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SEIFSA Innovative Excellence

Innovative Excellence To Be Celebrated At SEIFSA Awards

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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

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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 Welcomes February Rebound

SEIFSA Disappointed By Decrease In Manufacturing Output

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Johannesburg, 11 April 2019 – Preliminary data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today – which shows a reduction in manufacturing production – is disappointing, the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) said. SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade said the data, which reflects a decrease in output for February 2019, does not augur well for both the Metals and Engineering (M&E) cluster of industries and the broader manufacturing sector.

The latest preliminary data published by Stats SA indicated that production in the broader manufacturing decreased on a year-on-year basis in February 2019, when compared with January 2019. On a continuous three-monthly basis, output in the manufacturing sector has been volatile, increasing from 0.0 percent in December 2018 to 0.9 percent in January 2019, thereafter slowing to 0.6 percent in February 2019. The monthly data reflects a high level of volatility.

“The deceleration in output does not augur well for businesses in the manufacturing sector, including the M&E cluster which continuously faces headwinds underpinned by low domestic demand, unpredictable energy supply and high petrol prices. These all  add to the increasing logistics costs of companies. A positive performance is imperative towards improving the real Gross Domestic Product of the domestic economy for the first quarter of 2019,” said Dr Ade.

However, in spite of the difficult operational environment, Dr Ade said SEIFSA remains confident that companies within the M&E cluster will stay resilient and navigate the challenges posed by a spluttering economy.

SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 23 independent employer Associations in the metals and engineering industries, with a combined membership of 1 600 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 to Celebrate Companies

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

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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.
Purchasing Power

Decline In Purchasing Managers’ Index Concerning, Says SEIFSA

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Johannesburg, 1 April 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) is extremely concerned about the consistent decline in the Absa Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), Economist Marique Kruger said this morning.

The seasonally-adjusted PMI declined from 46.2 points in February 2019 to 45.0 points in March 2019, meaning that manufacturing sector prospects are slightly worse now than they were in February 2019. It is for the third consecutive month in 2019 that the headline PMI has been trending below the 50-neutral level, which separates expansion from contraction.

Ms Kruger said this rate of contraction since the beginning of the year is worrisome.

Speaking after the release of the index, Ms Kruger said the deterioration in the data was underpinned by sharp declines in the employment, inventories and business activity sub-indices, despite the promising performances from the supplier performance sub-index, which perched above the neutral 50-point mark in March 2019. She said the best performer was the supplier performance sub-index, which increased to 55.3 points in March 2019, while the worst performer was the employment sub-index, which registered 42.7 points.

Ms Kruger said generally the PMI signalled broadly no change in overall manufacturing operating conditions in the first quarter of 2019, as beleaguered businesses in the Metals and Engineering (M&E) cluster struggle to stay afloat due to increasing fuel prices and rising energy costs, which compound input costs.

“A challenging business environment makes it difficult for businesses to capitalise on the weaker rand and increase the volume of imported intermediary imports. Moreover, increasing fuel prices and input costs could impact negatively on businesses’ production and export volumes. There is a need for more sub-indices to trend above the contractionary terrain,” Ms Kruger concluded.

SEIFSA is a National Federation representing 23 independent employer Associations in the metals and engineering industries, with a combined membership of 1600 companies employing around 200 000 employees. The Federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.
SEIFSA to Honour Companies

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

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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.

 

SEIFSA Welcomes February Rebound

SEIFSA Welcomes February Rebound In PPI For Intermediate Manufactured Goods

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Johannesburg, 28 March 2018 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) data – released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) today – for intermediate manufactured goods, which reflect a rebound in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods, considered a proxy for selling price inflation for the metals and engineering (M&E) cluster, SEIFSA Economist Marique Kruger said.

The latest data indicate that the annual percentage change in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods, which is a measure of factory gate prices, increased from 3.8 percent in January 2019 to 3.9 percent in February 2019. The
month-on-month movement in the PPI for final manufactured goods was 0.3 percent in February 2019.

Ms Kruger said a weaker exchange rate continues to be the underlying driver of volatility in PPI, thereby increasing the costs of imported intermediary inputs.

“For context, the rand/dollar exchange rate depreciated by 16.7 percent year-on-year in February 2019 from R11.82/US$ to R13.80/US$. Supply constraints have also contributed to the volatility in selling prices. Increasing input costs, which include rising fuel prices and energy costs, are a concern to businesses, which find it difficult to pass cost increases into the market, given the prevailing subdued domestic demand conditions,” Ms Kruger said.

She said that an increasing trend in the PPI for intermediate manufactured goods augurs well for the broader manufacturing sector as it enables businesses to be more competitive and improve on the differential between input costs and margins.

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
Employment Numbers

SEIFSA Welcomes Gain In Employment Numbers, but Remains Concerned About High Duress and Stress Levels Facing Local Business

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JOHANNESBURG, 26 MARCH 2019 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern African (SEIFSA) welcomes the quarterly employment statistics (QES) data released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) today, which reflect gains in employment, but the Federation remains concerned about high duress and stress levels which face local business.

The StatsSA data showed that employment in the domestic economy increased by 87 000 quarter on quarter, from 10 064 000 in September 2018 to 10 151 000 in December 2018. However, there were decreases in job numbers in construction (-18 000), mining and quarrying (-7 000) as well as manufacturing (-3 000). SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade said this indicated the quandary generally faced by industrial production and construction.

