A FRESH LOOK AT THE SOUTH AFRICAN STAINLESS STEEL SECTOR
After a bumpy ride in recent years, we have started the new year with high hopes and a positive attitude.
Welcome to our first Stainless Steel magazine issue for 2023 and we trust it will be the excellent read you have become accustomed to!
You will notice that this issue of the magazine sports a new design that will increase its online readability without doing away with the well-known “look and feel” of the publication.
In this issue, we will be giving you some information on the global state of the stainless steel industry whilst bringing it closer to home where we see the decline in apparent consumption of stainless steel to continue after a very positive growth spurt in 2021.
The decline is mainly attributed to lower exports of certain products, and we hope this situation is rectified during the year to come. Be this as it may, the local demand for fabricated products remains good, and there is a lot to be done to localise certain stainless steel import categories.
Admittedly, our members’ medium-term confidence levels have dropped below 50%, mainly as a result of the uncertainty and erratic nature of the electricity supply. Our industry is resilient and resourceful but added cost to keep plants running means drastic challenges in competitiveness and keeping to delivery schedules.
From Sassda’s side, we will continue to lobby on behalf of members for relief and assistance during these difficult times as we did ensure the industry opened to 50% following the hard lockdown in 2020 and getting stainless steel removed from the recent legislation on banning the export of scrap metal.
In addition, our traditional accredited training programs are in place and enhanced, and the industry can once again look forward to value adding in our “60 Minutes in Stainless Steel” Wednesday webinars.
Top quality content
Looking at the specific content in this issue, our Uganda feature indicates our readiness to return to Africa to keep members up to date with market intelligence from our neighbours on the continent. The magazine also contains some sound technical information as we look to expand our technical services to members this year.
On a personal note, the ‘Passionate Professional’ profile is a highlight of this issue as we feature a conversation with a stalwart of the industry who has been an integral part of the Sassda team for more than 22 years. Lesley Squires has driven our market research and lobbying with government for many years, and we refer to her as a walking industry encyclopaedia! She is a true stainless legend and will be moving on from Sassda during the middle of the year. Her loyalty and energy for our industry are unsurpassed and her presence will remain for many years to come.
Sassda Executive Director