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Legal Services Retainer Package

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SEIFSA Legal now offers a retainer package that ensures our clients are well armed to minimise risk and conflict that can lead to litigation, or worse. Our objective is to become an integral part of our clients’ teams, which is essential to your strategic success.


How does a retainer package benefit my company/organisation?

  • It is a pro-active approach, therefore exposure to unnecessary legal fees is avoided
  • It allows the company to more accurately budget for legal expenses
  • It helps lessen the amount of legal fees by paying on a monthly basis instead of paying for legal assistance on an hourly basis
  • The peace of mind of knowing we are only a phone call away

The retainer includes 12 hours per month for 12 months or 5 hours per month for 6 months.


Services include:

  • Chairing disciplinary hearings
  • Unlimited legal advice
  • Preparation for arbitrations
  • Drafting of contracts
  • Interlocutory applications before the CCMA and MEIBC
  • Discounted rates for Legal representation


Standard Retainer:

  • The standard retainer agreement is available to clients at a fee of R8 000.00 per month for 6 months
  • and R6 500.00 per month for a 12 month agreement.


Special offer:

If you sign up for the 12 months retainer package before the 31 January 2016, your organisation will enjoy all the services of the standard retainer PLUS the following:

  • 1x Labour court litigation (action or application proceedings)
  • Unlimited representation at the MEIBC (For the duration of your retainer)
  • 50% discount on all unsettled disputes

If you sign up for the 6 months retainer package before the above stipulated date, you pay R1 000.00 less per month i.e. ONLY R7000.00 per month.


For more information, please contact:

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Bridgette Mokoetle
Legal Executive & Company Secretary
Direct: 011 298 9413
E-mail: bridgette@seifsa.co.za

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Thandi Malele
Legal Officer
Direct: 011 298 9452
E-mail: thandi@seifsa.co.za  

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Human Capital & Skills Development FAQ

We are a small company, our total leviable amount paid to all employees during a 12 month period does not exceed R500 000.00. In our 11 years of existence it never has and probably never will exceed. Do we still have to register and pay the Skills Development Levy (SDL)?

View Human Capital & Skills Development FAQs

Safety, Health, Environment & Quality FAQ

Why do employers have to comply with the OHS Act?

View Safety, Health, Environment & Quality FAQs

Industrial Relations FAQ

We have employees working from 06h00 on weekends. Their normal tea time is from 10h00 to 10h30 and lunch time is from 13h00 to 13h30. Some of the employees take additional breaks from 18h00 to 18h30 and then go home at 19h00. I know that according to the Basic Conditions of Employment Act they are entitled to a half-hour break for every five hours worked, but what does the Main Agreement say on this?

Economic & Commercial FAQ

What is the best indices to monitor price increase in the food /catering industry?


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Join a dynamic workplace

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. 

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International Economic and Steel Environment

The world economy is growing slower than expected, markets for the sector’s exports have also grown slower and commodity prices are lower. Export earnings in dollar terms are down, but declining oil prices are positive for lower inflation.

South Africa is struggling with a balance of payments deficit and the metals and engineering sector contributes substantially to that deficit because of its own imports, but also imports replacing domestically-manufactured goods. It struggles to compete internationally owing to cost pressures and production disruptions (labour and electricity), despite a steadily-depreciating currency.

The latest Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) economic prospects concluded that global economic recovery will remain sluggish, with moderate recovery in the UK and the US. The Chinese economy is also steadily slowing down.
The slowdown in emerging economies and risks to their outlook seem to be centred on a few characteristics. World Bank studies since 2013 have confirmed this view:

  • The Chinese and Indian economies are huge markets for commodity-rich countries; any slowdown in growth in those markets hurts global exports (South Africa’s included). Slow economic growth in Africa means lower exports from SA to the continent, which makes about 20% of South Africa’s export market, as a second-round effect.
  • The huge oil price declines have put oil exporters’ growth prospects in jeopardy. This is particularly so in Africa. Although the lower price of crude oil has a positive impact on SA’s trade balance and inflation, lower African growth means lower exports.
  • Commodity and metal price declines will also harm SA and African exports, mining expansions and demand for M&E products.
  • Accommodative actions by central banks in the developed world, with the exception of the USA, cushioned continued capital market and exchange rate disruptions in emerging markets during 2014. However, the potential impact of further monetary policy tightening in the US, through strengthening of the dollar, has been compared to a wrecking ball that could play havoc with capital flight out of countries with large external and budgetary deficits.

