Save the date for SEIFSA’s Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference

Save the date for SEIFSA’s Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference
Save the date for SEIFSA's Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference

The Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) will give Government, Business and Labour a chance to assess the progress of the Steel Master Plan (SMP) at its Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan Conference on May 19 and 20.

The Plan — which was launched on June 11 2021 and signed by representatives of Government, Business and Labour — provides a series of practical steps for the steel and engineering industry to follow in order to reinvigorate itself.

Almost one year after the plan was signed, the industry is ready to see it take shape. SEIFSA CEO Lucio Trentini said: “This industry stands ready to make its contribution to translating the government’s vision of reindustrialising the metals and engineering (M&E) sector, and to start translating visions, promises and policy into action and deliverables.”

“We need government to roll-out its promised infrastructure spend, which is absolutely central to the reigniting of industrial capacity in the sector.”

The steel industry, as a direct driver of growth, investment and jobs, and as indirect supporter of the construction, automotive and mining sectors, is a crucial component in boosting the country’s industrial capacity.

“It’s going to be about increasing domestic demand for steel,” Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel said at the signing of the Steel Master Plan.

The conference will play host to senior Department of Trade, Industry and Competition officials, representatives from the Steel Oversight Committee, Business and Labour leaders who will analyse the progress of the plans as well as the commitments that will lay the foundations for the development and growth of the M&E sector in the years ahead.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel will deliver the keynote address, after an opening address from Elias Monage, SEIFSA President. Other speakers include Irvin Jim, the General Secretary of National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), and Marius Croukamp, Deputy General Secretary of Solidarity.

There will also be a series of panel discussions looking at supply-side measures, demand-side measures, transformation, resource mobilisation and the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Trentini said: “The big gains will be made by moving our infrastructure programme from shallow waters to deep waters and to get it moving on a bigger scale and then introducing a localisation requirement not only on primary steel, but also downstream steel.”

The Mainstreaming the Steel Master Plan conference will be held on May 19 and 20 at Industrial Development Corporation, Sandton. 

The conference will be organised and hosted by SEIFSA in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition.

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SEIFSA is a national federation representing 18 independent employer associations in the metal and engineering industries, with a combined membership of over 1 200 companies employing over 170 000 employees. The federation was formed in 1943 and its member companies range from giant steel-making corporations to micro-enterprises employing fewer than 50 people.