The Southern Africa Stain- less Steel Development Association’s (Sassda’s) drive to increase the local production of stainless steel through increased interaction with all role-players in South Africa will promote awareness of stainless steel and benefit members through increasing demand.
This is the view of Sassda chairperson Bernard Maguire, who believes this initiative will subsequently increase labour demand within the industry and complement government’s New Growth Path.
“The association will focus on any industry, locally and in neighbouring African countries, where stainless steel has the potential to be a major contributor,” he says.
To promote the use of stain-less steel in the solar water-heating sector, Sassda’s technical desk, which aims to increase the technical capabilities of its members, has contributed to the redrafting of South African National Standard 151.
This will promote stainless steel as a legal alternative material for construction of hot water tanks, which can be used for various applications.
Besides specifying the stainless steel for pressurised and nonpressurised (open out- let or cistern type) containers, the standard also includes further information about joint design and welding specifications.
Another opportunity for the local stainless steel industry is the production of cutlery and cookware, such as pots and pans.
“In the past, South Africa was a big producer of cutlery. The local stainless steel indus- try has the ability and the technical expertise to under-take the production of cutlery and cookware,” adds Maguire.
Maguire says it is difficult, as a company, to interact with government, but a credible association has a better opportunity of doing so.
“Providing the stainless steel industry with access to key government officials and all major sectors of industry by highlighting the benefits of stainless steel on their behalf is the priority of Sassda,” he explains.
The association also provides networking opportunities that enable the transfer of ideas and future business opportunities.
To grow Sassda’s membership, Maguire says the association must be able to deliver results and will do so with its current executive director, Sethakgi Kgomo.
“Sethakgi and his technically experienced core staff will suc- ceed in achieving the associ-ation’s aims and, in so doing, increase the local conversion of stainless steel and the asso- ciation’s membership. He has put a lot of energy and new momentum into the asso-ciation,” concludes Maguire.