovative companies recording growth levels which were over four times those of the least innovative companies.

However, despite this empirical evidence, the M&E cluster is generally considered a laggard in innovation and technology.

“This is one of the chief reasons why we established the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence. We wanted to encourage innovation and to celebrate excellence in the metals and engineering sector,” SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

“In such volatile economic times and a challenging business environment, we at SEIFSA believe that companies operating in the manufacturing sector in general and the metals and engineering sector in particular should invest in innovative technological advancements if they are to compete successfully with international players.

“We also believe that it is of critical importance that companies that excel at what they do get the acknowledgement and recognition they deserve. This is another reason we established the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Last year, adjudicators in the Most Innovative Award category were impressed by the work done by the winning company, Denwa Engineering, which used its invention in the form of a MaMoo Trailer to design and manufacture a product with local material and labour, instead of importing from an overseas-based company at an exorbitant cost and with little value add from South Africa.

This year, winning companies will, once again, be celebrated during an annual gala dinner to be held on 23 May 2019 at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg. Entries for the Awards close on 26 April 2019 for all categories.

Along with the Most Innovative Company of the Year, the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence have six other categories, namely:

  • The Health and Safety Award of the Year, which will be awarded to a company boasting 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;
  • This is the Decade of the Artisan, and an award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2017 and December 2018;
  • The Best CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s between July 2017 and December 2018 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries; and
  • 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).

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.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.
Political Parties

POLITICAL PARTIES COMMIT TO COLLABORATE WITH BUSINESS LEADERS TO GROW ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases, Uncategorised | No Comments

Johannesburg, 12 April 2019 – The African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) today committed to continue working with business leaders to pull the economy out of the doldrums and create much-needed jobs.

The parties – represented by ANC Economic Transformation Committee Head Enoch Godongwana, DA National Chairman Athol Trollip and IFP spokesman and Member of Parliament Mkhuleko Hlengwa – addressed delegates attending the Political Parties Seminar hosted by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) at the Johannesburg Country Club this morning.

The parties collectively agreed that the stagnant economy, high levels of unemployment – particularly youth unemployment – and rampant corruption, among other socio-economic woes, were of great concern and that Government needed to work closely with the business community to address these challenges. They also agreed that there is a need for Government to work with manufacturing sector leaders to reverse the fortunes of this sector, which has over the years struggled to operate in a low-demand, and high-administered costs environment.

“The manufacturing sector is one of the critical contributors to the South African economy. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to the economy. It is, thus, important that Government continues to work closely with captains of this industry to ensure its global competitiveness and survival,” Mr Godongwana said.

In addition to working closely with the business community to grow the economy, Mr Hlengwa said Government also needed to invest in infrastructure in the form of electricity and water, among others, to ensure that businesses thrive and subsequently contribute to economic growth. He said it was also of critical importance that the Government overhauls the education system to ensure that the country produces skills relevant to the fourth industrial revolution, as required by the economy.

Mr Trollip said policy incoherence was detrimental to the economy and that the Government should do whatever it takes to address this challenge if investors were to come on board.  He said the Government also needs to continue to create sector-specific incentives that reward investing in the local economy and job creation.

 

SEIFSA to Celebrate Companies

SEIFSA to Celebrate Companies with Best Health and Safety Compliance Record at Awards for Excellence

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases | No Comments

Johannesburg, 7 April 2019 – Employees are one of the most crucial investments businesses make. Without employees, businesses – particularly in the labour-intense metals and engineering sector –  would cease to exist. It is against this backdrop that companies should continuously invest in ensuring that the environment in which employees operate is safe, so says Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba.

“Employers have an obligation towards their employees to ensure that not a single life is lost at the workplace, regardless of how hazardous the work environment is. In fact, the more hazardous the environment, the more caution employers need to exercise to ensure the safety of their workers. The injury or loss of even one life at a plant or at a site is one life too many and companies need to go out of their way to ensure that not a single life is lost at work,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

It is against this backdrop, among others, that SEIFSA established the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence to encourage and celebrate companies which take the health and safety of their employees seriously.

