Trade & industry minister Ebrahim Patel urged ArcelorMittal on Monday to reconsider its decision to shut the Saldanha steel plant, hours after Africa’s largest steelmaker unveiled plans that would put 900 jobs on the line.

The winding down of the plant is a blow to the industry that has been grappling with rising input costs, cheap imports and the lowest demand in a decade as both the government and private sector hold back on infrastructure spending.

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