A stainless steel production line. Picture: REUTERS
A stainless steel production line. Picture: REUTERS

Trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel stated the obvious in his recent budget speech that “SA’s import to GDP ratio is too high for a country that desperately needs more jobs”. He was also on point in saying that “competitiveness and industrial agility are critical to longer-run localisation efforts”. Downstream steel users complain that ArcelorMittal SA is raising steel prices almost weekly.

Opposition to the extension of safeguard duties on steel imports is intensifying, with the country’s leading merchant challenging it in court. Others are even questioning the economic benefits of sustaining a primary steel producer.

Michael Avery spoke to ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) CEO Kobus Verster;

Mike Benfield, CEO of SA’s largest steel merchant Macsteel;

and Talib Sadik, former CEO of Denel.

Michael Avery and his panel debate the economic benefits of sustaining a primary steel producer

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