http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.13Change: -0.06
R/$ = 11.56Change: 0.01
Au 1262.45 $/ozChange: 3.15
Pt 1228.50 $/ozChange: 11.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
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 Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 12, 2011

Association seeks greater clarity from government

Back
Construction|Africa|Cement|Concrete|Environment|Eskom|Mining|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|Chile|South Africa|Southern African Institute Of Steel Con|Basic Steel Products|Local Steel|Products|Raw Steel|Steel|Steel Construction Industry|Structural Steel|Structural Steel Industry|Typical Structural Steel|Environmental|Hennie De Clercq|Power
Construction|Africa|Cement|Concrete|Environment|Eskom|Mining|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|||Products|Steel||Environmental|Power
construction|africa-company|cement-company|concrete|environment|eskom|mining|project|projects|africa|chile|south-africa|southern-african-institute-of-steel-con|basic-steel-products|local-steel|products|raw-steel|steel|steel-construction-industry|structural-steel|structural-steel-industry|typical-structural-steel|environmental|hennie-de-clercq|power
© Reuse this

Perplexing messages and actions from government and senior politicians are negatively affecting the steel construction industry.

This is the view of Southern African Institute of Steel Con- struction (SAISC) executive director Dr Hennie de Clercq, who says that, while a number of the larger companies in the steel construction industry are heavily involved in State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations and a fair amount of demand emanates from the mining industry, the SAISC is concerned that the industry, especially mining, is not as active in terms of new projects as it could be.

“Many more new projects, all consuming significant volumes of structural steel, could have started or, at least, been put on the drawing board if there had been greater clarity from the corridors of power.

“Talk of the nationalisation of mines, for example, hardly instils confidence in potential investors who must decide whether to invest in a new mine in Chile or in South Africa. Also, the handling of the Sishen mining rights issue and prospecting licences certainly did not contribute to the confidence levels of potential investors in not only the South African mining industry, but also in South African industry as a whole,” he states.

De Clercq adds that it is crucial for politicians to understand that their words and actions have a much more far-reaching effect than just party politics. “What one says and does may have positive short-term results in terms of the next election but disastrous ramifications for the industry and the country in the long term. I call on the government to take heed of this and to ensure that our interconnectedness with the economies of the world is taken into account before statements are made in the name of parochial issues of self-interest.”

Regarding the outlook for the South African steel construction industry, he notes that it, along with the rest of the construction industry, is certainly feeling the after effects of the worldwide economic recession.

“However, there is a lot we can do to stimulate a recovery. Firstly, we need clear, well thought-out and transparent policy from the government in terms of future plans, and we need to stick to it.”

“Secondly, we need to protect our local industry wherever possible. The power pylon industry is a good example. Local companies, who used to do all the power pylon work with local steel, have lost a lot of this business to foreign competitors mainly because exports from certain countries are subsidised, while, since the 1990s, basic steel products and raw steel could be imported duty free.

“Even though we have fought for an import duty, which has now been gazetted, we need to work hard to rebuild this segment, which will use some 420 000 t of steel by the end of the decade and has considerable export potential into African markets,” De Clercq says.

He adds that the urgency of protecting the local indus- try is highlighted by the multiplier effect, which, in essence, is the positive knock-on effect experienced by the entire country when local suppliers are used.

“In terms of the structural steel industry, for every R1-billion spent, R1.43-billion worth of economic activity is generated, with the tax man receiving a R369-million slice of this pie, which flows back into the economy.”

When it comes to the effect on employment, the figures are even more impressive. A typical structural steel company employs 60 people for every 1 000 t/y produced. The steel construction industry produces about 720 000 t/y of fabricated and erected structural steel, which represents about 43 200 direct jobs. The multiplier exercise shows that 68 400 additional indirect and induced jobs are created in the steel construction supporting industries, as well as in the economy as a whole, providing the country with a total of 111 720 jobs.

De Clercq says, even if a project were as much as 25% more expensive if locally sourced, it would still be of net benefit to the country.

