“It was clearly a strategy to isolate me. I also think it was a baiting exercise done in the hope that I would sink to the same level. I am thankful that the board was behind me because I was entrusted by Seifsa members to carry out a specific mandate. The assumption that all the power resides with the CEO was fa l se, and I commented as much during radio interviews. It was not my place to answer to these personal attacks, but rather to represent our members constructively,” he says.
Nyatsumba admits that relations between employers, labour and the government is strained and far from normal.
“There is also a great degree of mistrust between parties. And if we cannot come to understand each other’s a l lowed to do. Other factors t hat issues, the sector will drown even more plague t he i ndustry today i nclude than it did during the 2008 f inancial cheap imports, especially from Asia, crisis,” he warns. and the high cost of labour in SA.
Manufact u r i ng’s s ha r e of t he “State-owned and private companies economy has shrunk f rom 20% i n in China and India are given incentives 1983 to 16% in 2013. Between 1983 to manufacture. So their products end and 2003, it declined by a percentage up [in SA] at a cheaper price than what point each decade. This decline started it costs us to make. If we do not bring to accelerate to two percent in the last back tariffs for v ulnerable sectors, decade – from 18% in 2003 to 16% in our companies will hardly be able to 2013. compete and the sit uation will just
According to Nyatsumba, t here worsen.” have also been a growing number of I n 2 014, l oca l manufact u r er s smaller, family-owned companies that exported about 35% of their products, closed down over the past few years. while imports captured nearly 45% of “Manufacturing in South Africa is in the domestic market. In the metals and serious trouble. If nothing is done by engineering sector, 60% of products policymakers, the situation will only were exported and imports accounted get worse,” he says. for the same percentage of the domestic
Pre-1994, the country had very high market. tariffs in place that protected local “Current indicators are that imports manufacturers. “Then, after 1994, are gaining t he upper hand at t he instead of analysing the industry and expense of l ocal producers, t heir HIS MOTHER WHO PASSED determining which sectors would be employees and the local economy,” he AWAY IN 1986, WHILE HE says.vulnerabletointernationalcompetitionWAS STILL A UNIVERSITY STUDENT and adjusting t arif f s accordingly, Nyatsumba adds that any country
tariffs were eliminated altogether,” that cannot compete in manufacturing IN AMERICA. ALSO THE MURDER
Nyatsumba explains. will have a skewed balance of payments. OF HIS BROTHER, ADONIS, IN
He adds that there used to be a “This is the case in our country. We JUNE 2009, WITH NO ARRESTS
number of world-class industries in all − employers, labour and government HAVING BEEN MADE TO DATE, SA that had just needed time to adapt − need to start singing in the same AFFECTED HIM GREATLY. to competition, which they were not voice. We need to get rid of policy
IF WE DO NOT BRING BACK TARIFFS FOR VULNERABLE SECTORS, OUR COMPANIES WILL HARDLY BE ABLE TO COMPETE AND THE SITUATION WILL JUST WORSEN.