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Johannesburg, 25 July 2018 – Delegates attending the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 20 and 21 September will have an opportunity to influence economic policies that have a direct impact on the businesses they operate.

The Indaba, now in its fourth year of existence, is organized and hosted annually by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), and its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors t not only to discuss the challenges facing the sector, but also to collaborate in a search for sustainable solutions for manufacturing in general and the metals and engineering sector in particular.

SEIFSA Chief Executive Officer Kaizer Nyatsumba said the Indaba will afford its participants an invaluable opportunity to influence policy by adopting conference resolutions that SEIFSA – in collaboration with other business bodies and stakeholders like labour  partners – will lobby policy makers on.

During the 2015 inaugural Indaba, delegates adopted resolutions which included expressing serious concerns about the awarding of tenders by State-owned enterprises to foreign companies when local businesses can manufacture the same product, calling on the Government to impose necessary tariffs to protect local manufacturers from cheap, subsidized Asian imports as well as calling on the Government to reconsider its position on the introduction of the carbon taxes in South Africa. Conference delegates argued that the introduction of such a tax would impose additional costs to business, harm the economy and impact negatively on jobs at a time when South Africa badly needed more jobs to be created.

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Although the proposed legislation on carbon taxes has not been rescinded, it has not yet been implemented.

“While one cannot argue that the battle against the awarding of tenders to foreign-owned companies has been won, we can say proudly that SEIFSA, in collaboration with other stakeholders, came out victorious in its plea to Government to introduce the 10% tariff against imported steel. We can also say that we, again in partnership with other stakeholders, have managed to delay the introduction of the carbon tax.

“It follows, therefore, that the adoption of the resolutions during the conference gave a strong indication of the sector’s sentiment on those issues. That is why we will again provide an opportunity for the conference to make resolutions on important issues this year,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Some of the topics that will take centre stage during the 2018 Indaba include:

  • Working Together to Improve South Africa’s Sovereign Credit Rating
  • Public Corruption and Corporate Malfeasance in South Africa: What Needs to Be Done to End or Contain It?
  • The Continental Free Trade Area: How Much Progress Has Been Made to Date?
  • How much of the National Development Plan has been implemented – and is it still relevant?
  • Exploring and Leveraging the Link Between the Metals and Engineering Sector and the Mining, Construction and Auto Manufacturing Industries
  • Constraints to investing in the Metals and Engineering Sector and improving trade on the African continent
  • Radical Economic Transformation, the Black Industrialists Programme and the Metals and Engineering Sector
  • Innovation and Excellence as Strategic Levers for Global Competitiveness
  • The Manufacturing Circle’s “Map to a Million New Jobs in a Decade”: A Realistic Plan or An Empty Promise?

Administered Prices As Factors Negatively Affecting South Africa’s International Competitiveness: Can we Change the Situation?

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President Cyril Ramaphosa is billed to deliver the opening address. Among the high-profile speakers expected to address the conference are:

  • Cabinet Ministers Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Nhlanhla Nene and Deputy President David Mabuza;
  • Business leaders like Business Unity South Africa CEO Tanya Cohen, Black Business Council CEO Kganki Matabane, Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth, ArcelorMittal General Manager: Africa Overland Alph Ngapo, Africa House Director Duncan Bonnett, Africa@Work CEO Dinna Games, Highveld Steel CEO Johan Burger, Hazleton Pump International Managing Director Mathys Wehmer, former Atlantis Foundries CEO Pieter du Plessis, Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe, Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama, PWC South Africa Director Andrew Shaw, National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA Director Nico Vermeulen and Master Builders Executive Director Roy Mnisi;
  • Policy makers and civil service representatives like Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) Director-General Lionel October, Dti Chief Director for Africa Multilateral Economic Relations Wamkele Mene and Department of Economic Development Deputy Director-General Zeph Nhleko;
  • Representatives of global organisations like World Bank Group Lead Economist John Gabriel and International Finance Corporation Senior Investment Officer Paul Mukasa;
  • Civil society leaders like Federation of Unions of South Africa General Secretary Dennis George, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse Executive Director Wayne Duvenage, Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Executive Secretary Lawson Naidoo and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research CEO Dr Thulani Dlamini;
  • Politicians like ANC Economic Transformation Head Enoch Godongwana, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister for Trade and Industry Geordin Hill-Lewis and DA Shadow Minister for Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone; and
  • Academics like University of Stellenbosch Social Justice Chair and former Public Protector Professor Thuli Madonsela and University of the Free State Visiting Professor JP Landman.

Mr Nyatsumba said the 2018 programme and speakers are reflective of the challenges and opportunities currently facing South African business in general and the metals and engineering sector, in particular.

For more details on the conference, please visit www.meindaba.seifsa.co.za.

 

Issued by:

Ollie Madlala

Communications Consultant

Tel: (011) 298 9411 / 082 602 1725

Email: ollie@seifsa.co.za

Web: www.meindaba. seifsa.co.za

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