The Treasury has designated fabricated structural steel with 100% local content for procurement by state entities, in a move that might protect the domestic industry from a "blood bath". The instruction note, dated January 13, is a long-awaited development that could kickstart large-scale infrastructure projects in SA. It is also a non-tariff response to the financial crisis, which decimated the world’s steel industry. Europe and the US have imposed huge antidumping duties on Chinese steel imports. The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) designation of preferential procurement is aimed at strengthening and diversifying SA’s industrial base. Until now, designated steel use has included power pylons, railway rolling stock and buses. The addition of structural steel might breathe new life into the domestic steel sector. Since the end of SA’s 2010 Soccer World Cup, the construction industry — which uses up to 50% of all domestically produced steel — has languished. "We have been ...

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