The SA Reserve Bank has called the prospects “decidedly uncomfortable” and warned about the impact of labour market instability – and now electricity constraints – on SA production and the exports, particularly in mining, the auto manufacturing and M&E sectors.

There is more uncertainty about current and prospective GDP growth rates for the world economy than a year ago. Although demand for the sector’s products has recovered since the financial crisis in 2008, demand growth has levelled off in unison with overall world economic growth. SA seems to have lost substantial ground in international markets during the upheaval in the aftermath of the crisis and has not been able to regain market share.

Domestic Economic and Steel Environment

The South African market represents on average about 40% of total production/sales of the M&E sector. The value of this market in 2014 is estimated to have been in the order of R190 billion. The domestic market for the metals and engineering sector depends largely on intermediate products supplied to mining (10%), construction (10%), machinery and equipment manufacturers (45%) and the auto sector (8%). Of the R190 billion SA market supplied by domestic companies, 90% were intermediary products or gross fixed capital formation in the SA economy.

The South African economic growth for 2014 is estimated to have been around 1,4%. Overall gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is expected to have grown by 3,3% during 2014. The outlook for economic growth in 2015 is around 2,5% (if not lower, depending on the electricity situation) and investment more or less the same as 2014. Expectations are that both will improve further in 2016.

Of more direct interest to the metals and engineering sector is the outlook for infrastructure expenditure (a recent report by Nedbank showed that announced projects halved since 2013), mining sector investment prospects (which have not fully recovered after the strikes last year and are hampered by low commodity prices) and the performance of the auto manufacturing sector (with mixed prospects). Imports remain a large part of supply to the SA economy.

The Position of the Metals & Engineering Sector 

Last year (2014) was disappointing, despite the fact that a better performance was expected, when compared to 2013, because of prospects for domestic and international economic recovery at the beginning of the year. Neither materialised fully and the month-long M&E strike (on top of the five-month mining sector disruptions) weighed heavily on the sector. It is estimated to have contracted by nearly 2%, producing R488 billion or R117 billion of value add during 2014. This means that its production levels are still between 25% and 30% below the peak during 2007. Employment declined, capacity utilisation remained below optimum and profitability declined.

Without demand – or the prospects of growth in demand – and idle production capacity, profits do not materialise and no investments take place. This seemed to have been the M&E conundrum at the beginning of 2015.

The Policy Environment

There has been an overload of mixed and negative signals around the country’s development challenges. Of late, the National Development Plan and the elaboration of action plans in the Medium-Term Strategic Framework have become rallying points that promise more harmony. This is to be welcomed, although the “execution deficit” or perceived deficit remains a stumbling block.

“Uncertainty” has been rising since 2005 (high growth phase and ASGISA), and since then neither elections nor new blueprints led to any significant improvement. This is an ominous sign and calls for renewed efforts to rebuild confidence. The concern is that, if not arrested, the inner contradictions and ambiguity in policy may become destructive.

Any policy response must recognise the complexity of the sector and the fact that it is highly exposed to international markets and import competition. The sector has the same domestic constraints as all other sectors, but it seems to be losing its competitiveness. The support for higher value-added products internationally seems to be overwhelming SA producers. The strategy to tax upstream (commodity and basic metal) producers to compensate for international subsidies of imported products lower down the production pipeline is not viable. The former are competitive and earning foreign exchange, while the latter are not.

The metals and engineering sector has experienced slow and unstable growth since the financial crisis in 2007. The recent demand and production disruptions through various strikes have exacerbated already alarming trends, resulting in the sector contracting during 2014.

Industrial policy is caught between threats (international competition) and constraints (domestic infrastructure and logistics). These constraints are often under-estimated as physical restrictions on business. Without secure electricity supply, production cannot expand. Therefore, the impact of policies often has the effect of compensating for these constraints, instead of stimulating performance in the sector.


2015 and Prospects for 2016

The domestic economy is expected to grow by less than 2,5% during 2015 and closer to 3% in 2016. Fixed investment is expected to grow just over 3% in 2015 and by 4% in 2016.

The SARB leading indicator has been moving sideways for some time, which is in line with previous expansion periods. The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) general confidence index shows the same patterns, also for quite a few quarters. Both of these indicate slow growth for the future, which could be exacerbated by further policy uncertainty, labour unrest and the electricity constraint.

