The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) has partnered with Smart Procurement World to launch the Empowered Engineering and Manufacturing initiative, which is aimed at driving economic transformation and industrial progress in engineering and manufacturing.
“The purpose of this initiative is very much consistent with that of our Small Business Hub, which renders expert services to small, medium-sized and microenterprises at a more discounted fee than normal and offers a service to large companies that sees us project managing their enterprise and supplier development programmes for a fee so that they can improve their broad-based black economic-empowerment scores,” Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba said on Wednesday.
He said the initiative was also in line with the organisation’s vision and philosophy. The federation, which is 74 years old this year, supports business transformation in general and considers small businesses as significant players in the South African economy and as job creators.
“Our philosophy is simple: we believe fervently that our beautiful country, South Africa, will not realise its full potential unless all relevant stakeholders – but especially the democratically-elected government, business and labour – work together cooperatively and collaboratively as partners.
“We believe very firmly that all of us need to work much [closer] together than we have done hitherto if South Africa is to prosper economically and reclaim its place as the biggest economy on this continent,” said Nyatsumba.
He stressed the importance of engineering and manufacturing, saying no country lagging behind in either could develop.
“Therefore, it is crucially important that South Africa continues to make strides in engineering and that it performs much better in manufacturing than it is doing at the moment.
“For that to happen, the government would have to do much more to create a climate conducive to domestic and foreign direct investment in the country and, thus emboldened, local companies would have to make the necessary investments in cutting-edge technology as well as in research and development,” he added.
South Africa’s manufacturing industry has been under considerable pressure for many years, with its contribution to gross domestic product having declined from around 20% to 13% over the past three decades. It looks set to continue declining.