CEA (LBD) Accredited Companies as at 27 October 2017
SEIFSA’s Training Centre is based in the metal industry heartland of Ekurhuleni, Benoni.
The training centre has a proud history of more than thirty years of providing outstanding apprentice training results and continues to attract favourable publicity from successful partnerships and projects with the key stakeholders including government and the private sector.
The training centre is managed by Gijima, a company that has extensive experience of managing engineering training centres and converting them into centres of excellence.
The SEIFSA Training Centre is a state-of-the-art training centre that has both the resources of industry experts and equipment to offer specialised skills training. Trainees are prepared to meet the demands of industry. Aspects of productivity, problem solving and safety are included in the training.
The training offered encompasses not only apprentice training but also training and development for the following training interventions:
Companies can also request assistance and support with:
The SEIFSA Training Centre holds full merSETA, EWSETA and CHIETA accreditation as a training centre as well as NAMB accreditation as a decentralised trade test centre.
Intake dates for 2017:
27 June 2017
19 September 2017
At SEIFSA, we offer competitive remuneration, enhanced by subsidised benefits such as medical aid and pension contributions. Our work environment is highly professional, with a company culture that allows individuals the opportunity to continuously develop and enhance their personal growth, training and development, while upholding SEIFSA values.
SEIFSA employees are in control over how they do their work and are incentivised to meet agreed targets. Each employee is challenged and finds meaning from her/his contributions by continuously being able to add value in what s/he does. We also identify, honour and recognise employees.
The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) seeks to appoint an experienced Communications Manager who will be the primary contact person between SEIFSA and the media and assume full responsibility for internal and external communications within the Federation.
The successful candidate will hold a degree in Journalism, English or Communications, have worked as a journalist in the mainstream media for at least five years and have published analytical (opinion) pieces. Having contacts in the business media will be an advantage.
Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer or a designated Executive, the successful candidate will be a hard-working, conscientious person with exceptional written and verbal communications skills and good people skills. S/he will work very closely and co-operatively with all Divisional Executives, Managers and other members of staff.
The Communications Manager’s responsibilities will include:
A dependable, pro-active person who delivers solid results and leads by example, the Communications Manager will be an out-going person of unimpeachable integrity and a dependable team player. S/he will:
A transformed organisation, SEIFSA is committed to excellence and professionalism and will appoint the best possible candidate for the job.
As with any legislation that is enforceable, the OHS Act carries heavy penalties for non-compliance. In general, a fine of R 50 000.00 or one year imprisonment, or both a fine and imprisonment can be given and where there is, or could have been, a charge of culpable homicide, then a fine of R 100 000.00 or two years imprisonment, or both can be given.[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”What are the main duties of the employer in terms of the OHS Act?”]OHS Act Sect 8. General duties of employers to their employees:
(1) Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees
(2) Without derogating from the generality of an employer’s duty under subsection (1), the matters to which those duties refers include in particular:
(a) the provisions and maintenance of systems of work, plant and machinery that as far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health
(b) taking such steps as may be reasonably practicable to eliminate or mitigate any hazard or potential hazard to the safety or health of employees, before resorting to personal protective equipment
(c) making arrangements for ensuring, as far as is reasonably practicable, the safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the production, processing, use, handling, storage or transport of articles or substances
(d) establishing, as far as is reasonably practicable, what hazards to the health or safety of persons are attached to any work which is performed, any article or substance which is produced, processed, used, handled, stored or transported and any plant or machinery which is used in his business, and he shall, as far as is reasonably practicable, further establish what precautionary measures should be taken with respect to such work, article, substance plant or machinery in order to protect the health and safety of persons and he shall provide the necessary means to apply such precautionary measures
(e) providing such information, instructions, training and supervision as may be necessary to ensure as far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees
(f) as far as is reasonably practicable, not permitting any employee to do any work or to produce, process, use, handle, store or transport any article or substance or to operate any plant or machinery, unless the precautionary measures contemplated in paragraphs (b) and (d) or any other precautionary measures which may be prescribed, have been taken
(g) taking all necessary measures to ensure that the requirements of this Act are complied with by every person in his employment or on premises under his control where plant or machinery is used
(h) enforcing such measures as may be necessary in the interest of health and safety
(i) ensuring that work is performed and that plant or machinery is used under the general supervision of a person trained to understand the hazards associated with it and who have the authority to ensure that precautionary measures taken by the employer are implemented and
(j) causing all employees to be informed regarding the scope of their authority as contemplated in section 37 (1)(b).[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”What is the most critical part of the employer’s duties?”]To identify all hazards in the workplace, assess the risks associated with the hazards, determine what precautionary measures are needed to protect the health and safety of employees and others, implement those precautionary measures and train employees to work safely, following the health and safety systems, procedures and rules.[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”Do employees also have duties in terms of the OHS Act?”]OHS Act Sect 14. General duties of employees at work
Every employee at work should:
(1) Each incident occurring at work or arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work or in connection with the use of plant or machinery in which, or in consequence of which :
(a) any person dies, becomes unconscious, suffers the loss of a limb or part of a limb or is otherwise injured or becomes ill to such a degree that he is likely either to die or to suffer a permanent physical defect or likely to be unable for a period of at least 14 days either to work or to continue with the activity for which he was employed or is usually employed
(b) a major incident occurred or
(c) the health or safety of any person was endangered and where
(i) a dangerous substance was spilled
(ii) the uncontrolled release of any substance under pressure took place
(iii) machinery or any part thereof fractured or failed resulting in flying, falling or uncontrolled moving objects or
(iv) machinery ran out of control, shall, within the prescribed period and in the prescribed manner, be reported to an inspector by the employer or the user of the plant or machinery concerned, as the case may be
(2) In the event of an incident in which a person died, or was injured to such an extent that he is likely to die, or suffered the loss of a limb or part of a limb, no person shall without the consent of an inspector disturb the site at which the incident occurred or remove any article or substance involved in the incident therefrom: Provided that such action may be taken as is necessary to prevent a further incident, to remove the injured or dead, or to rescue persons from danger
(3) The provisions of subsections (1) and (2) shall not apply in respect of –
(a) a traffic accident on a public road
(b) an incident occurring in a private household, provided the householder forthwith reports the incident to the South African Police or
(c) any accident which is to be investigated under section 12 of the Aviation Act , 1962 (Act No. 74 of 1962)
(4) A member of the South African Police to whom an incident was reported in terms of subsection (3)(b), shall forthwith notify an inspector thereof.
