The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) on Wednesday welcomed Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s R95-million allocation towards the establishment of a Steel Development Fund in the 2017 National Budget.
The fund will be controlled by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
Seifsa noted that it, and other stakeholders, have, in the past, often called for such a fund to curb the crisis facing the sector.
Seifsa senior economist Tafadzwa Chibanguza said the fund would improve the competitiveness of foundries and steel fabricators in the metals and engineering sector, contributing to efforts to reverse the crisis that has long beset the sector.
“This announcement is a product of numerous engagements between stakeholders in the metals and engineering industry and the IDC, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Finance Ministry about the importance and need for a dedicated fund for the sector.
“We believe this allocation . . . takes those engagements significantly forward, indicating government’s commitment to assist the sector,” he added.
Chibanguza further noted that the R9.6-billion allocated towards manufacturing incentives would further boost the metals and engineering sector.