1. Shaping of the Economics Division

A member of staff (Charl Cilliers) resigned and will be leaving SEIFSA by the end of February. A recruitment process is under way.

2. SEIFSA participation in the Industry Policy Forum

Further research is being done and a position paper is taking shape for SEIFSA to use in the forum deliberations. The following activities took place;

 

  • HPL attended the StratAlign workshop (24 Jan 2013) with SEIFSA associations in Johannesburg. Valuable insights were gained from this.
  • A follow-up session was held with Economics Forum members (29 Jan 2013) where new data was shared and certain ideas were tested and suggestions made on further work to be done.
  • HPL also travelled to Port Elizabeth (21 Febr 2013) for a session with captains of the PE membership, and discussed the specific regional needs of the area. Regional data was explored and valuable insights gained.

3. SEIFSA involvement in the national discourse on economic, trade and industrial policies

3.1 Economic Policy Issues: (BUSA Economic Policy Committee, BUSA Economic Advisors Group, National Treasury, South African Reserve Bank)

BUSA Economic Policy Committee

A meeting was held on the 6th of February with most of the debates covering;

  • The next Government budget, which resulted in a press release by BUSA,
  • The interaction of some BUSA leaders with President Zuma, which generated heated debate, due to the fact that ‘unknown’ members of BUSA attended, and the input and outcome seemed to be unrelated to substantive work done by BUSA members in numerous structures.
  • The prominence given to the National Development Plan was in line with BUSA’s ideas. A decision was taken to develop a tool (matrix) to guide BUSA’s responses to policies/regulations/bills/laws. HPL is involved in the development of such, and met with BUSA staff on the 15th of February to discuss this further.
NDP vision/Objectives 25 years Current policies - 3/5/10 years GAPS;Evaluation tool between long & short term Measurements
E.g. Industrialisation New Growth path IPAP,Budgets   Manufacturing share of GDP,Growth, etc

 

NERSA Submission and Presentation

SEIFSA’s presentation of its submission at the NERSA hearings was well received. SEIFSA was invited by NUMSA to participate in a discussion with NAAMSA and the Manufacturing Circle regarding the implications of the electricity price increases. HPL made a presentation to impress on NUMSA that we know what we are talking about, and had a very good response afterwards, with an understanding that we will share information and research. The press aired some of the footage.

The South African Reserve bank

The last Roundtable took place on the 22nd of February which HPL missed due to the PE visit. The subject was ‘Karoo Shale Gas’.

3.2 International Trade Policy Issues

BUSA Trade Policy Committee

The first TradePol meeting took place on the 5th of February, but HPL could not attend due to other commitments. Issues were;

  • Dti started with their review of the Trade Policy Strategic Framework, but there was a lot of unhappiness with the approach followed.
  • The SACU-India tariff reduction process seems to be in a stalemate due to resistance from SA constituencies.
  • The TradePol committee feeds BUSA’s views into the TESELICO subcommittee of the Trade and Industry Chamber. There seems to be uncertainty whether TESELICO should continue in its current format.

Scrap metal study

This study into the impact of, and best solutions to the problem of scarcity of scrap has been completed. All parties, including the Metal Recyclers’ Association were involved.

In the meantime, the Economic Development Department and ITAC published two gazettes with proposals for control of the export of scrap. The fortuitous availability of the new study may allow for a sensible, and (mostly) acceptable policy intervention to conclude this 12 year-long saga ... Some of the SEIFSA Associations have submitted responses directly to EDD. The deadline has been moved to the 8th of March.

3.3 Industrial Policy

Trade and Industry Chamber: NEDLAC

The first TIC meeting took place on the 7th of February; issues of importance were;

  • A report on work done on customs fraud and illegal imports,
  • The problem that no institution seems to take responsibility for the monitoring of the local procurement accords,
  • Progress on the NERA and ERA bills, and
  • A very interesting report on SA companies’ involvement in regional investment and development.

Department of Trade & Industry: IPAP 2012/13-2014/15

No progress can be reported yet on the request for regular meetings with Dti.

3.4 BUSA Transformation Policy Committee

There has been a meeting of TransPol on 20 February, but none of the EC staff could attend.

3.5 Interaction with Associations

The following meetings took place with Associations;

  • EEAIA on the 5th of February
  • NFMIA on the 6th
  • CEA on the 12th
  • SAVAMA on the 14th
  • SAEF on the 19th,
  • The Downstream development Committee of SAISI on the 20th (HPL had to apologize)
  • The Lift Engineering Association on the 26th and
  • The Association of Metal Services Centres on the 27th.