/ MEDIA STATEMENT / This content is not written by Creamer Media, but is a supplied media statement.
South Africa remains a dual economy with one of the highest levels of inequality in the world. Unemployment, in particular youth unemployment, remains a key driver of the country’s social ills including poverty and inequality.
“It, therefore, stands to reason that in order for South Africa to curb unemployment and subsequently inequality, it will need to grow the economy, which will in turn create jobs and subsequently address the socio-economic ills, Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said today.
As part of addressing the unemployment challenge, South Africa has identified re-industrialisation as one of the key initiatives with the potential to not only unlock the country’s economic growth potential but also to create much-needed jobs, particularly for young people. When it takes off, South Africa’s re-industrialisation will demand technical skills, such as those offered by artisans, among others.
“As a country, we however, do not produce a sufficient number of artisan skills on an annual basis, compared to the skills produced by universities, universities of technology and private colleges,” Mr Nyatsumba said.
He added that generally South Africans tend to place too great an emphasis on sending children to universities to improve their chances of getting employed, notwithstanding the fact that every year thousands of university graduates struggle to find employment.
“We need to start taking skills produced by TVET colleges seriously for it is such skills that are often in demand in a growing and industrializing economy.”
Mr Nyatsumba said that it was for this reason, among others, that SEIFSA introduced the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence in 2015 to celebrate companies that have embarked on the continuous journey of developing a pool of artisans that South Africa can count on.
He said that SEIFSA will present the Decade of the Artisan Award to a company that trained the highest number of artisans between July 2018 and December 2019. “I would, therefore, like to encourage companies who have heeded the call to act against high unemployment through skills development to take pride in the work that they do and to allow themselves to be acknowledged and honoured by industry players by submitting entries for this important Award category.” Other awards that form the seven categories of the SEIFSA Awards for Excellence are:
• The Most Innovative Company of the Year, which will be awarded to a company that showed the best level of innovation in research and development or production;
• The Most Transformed Company of the Year Award will be received by a company that showed the highest transformation level in its ownership and the composition of its Board of Directors, Executive Management and Managerial Team between July 2018 and December 2019. This award category pits companies employing fewer than 100 people against those of similar size, and companies employing more than 100 people against others of similar size.
• The Health and Safety Award of the Year will be offered to a company with the best legal compliance record in Health and Safety or the lowest Lost-Time Injury Frequency rate;
• The company rated the highest in customer service performance between July 2018 and December 2019 will receive the Customer Service Award of the Year; and
• The Environment Stewardship Award will go to a company that has successfully implemented greening initiatives in its day-to-day business operations.
Mr Nyatsumba encouraged companies operating in the metals and engineering sector to submit their entries for the seven categories before the deadline date of 28 April 2020. The Awards are open to all companies in the metals and engineering sector, and not only those that are members of Associations affiliated to SEIFSA. Awards winners will be honoured at a ceremony that will take place at Summer Place in Boksburg on 28 May 2020.