Does the promise of a new dawn still hold?

19th August 2019

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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The ushering in of President Cyril Ramaphosa as the new Head of State in February 2018 brought with it the promise of “ANew Dawn”, but does that promise still hold amidst South Africa’s low economic growth and high unemployment environment?

That is the question that will take centre stage on the second day of the 2019 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba taking place on 12-13 September at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton.

Reflecting on how the President’s “New Dawn”’ is received by the business community and how it has impacted on South Africa’s sovereign credit rating will be Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni, Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister of Finance Geordin Hill-Lewis, Federation of Unions of South Africa Acting General Secretary Riefdah Ajam and Business Unity South Africa Acting CEO Cas Coovadia.

“Panellists in this plenary session will seek to establish not only why the New Dawn has faded, but also to come up with solutions to revive it in the interest of increasing investor confidence, growing the South African economy and improving its sovereign credit ratings,” Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said this morning.

He said that it has been about 18 months since the President’s New Dawn was promised, but the country still finds itself confronted by the twin evils of pedestrian economic growth and a high unemployment rate.

“Talking about a new dawn without having the courage to tackle the country’s myriad challenges would not suffice.We all know that we need to grow the economy at 5% and above to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality and improve the country’s credit rating to investment grade on a sustained basis,” Mr Nyatsumba said.

Now in its fifth year, the Indaba is organized and hosted by SEIFSA. Its core objective is to provide a platform for policy makers, labour representatives and businesses operating in the metals, engineering and related sectors to discuss the challenges facing the sector and collectively to devise sustainable solutions aimed at ensuring its sustainability.

The Indaba will also deliberate on the following topics:

  • A Growing Chinese Presence in South Africa: How Should Local Business Respond?

  • State-Owned Companies As Economic Enablers, Infrastructure Development and the Metals and Engineering Sector

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution and Manufacturing: Is South Africa Ready – Or Will It Be Left Behind?

  • The new Automotive Production and Development Programme: Will the Metals and Engineering Sector Benefit?

  • The Industrial Policy Action Plan and the National Development Plan: A Progress Report on Their Implementation

  • The Economy, Labour Stability and the 2020 MEIBC Negotiations on Wages and Conditions of Employment

The line-up of speakers expected to address delegates includes:

  • Irvin Jim, General Secretary of NUMSA;

  • Mangaliso Ndlovu, Minister of Industry and Commerce in Zimbabwe;

  • Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Public Enterprises;

  • Thembinkosi Mkalipi, Chief Director: Labour Policy and Industrial Relations at the Department of Employment and Labour;

  • Tshokolo Nchocho, Industrial Development Corporation CEO;

  • Patrick Bond, Professor at the Wits School of Business; and

  • Xolelwa Mlumbi-Peter, Deputy Director General: International Trade and Economic Development Division

Mr Nyatsumba said the agenda for the 2019 Indaba is driven by the state that the metals and engineering sector currently finds itself in.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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