The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (Dtic), along with industry stakeholders from the steel and metal fabrication sector, last Friday signed a master plan designed to re-energise the sector and expand production.
South Africa is one of the largest steel producers on the African continent, with local steel manufacturers producing 5.7 million metric tons of crude steel in 2019, second only to Egypt.
“The master plan sets out practical steps to be implemented progressively by all stakeholders across the steel and fabrication value chain. It includes several priority areas, among them demand-side measures, supply-side measures and the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement,” Dtic minister, Ebrahim Patel, said.
He added that the signing of the master plan set the foundation and commitment for the development and growth of the sector.
“Learning from the other master plans that are in implementation phases, there is a long and steep road ahead of us. Building consensus and agreeing on the actions to anchor the implementation was a much easier process. The hard work has started in the implementation and will get even harder as we begin to collectively tackle actions that are very difficult but necessary for the long-term development of this industry,” he said.
To drive implementation of the plan, a steel oversight council has been established, with 35 members drawn from all parts of the industry, including up- and downstream industry players, organised labour, and public sector officials. The oversight council met for the first time in February, following the adoption of the master plan by the industry.