OHS Act General Administrative Regulations Sect 8. Reporting of incidents and occupational diseases
(1) An employer or user, as the case may be, shall:
(a) within seven days of any incident referred to in section 24(1)(a) of the Act, give notice thereof to the provincial director in the form of WCL1 or WCL 2; and
(b) where a person, in consequence of such an incident, dies, becomes unconscious, suffers the loss of a limb or part of a limb, or is otherwise injured or becomes ill to such a degree that he or she is likely either to die or to suffer a permanent physical defect, such incident, including any other incident contemplated in section 24(1)(b) and (c) of the Act, shall forthwith also be reported to the provincial director by telephone, facsimile or similar means of communication
(2) If an injured person dies after notice of the incident in which he or she was injured was given in terms of subregulation (1), the employer or user, as the case may be, shall forthwith notify the provincial director of his or her death
(3) Whenever an incident arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work occur to persons other than employees, the user, employer or self-employed person, as the case may be, shall forthwith notify the provincial director by facsimile or similar means of communication as to the :
(a) name of the injured person
(b) address of the injured person
(c) name of the user, employer or self-employed person
(d) address of the user, employer or self-employed person
(e) telephone number of the user, employer or self-employed person
(f) name of contact person
(g) details of incident:
(i) What happened
(ii) where it happened (place)
(iii) when it happened (date and time)
(iv) how it happened
(v) why it happened and
(h) names of witnesses
(4) Any registered medical practitioner shall, within 14 days of the examination or treatment of a person for a disease contemplated in section 25 of the Act, give notice thereof to the chief inspector and the employer in the form of WCL 22
(5) Any other person not contemplated in this regulation may in writing give notice of any disease contemplated in section 25 of the Act, to the employer and chief inspector
A delay to report an accident or an alleged accident is a criminal offence and the Commissioner may impose a penalty on the employer which could be equivalent to the full amount of the claim.[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”What is the procedure when reporting an occupational injury?”]
The employer is liable to pay the employee 75% of his/her earnings for the first three months from the date of the injury. The employer will then be reimbursed by the Compensation Fund. Many employers still pay their employees 100% of their earnings for this period. However, keep in mind that the Fund will only reimburse 75% of monies paid to the employee.
A certified copy of the employee’s identity document must accompany the registration of a claim with the Fund. If a copy of the ID is not submitted, the claim will not be registered and will be returned to the employer. All other documentation submitted to the Fund must also reflect the employee’s ID number.
Employers will need to report the incident on a W.CL.2 form. “Part A” of the form (pages 1 and 2) must be completed as comprehensively as possible, including the date of the incident and a signature and then forwarded to the Compensation Commissioner without delay. “Part B” must be detached from the form and given to the injured employee to take to the doctor or hospital concerned.
The Fund will consider the claim when it receives the W.CL.2 form and a First Medical Report (W.CL.4). If liability is accepted, a postcard (W.CL.56) will be forwarded to the employer by mail reflecting the claim number. The employer will not be able to follow up on the progress of the claim until a claim number has been allocated.[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”I have heard about reporting an injury telephonically. How do I do this?”]
To expedite the finalisation of a claim, employers have the option to report injuries to the Compensation Fund telephonically. However, an employer must register to enable the company to report incidents telephonically. Documentation known as the TR2 Form and TR2 Card must be completed.
The advantage of reporting telephonically is that a claim number is allocated when you report the incident, long before any documentation has been mailed.[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”Is the employer responsible for transporting an injured employee to the doctor and/or hospital for further treatment, check-ups or physiotherapy?”]Yes. The reasonable expenses incurred for conveying an employee injured in an accident to a hospital or to his residence will be refunded by the Compensation Fund. The employer can agree to pay the travelling costs to the employee and then claim it back from the Fund[/faq] [faq state=”closed” question=”Does the company need to investigate these incidents?”]
(1) An employer or user shall keep at a workplace or section of a workplace, as the case may be, a record in the form of Annexure 1 for a period of at least three years, which record shall be open for inspection by an inspector, of all incidents which he or she is required to report in terms of section 24 of the Act and also of any other incident which resulted in the person concerned having had to receive medical treatment other than first aid
(2) An employer or user shall cause every incident which must be recorded in terms of subregulation
(1), to be investigated by the employer, a person appointed by him or her, by a health and safety representative or a member of a health and safety committee within 7 days from the date of the incident and finalised as soon as is reasonably practicable, or within the contracted period in the case of contracted workers
(3) The employer or user shall cause the findings of the investigation contemplated in subregulation
(1) to be entered in Annexure 1 immediately after completion of such investigation
(4) An employer shall cause every record contemplated in subregulation
(1) to be examined by the health and safety committee for that workplace or section of the workplace at its next meeting and shall ensure that necessary actions, as may be reasonable practicable, are implemented and followed up to prevent the recurrence of such incident.[/faq]
Frequently Asked Question(s) FAQ, s
The short supply of skilled staff is a serious obstacle to the competitiveness of industry in South Africa. The Skills Development Act of 1998 aims to:
• Develop skills for the South African work force;
The Skills Development Act aims to develop the skills of the South African workforce and to improve the quality of life of workers and their prospects of work.To improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers and to promote self-employment.
The levy grant scheme, legislated through the Skills Development Levies Act, 1999, serves to fund the skills development initiative in the country. The intention is to encourage a planned and structured approach to learning, and to increase employment prospects for work seekers. Participating fully in the scheme will allow you benefit from incentives and to reap the benefits of a better skilled and more productive workforce.
The Workplace Skills Plan serves to structure the type and amount of training for the year ahead, and is based on the skills needs of the organisation. A WSP should consider current and future needs, taking into account gaps identified through a skills audit, the performance management system, succession planning initiatives, and any new process or technology changes planned for the year.
Management discusses the company’s goals with employees who in turn commit to the process of achieving these goals. Management gets the opportunity to discover talent as well as skills that they did know that they had.
This report consists of all attendance registers, proof of expenditure, training provider used in this report the SETA can establish whether training was done or is in the process of being done.
A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to a nationally recognised qualification. Thus, learners is in learnership programmes have to attend classes at a college or training centre to complete classroom-based learning, and they also have to complete on-the-job training in a workplace. This means that unemployed people can only participate in a Learnership programme, if there is an employer that is willing to provide the required work experience. A Learnership is aligned to the NQF and is usually between 12 and 18 Months in duration. Learners are paid a Stipend from the applicable SETA.
The levy is calculated as 1% of your wage bill, payable monthly. All employers who are registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for PAYE and have an annual payroll in excess of R500 000 must register with SARS to pay for the skills development levy.