The two general manufacturing confidence indicators show ambivalence. Actual and expected manufacturing confidence showed declines. The business activity sub-index show growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, but the December number declined strongly, indicating the first signs of the impact of the electricity constraints on the M&E sector.

Prospects for international market growth depend a lot on economic recovery in Asia (40%), EU (35%) and Africa (22%) and North America (14%) of the market. Purchasing managers’ index indicators for all these regions, except the US and the UK, have been moving sideways or declined recently. Only the US growth performance seems to be sustainable, although Asian (Chinese) growth out-performs the rest, but at a slower pace than in the past.

Not surprisingly, growth in the demand for steel and related products has been moderating recently and is expected to be about 2%, with much lower prices and heavily-contested markets.
Imports of final and intermediary products have been crowding out domestic suppliers. Domestic manufacturers in the M&E sector are also more inclined to buy components from importers, thus decreasing domestic production.

International Trade dynamics


The sector recorded an overall improvement in its trade balance with the rest of the world in 2014. It meant that the sector’s trade deficit with the rest of the world shrunk.
This net result was achieved with the depreciating rand acting as shock absorber, countering falling export prices in dollar terms (in sympathy with the depressed commodity price cycle) and sluggish international demand.

Imports became more expensive (in rand terms), caused by the exchange rate depreciation. However, imported products became cheaper (in dollar terms), also due to lower international commodity prices. The price effect (higher rand cost for imports) and lower import volume demand within SA (due to sluggish growth) had the net result of imports not growing as much as they did in the years preceding 2014.

Africa continued to be a strong export market for the metals and engineering sector during 2014, particularly Southern African Development Community and West Africa. However, Africa’s growth is likely to slow down due to continued sluggish commodity demand internationally, significantly lower oil revenues and the drastic curtailment of investment in new ventures by companies and probably governments.

Despite some respite in terms of the trade balances not deteriorating as much as before, the sector as a whole is still overwhelmed by imports, primarily from Eastern Asia and Europe. Generally this is due to low international competitiveness, which cannot be solved by a continually-depreciating exchange rate. The more complex production becomes and the greater the share of domestic input cost (labour, electricity, transport, etc.), the less competitive the industries become. This is reflected in the sector’s long-term trade balance trend.

The medium- to longer-term impact of instability of domestic production (industrial relations, electricity etc.) disruptions and, therefore, security of supply to international customers has not been discounted yet and should be of added concern for the future.

Electricity constraint and its impact on South Africa’s economic growth

There is very little doubt that reliable energy supply is of vital importance to the growth of any country’s economy. Unstable electricity supply brings business operations to a standstill and hampers long-term economic growth.

South Africa has, over the years, experienced frequent energy supply shortages. In addition, uncertainty about the security of its supply going forward as well as constant reports of delays in solving supply challenges are bound not only to impact negatively on South Africa’s already ailing economy, but also to change how the country is perceived as an investment destination.

On average, energy costs in the metals and engineering sector account for about 8% of intermediary input costs. It, therefore, stands to reason that, without reliable energy supply, the sector cannot grow. It is very unfortunate that even right now the sector cannot operate at full capacity as a result, among other things, of energy constraints.

Actual or realized economic growth in the South African economy has fallen substantially below its potential. While energy provision should support our growth ambitions, there appears to be a real danger of the two gradually drifting apart.

South Africa is now seriously in danger of falling below a 2,5% average in this decade. This is mostly owing to the fact that although the economy had grown faster in the past decade (2000/2010) than recorded during the seventies, South Africa missed the last super cycle and completely under-estimated the economy’s accelerated energy demand over this period.

As a country, we need to tackle this challenge with a single-minded determination as though we were going to war. Without a sufficient and secure supply of energy – and, in this case, electricity – it is not possible for South Africa to be globally competitive.


SEIFSA Customer Satisfaction Survey

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Dear Sir / Madam
The Steel & Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa renders a number of competitive, expert services to its members and customers inside and outside the metals and engineering sector. In order to ensure continuous improvement and constantly to offer highqualityservices, we invite you to give us your assessment of our services.

click here for the SEIFSA Customer Satisfaction Survey

Should you have any enquiries relating to the survey, please contact our Marketing & Communications Executive, Ms.Adelia Pimentel, on 0112989400 or email her on adelia@seifsa.co.za.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thank you