Solidarity has welcomed the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition’s trade policy directive issued earlier this month. According to the directive measures to help support the South African metals industry, which is facing severe challenges, will be investigated.
The amount of available scrap metal which is extensively used by local steel mills has been drastically reduced and the price of scrap increased sharply. The International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) has been tasked to investigate market conditions as well as demand and supply imbalances of scrap metal to formulate measures to help protect local foundries and steel mills.
“The impact of Covid-19 and the lockdown had a devastating effect on the South Africa steel industry. Ferrous and non-ferrous scrap which is an important raw material for foundries and steel mills are in short supply and the price of scrap has increased significantly,” says Marius Croucamp, Deputy General Secretary for Strategy at the Solidarity Strategic Institute.
No ferrous and non-ferrous scrap may be exported for the period of the investigation unless ITAC determines that the scrap will not be required by the local industry. According to Croucamp policing scrap trade flows in South Africa is challenging with significant circumvention of regulations reportedly taking place. “Solidarity supports the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition to order an investigation into the trade and supply of scrap metal. The sustainability of the industry and job security is at stake and urgent measures must be taken to address this,” Croucamp concluded.