Each funding window has a different set of rules, which will be communicated to companies. For further details, please contact the relevant SETA.
Every employer who is liable to pay the levy must register with SARS by completing the registration form, Form SDL 101, which is available from all SARS offices. In order to register the employer must:
Levies are payable to the South African Revenue Service, which acts as a collecting agency for the applicable SETA.
The levy must be paid to SARS not later than SEVEN days after the end of the month in respect of which the levy is payable, under cover of a SDL 201 return form.
SARS will impose both interest and penalties for late or non-payment of levies.
You can use the online Skills Development Facilitator registration form via the relevant SETAs website or contact your regional co-ordinator. Your registration will be acknowledged as soon as it is processed.
PIVOTAL is an acronym which means professional , vocational technical and academic learning programme that result in a qualification or part qualification on the National Qualification Framework (NQF).
SIPS is an acronym which means Strategic Infrastructure Projects
OFO is an acronym which means Organising Framework for Occupations
The NQF is organised as a series of levels of learning achievement, arranged in ascending order from one to ten. Each level on the NQF is described by a statement of learning achievement known as Level Descriptors (below).
There is one set of level descriptors for the NQF.
The NQF is a single integrated system which comprises of three co-ordinated qualifications Sub-Frameworks. These are:
The Sub-Frameworks have qualifications registered at the following NQF levels:
Joint Chief Executive, CapitalAppreciation
Michael Pimstein has more than 30 years’ experience as a senior executive in the steel, engineering and manufacturing sector, having served most recently as CEO of Macsteel Service Centres SA, a position he held from 1999 through to 2013. He obtained a BCom Accounting degree from the University of the Witswatersrand earlier on in his career.
He has been and is a member of various government, labour and business committees that address industrial policy, growth and development plans, infrastructure requirements and investment, labour mediation and wage negotiations.
Mr Pimstein has served as President of the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa between 2006 and 2007, President of the Southern African Stainless Steel Development Association and President of the Association of Steel Service Centres. He has also served on the advisory committee of The Adopt-A-School Foundation.[/person] [/column] [column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Alph Ngapo” title=”Vice President” avatar=”images/team/Alph.jpg”]
Chief Marketing Officer, ArcelorMittal South Africa
Alph Ngapo qualified with a Diploma in Accounting in 1982 from the Institution of Administration and Commerce of Southern Africa. He obtained a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree and subsequently an Honours degree in the same discipline from the University of South Africa in 1992.
Mr Ngapo also completed a Management Development Programme from the Wits School of Business in 1992 and subsequently obtained a qualification of the same name at Darden School Business (USA) in 2005. That year he returned to the Wits Business School to obtain a qualification in Senior Management Programme. Between 2003 and 2006, Mr Ngapo was a Trainee Accountant focused on his learnership towards Chartered Accountant: Financial Management Specialism with SAICA (TOPP).
He holds a Master of Business Leadership from the University of South Africa obtained in 2010.[/person] [/column] [column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Oupa Jacob Komane” title=”Vice President” avatar=”images/team/Oupa.jpg”]
Group Employee Relations Manager, Aveng Group, Africa Limited
Oupa Komane rose through the ranks in business to become the Group Employee Relations Manager at Aveng Group Africa Limited. He holds a Supervisory Management (GIMT) qualification from Henley Management College obtained in 1977.
Mr Komane then obtained a Certificate in Effective Directorship from the Kagiso Leadership School in 1998, while embarking on his Business Management Diploma, which he then completed in 1999 though Damelin College.
In 2005 Mr Komane completed his Master of Science in Engineering Business Management from the University of Warwick. He is completing a Diploma in Human Resources Management and Practice at Milpark College.[/person] [/column][column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Pieter du Plessis” title=”Vice President” avatar=”images/team/Pieter.jpg”]
Chief Executive Officer, Atlantis Foundries
Pieter du Plessis is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Atlantis Foundries, a position he has held since July 2015. He is also the Chairman of the same foundry.
Mr Du Plessis obtained a National Diploma in Metallurgical Engineering in 1994. In 2004 he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
To keep abreast of business and industry, he obtained several other qualifications, which include and cover South African Labour Law, Advanced Foundry Technology, New Era Management, ISO9002, QS9000, and a 20 Key Master Coach Certificate.[/person] [/column] [column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Leon Viljoen” title=”Non-Executive Director” avatar=”images/team/L_Viljoen.jpg”]CEO, ABB South Africa
Leon Viljoen holds a B.Eng. (Electrical & Electronic) degree from the University of Johannesburg (previously Rand Afrikaans University) and an MBA from Henley Management College in the UK.
He has been in the power and energy business in South Africa for over 25 years, with almost 15 years in senior management positions. He started his career in 1986 at Brown Boveri Technologies as a Project Manager. He worked his way up fast through the ranks, moving over to sales and marketing, before becoming a General Manager within the Powertech group in 2000. In 2002 he became Managing Director and Chief Executive of Powertech Transformers and a Director of Powertech in 2006. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Powertech in 2012.
Mr Viljoen brings in-depth knowledge of the power and energy sectors of Southern Africa, with strong experience in managing a large group of people and complex operations. His solid knowledge of the culture and operations of ABB is a huge asset to the group as its new South African CEO.[/person] [/column]
Human Resources Executive, Murray and Roberts (Power and Energy)
An executive at Murray and Roberts, Anthony Albert Boy holds a Master of Law (LLM) Treatise obtained in 2003 from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University with a dissertation, “Dismissal for Medical Incapacity”, which was published in 2004.
Earlier in his career, he obtained an Electronics Diploma in 1978 from the College for Advanced Technical Education. Following this, he obtained a Bachelor of Administration degree from the University of South Africa in 1985.
With a passion for law, Mr Boy obtained a qualification in Labour Law earlier on in his career – in 1992 – from the University of Port Elizabeth. Subsequently, he focused on the Management Development Programme for General Managers with the University of South Africa, which he obtained in 1994.[/person] [/column] [column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Elias Monage” title=”Non-Executive Director” avatar=”images/team/Ellias.jpg”]
Executive Chairman, Arabela Holdings (Pty) Ltd
Elias Monage has extensive experience in business and is the Executive Chairman of Arabela Holdings (Pty) Ltd. His experience has seen him become the Black Business Council NEDLAC Convener and the President of CAPES. He is also a Director at Steloy Castings.