To celebrate companies that go out of their way to invest in the health and safety of their employees, SEIFSA will present the Health and Safety Award of the Year 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.

Last year, the Health and Safety Award was won by Babcock.  The Judges in this category said at the time: “Babcock not only completed a 1.5 million manhour project without any serious injuries, but it also displayed astounding support for both employees and management through comprehensive training and meticulous risk management.”

This year, winning companies will, once again, be celebrated during an annual gala dinner to be held on 23 May 2019 at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg. Entries for the Awards close on 26 April 2019 for all categories.

Along with the Health and Safety Award of the Year, the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence have six other categories.

  • 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 company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2017 and December 2018 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year; and
  • 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.
  • This is the Decade of the Artisan, and an award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2017 and December 2018;
  • The Best CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s between July 2017 and December 2018 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries.
  • 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);

 

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.

Voting is Your Right and Responsibility – Kaizer Nyatsumba

By | Featured, From the CEO's Desk, Latest News | No Comments

Next month, South Africans above the age of 18 will be heading for the polls. Confronting them will be a crucial decision about the country’s future, specifically the next five years.

The question confronting all of us, then, will be: whom can we trust to offer South Africa the kind of ethical, visionary and inspirational leadership that will take the country out of the morass in which it currently finds itself and bring out the very best in us as a people?

There is definitely no shortage of candidates. With each election since the dawn of our democracy in 1994, more new political parties spring up as vehicles to enable their founders to occupy cushy seats in the country’s national and/or provincial legislatures. My guess is that, even as they are conceived of by their respective founders, very rarely – if ever – are they regarded as instruments to help steer the country in the right direction. Very rarely are they formed out of a need to steer our country back onto the right path from which it has been derailed over the years.

Often, however, they are merely extensions of their founders’ egos and vehicles to enable them to enter – or stay in – politics to be able to feed from the public trough. Political parties have mushroomed as individuals have fallen out with their original parties or their comrades within those parties, and those men and women have then found themselves in need of new political vehicles to enable them to remain on the public payroll.

Thus were various political parties formed: Bantu Holomisa’s United Democratic Front and Mosioua Lekota’s Congress of the People from the ANC; Themba Godi’s African People’s Convention from the Pan Africanist Congress; Zanele Magwaza-Msibi’s National Freedom Party from the Inkatha Freedom Party; Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Front from the ANC; and, more recently, Patricia De Lille’s Good from the Democratic Alliance.

There have been some exceptions, with the main one having been the attempt in 2013 by Mamphela Ramphele to form the now-laughable Agang, out of a desire to re-direct the country back to the path chosen for it by our founding fathers and mothers during the multi-party talks at the Congress for a Democratic South Africa and the subsequent Constituent Assembly that finalized our world-acclaimed Constitution.

As a people, then, we are not without a choice on 8 May 2019. While none of the parties or their leaders is perfect, nevertheless it remains crucially important that South Africans go out in their numbers to vote during our sixth all-inclusive elections. For me, who or what they vote for is immaterial, as long as they exercise their fundamental right to vote.

SEIFSA CTA Banner political

Regrettably, there are those who, out of disillusionment with politics and politicians, have decided that participating in the elections is a waste of their precious time because it makes no real difference. All politicians, they argue, are the same: they make lots and lots of great promises but, once elected, proceed deliberately to ignore those promises to the electorate and to do what they would like to do anyway – and that, most of the time, is to mess up, plunder and steal and advance their own selfish interests instead of those of the nation.

While that disillusionment is understandable, nevertheless the decision to opt out of politics and, in the process, forego one’s right to vote is grossly irresponsible. It is laziness of the worst kind on the part of those compatriots who may be so inclined. They forget that, even if they did not exercise their right to vote, once elected, our bent politicians go out to do what they do – whether that be lying and stealing – in the collective name of “the people”. Included in “the people” are those who, myopically, may have taken a decision not to vote at all as a sign of protest against our rotten politics and its practitioners.

