There’s nothing worse than something that does not work as it should! Efforts go to waste, business relationships crumble, tariffs keep rising, operational costs keep eating away at funds, high potentially successful small businesses shut down, big players delay paying their suppliers and thus adding on the stresses from smaller companies, products are expected to be of highest quality but there’s material shortages, overall supply has suffered – industry is supposed to be re-energizing, but it’s not going as planned.
The South African Steel Industry – An Industry which has built up its steel-making expertise and infrastructure over a century – with high end skills, knowledge, logistics networks and very critical downstream businesses required for a viable and potentially thriving local steel sector.
The industry is currently in need of solutions and critical focus on its comparative advantages such as regional supply, niche quality products and readily available input materials such as iron ore. Such a shift in focus could/can help the industry to stay alive, however in no way will/can it level the playing field with global competition. Prohibitive input costs, unreliable energy supply, transport and cheap imports (mixed with low domestic demand) are hurdles that are affecting industry, further backed by uneven pricing.
As many businesses struggle to find their feet in the ravaging Covid-19 crisis, Manufacturing has an urgent need to fill the labour gap and keep breathing by keeping its operations local and finding ways to keep the industries trading/monetary circulation going.
It is difficult to predict the economies path at the moment, owing to the far-reaching consequences that Covid-19 has inflicted across markets. A particular sector experiencing the backlash is the manufacturing industry.
Many are faced with a situation where they have to honor commitments without the aid of their full teams, staff and full operations departments. When it comes to fulfilling customer needs, it is the engineering team driving its success. It is the expertise of these high skilled personnel that is required to come up with alternate solutions to help both businesses and industry to move forward. Engineers bring together extensive industry knowledge, solutions, skills in material, quality evaluation and efficiency. Which benefits industry as a whole but more importantly and directly – benefits businesses, their customers and stakeholders. Sustainability and quality go together like sanitizer and a mask.
While industry is trying to recover, the ever troubled Eskom keeps adding more dead weight on the already heavy strain. One key area of rebuilding is consistency in supply of power. However, if our current state of policy uncertainty continues, hopes of redeeming a healthy economy will be like one of Aristotle’s philosophies. The challenges facing industry need to be faced with very critical solutions where value-added goods would play a key role in re-energizing the South African economy.
End Of Thought…
By Boitumelo Lesenya
010 593 0544