Specifically, the revised estimates show that the broader manufacturing sector – of which the metals and engineering (M&E) cluster forms an integral part –  lost 0,2 percent of total employment (3 000 jobs) in quarter 4 of 2018, with employment decreasing from 1 216 000 in September to 1 213 000 in December 2018. Over a longer time-frame, between the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2017 and the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, an encouraging total of 5 000 jobs were created in the manufacturing sector, representing 0,4 percent of jobs gained.

Dr Ade said that despite the slight up-tick in domestic job numbers in quarter 4 (Q4) of 2018, the main concern about high duress and stress level faced by business still remains, underpinned by a plethora of reasons.

“Firstly, the GDP figure published earlier this month for the 2018 quarter 4 revealed weaker-than-expected domestic growth relative to quarter 3. Given the slack in economic activity and poor inventory turnover for businesses in manufacturing, businesses’ inability to sustain existing jobs over time is cause for concern and highlights the potential negative effects of subdued domestic demand conditions on employment.”

Secondly, Dr Ade said a consistent increase in businesses’ operational expenses and intermediate input costs has made it even more difficult to sustain jobs, in the process forcing companies to retrench workers and offer voluntary severance packages. The situation is compounded by the recent power outages, which are both a shock and disappointing since load shedding as a concern is not new.

Dr Ade pointed out that irregular supply of electricity, as one input which cuts across all industrial sectors, is calamitous to the economy. He said the recent load shedding will spook both local and foreign investors even further  and possibly influence Moody’s rating decision  on Friday.

“With regard to the metals and engineering (M&E) cluster of industries, the effects of load shedding on employment is dire, given the existence of energy-intensive sub-components within the cluster. Irregular power supply feeds into a cocktail of difficulties faced by small, medium and big businesses. For businesses with generators  or other uninterrupted power supply devices,  the concern has been that of unplanned expenses in keeping the generators running, given the worrisome rebound in fuel prices,” Dr Ade said.

He added that existing evidence shows that the sub-components of the M&E cluster collectively lost over 12 000 jobs from quarter 1 2017 to quarter 3 2018. Alarmingly, this translates to just under 580 jobs lost every month, over a 21-month period, thus painting a worrisome trend of plummeting job numbers between Q1 2017 and Q3 2018.

Dr Ade said employees in the cluster’s energy-intensive sub-components felt the brunt of job shedding during the same period, with basic iron and steel shedding over 2 000 jobs, structural metal products, tanks, reservoirs and steam generators cutting over 4 000 jobs, metalwork service activities losing almost 6 000 jobs and the transport equipment cluster cutting over 1 000 jobs.

“The concern is that with no immediate end to load shedding in sight, the trend of poor employment – which tapered in quarter 4) of 2018 as a result of the gain in employment –  is set to continue into 2019, with socio-economic consequences as the increasing number of unemployed people expend their severance packages and unemployment stipends from the unemployment insurance fund,” he said.

Dr Ade said while commendable efforts are made by policy makers to curb the plight of unemployment and reduce difficult business conditions, the anticipated lag effects are compounded by unforeseen costs to businesses, also impacting negatively on confidence levels. Nevertheless, he welcomed the gain in job numbers and highlighted the need to continuously improve on business expectation and business confidence, while also continuing dialogue with key stakeholders, including the rating agencies.

 

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.

SEIFSA CELEBRATES CUSTOMER-CENTRICITY IN THE METALS AND ENGINEERING SECTOR

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Johannesburg, 24 March 2018 – Doing business in a manner that focuses on creating a positive experience and satisfaction for the customer is one of the key ingredients for successful entrepreneurship. Businesses which ensure that customers are at the heart of their strategies, operations and innovation tend to do much better than those which don’t do so, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said.

“We live in an age where customers have so many choices. They dictate the products and services they want businesses to provide for them. Long gone are the days when companies used to dictate to the customer. This is why customer-centricity should always be at the heart of businesses if companies are to succeed and thrive in an environment where both markets and customer preferences are changing,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

He said it was for this reason, among others, that SEIFSA introduced the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence in 2015. To celebrate companies that have gone out of their ways to ensure that their customers are at the centre of their businesses, SEIFSA will present the Customer Service Award of the Year to a company rated the highest in customer service performance during the period July 2017 – December 2018.

Last year there was no winner in the Customer Service Award category because there were no entries submitted. This year, Mr Nyatsumba encourages SEIFSA members and non-members to take pride in the work they do to satisfy their customers and submit entries for this category.

“The sole purpose of the SEIFSA Awards is to celebrate excellence, be it in innovation, health and safety or customer centricity. Therefore, I would like to encourage companies which have gone out of their way to ensure that the customer is king in their businesses to submit entries for this category and allow themselves to be acknowledged and celebrated by industry peers,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Other awards that form the seven categories of the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence are:

 

  • The Most Innovative Company of the Year, which will be awarded to a company that showed the best level of innovation in research and development or production between July 2017 and December 2018;

 

  • The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that showed the highest transformation level in its ownership and the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team between July 2017 and December 2018 (this award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 people against others of similar size);

 

  • The Health and Safety Award of the Year will be offered to a company with the best legal compliance record in Health and Safety or the lowest Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate between July 2017 and December 2018;

 

  • The company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2017 and December 2018 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year; 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.

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.

 

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.