Mr Monage obtained a degree in Insolvency Law and Practice at Rand Afrikaans University (RAU) – now known as the University of Johannesburg. He has also studied Telecommunication, Regulation Policy and Management at the University of the Witswatersrand, over and above a qualification in Executive Coaching from the University of California (UC Berkely). He is currently completing a Master’s Degree in Engineering Business Management.[/person] [/column]
[column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Bukelwa Bulo” title=”Executive Director, Jade Capital Partners (Pty) Limited” avatar=”images/team/bb.jpg”]
Bukelwa Bulo is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Jade Capital Partners, a holding company focused primarily on investments in the property and industrial services sectors.
She has over 15 years of private equity investments, most of which were spent at Investec Private Equity. Through her professional career, she has obtained exposure to a wide spectrum of sectors such as industrial services, engineering, hospitality, healthcare, retail and wholesale.
Ms Bulo is a qualified Chartered Accountant (SA), obtained a qualification as a chartered financial analyst in 2004, and received alumni status at the Harvard Business School after completing a Program for Leadership Development at that institution in 2011. She is currently the Chairman of Jade Precast (Pty) Limited and a Non-Executive Director of Franki Geotechnical (Pty) Limited, Netcare Limited and Capital Appreciation Limited.[/person] [/column] [column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Mayleen Kyster” title=”Managing Director, RSC Avelo” avatar=”images/team/mm.jpg”]
Mayleen Kyster was employed in the steel industry for several years, before venturing into business. During those years, she represented the industry on various lobbying platforms such as NEDLAC, BUSA and the Department of Trade and Industry. She served as Director and Chairperson of MSI.
Now an entrepreneur in the steel industry, Ms Kyster is the owner of Africa Steel Holdings. She is the Managing Director of RSC Avelo and sits on the Boards of RSH Mining and the Northern Cape Metals Industrial Cluster.
She holds a Masters in Business Administration from North-West University,a B.Com in Accounting and a Certificate in Project Management from the University of Witwatersrand.[/person] [/column]
Kaizer Nyatsumba joined SEIFSA on 1 November 2013 as Chief Executive Officer. He has previously worked as Managing Director of KMN Consulting, Vice-President: Corporate Affairs and Shared Services at PetroSA, Group General Manager: Corporate Affairs, Marketing and BEE at Sasol Limited, Public Affairs and Communications Director at Coca-Cola South Africa, as well as Head: Corporate Marketing and Vice-President: Corporate Affairs at Anglo American South Africa. An author and previously a journalist, Nyatsumba has also worked as Political Editor and Executive Editor of The Star, Deputy Editor of The Mercury, founding Editor of The Independent on Saturday, Editor of the Daily News (the last three titles in Durban) and Associate Editor of The Independent in London.
A Certified Director (IoDSA), Nyatsumba holds an MBA from the University of Hull, a BA Honours degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC, a Post-Graduate Certificate in Economics from the University of the Witwatersrand, an Advanced Management Diploma from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon’s Institute of Business Science, a Leadership Development Diploma from the Harvard Business School in Boston and a Diploma in Journalism from the Newspaper Institute of America in New York.
Nyatsumba has served on the Boards of the 2010 (World Cup) Big Company, the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, the Anglo American Medical Aid Scheme, Business Against Crime, National Business Initiative, Tourism Business Council of South Africa and on the Council of the University of Zululand.[/person] [/column] [column size=”1-1″] [person name=”Lucio Trentini” title=”Operations Director, SEIFSA” avatar=”images/team/Lucio.jpg”]
Lucio Trentini joined SEIFSA in 1990 as an Industrial Relations Advisor. Over the last two decades, he has been involved at management and executive level at SEIFSA and has been actively involved in the leadership of the federation.
A key member of the metal and engineering industry wage negotiating team, Trentini holds a BA in Economics and Industrial Psychology, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from the University of the Witwatersrand and the Graduate School of Business Administration respectively. He also holds an Expert Negotiator Certificate issued by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).[/person] [/column]
Excerpt from SEIFSA’s 60th Anniversary publication entitled STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY published in October 2003.
South Africa’s declaration of war on Hitler’s Germany in September 1939 forged a new unity among employers in the nation’s metal and engineering industry.
Government had appointed a Director-General of War Supplies and a Controller of Industrial Manpower. Five trade unions represented a sometimes restless workforce labouring long hours under a wage freeze. Yet employers, whose industries were crucial to the war effort, could not deal effectively with either government or labour issues. They were regionally organised and had no national voice.
Born out of conferences in Bloemfontein in 1941 and Cape Town in 1942, a national umbrella organisation was formed. Its name: the South African Federation of Engineering and Metallurgical Associations (SAFEMA). Its first president was HC Gearing and first director was former journalist Fred Williams. A regionally structured council was created comprising three delegates and three alternates each from the Cape, Transvaal, Natal, Midlands and Border areas.
The first report of the SAFEMA Council noted that according to available figures the federation represented 440 employers.
In 1947, in view of vigorous growth in the industry, it was decided to revise the federation’s constitution and provide for more effective services for the increasing number of specialist national associations created in the sector. The new structure moved away from regionalism and opened the way for majority representation on the council for registered employer associations. At the same time, provision was made to ensure that regional interests were also represented.
The council was empowered to co-opt as members prominent industrialists whose knowledge and experience would be of value to the federation. And the name was changed to the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of South Africa – SEIFSA.
At the outbreak of World War II, South Africa’s engineering sector was for the most part concentrated on repair and maintenance work. The urgent demands of war brought massive expansion and technological development in the metal and engineering industry. Behind this revolution was a giant Pretoria steelworks that had started production in 1943 – lscor.
Faced with a cut-off in the overseas supply of production equipment and finished articles, South African industry rose to the challenge with remarkable ingenuity and resourcefulness. Within a few months engineering workshops were converted into efficient munitions factories and began turning out an ever-increasing range of wartime equipment and spares comparable in quality with munitions produced in Britain and the United States.
Between 1940 and 1944 factories across the country delivered:
Out of these wartime facilities came aircraft hangars, bridges, travelling cranes, barges, rock drills, pumps and valves, electric motors, transformers, field hospital equipment, ships’ stores for the British Admiralty, thousands of kilometres of telephone and telegraph wire for the signal services…the list is almost endless.
The Western Desert pipeline supplying water for Allied troops in North Africa was built largely from South African materials.
Industrial relations were also becoming more organised. In 1944 the National Industrial Council for the Iron, Steel, Engineering and Metallurgical Industries was formed – and the first national wage agreement for the industry was forged.
