Indaba to focus on slowdown in metal, engineering sector
THE CONTRACTION in the metals and engineering sector will be the focus of the 3rd annual South African Metals and Engineering Indaba in September.
The indaba, to be held at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Conference Centre in Sandton from September 14 to 15, is set to take place against the backdrop of negative sentiment about the South African economy because of, among others, falling gross domestic product (GDP) and contraction in the secondary sector in the first quarter of this year.
According to the SA Reserve Bank’s Quarterly Bulletin June 2017, manufacturing production contracted for the third successive quarter in the first quarter of this year.
Presented by the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) in partnership with the IDC and the Department of Trade and Industry, the indaba is an opportunity for business executives, policymakers and trade union representatives to collaborate towards addressing the challenges facing the sector.
Seifsa chief executive Kaizer Nyatsumba said that in addition to tackling the challenges in the sector, the conference would consider the steps necessary to reverse the contraction in the metals and engineering sector. According to Statistics SA, the metals and engineering sector has shrunk in each successive year since 2013.
“We need to urgently turn around that trend because the steel and engineering sector is an important contributor to the GDP and job creation,” Nyatsumba said. “This requires collaboration between government, labour and business. With unemployment currently at unacceptably high levels, South Africa needs a vibrant and competitive steel and engineering sector.”