The argument about whether South Africa has truly benefited from its primary steel industry since the privatisation of the state-owned steel producer is one which rears its head from time to time. I believe the context for this argument must be a consideration of the consequences if there was no primary steel industry, as well as the overall contribution of the steel industry to the growth of the South African economy. For many years, steel producers globally have been operating in a sector in crisis. Most have been hit by plunging prices due to overcapacity in China. In South Africa, steelmakers have had to deal with an unprecedented increase in cheap imports, which has severely affected demand and left us fighting for the survival of the industry and trying to protect jobs. In line with other countries that have taken measures to protect their steel sectors, we are grateful for the support of the government in the past few years, with the imposition of import duties and safeguards...

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