Peace brought not a feared recession but an explosive increase in South Africa’s metal and engineering industry. In the second half of the 1940s the number of metal and engineering undertakings grew by many hundreds – and employment soared from 76 000 to over 110 000.
Industrial production also became more sophisticated. For the first time domestic appliances and radios were made in South Africa. Brown Boveri Technologies began producing electrical power and control equipment. Significant investments were made in the production of copper and copper alloy and semi-fabricated aIuminium products
The SA Bureau of Standards opened its doors and introduced quality and performance specifications for local manufacture.
On the political front a minority Nationalist government had been voted into power by white voters in 1948, and an ominous new word was introduced to the national vocabulary – apartheid. For more than four decades the Nationalists would battle the world from their latter-day laager. Their stryd in pursuit of apartheid – later euphemistically called ’separate development’ – would play out as a human tragedy of monumental proportions. It would blight the lives of millions of South Africans.
Contrary to expectations the South African economy did not follow post-World War I pattern, and the long-awaited depression anticipated by many economists did not eventuate.
A SEIFSA book recording the evolution of the industry to 1967 notes that thanks to international collaboration, monetary controls, lease lend and financial aid to devastated and underdeveloped regions, and despite the balance of payment problems of various countries, a fairly smooth transition from war to a peace-time economy was experienced.
As the post-war recovery continued, South Africa – with its pent-up purchasing power and the need for new capital equipment and plant and a war-starved consumer market – spent freely. Imports were stepped up without regard to the balance of payments. A drain on foreign exchange reserves developed and it was necessary to introduce drastic exchange control measures.
`The exploitation of the new Free State goldfields deferred during the war was now well under way, and with the addition of income from uranium, the revenue of the mining industry increased, with an eventual easing of the country’s currency situation.’
SEIFSA president JM Russell noted in his 1950 presidential address: `Many existing plants have been expanded, affiliations have been established with overseas interests, and new plants have come into existence to produce a surprisingly wide variety of articles…which hitherto have been imported.’
Industrial relations were `amicable and constructive’. The industrial council system was working well because of `the fair-minded and intelligent perception brought to its administration by the representatives of both employer associations and trade unions.’
Despite an enduring shortage of suitable labour, prices in the metal industry were internationally competitive – and South Africa started looking to export markets.
As in the 1940s, the world in the early 1950s fell under the dark shadow of war. This time the Korean War. The distant conflict led to a shortage of many commodities on world markets and a sharp rise in prices within a few years. But after the Korean War strategic non-ferrous metals were in freer supply. The metal industry continued to expand apace. Several hundred new firms opened for business, and the workforce grew to more than 140 000. Output, measured in quantities, increased significantly.
Two influential developments were the introduction of import restrictions in 1949-50 and the opening of a second Iscor steel works, at Vanderbijlpark, in 1952. Before the end of the decade Iscor’s annual output climbed to two million tons.
Some mining groups diversified by investing in metal and engineering concerns. Local manufacturers and processors engaged in a broad range of activities and signed technical aid, licensing and `know-how’ agreements with international companies.
In the mid Fifties, the industry’s Sick Pay Fund and Group Life and Provident Fund were established, mainly for skilled workers.
Meanwhile the Nationalists had been imposing a stream of laws and regulations designed to keep white and black South Africans apart. The Black Labour Relations Regulation Act of 1953 was aimed at creating a separate labour relations system for black workers. The fundamental difference was that black trade unions could not take part in centralised collective bargaining or make use of the industrial council system. Black workers’ interests would be dealt with through a central board – controlled by whites.
The Industrial Conciliation Act became the core of South Africa’s labour relations. Apart from covering trade union, industrial council and centralised bargaining arrangements, it introduced far-reaching racial discrimination into labour affairs. Notably it prevented black workers from forming registered trade unions and barred `mixed’ unions.
These two laws entrenched racial division in the conduct of labour relationships. They were supported by other separatist legislation such as the Group Areas Act and the Influx Control Act. Before the end of the decade, the Industrial Conciliation Act was amended to introduce `job reservation’, calculated to protect white workers. Employers protested. `Such matters’, they said, `are foreign to a successful system of collective bargaining and are detrimental to the harmonious working of the industrial council system…’
Calamitously, job reservation also denied blacks technical training at a time when the country was crying out for men and women with all kinds of technical skills.
From ` Organisation and Structure of the Metal and Engineering Industries in the Republic of South Africa’, recording developments up to 1967, and published by SEIFSA.
The 1960s were the start of the ’isolation years’ as the architects of apartheid systematically painted South Africa into a corner. For industry the Sixties also became years of innovation and resilience.
In this decade, the country experienced a succession of events that divided its people even more deeply, alienated world opinion and led to intensified international pressures.
First came the massacre of 69 blacks by police at a demonstration against the humiliating and detested pass laws in the Vereeniging township of Sharpeville. The world was appalled. Government responded by banning the African National Congress (ANC) and Pan Africanist Congress (PAC).
A year later South Africa withdrew from the Commonwealth and became a republic. In 1963, at the Rivonia Trial, Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment. That same year, Transkei became the first `independent Bantustan’.
The following year government walked out of the International Labour Organisation (of which South Africa had been a founder member), and the country’s team was excluded from the Tokyo Olympic Games. Other sports protests and boycotts followed.
All this led to a flight of money. Thousands of whites emigrated, and property prices plummeted. But these events also demonstrated two things: the country still had considerable financial resources to invest in new productive capacity, and its people were extraordinarily resilient and innovative as they sought to survive the increasing isolation.
Fundamental to Fortress SA was government’s support of local industry. State departments gave preference across the board to local manufacturers. High level investigations took place to find ways of replacing imports with local products. The economy boomed, and gross domestic product (GDP) rocketed from R5 billion in 1960 to R13 billion in 1970.
The long-term import replacement and infrastructural development strategies implemented at the time still benefit South Africa today. A good example is the motor industry. Today’s booming automotive vehicle and components manufacturing industry was conceived in 1960 when the Minister of Economic Affairs asked the Board of Trade and Industries to look into ways of stepping up local content.
The `build the economy’ policy brought unprecedented spin-offs for the metal and engineering industry, which forged ahead at an average 12% during the mid-Sixties. The workforce burgeoned to 265 000.
SEIFSA’s growth mirrored the industry’s advances. By 1966 it comprised 41 autonomous employer associations representing more than 1 600 firms. Head office was in Johannesburg, and regional organisations in Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Bloemfontein. The associations were charged with negotiating wages and employment conditions with the trade unions.
