With the metals and engineering sector having shed thousands of jobs, companies in the sector have to be more innovative to survive, says Steel and Engineering Industries of Southern Africa (Seifsa) marketing manager Mark Lotter.
To encourage even greater innovation, the federation introduced the Seifsa Awards for Excellence in 2015. The awards serve as a platform to unearth new innovations from member and non-member companies.
Seifsa sales manager Nuraan Alli states that the awards have grown in terms of awareness and participation over the past five years.
“Last year, we received a record number of entries. We are quite encouraged by that because it means that the industry is beginning to recognise the awards as a platform from which to get their projects into the market,” she says.
The categories for the awards comprise innovation, health and safety, corporate social investment, customer service, most transformed company of the year, best artisan programme of the year and environmental stewardship.
“All the categories feed into government policy. These are the policies of national government in terms of what they expect from industry,” says Lotter.
The categories are also a way of ensuring that Seifsa member companies are complying to industry standards as best as they can so that it becomes integrated into their business culture.
Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba encourages companies to excel and enter the Seifsa Awards for Excellence to be acknowledged by industry peers.
The federation aims to add to its existing categories to recognise for the 2020 edition.
“We have to include a category that acknowledges the excellence of women in engineering because we believe that is certainly an area in which women would want to participate and achieve recognition,” Alli concludes.