http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.83Change: -0.12
R/$ = 11.04Change: -0.17
Au 1172.85 $/ozChange: 3.68
Pt 1231.00 $/ozChange: -0.50
 
 
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 Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Nov 18, 2011

Institute encourages greater cooperation

Back
Construction|Engineering|Newcastle|Africa|Environment|Eskom|Flow|International Steel Fabricators|Africa|Europe|South America|Australia|South Africa|United Kingdom|United States|Southern African Institute Of Steel Construction|Building|Equipment|Flow|Local Steel Construction Industry|Local Steel Fabricators|Main Contractors|Mining|Steel|Steel Construction Industry|Steel Fabricators|Structural Steel|Hennie De Clercq|Power|Reinforcing
Construction|Engineering||Africa|Environment|Eskom|Flow||Africa||||Building|Equipment|Flow|Mining|Steel||Power|Reinforcing
construction|engineering|newcastle|africa-company|environment|eskom|flow-company|international-steel-fabricators-company|africa|europe|south-america|australia-country|south-africa|united-kingdom|united-states|southern-african-institute-of-steel-construction-facility|building|equipment|flow-industry-term|local-steel-construction-industry|local-steel-fabricators|main-contractors|mining|steel|steel-construction-industry|steel-fabricators|structural-steel|hennie-de-clercq|power|reinforcing
© Reuse this

The Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (Saisc) will promote increased cooperation and dialogue between itself, government and the steel construction industry, in general, to maximise opportunities in a tough global construction environment, says Saisc executive director Dr Hennie de Clercq.

“We live in a volatile world with histori- cal shifts taking place across the gamut of human society, including international and local business markets.

“The more we work together in dealing with the resultant powerful challenges, the better our chances of success,” he says.

He adds that, from a local perspective, the institute historically got used to going it alone without really concentrating on working with government, unless it was related to exports.

“We became proud of our independence and it worked for us, but we came to realise that global business is too complex for a single industry to succeed on its own any longer.”

“We will work towards changing this situation and will endeavour to interact much more closely with the various rele- vant government departments and the myriad other industries, with whom we have excellent working relationships, to see what synergies exist for deeper coope- ration.

“In short, we will do things differently in future and will encourage our industry leaders to do the same,” he says.
Meanwhile, despite the challenging times, the South African steel construction industry – through the civil engineering and building sectors – has performed surprisingly well of late.

“We know of only one bankruptcy in the steel construction industry this year and many firms have reported quite buoyant business activity for 2011 and a reasonable outlook for 2012.

“We have performed better than many other countries, including the UK, the US and Australia, where, in some cases, up to 25% of the steel construction industry is expected to be lost to bankruptcy in the near future,” says De Clercq.

He points out that there are a number of reasons for South Africa’s good per- formance.

“Firstly, the leaders and managers of our industry businesses are exceptional. They are generally very proactive in getting out there to get the business and they have been particularly successful at combating Chinese and other foreign competition.”

Secondly, State-owned power utility Eskom’s power stations have been a significant boost to the industry, taking up a good deal of its capacity.

Also, South Africa’s regional neigh- bours have been buoyant and South African firms have enjoyed significant volumes of cross-border business across a range of sectors, including mining, warehousing, factories, office buildings and more.

Thirdly, the recent weakening of the rand has improved the competitiveness of the local industry significantly. Besides this being a boost to the country’s ability to export, it is also helping to combat the practice of local companies importing fabricated structural steel from the East.

On the question of exports, De Clercq says that since marketing company International Steel Fabricators of South Africa (ISF) has been working with South Africa’s main contractors to bid on foreign contracts in conjunction with promoting local steel fabricators to main contractors on foreign jobs, significant strides have been made.

“We have always believed in promoting local steel fabricators to the main contractors on foreign jobs and, while this has been successful, focusing on helping South African main contractors to bid on these foreign contracts has helped as, when successful, they, in turn, are in a position to subcontract work to our steel fabricators,” he states.

De Clercq is optimistic about the ISF continuing to help open and develop new markets following this principle.

“When the ISF started to explore poten- tial opportunities in South America more than four years ago, there was scepticism about the successful outcome of the endeavour.

“But these efforts have paid off and have spurred us on to successful monitoring of opportunities in Australia, Europe and other regions, especially in the deep-level mining arena, where we are the indisputable world leaders.”

