Moreover, Allen reports that the SAWBC, together with the Izasa (Zinc Association), has drafted a report on the value of thicker galvanising of fencing wire and this was discussed with various experts in the industry. Information leaflets intended for the fencing industry, based on the findings of this report, are now available from the SAWBC office.
Allen further reports that the wire industry has performed well, with value-added exports showing growth of 16%, to 180 000 t, over the last year. He adds that wire rod accounts for only 11% of steel production in South Africa while value-added wire exports account for more than 38% of total value-added steel exports. Although it is slowly showing some stability, the rand has affected many industries poorly including the wire industry. Allen adds that SAWBC plans to focus on developing markets and products, particularly with the emphasis on downstream value adding. “This will be done to reduce our vulnerability at the commodity level,” he says. He adds that, if this is achieved, it will further enhance the industry’s objectives of job creation, small, medium and micro enterprise and black economic empowerment development. Further, this month, a group representing the wire industry will be visiting China to learn from its manufacturing and marketing experiences. Allen concludes by saying that the organisation has a duty to support its members through continuous skills development. “SAWBC will invest in training material from various sources and make that available to members,” he concludes. Further, Rick Allen (Meshco group), Keith Taylor (Haggie), Bushy Botha (CWI), Dawid van der Bank (Cape Gate), and Hennie de Kock (Hendok), who all served on the SAWBC have been unanimously re-elected.