http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.11Change: 0.00
R/$ = 11.90Change: -0.02
Au 1205.90 $/ozChange: -0.17
Pt 1147.50 $/ozChange: -1.00
 
 
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  
 
 
Jun 01, 2012

Imports curbing local industry’s potential

Back
Construction|Africa|Building|Education|Environment|Industrial|Packaging|Pipe|Safety|Sassda|Stainless Steel|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|Education|Environment|Industrial|Packaging|Pipe|Safety|Sassda|Stainless Steel|Training|Transnet|transport|Welding|Africa||Green Building|Green-building|Logistics|Manufacturing|Packaging|Products|Services|Steel|Environmental|Infrastructure|Pipe
construction|africa-company|building|education-company|environment|industrial|packaging-company|pipe-company|safety|sassda-company|stainless-steel-company|training|transnet|transport|welding|africa|china|south-africa|taiwan|vietnam|consumerware-products|electricity|green-building-industry-term|green-building-industry-term|local-stainless-steel-industry|logistics|manufacturing|packaging|product|products|services|stainless-steel|stainless-steel-industry|steel|environmental|bill-scurr|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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Metals News
South Africa’s crude steel production dropped by a sizeable 17.2% year-on-year to an estimated 530 000 t in April, amplifying a global trend that saw world steel production decline by a comparatively marginal 1.7% to 135-million tons in the fourth month of the year....
Energy and chemicals group Sasol has expanded the production capacity of its alumina spheres plant in Brunsbüttel, Germany, to 4 000 t/y. “The expansion marks another step in strengthening our position in the alumina market to meet growing market demand for carrier...
The local metals and engineering sector cannot grow as a result of South Africa’s unreliable energy supply and the fact that, on average, energy costs in the sector account for about 8% of intermediary input costs, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
South Africa’s crude steel production dropped by a sizeable 17.2% year-on-year to an estimated 530 000 t in April, amplifying a global trend that saw world steel production decline by a comparatively marginal 1.7% to 135-million tons in the fourth month of the year....
The Treasure the Karoo Action Group (TKAG) on Friday called on government to delay publishing final regulations and issuing rights for shale gas exploration in the Karoo, until a 24-month strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has been concluded. TKAG CEO Jonathan...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in 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...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
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.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
While economic forecasts for the African continent are most favourable, African airlines may not be able to benefit from the expected growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP), International Air Transport Association VP: Africa Raphael Kuuchi has warned....
The Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) will need to change substantially post 2020, says Metair Investments South African operations COO Ken Lello. “We must not make tweaks. We have to change. What we are doing is not sustainable.”
Banking group Absa’s forecast is for the rand to end the year at around R13 against the dollar, weakening further to R13.50 by 2016, says Absa sectoral analyst Jacques du Toit. He warns that possible interest rate hikes in the US may see capital being pulled from...
The Dispute Resolution Centre at the Bargaining Council for the Civil Engineering Industry (BCCEI) is now open to handle party-to-party disputes. The BCCEI represents the interests of all level four to nine Construction Industry Development Board companies.
FREDRIK JEJDLING Sustainability becomes an important part of a business’ decision-making process
Communications technology firm Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa head Fredrik Jejdling says the company’s commitment to sustainability and corporate responsibility has been integrated into all facets of its operations, which has provided it with sustainable revenue...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96