R/€ = 15.26Change: -0.01
R/$ = 14.41Change: -0.03
Au 1057.95 $/ozChange: 0.07
Pt 835.50 $/ozChange: 0.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Sep 28, 2012

Aluminium industry growth slowly recovering

London|Africa|Aluminium|Building|Casting|Education|Environment|Eskom|Export|India|Nuclear|Packaging|Projects|Rolling Stock|rolling-stock|System|Technology|Training|Transnet|Welding|Africa|Europe|China|South Africa|United States|International Aluminium Institute|Southern African Institute Of Welding|Automotive|Energy|Energy Intensive|Equipment|Gross Domestic Product|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Country|Packaging|Product|Products|Scrap Metal|Services|Steel|Steel Weighs|Infrastructure|Mark Krieg|Power
|Africa|Aluminium|Building|Casting|Education|Environment|Eskom|Export|Nuclear|Packaging|Projects|Rolling Stock|rolling-stock|System|Technology|Training|Transnet|Welding|Africa||||Automotive|Energy|Equipment|Manufacturing|Packaging|Products|Services|Steel||Infrastructure|Power
london|africa-company|aluminium|building|casting|education-company|environment|eskom|export|india|nuclear|packaging-company|projects|rolling-stock|rolling stock|system|technology|training|transnet|welding|africa|europe|china|south-africa|united-states|international-aluminium-institute-facility|southern-african-institute-of-welding-facility|automotive|energy|energy-intensive|equipment|gross-domestic-product|manufacturing|manufacturing-country|packaging|product|products|scrap-metal|services|steel|steel-weighs|infrastructure|mark-krieg|power
© Reuse this

Growth in South Africa’s aluminium industry has recovered slowly since the 2008/9 economic crisis, but volumes have not yet returned to pre-2008 levels, highlights Aluminium Federation of South Africa (Afsa) executive director Mark Krieg.

He states that certain industries that are supplied by the aluminium sector, such as packaging and consumer durables, continue to grow steadily, in line with the country’s gross domestic product.

However, growth in the automotive industry is worrying.

“The international automotive industry is showing signs of slowing, following several good years. The aluminium casting industry, which supplies the automotive sector, is also under pressure, as aluminium scrap is the main feedstock of the industry. It is losing volume owing to the cost of scrap. Scrap metal is exported by South Africa at an export parity price,” he says.

Krieg adds that the local automotive industry is important for the aluminium sector and that the industry and government have ambitious plans to double output in the next few years.

“The aluminium content in automobiles is increasing because aluminium weighs one-third of what steel weighs, so there is a clear weight advantage, which saves costs, fuel and carbon emissions,” he notes.

Further, Krieg states that the building industry is recovering slowly after building projects came to a halt, following the eco- nomic downturn in 2008/9. The recovery of this industry will impact positively on South Africa’s aluminium industry, as it is a key player in the building sector.

Meanwhile, he notes that administrative costs and stealth taxes for industry will increase, keeping pressure on the remaining manufacturers to be competitive with respect to imports.

“The effect is to turn South Africa from a manufacturing country into a consuming country, as it is already more of a consumer than a manufacturer,” he explains.

Krieg adds that global developments play a significant role in influencing South Africa’s aluminium industry.

“It is not anticipated that Europe will soon emerge from the current economic difficulties it is facing, but there is optimism in the US. The slowdown in China is likely to impact on countries that are reliant on commodity exports; however, as has previously been found, a reduced scrap aluminium price could offer opportunities for local producers to develop and pursue new markets,” he states.

Afsa works with the relevant government departments, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, to keep the interests of aluminium high on the agenda.

“We continue to profile and benchmark Afsa members and bring business opportunities to their attention. We will also pursue the designated product route to secure market opportunity for local suppliers and oppose lobbies that seek a moratorium on local content,” he says.


Krieg says the production of primary aluminium is energy intensive. However, 50% of the total aluminium used in manufacture, on average, is recycled aluminium, which halves the energy used in its production. Remelting secondary aluminium takes 5% of the energy used to produce primary aluminium,” he notes.

He adds that different processes have been developed over the years to combat aluminium’s carbon footprint, such as building new plants that are equipped with new technology to reduce energy use.

“A lot of work has been done by organisations like the International Aluminium Institute, in London, which has put initiatives in place to promote the recycling of everyday aluminium products, such as aluminium cans,” says Krieg.

He states that the recycling of aluminium is one way of reducing the manufacturing process’s impact on the environment.


“Imports are a big challenge facing the industry. The proposed export duty on metal scrap has not been implemented, with various parties having [identified] numerous obstacles and raised concerns,” Krieg points out.

Further research on the scrap-metal value chain and the industries that depend on scrap metal has been proposed.

