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  
Jun 01, 2012

Imports curbing local industry’s potential

Construction|Africa|Building|Castings|Education|Environment|Industrial|Packaging|Pipe|Safety|Sassda|Stainless Steel|Technology|Training|Transnet|transport|Welding|Africa|China|South Africa|Taiwan|Vietnam|Consumerware Products|Electricity|Green Building|Green-building|Local Stainless Steel Industry|Logistics|Manufacturing|Packaging|Product|Products|Services|Stainless Steel|Stainless Steel Industry|Steel|Environmental|Bill Scurr|Infrastructure|Pipe
Construction|Africa|Building|Castings|Education|Environment|Industrial|Packaging|Pipe|Safety|Sassda|Stainless Steel|Technology|Training|Transnet|transport|Welding|Africa||Green Building|Green-building|Logistics|Manufacturing|Packaging|Products|Services|Steel|Environmental|Infrastructure|Pipe
© Reuse this

South Africa is importing thousands of tons of consumerware products, such as cookware and cutlery, from Asian countries, despite having the capability to manufacture these products itself, says Southern Africa Stainless Steel Development Association (Sassda) executive director Bill Scurr.

Rather than importing these, the local manufacture of consumerware products, as well as many other products not related to the stainless steel industry, has the potential to create jobs, create wealth and drive skills development, which would be beneficial to the domestic economy, he adds.

As an example, Scurr points out that, in 2011, about 10 000 t of hollowware was imported from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam.

He attributes the high amount of stainless steel and related product imports to a combination of the unfair provision of various subsidies in the countries of origin, the inconsistent application of import regulations, the misrepresentation of products and the misleading use of packaging.

“There may also be a lack of capacity within government to enforce the applicable import regulations,” he adds.
Further, Sassda notes that, while the stainless steel industry does receive support from government when facing challenges, this can be a time-consuming process. “When companies are in trouble, they often don’t have time to wait for assistance.”

Scurr adds that the products being imported from Asian countries are also, in many cases, a lot cheaper than locally produced goods, as a result of cheap labour and the absence of labour laws in these countries.

“Sassda would never advocate the exploita- tion of labour or the absence of safety standards in the workplace, but we are urging government to look at the current import situation and to provide a level playing field by allowing the stainless steel industry to manufacture the products it is capable of producing.”

While concerned about imports, he comments that, with certain products, imports may be a natural result of South Africa not being able to competitively manufacture the products in question.

This is, however, not the case with con- sumerware, which comprises cookware, cutlery and utensils.

While many participants in the consumerware sector remain competitive, rising electricity and transport costs, coupled with South Africa’s complex labour laws, are potentially making it too expensive to locally manufacture consumerware products, such as knives and forks, which is a labour-intensive process, says Scurr.

Twenty years or so ago, there were a number of cutlery manufacturers in the country. Now only one such manufacturer remains and it is on very shaky ground, he notes.

Scurr adds that the South African industry has not yet been given a fair chance and adequate support to see whether it could, in fact, competitively manufacture cutlery.

Sassda often interacts with government to ensure it understands what the local stainless steel industry is capable of, so that it will allow the industry to contribute to the nation’s economic growth, and benefit from government’s planned major infrastructure programmes.

“We are not asking government to unreasonably or unfairly favour us in any way, but Sassda strives to represent a world- class industry and needs the support of government.

We believe the stainless steel industry’s inability to compete in some areas is the result of unfair economic practices,” says Scurr.

Growth Opportunities

State-owned freight logistics group Transnet, in April, announced plans to spend R300-billion on infrastructure between 2012/13 and 2018/19, which is expected to create 588 000 job opportunities in the country. This is part of government’s overall long-term plan to invest in infrastructure in general, in South Africa.

“This is a major growth opportunity for the South African stainless steel industry,” says Scurr.

He adds that Sassda needs to ensure that it helps its members from all industries, such as architecture, building and construction, consumerware, castings, tube and pipe manufacturers, fabricators, welding, services and stockists to position themselves and benefit from government’s planned infrastructure spend.

In addition, Scurr states that South Africa’s Industrial Policy Action Plan’s development integration, which aims to boost intraregional trade in Africa, also holds many growth opportunities for the South African stainless steel industry.

“Lifting the restrictions on trade and ensuring free trade between African countries could hold many advantages for Sassda member companies, as well as all other indus- tries, as businesses will be able to expand into new territories.”

Another major consideration for the local stainless steel industry is skills, he adds, stating that education, training and skills upgrading are three of the most important factors to ensure growth in the industry. The use of Sassda’s existing training and education programmes provides a tool to deal with this issue and plans are being developed to expand such programmes, as well as make them more accessible to more people through elearning technology.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) has helped benchmark manufacturing companies to see how competitive they are in comparison with the rest of the world and to increase their competitiveness.

“Unido equips manufacturing companies with the necessary tools to become more competitive in the stainless steel industry,” says Scurr.

Environment Friendly

Sassda urges its members to comply with environmental regulations and ensure that production processes are environment friendly.

The association has incorporated environment-friendly judging criteria into its Stainless Steel Awards for 2012. “This is a way of encouraging our members to be environment-friendly and recognising those who are,” says Scurr.

Stainless steel is 100% recyclable, which adds to the industry’s green footprint.

Scrap metal is used as the primary raw material in its production, with up to 70% of the product coming from recycled material.

“Stainless steel is the preferred material for green building throughout the world,” says Scurr.

Further, he says, going forward, Sassda’s main goals are to ensure the conversion and promotion of stainless steel in South Africa, to provide the association’s members with the ability to be competitive and to provide the users of stainless steel with the necessary knowledge of the material’s uses and applications.

He adds that the association also aims to ensure the provision of technical support and education and training for its members and to interact with government and resolve issues that impact on the local stainless steel industry.

“As a fundamental objective, Sassda aims to increase the amount of stainless steel that is locally converted,” says Scurr.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Manufacturing News
A public–private partnership (PPP) between electronics manufacturer Samsung Electronics, the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (Merseta) and the Department of Higher Education and Training is hoping to plug the...
DIFFERENT STROKES Turbine foundations are designed for site-specific conditions, and the lack of clear consensus in international design codes is a problem
While wind turbines are standard products that are designed, verified by prototype testing and independently certified, their foundations are designed on a project-by-project basis to suit site-specific ground conditions. This, according to engineering consulting...
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...
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