Our disillusioned compatriots ignore – at their peril – the simple but truthful fact that, in a democracy such as ours, it is during a time like now, when elections are around the corner, when even the simplest or poorest of voters is at his or her most powerful. It is now, in the run-up to an election, when even the most arrogant and obnoxious politician has to humble him/herself and come crawling to beg for our votes. It is now that the pendulum swings decidedly against the rich, proud, smug or vulgar politician in favour of the poor voter who, in reality, is the real repository of power.

While they may strut around proudly and make all sorts of claims about enjoying mixing with the people, the truth is that politicians do not enjoy the period that we have now entered, when they have to humble themselves and travel to every nook and cranny of the country to shake hands with our poorest compatriots, to smile and sing as they promise heaven on earth. They do not enjoy having to take trains, buses, go to taxi ranks and be exposed to some of the dirtiest streets in our townships and informal settlements to beg for votes in return for their parties’ T-shirts and sundry paraphernalia and empty promises. Nothing reminds them so strongly of the fact that the power they exercise after an election has its origin from ordinary South Africans.

Therefore, there is no time when the ordinary man and woman in the country is as powerful as now. During this period, suddenly politicians remember even those squalid parts of the country that they only ever hear about in the media once they are comfortably ensconced in office after an election.

While the decision whether or not to vote is for each person to make, I would urge every compatriot strongly to go out on 8 May to vote their conscience. I urge every South African to go out to send a strong message to our political mandarins that we, the ordinary men and women that we are, want our country back from those who have dared to steal from it, to abuse it in different ways or even to pawn it to the highest bidder/s. I ask that all South Africans go out to vote for the party or parties of their choice and, in the process, remind politicians that none of them has a God-given right to govern this country.

Regrettably, our choices continue to be confined to political parties as opposed to individuals, thanks to what was supposed to be a limited-duration deal that was struck

SEIFSA CTA Banner political

during the pre-1994 negotiations at the World Trade Centre. As a result, many of us will find ourselves having to block our noses to prevent the stench emanating from objectionable names of crooked, unethical or downright corrupt individuals on the lists of some of the parties for which we may find ourselves voting on 8 May. It is precisely because it has served the parties well that we continue to have this obnoxious system in place, when we should long have had a system by now that combines both constituency representation and proportional representation.

One is encouraged by the fact that there is, on the court roll somewhere in the country, a case seeking to assert our rights as citizens to vote for men and women of our choice, who will stand as individual candidates and represent specific constituencies, as opposed to voting – as we now do – for political parties, with absolutely no say in who they include on their precious lists. It is crucially important that civil society – through organisations like the Helen Suzman Foundation, Freedom Under Law, the Council for the Advancement of the Constitution, etc. – take this fight up in our country’s courts after the forthcoming elections to re-assert our rights to vote for men and women of our choice, rather than parties which, once elected, have little or absolutely no obeisance to the electorate.

Were we sufficiently respected, as citizens, to vote directly for the President of the country, as opposed to leaving this important responsibility to political parties to choose one of their own in Parliament to become our Head of State, the choice confronting us on 8 May would be much easier. Many among us would find it easy to vote for Cyril Ramaphosa as President, without simultaneously feeling guilty that our vote for him, through his party, will also be a vote for men and women of questionable integrity on his party’s lists.

That shortcoming notwithstanding, it remains very important for all adult compatriots to go out to vote with their minds – and not their hearts – on 8 May. We should do so with a view to producing whatever we may consider the best possible outcome for the country and its nine provinces. For me, such an outcome will be one in which no party ever feels entitled to govern, or feels that it can take the electorate for granted because, regardless of its performance while in office, it can always be assured of victory at the next polls.

In addition to their own responsibility to go out to vote on election day, business leaders must also encourage their employees to do so, and ensure that they have ample time to do so.

Let us go out and re-shape South Africa’s fate on 8 May and take responsibility for our actions and decisions, and refrain from for ever bleating afterwards – as is typical of South Africans – as though collectively we are powerless as a people. The power resides firmly in our hands. Let us use it on 8 May and make ourselves unmistakably heard. Only then will politicians ever take us seriously.

Kaizer M. Nyatsumba

Chief Executive Officer

SEIFSA CTA Banner political
SEIFSA to Honour Companies

SEIFSA to Honour Companies Advancing Transformation In The Metals and Engineering Sector

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases | No Comments

JOHANNESBURG, 31 March 2019 – Almost two decades   have passed since South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment policy was first introduced, yet transformation  in the metals and engineering sector is still painfully slow, with the sector ranking amongst the least transformed in the economy.

