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The National Employers Association of SA (Neasa) does not think tariffs on cheap, mainly Chinese, steel imports will help an industry in crisis. Instead, it says, measures taken by the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure SA’s largest steel maker, ArcelorMittal SA, stays afloat have created a new steel monopoly — something the state has long railed against. This is destroying the downstream metals sector that benefits from cheaper imported steel. Neasa says ArcelorMittal SA’s high pricing "no doubt is a prominent contributor to the 25,000 jobs lost in the downstream sector over the past year". This comes amid the liquidation of SA’s second-largest steel producer, Evraz Highveld Steel & Vanadium, of which only the large structural steel business has been rescued — by ArcelorMittal SA. This means the group now dominates at least 80% of the South African steel market — up from about 70% earlier. It also comes as the state has capped ArcelorMittal SA’s product prices, disallowed r...

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