Nov 28, 2012
China imports threatens SA manufacturingBack
Mangaung|China|South Africa|Electricity Cost|Manufacturing|Manufacturing Industry|Manufacturing Sector|Transport|Coenraad Bezuidenhout|Stewart Jennings
© Reuse this
Speaking at the launch of the Manufacturing Circle’s position document ahead of the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) Mangaung conference in December, he criticised the Free Market Foundation statement last month claiming that cheap imports were not hurting the manufacturing industry, saying that local jobs were being lost and exported to China, in particular.
The manufacturing sector had lost in excess of 300 000 jobs between the first quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2012.
He also noted the closure of about 440 000 small businesses, of which some were a direct result of Chinese imports, in addition to a depressed sector.
Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad Bezuidenhout added that the proliferation of unfairly incentivised imports from China, in the context of a global downturn and Chinese pressure in other markets, was the biggest threat to South Africa’s manufacturing industry.
Jennings noted that South Africa could not compete with Chinese products, which were often between 25% and 30% cheaper than locally produced items.
“Administered prices in other Brics countries have decreased by over 36% in the last decade, while South Africa’s electricity cost [for instance] have increased by over 170%.”
South Africa’s purchasing management index registered a three-year low, owing to bad business conditions and contraction in manufacturing, and Jennings forecast a further decline in the next two years unless key domestic policy issues, and the levelling of the trade situation, were not addressed immediately.
The trade deficit between China’s imports to the country and South Africa’s exports currently registered at 6.4% of gross domestic product.
“Manufacturing is among the top three multiplier sectors in terms of value addition, job creation, export earnings, and revenue generation for every R1 invested. It also provided the only viable means of beneficiating natural resources in the country,” the position document said.
The manufacturing sector provided the “greatest opportunity for job-rich economic growth”, but it was in crisis and key interventions were required by the ruling ANC to correct its path.
Government needed to ensure fair trade through the necessary adjustment to tariff and nontariff barriers; strengthening bilateral and multilateral regional and key export market ties; promoting a competitive and stable exchange rate; and improving transport linkages to regional and other key markets.
The Manufacturing Circle’s position document, which was presented to the ANC, tabled a number of proposals aimed at placing South Africa as the “gateway manufacturing destination” for exports to sub-Saharan Africa and enabling the country to compete domestically on an equal footing with imports. This, in turn, fed into the aims of pushing the country to become a competitive beneficiator of its own resources.
The report also tabled possible suggestions for interventions to promote a competitive currency and battling volatility, industrial policy, infrastructure and industrialisation and local procurement and industrialisation.
Edited by: Mariaan Webb© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
This Week's Magazine
South African antenna designer and producer Poynting and provider of professional products, system integration and implementation and commissioning services for the broadcast and telecommunications markets in South Africa, African Union Communications (Aucom),...
Industrial automation giant Festo has been displaying some of the its ongoing research projects and latest automation developments and products at the Hannover industrial fair from April 7 to 11, as part of its Integrated Automation – The Next Steps theme. The...
South African retail companies are responding to the way in which e-commerce is changing their engagement model with customers by improving customer engagement channels and order fulfilment intelligence, says industrial and retail software company JDA Europe, Middle...
In support of the South African government’s mandate to create more jobs and promote sustainable development, multilevel marketing company Amway’ business model aims to assist government in easing the startup of business and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset...
The global energy outlook is that energy demand will double by 2050 and the world’s population will grow to nine-billion, creating a need for increased energy supply with reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.