“Transformation is of paramount importance to South Africa’s future and sustainability. Companies in the metals and engineering sector have begun to embrace transformation, albeit at a painfully slow pace,” SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

He said it was against this backdrop that SEIFSA continues to advocate for transformation within the sector and, through the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence, also continues to celebrate companies that have gone out of their way to embrace transformation.

“We, therefore, call upon companies that have embraced transformation in the metals and engineering sector to submit entries for the Most Transformed Company of the Year category of the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence.”

Mr Nyatsumba said the accolade is awarded to the most transformed company in terms of ownership, the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Management Team in the period July 2017 to December 2018.

The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award category is split into two by company size: the first covers companies employing fewer than 100 people and the second one looks at companies employing more than 100 people. This, according to Mr Nyatsumba, ensures that companies are judged against their peers to encourage fairness.

Last year’s winner in this category was Weir Minerals, which had embraced the challenges of the amended Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Code, with a firm commitment to using its skills development initiatives as a cornerstone of its transformation agenda.

This year, the winning company will, once again, be celebrated during an annual gala dinner to be held on 23 May 2019 at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton, Johannesburg.  Entries for the Awards close on 26 April 2019 for all categories.

Along with the Most Transformed Company of the Year Award, the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence have six other categories.

The other categories 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 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; and
  • 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.
  • This is the Decade of the Artisan, and an award will be made to the company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2017 and December 2018;
  • The Best CSI Award will be presented to a company whose corporate social investment programme/s between July 2017 and December 2018 had a major impact on the lives of its beneficiaries.

Mr Nyatsumba has encouraged manufacturers operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the seven categories as soon as possible. The Awards are open to all companies in the sector, both SEIFSA members and non-members.

Ends

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.
RESERVE BANK’S DECISION

RESERVE BANK’S DECISION TO LEAVE REPO RATE UNCHANGED IS WELCOME, BUT A 25 BASIS POINT CUT WOULD HAVE BEEN PREFERABLE, SAYS SEIFSA

By | Featured, Latest News, Press Releases, SEIFSA News - Press Releases 2015 | No Comments

Johannesburg, 28 MARCH 2019 – The decision by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB)  to leave the repo rate unchanged at 6,75% is to be welcome, although a 25 basis point cut would have been preferable, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Economist Marique Kruger said today.

Commenting after the announcement of SARB’s decision to leave the repo and primate rates unchanged at 6,75% and 10,25% respectively, Ms Kruger said the Bank’s decision would provide relief to beleaguered business and individuals alike.

Ms Kruger said the Bank’s decision was particularly critical, given the need for South Africa to be ultra-cautious of heightened exchange rate volatility, which may arise after Moody’s rating agency makes a decision on the country’s sovereign credit rating tomorrow (Friday). She said Moody’s is expected to keep its outlook unchanged, despite the recent episodes of power outages, and that a downgrade may risk damaging a rebounding South African economy which is just coming out of a technical recession.

“Despite the decision to leave the repo rate unchanged, a 25 basis points cut at this very difficult time for businesses would have been helpful. A further rate cut would have helped in alleviating both the first-round and second-round effects of load shedding to businesses and consumers alike. The first-round impact arises from a direct increase in electricity spending by both companies and consumers, while the second-round impact arises from inflationary pressure – in the form of rising prices – of all other intermediary goods that are produced with electricity as an essential intermediate input,” Ms Kruger said  

She said a rate cut would have been a sensible decision for companies in the metals and engineering cluster, given the fact that demand for the intermediate goods produced in the cluster is a derived demand and the sector is very sensitive to exogenous demand and supply shocks. She added that the present scenario of subdued domestic growth, volatile production and selling prices (including low consumer and business confidence) does not provide comfort to both direct and anchor investors.

“However, SEIFSA still welcomes the decision to leave the rate unchanged as it augurs well for businesses and consumers in the medium term,” said Ms Kruger.

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.