Industrial progress brought new demands on the federation and, as a result, divisions were set up to deal with labour, economics, education and training, and administration.
In 1965 the Metal Industries Medical Aid Fund was launched mainly for skilled employees, and in the following year the Metal Industries Group Pension Fund was established as a non-contributory scheme mainly for unskilled employees.
The shortage of skilled labour was an abiding problem. With the formation of the National Industrial Council for the industry, control of apprenticeship training became a national function under the National Apprenticeship Board. Trade union and employer representation on the board was bolstered by members with special expertise.
By the end of 1966 some 28 000 artisans and 6 000 apprentices were at work in the industry.
While government was doing much to protect and advance domestic industry, apartheid legislation was putting all sorts of obstacles in the way of black worker advancement. Year after year SEIFSA campaigned for changes to this legislation.
At the beginning of the Seventies, for example, business concerns began to emerge about the way the Physical Planning and Utilisation of Resources Act was being applied. The aim of this Act was to limit the number of black workers in specified areas without the prior approval of the Minister of Planning. SEIFSA called for the Act to be applied in a more flexible manner as it was placing artificial restraints on the mobility and recruitment of black labour.
Furthermore, the Act inhibited the progress of black workers into more skilled job categories in an industry which had long been inhibited by a shortage of skilled white workers. SEIFSA continued working within the limitations of the law to try to overcome the skills shortage, and screened intending white immigrants applying for skilled jobs in the industry. But the intake was nowhere near enough. In 1972 an agreement was reached with the industry’s trade unions to allow black workers to advance into higher skilled (previously white) operative jobs. This was to become an evolving trend.
At the same time South Africa needed all the skills it could get, and in 1974 SEIFSA – working in terms of the Department of Immigration’s assistance framework – introduced a pilot immigration scheme that it hoped would attract 1 000 artisans. The scheme failed.
Again the industry turned to untapped domestic talent, and in 1976 the small step forward for black workers taken in 1972 was extended to included activities just below artisan level.
In Soweto resentment towards government was rising. After an instruction that half the black school syllabus had to be taught in Afrikaans, the anger exploded. On 16 June 1976, thousands rioted. In Orlando West a police bullet killed 13-year-old Hector Petersen. Government buildings and beerhalls were burned. Rioting spread across the Rand, and to the Western Cape, and by early 1977 more than 500 had died. Government responded with more bannings. Many young blacks went into exile to fight the system – and world hostility mounted.
Towards the end of the Seventies the economic tide was beginning to turn, albeit slowly, against the hard-line proponents of `separate development’. But in the industrial arena a far-reaching development took place in 1977. It was the appointment of a commission of inquiry into labour legislation – the Wiehahn Commission.
One of its commissioners was Errol Drummond, then director of SEIFSA. He told the commission that the dual labour relations system should be scrapped as a matter of urgency and that black trade unions should be permitted to take part in the industrial council collective bargaining system. He was supported by the SEIFSA president Dr JP Kearney, who stressed in his annual address that all discrimination needed to be removed from labour relations.
The federation became a signatory to the Urban Foundation Code of Employment Practice in 1978, and consequently negotiated the removal of all job discrimination and racially based provisions from the industry’s Main Agreement.
This was soon followed by a call to government to translate into law the findings of the first Wiehahn Commission report. Key recommendations were that:
The 1980s were a decade of rising rebellion – and the beginning of the end of apartheid.
Government responded to township unrest and violence, boycotts and burnings, with one state of emergency after another. Media censorship was tightened.
At the same time it sought to bolster the economy by funding ambitious infrastructure development and import replacement projects and through high tariffs and generous export incentives. Many of these projects helped sustain the industry during a stagnant global economy. In the early Eighties the production of the industry was more than R10 billion, or about a third of the country’s manufacturing output.
On the industrial relations front in 1980, two registered black trade unions became fully-fledged members of the industrial council. The next year they were joined by two more. This gave these unions equal rights with the other 10 unions in negotiations with SEIFSA, even though they were not yet fully committed to the industrial council system and saw centralised bargaining as diluting their power base.
The federation kept scoring small victories over the apartheid system by continuously re-evaluating and re-defining jobs and the skills components these required. Member companies did manage to recruit a few hundred black apprentices but this was nowhere near enough.
SEIFSA warned that barriers such as inadequate maths and science teaching and inequalities in training facilities had to be overcome. It also pressed government to expand and expedite housing for black people.
Unemployment remained a serious problem, particularly among blacks in metropolitan areas. And inflation, though lower than in some of South Africa’s trading partners, was still eroding living standards and raising the costs of corporate finance.
By 1983 the recession in the metal industry internationally was being called the worst since the Great Depression half a century earlier. Even South Africa’s distant and isolated industries were caught in the contagion.
Looking back on SEIFSA’s first four decades, its former president Graham Boustred was happy to beat the drum. SEIFSA, he said, had led the country in forward-looking industrial relations. ”We were the first major industry to eliminate completely the concept of race from our agreements and the SEIFSA minimum wage has been a target of achievement for many other industries.”
SEIFSA’s founder members expected that it would make progress in dealings with the trade unions. It had lived up to these expectations.
SEIFSA had provided a stable environment in which the industry would experience `phenomenal growth’. Thanks to a Main Agreement on employment conditions that was `a remarkable instrument’, the time lost to the industry through work stoppages had been minimal.
The federation had steered its industry to significant black advancement. The wage gap between unskilled and skilled workers had been narrowed from a ratio of 5:1 in 1961 to 2,8:1 in the early Eighties.
In the second half of the decade pressures on the Nationalists intensified, within and outside the country. Demonstrations and riots continued to wrack the townships. Troops moved into areas where rampaging youths were burning schools and shops seen as supporting the system.
Government sought to appease an increasingly hostile world by pulling down long-standing pillars of social apartheid. `Mixed marriages’ and sex across the colour line were no longer outlawed. Public amenities were opened to all, and influx controls – the hated pass laws – were abolished. A tricameral Parliament was established, with separate Houses for Whites, Indians and Coloureds.
State President PW Botha declared that these reforms showed that South Africa had `crossed the Rubicon’.
Yet the ANC, PAC and other black resistance organisations remained banned, their leaders in jail or in exile.
South Africa’s key trading partners, the European Economic Community and the United States, introduced formal sanctions. The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, signed into law in the US in October 1986, was seen by many as the final blow that would break obdurate Nationalist resistance. Yet in Nerves of Steel, his book chronicling the story of the Haggie group, Rex Gibson observed, `As it happened, though, the wound was painful but not mortal’.