He adds that exports are fundamental to the survival of the local industry.

“They not only protect the industry from the ebb and flow of demand by being geographically diversified, but also, nowadays, everyone must do business wherever they can, with whomever they can, because that is the nature of the beast.

“In some situations, our customers become our competitors and in other situations our competitors become our customers. Sometimes we win local contracts from foreign firms and some- times foreign contracts from local firms and we would reject this way of doing business at our peril.”

Nevertheless, De Clercq says that his optimistic view of the current state of the local steel construction industry should not give the impression that there are not some real challenges that have to be met.

“One of these challenges is that, because of the problems ArcelorMittal South Africa has experienced with its blast furnace in Newcastle, there is a shortage of steel, especially the smaller profiles and reinforcing.

“As this is only expected to be solved by the end of 2011, the compounded shortage could affect the supply of steel into the future,” he asserts.

Another challenge is that while cer- tain activities are taking up a sizeable proportion of the industry’s capacity, there is still a good deal of capacity that must be used.

“We have to do whatever we can to take up this spare capacity or we face the risk of losing it altogether.

“Our clients must realise that this is an excellent time to build things. Prices of raw materials are competitive, con- sultant fees are lower than they have been for years, and the industry is blessed with state-of-the-art management, techniques and equipment.

“We have the potential to become a world player and everyone in the industry must play his or her part to realise this,” states De Clercq.
Meanwhile, he admits that while the institute’s role in this process is multi- faceted, it is clear that it has to continue with market development for the industry.

One of these important markets is the multistorey sector, where steel, through a variety of factors, is increasingly becoming a viable alternative to the more traditional construction materials.

“Light steel frame building is also having a particularly significant impact, as it helps to keep the weight down, while [ensuring] a structure of the highest quality from both an engineering and an aesthetic point of view.”

De Clercq says that, along with the rest of the world, South Africa is heading for challenging times.

“Uncertainty is the name of the game not only for our industry but for the world economy as a whole. It will take inno- vation and perseverance for the local steel construction industry to survive, let alone thrive. I believe we have what it takes to thrive, but it is going to require hard and, most importantly, smart work,” he notes.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Construction News
JSE-listed Intu Properties has replaced an existing £375-million facility, set to expire in November 2018, with a new corporate £600-million revolving credit facility (RCF). In an update to shareholders on Friday, the company explained that the new facility had a...
Now in its third year, the 2014 Nedbank Capital Sustainable Business Awards has recognised African businesses that have succeeded in balancing economic profitability with sustainable business practices, challenging companies in major industries to rethink the way...
More
 
 
Latest News
The retail price of 95-grade petrol in South Africa will drop by 45 cents or 3.3 percent a liter from next Wednesday, while wholesale diesel will decrease by 4.9 percent, the government said on Friday. Petrol will cost 13.16 rand ($1.20) a liter while the wholesale...
Special purpose vehicle GreenCape will, by the end of 2014, make an application to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Western Cape provincial government and the City of Cape Town to declare Atlantis, on the Western seaboard, a special economic zone...
The German government has committed a further R70-million towards the second phase of the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) programme. The NMT programme forms part of the Department of Environmental Affairs’ 2010 FIFA World Cup National Greening Legacy Programme.
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
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.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
In the next 20 years, it was expected that, in Africa, more people would live in cities and towns than in rural areas, United Nations Habitat executive director Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira said at the Human Settlements Indaba that took place earlier this month in...
Tough-talking Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has committed government to building 1.5-million low-cost houses over the next five years, telling the Human Settlements Indaba in Johannesburg on Wednesday that the State would achieve this target through the...
Over the past 20 years there has been persistent concern about deindustrialisation in South Africa, as well as the fact that locally produced manufactured products have been increasingly displaced by imports.
Financial agreement for Ghanian independent power producer (IPP) Cenpower Generation Company’s $900-million, 350 MW combined-cycle gas-turbine power plant was finalised earlier this month, paving the way for the project’s construction to begin before 2015 in Tema,...
The revenue implications for South Africa of ‘base erosion and profit shifting’ by corporate taxpayers are firmly in the crosshairs of the Davis Tax Committee (DTC) and Judge Dennis Davis hinted last week that recommendations were being considered to “detect and...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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