Today's Labour News

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seifsaBusinessTech reports that SA’s metals and engineering sector has suffered major job losses over the last fifteen years, with worries that continued stagnation in the country’s economy could lead to another jobs bloodbath.

According to Tafadzwa Chibanguza, Chief Operating Officer at the Steel and Engineering Industries of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), the sector currently employs 362,871 people – a massive drop from the 577,507 people employed in 2008. This equates to 214,636 jobs losses over the period – or 40 jobs per day. “Considering the steel sector’s induced economic multiplier of 2.7 times, the employment multiplier of 6 times and the dependency ratio of between 7 to 10 people relying on each formal job, the sectors employment trends spell wide scale social and economic disaster,” Chibanguza pointed out. The steel and engineering sector is essential to SA’s industrial base and is also key for exports. Nevertheless, the sector is not realising its potential, with ArcelorMittal SA (AMSA) announcing in November last year that it would close its long steel operations in Newcastle and Vereeniging. “The prospect of this development materialising is a major cause of concern which will only add to exacerbating the downward spiral to employment in the sector,” Chibanguza said. However, in an update, AMSA said it had held talks with various stakeholders, including the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Ebrahim Patel, Transnet, the IDC and organised labour, which had been “productive”. The group said that it would make a further announcement over the potential closures in the near future.

  • Read the full original of the report in the above regard by Luke Fraser at BusinessTech

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