Nevertheless, as it had been for communism for some time, the writing was on the wall. Anglo American chairman Gavin Relly led a high-powered business delegation to Lusaka for talks with the ANC. He and his party came home convinced that government had to free Nelson Mandela and negotiate the country’s future.
Industrial unrest and intimidation continued. Reports streamed in of illegal strike action, overtime bans and factory occupations. Union members gave their support to sanctions and disinvestment. In 1988 Numsa triggered the industry’s first national strike by 25 000 members at 120 companies. It lasted three weeks.
President Botha bowed out, to be replaced by a man widely viewed as more enlightened and flexible – FW de Klerk. The path de Klerk was to take would dramatically re-shape the nation’s destiny…
On 2 February 1990 the most famous political prisoner on the planet walked free.
The world and the majority of South Africans rejoiced at Nelson Mandela’s return from Robben Island. His people gave him an ecstatic welcome.
Other prominent detainees were also released. Banned political parties — notably the ANC were unbanned. The state of emergency was lifted and the first moves were made towards a negotiated constitution through Codesa, In 1990, too, SEIFSA and the industry trade unions reported progress in helping black employees to buy houses. The rules of the Metal Industries Group Pension Fund were amended to allow members to pledge pension contributions as security for home loans.
In a climate of tough economic conditions, escalating retrenchments and employer-union confrontation, Numsa held a controversial strike ballot. On 31 July 1992 the industry’s last big national strike of the century began. By the following week, some 80 000 Numsa members were on a strike that would last a month.
Recessionary conditions in the following year saw employment in the industry drop to well below 300 000. But in a significant pointer to better industrial relations, SEIFSA and Numsa agreed to investigate a long-term strategy to promote stability, skills and productivity in the industry — and thus move towards making it world class.
In 1994— the year of South Africa’s democracy — SEIFSA urged managements to promote the election process and a mood of confidence through programmes to educate and register employees as voters. The historic election day turnout swept the ANC and its Cosatu and SA Communist Party allies to an overwhelming victory, and Nelson Mandela to the Presidency. In the ensuing years Mandela’s adroit reconciliation skills were to astonish friend and foe — and he and the man who had ordered his release, former President FW de Klerk, shared the Nobel Peace Prize.
Through David Carson, director of SEIFSA’s industrial relations division, the federation submitted a report to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, covering events and developments affecting the industry and the organisation from 1960 to 1994.
The world had been through tumultuous times with Gorbachev and perestroika and glasnost — and had witnessed the crumbling of communism and the Soviet Union, and the rise of Yeltsin. Now, also freed of apartheid and sanctions, South African business began to look outward. Those entrusted by government with driving the economy forsook the short-term populist path of socialism for the richer rewards of free market pragmatism.
Fundamental changes took place in business, labour and skills development. A new national employer confederation, Business South Africa, was formed with SEIFSA as a founder member. The National Economic Forum and the National Manpower Commission were merged to create the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac). The New Labour Relations Act transforming labour law and industrial relations was implemented. The South African Qualifications Act introducing a National Qualifications Framework was followed in 1998 by the Skills Development Act and a system of sectoral education and training authorities known as Setas.
Since 1994 the industry unions have had equal representation with employers on the Board of Trustees of the Metal Industries Benefit Funds Administrators (Mibfa), a Section 21company controlling the industry’s pension, provident, sick pay and permanent disability funds. The combined market value of the funds is around R25 billion.
After five years of indefatigable nation-building Mandela stepped aside for Thabo Mbeki. Despite controversy over HIV/Aids and Zimbabwe, Mbeki has stayed the economic course. He has also steadfastly promoted black empowerment and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad). A disquieting trend for many business leaders has been increasing State intervention and an outpouring of regulatory legislation across a broad spectrum of business activity. SEIFSA executive director, Brian Angus, who warned in 1999 of serious economic consequences if government did not act to halt the interventionist trend, has repeated SEIFSA’s concern in 2003.The rising cost of compliance, he warns, is making South Africa less competitive — and hampering growth and job creation.
An industrial relations New Deal between employers and unions gave the new century a bright beginning. Out went the confrontational style of bargaining, to be replaced by greater mutual understanding and a more conciliatory bargaining approach. The new focus was on speedier resolution of problems and the achievement of longer term gains across a broader range of issues.
Looking ahead, Angus says SEIFSA must continue to expand its services to members on all fronts.
The following article is also an excerpt from SEIFSA’s 60th Anniversary publication entitled STRENGTH IN DIVERSITY published in October 2003.
Quality service is crucial
Brian Angus, SEIFSA Executive Director (1987 – present)
The future of SEIFSA will depend more and more on offering members totally professional, multi-faceted business services, says its executive director Brian Angus.
In addition to the broad range of services it already provides SEIFSA expects to phase in a number of valuable new services over the next few years.
Over the longer term, says Angus, SEIFSA will have to continue extending its assistance to members. In Europe, for example, some employer organisations offer members a wealth of information on business conditions and opportunities in other countries. ”It’s an area we will be going into as soon as we can, and it will be particularly valuable to smaller businesses with limited access to that kind of information.”
Looking back on his tenure as executive director of SEIFSA, Angus identifies four particularly significant developments:
When Angus became executive director in 1987, virtually none of SEIFSA’s income came from direct services to member companies. ”It became clear to me early on that we were on a one-way street to nowhere. Every year the number of employees in the industry was getting less and less yet we could only increase our membership levies on a per capita basis, and at about the rate of inflation. So our income in real terms was diminishing every year.”
The challenge for SEIFSA was to improve and expand its industrial relations, skills development and economic and commercial services. At the same time it was having to cut back severely on administration costs and staff.
”The only way out,” says Angus, ”was to become more professional and to charge for some services. Members responded positively and that not only helped SEIFSA survive difficult years in the Nineties but strengthened it as an organisation.”
He argues that an industry-wide collective bargaining levy introduced in May 2003 was fully justified. Until then, the member companies affiliated to the industrial associations under the SEIFSA umbrella were bearing the full cost of negotiating agreements that benefited all the 8 000 plus employers in the industry. The ”very modest” levy of R150 per month, payable to SEIFSA, will spread the cost burden more equitably among all those who benefit.
The levy is already proving a spur to SEIFSA membership. Non-member companies are saying: ”We don’t want to pay a levy and get nothing for it. If we join SEIFSA what services can you offer us?” Angus says the more fee-paying members SEIFSA can recruit, the more it can build up its already extensive array of services. Enhanced services, in turn, will make membership more attractive.
