Task team established to save steel industry – Solidarity
13 August 2015
At an emergency meeting held this week, trade union Solidarity was requested to form part of a crisis task force to save the struggling local steel industry. This task team, which also consists of representatives from Numsa, Seifsa and ArcelorMittal, has been tasked with finding solutions for the industry. The task team must present proposals to the government by the end of August.
According to Marius Croucamp, Solidarity’s Head of the Metal and Engineering Industry, this task team will have to play a crucial role in the salvage of the crisis-laden steel industry. “The task team will have to do in-depth research on the local steel industry and the various challenges it is facing in order to come up with viable long-term solutions for the industry. Currently, the reduction of energy costs and regulations regarding preferential procurement are being considered. However, other possibilities are also being investigated for consideration,” Croucamp said.
Croucamp added that, depending on its reasearch and findings, the team will also demand certain actions from government. Until recently, government has not accepted any responsibility for its role in the crisis.
Several steel producers have commenced with retrenchments in the last month. This includes, among others, Evraz Highveld Steel in Emalahleni (Witbank) and the Scaw Metals Group. ArcelorMittal also announced that it was starting a retrenchment process at its Vereeniging Steel Works that could potentially affect 600 employees, but later withdrew the notice.
The above-mentioned task team will hold their first talks in Johannesburg today.
Statement issued by Marius Croucamp, Head: Metal and Engineering Industry, Solidarity, August 13 2015