He adds that aluminium scrap-metal exports to countries such as India and China have increased by 26% to 41 000 t. The consequence of exporting aluminium scrap is that local foundries and smelters are closing down.

Education and Skills

Krieg says a large skills gap is emerging in the industry, as it is in others, as older people are retiring and the knowledge they have is not disseminated widely enough among the next generation of welders, apprentices and artisans.

The sector education and training authorities are doing a lot by developing the necessary curricula and training material through the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations processes, especially with regard to apprentices and tradesmen.

“Welding courses are offered by the Southern African Institute of Welding, which is where we refer welders to learn welding skills pertaining to aluminium and to develop their practical and theoretical skills,” he says.


Krieg says there are many opportunities for the aluminium sector in State-owned Transnet’s and Eskom’s infrastructure development programmes.

“Transnet wants to expand and revitalise its railway system. This is good news for the aluminium industry, as aluminium is a key product in the production of railway rolling stock.

“There is also strong growth in the electricity industry. Eskom plans to build more power stations, including nuclear power stations, and 5 000 km of overhead transmission lines, which can be supplied by the South African aluminium industry,” explains Krieg.

He states that government is developing various large infrastructure projects to create jobs for South African companies.

“My concern is that many of these job opportunities may not be realised and that South Africa will not benefit from these projects. All the products in the aluminium industry can be imported, so if we don’t work together with State-owned companies and business to build and develop skills and capabilities, the industry will not benefit.

“Many of these government infrastructure projects have deadlines regarding their completion. If South African labour and services are not up to the task, State-owned companies will import what they need because there won’t be another option, and I see that as a concern,” Krieg says.

He adds that a major challenge facing role-players in the industry is to stay in business and continue investing.

“We encourage our members to take part in programmes such as the Manufacturers Competitiveness Enhancement Programme, which is a new grant scheme that was put in place by government in July.

“It is focused not only on acquiring new equipment for factories, but also on assisting companies in clean-up initiatives and ways to streamline factories to make them more environment friendly.

“There is a lot of opportunity – industry players have to make use of it,” he concludes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Aluminium News
Two leading steel processing companies will make a submission to International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (Itac) to voice their objection to ArcelorMittal South Africa’s (AMSA’s) application for tariff protection of 10% on hot-rolled coil (HRC)....
Article contains comments
President Barack Obama has placed South Africa on Agoa notice
A senior US Embassy official said on Tuesday that “significant” progress had been made in narrowing the differences between South Africa and the US on the so-called “three meats” issue and that he was optimistic the outstanding differences would be resolved before...
ACCELERATING TREND The amount of aluminium used in vehicles is expected to increase by about 100% or more in North America and globally
The automotive industry’s shift from manufacturing vehicle body panels in steel to manufacturing them in aluminium is a trend that is expected to significantly accelerate, says aluminium industry representative body the Aluminium Federation of South Africa (Afsa)....
Latest News
French conglomerate Bollore may have to halt work on the Niger to Benin section of its giant West Africa rail project after a rival company won a court order to stop it going ahead. The dispute concerns rival rail schemes in the area.
A week ahead of the second annual gathering of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (Focac), in Johannesburg, the JSE is rolling out the proverbial red carpet for Chinese investors looking to Africa’s largest bourse for possible investment opportunities, calling...
The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) applied for leave to appeal on Friday against the Western Cape High Court judgment that set aside the approvals that would enable it to toll sections of the N1 and N2 freeways in Cape Town. This prompted the...
Recent Research Reports
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
This Week's Magazine
The BMW Group will invest R6-billion at BMW Group South Africa’s (BMW SA’s) Rosslyn plant to produce the next-generation X3 sports-activity vehicle (SAV) for the local and export markets. Rosslyn will continue production of the current 3 Series through its lifecycle,...
The lack of consequences for poor performance and transgressions on the part of contractors remains a significant hurdle to tackling South Africa’s service delivery challenges, delegates heard at the Consulting Engineers South Africa Infrastructure Indaba, on...
City of Ekurhuleni executive mayor Mondli Gungubele earlier this month officially named the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Harambee.
NICK CHRISTODOULOU As about 58% of data stored by organisations is dark, they must identify this dark data to expose risks and valuable information
About 58% of unstructured data stored by companies is dark data, which means that the value or regulatory importance of the data has not been determined. Subsequently, most of the stored data add costs, rather than increasing revenue or reduce regulatory risks, says...
BRIAN VERWEY Effective management, review and administration of non-core elements can improve business operations and increase revenue and decrease unforeseen risks
Effective logistics, import/export and manufacturing consulting services require detailed industry knowledge and experience, but can add significant value to these industries by providing expert advice on various technical elements in their value chains, says...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96