In years to come the industry may need to consider some changes in approach to bargaining on matters such as wages and other employment conditions. ”Internationally there is undoubtedly a shift away from centralised collective bargaining on such matters. Britain has moved away from it, and Australia is in the process of doing so. Even in Germany, which is in a sense the home of centralised collective bargaining, they are having a re-think.”
Given a fast-changing global environment, the trend is to have more matters dealt with at plant level, fewer at industry level. However Angus also believes that industry level agreements on matters such as pension and provident funds as well as training and development programmes will continue to be beneficial to both employers and unions.
Business as a whole, he adds, must work harder at improving its relationship with government. From the moment the ANC came to power its leaders have surprised many by the active way in which they have embraced free enterprise. ”They have been a lot friendlier to business than we could have expected.” But among rank and file Parliamentarians – many of them steeped in socialism – antagonism to the business establishment still runs deep.
Parliament continues to bombard business with more and more legislation. This is causing mounting concern among business leaders he notes. The cost of compliance not only makes South African products and services less competitive; it also sends out disturbing signals to potential foreign investors.
Legislators need to be reminded that in countries where central planning has been tried it has failed dismally. In countries where the State has supported and encouraged business in a hands-off way, the economy and living standards have advanced most rapidly.
At a Department of Labour strategy session in mid-2003, business representatives urged that before more legislation was contemplated the numerous recent laws should be ”bedded down”. Everything possible should first be done to get South Africans to understand and abide by the existing laws.
”Many Parliamentarians seem to think their main function is to keep changing laws and passing new ones. Solving problems comes from enforcing laws, not passing them.
”We at SEIFSA are trying to improve understanding through Business South Africa [today known as Business Unity South Africa or Busa] and other forums”
The ANC joined leaders and organisations across the continent in declaring the 21st century an African century. The decade dawned however with an emerging awareness that the transformation of a resistance movement with a high level of legitimacy into an effective government able to run the country was by no means an easy process.
As the decade of the infant democracy progressed, the high hopes of the nation began to be tempered by realism as the harsh reality dawned of the enormous challenges of mending a broken state with tremendous backlogs across the spectrum of housing, social services, education and opportunity resulting from the apartheid era.
At the beginning of the decade, SEIFSA, together with the industry’s trade unions, was instrumental in introducing a radical restructuring of both the bargaining council and the approach to wage negotiations. This entailed a decisive move away from the long-standing, confrontational bargaining stance of the past and the introduction of more collaborative and effective collective bargaining mechanisms.
This significant departure from past practice with the assistance of a skilled facilitator resulted in a landmark two-year wage deal, a programme to introduce a 40 hour work week and flexible working time arrangements for voluntary implementation at company level. Central to this so-called new deal, was a commitment to the joint formulation of an industry strategy to increase economic and employment growth in the sector. The establishment of the new bargaining relationship in the sector foreshadowed a more mature approach to future negotiations, improved relationships between the employers and trade unions as well as a sound platform for industrial stability and growth in the industry.
Numerous progressive initiatives also emerged such as the introduction of a collective bargaining levy across the industry and expedited dispute resolution processes.
In 2006, government released the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative Programme (Asgisa) aimed at promoting economic growth and halving unemployment so as to reduce poverty by 2014. The social partners engaged actively in the ensuing debates which included an analysis of the impact of the labour law framework on the employment environment.
A protracted labour law review process which started in 2006 took up a great deal of time and energy on a range of issues including the proposed restrictions on employers’ rights to use fixed-term contracts of employment.
SEIFSA continued to play a major role in Business Unity South Africa activities (the body that emerged from the previous Business South Africa) in terms of social dialogue and engagement on trade policy, skills development, employment equity, tax matters and liaison with international employer bodies.
The introduction in 2003 of the broad-based empowerment strategy sparked off years of discussion and debate. While SEIFSA supported the broad thrust of the strategy, there was concern that it could undermine the key national objective of job creation and retention through loss of support for local manufacturing.
Growing competition from China and India presented significant challenges to local manufacturing which impacted negatively on the sector. Concerns grew that China might emerge as Africa’s new coloniser in the years ahead.
A massive influx of migrants into South Africa from Africa and Asia, described as the largest mass migration in modern history, resulted in devastating xenophobic attacks leaving people dead or displaced as well as extensive destruction of property.
The year 2000 saw the implementation of the Sector Education and Training Authority (Seta) system in terms of the Skills Development Act and the Skills Development Levies Act. SEIFSA played a leading role in the establishment and management of the newly established Merseta and the introduction of the new levy/grant system.
The federation increasingly emerged as the national champion of artisan training in South Africa. Aside from committed support for artisan training at national strategic level and at sector level on the Merseta, SEIFSA became an active participant by outsourcing the management of its apprentice training centre in Benoni to GijimaAST in 2003. The centre was renamed Fundi Training Centre and quickly established a reputation as a centre of excellence.
In response to growing artisan skills shortages, SEIFSA developed and piloted an innovative accelerated artisan training programme subsequently adopted and funded by the Merseta which garnered national recognition. The federation also secured donor funding to ramp-up apprentice intake. SEIFSA funded a major expansion of the Fundi Training Centre from the reserves of the previous Metal and Engineering Industries Education and Training Fund to cater for growing demand for training.
As the decade drew to a close, the global economic crisis began to take its toll on the national economy and on manufacturing in particular. Many companies had to implement short-time working arrangements and large-scale retrenchments as they were forced to move into survival mode.
At the end of the decade, the enormous national optimism of the fledgling democracy became tempered by an awareness of the multiple challenges across the political, economic and social spectrum. Nevertheless the nation’s dream, despite the obstacles, of reaching its full potential as a global example of genuine democracy in Africa with equitable economic development and harmonious racial integration based on the ideal of Madiba’s rainbow nation remained essentially undimmed
To promote sustainable metals and engineering industries to ensure that they are strategically positioned for innovation and growth in the interests of a prospering South Africa.
To be South Africa’s most respected advocate for the metals and engineering industries in order to create innovative businesses positioned for growth and working in partnership with all stakeholders in the interests of South Africa.
To foster mutually-beneficial relationships between employers and labour in the industries and to help members develop their human capital to realise their full potential.
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Integrity is paramount to us. It informs everything that we do and how we do it.
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We embrace, value and leverage Diversity.
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We seek to do everything right the first time, with Excellence.
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We take Responsibility for our actions and treat SEIFSA’s assets with respect.
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We approach every task, however small it may appear to be, with Passion.
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We always strive to Improve our performance and to come up with new products and services.