Picture: BLOOMBERG
Picture: BLOOMBERG

A refurbished iron and steel plant in Cape Town is to be officially opened by Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel on Wednesday.

The Cape Town Iron and Steel Works (Cisco) plant was purchased in 2012 by Turkish company DHT Holdings, which invested R550m in expanding and upgrading it. The investment represents one of the largest investments by a Turkish firm in SA.

The factory produces steel from scrap metal using electric arc furnaces. Its products, which are used typically in the manufacturing and construction industries, are sold domestically as well as exported to the rest of Southern Africa and other international regions.

According to the Department of Economic Development, Cisco expects to source 500,000 tonnes per year of scrap metal at full production but this will require that the export of scrap metal is limited. Local foundries and steel mini-mills have been under pressure for a number of years due to the unavailability of scrap metal because of a surge in exports.

The reopening of the Cisco factory follows the introduction of a trade directive issued by Patel, which provides local steel mills with greater access to scrap metal through a price preference system that favours the local industry.

The Cisco factory was originally established in 1967 but the factory was closed down in 2010 by its previous owner, Murray & Roberts, and put on care and maintenance.

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