Industry organisation the Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) says recent economic data shows that the metals and engineering (M&E) sector has a long and difficult road ahead to recovery, notwithstanding hope that interventions will provide some relief for industry players.
These interventions include President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic stimulus recovery plan.
The organisation notes that the pandemic hit at a time when the country’s M&E sector, as well as the broader manufacturing sector, was already struggling as a result of falling demand, rising power costs and erratic supply and rising imports, besides other challenges.
It expects the pandemic to continue to affect the industry, into this year and possibly the next, owing to the possibility of multiple waves of infections.
The organisation will launch its State of the Industry report for 2021/22 on February 26.
This year’s report will look at the extent to which the pandemic has affected the industry, as well as the prospects of recovery in a struggling economy.
Seifsa says the report will help outline the challenges the sector is facing, supported by data from empirical analysis; and will allow the organisation to suggest broader policy interventions to government.