“The problem, of course, is that the client is not prepared to pay more than is necessary. The challenge here is twofold. Firstly, South Africa has to become internationally competitive to promote the buying of local products and, secondly, ways to quantify the knock-on benefits for the country and the clients, in the form of tax relief or some other method, need to be identified,” he states.

Ultimately, he says, the solu- tion is for the public and private sectors to work together for the good of the whole. “These factors are too important to ignore and the SAISC will continue to try to bring these two important factions together in facing future challenges.”

Environmental Sustainability
De Clercq says he has recently been fielding an unusual amount of questions regarding the environmental sustainability of the steel construction industry and feels it is important to put the record straight.

The industry’s sensitivity to this issue is demonstrated by the 40% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted for every ton of steel produced over the past 30 years, he states.

“Currently, about 2 t of CO2 is generated for every ton of steel produced and, while we can say that the cement industry worldwide produces more CO2 than the steel industry, steel’s contribution to greenhouse gases is still significant.

“The target is to reduce carbon emissions by another 50% over the next 20 years, which is an extremely demanding task requiring a significant investment in research and new technologies.

“For example, steelmaker ArcelorMittal spends about R2-billion a year, worldwide, on research. Local steel producers are also investing heavily to reduce their impact on the environment,” he notes.

He adds that, importantly, it has also been proven that steel is environment friendly. “This is largely owing to the strength of steel relative to, say, concrete, and the fact that much less material is required to perform a job. Further, steel can be endlessly recycled without loss of quality.

“In essence, the steel industry, as regards environmental issues, is much maligned, often with no justification. It’s important to get to grips with the facts,” De Clercq concludes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Construction News
Commenting in his capacity as chairperson of the Presidential Infrastructure Championing Initiative (PICI), President Jacob Zuma this week provided an update on the progress of several cross-border and regional infastructure projects championed by the heads-of-State...
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and JSE CEO Nicky Newton-King after a meeting with JSE-listed companies on Friday
Gauteng Premier David Makhura has promised to outline a comprehensive energy plan in his upcoming State of the Province address, acknowledging that without direct interventions to bolster security of electricity supply the province’s industrialisation vision could be...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
More
 
 
Latest News
SAA acting CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni
Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has assured that loss-making national carrier South African Airlines (SAA) will not receive another bailout from government, noting that the most recent R6.4-billion government guarantee had only been provided in support of an intensive...
South Africa's cumulative trade deficit was R95.3-billion in 2014, the South African Revenue Service (Sars) said on Friday. In 2013, it was R71.4-billion, Sars said in a statement.
Certain regulatory approvals remain outstanding in Telkom’s proposed R2.67-billion takeover of JSE-listed Business Connexion (BCX), the parties said in an update to shareholders on Friday. BCX noted in the statement that the Competition Authority of Botswana had...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 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 network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope – which is to be jointly hosted by South Africa and Australia with, later, outstations in other countries – may not yet exist, but international scientific working groups are already deciding what...
A free Web-based solar power plant capacity-planning tool offers project planners and developers, as well as governments, a means to assess the solar energy potential of thin-film solar PV power over an area of land. The tool was developed by thin-film solar...
As yet, no specific methodology, timeline or costs have been finalised to remedy the water ingress, excessive to contractual specifications, into the Gautrain tunnel between emergency shaft two (E2) and Park Station, says Bombela Concession Company technical and...
ASTRAPAK The group highlighted that executive strategic interventions and other group-wide business improvement imperatives were progressing favourably
The “seriously disruptive” electricity outages in South Africa have cost packaging group Astrapak more than R2-million in “irrecoverable downtime costs”, the company said on Monday, adding that the power cuts were negating some of the benefit of energy saving...
Bakkies and more affordable cars dominated South Africa’s new vehicle market in 2014. Unaudited data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) shows that South Africa’s most popular vehicle in 2014 was the Toyota Hilux, selling 37 562 units.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
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
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks