Sassda’s purpose statement
“To provide a platform for Sassda members to collectively promote the sustainable growth and development of the industry with the main emphasis on stainless steel converted within the South African economy.”
Background to Sassda’s interactions with the dti
In an effort to fulfil our purpose statement, and with the current lack of projects within South Africa, we have been actively working with Trade Export South Africa and subsequently the Trade Invest Africa units of the dti to facilitate trade between South Africa and other countries on the African Continent. Our particular focus is Africa as the nature of our members’ products tend to be large and therefore logistical costs hamper a lot of exports to the rest of the world.
During recent years we have focused on certain countries who have a need for fabrications in stainless steel amongst them Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique. We have found that the Outward Bound Trade Mission – together with the dti’s support and endorsement – are the most effective way of obtaining business leads and enquiries. This, however, is with the exception of the National Pavilion in Kitwe Zambia, where we have made significant inroads in building relationships with business in the areas and government bodies, to the point that we have been requested to give some of our training courses in Zambia.
From a Kenya perspective we have had great assistance from the dti and our embassy in Nairobi in developing linkages in that country. We have now two fabrication members in Kenya. One of Kenya’s focus areas is in the area of agro-processing in the food and beverage sector. In many instances, there is a legal requirement for stainless steel because of its hygiene properties and we believe that we could develop significant linkages with the country through joint ventures and skills transfer. In addition to this we offer assistance and training to our two members in Kenya.
Tanzania, in terms of applications, is very similar to Kenya in that their focus is on the downstream beneficiation of the agricultural, meat and fish products for export and therefore they have a strong requirement for stainless steel products. With this in mind we have been working with a local Tanzanian businessman to setup a satellite “Tanzanian Stainless Steel Development Association” registered in Tanzania, so that we can offer training, skills transfer and joint ventures into that market, and in the interim facilitate projects for our South African member companies.
Our focus in Mozambique for the past five years has been the LNG plant in Pemba and the overall development of the Pemba region in terms of housing, hospitals, clinic, hotels etc. All are opportunities, some big some small, for our members and their products. We have visited Maputo on several occasions and with the assistance of the dti and our embassy officials have then gone on to Pemba and one occasion Palma as well. We have developed relationships with many of the key decision makers and contractors and moving ahead with the project we hope to work more closely with them in terms of projects for members and skills transfer – which is a key requirement of the Mozambican government.
In future we would like to expand our network into other African countries in a similar vein. In addition to all of the above our positive interactions with the Metal Desk at the dti has led to the current Director being offered a place on our main committee which she accepted and now participates in all our planning sessions.
What Sassda can bring to dti
- We will continue to promote the growth of the stainless steel industry in South Africa through our local and export efforts, with a view to skills transfer, transformation and job creation;
- We have two extremely well qualified experts who could offer support to any technical matters that may arise;
- We would like to continue on the Outward Bound Trade Mission with the dti to expand our export markets and further grow the stainless steel sector;
- We can offer training and skills development, from very basic courses to our advanced course when required;
- If there are questions that need to be answered on our sector, we can do research amongst our members to obtain valid answers;
- Through the MSI – an incubator in Mpumalanga – we help to continually develop new entrepreneurs to feed into the existing market and expand the skills pool.
Where Sassda would like assistance from the dti
- The inefficiencies of SOE’s (Eskom, Transnet, Ports, etc.) are affecting the competitiveness of our members, industry and the South African economy. This has to be addressed if we are able to create a manufacturing sector that can compete globally;
- Members have suggested that there should be some sort of reward for exports, such as incentives and tax breaks.
- Various members have complained of dumping of finished stainless steel products affecting their finished goods sales. For those HS Codes, identified be members, we are conducting analyses on an an going basis. We investigate the trade evolution of the product, going back 20 years to look at import and export trends. We identify where the imports are coming from, the average prices (where possible some codes include “parts thereof”) to compare import prices with local prices. We established a history and look at the bound rates versus the applied import tariff, and where desirable, practical and beneficial to our members, we would like ITAC’s assistance in raising tariffs to bound rates;
- The outward trade mission to Kenya and Tanzania which was scheduled for June 2019 was cancelled and we would like this reinstated;
- The Zambian National Pavilion, which was scheduled for June 2019, and took place, but our participation was cancelled, we would also like to be reinstated;
- The Outward Bound Trade Mission to Mozambique which took place in November 2018 was full, as the Minister mentioned, by a group of small business, and therefore our participation was rejected which has hampered our ongoing efforts in that country. However, we intend applying for the one schedule for November 2019, as we understand the on-shore portion of the project will commence shortly;