1. Shaping of the Economics Division
Eleen van Rooyen is settling in well, and already makes a valuable contribution.
2. New Price and Index Pages
- Due to the changes and improvements, several new subscribers have come onto SEIFSA’s books. The SEIFSA-ETSA indices subscribers have jumped from 3 to 10 in a short space of time.
3. SEIFSA participation in the Industry Policy Forum
Alan Bruce presented StratAlign’s ideas around the road ahead for the IPF at the SEIFSA conference, which gave good guidance on the direction needed for research.
4. SEIFSA involvement in the national discourse on economic, trade and industrial policies
4.1 Economic Policy Issues: (BUSA Economic Policy Committee, BUSA Economic Advisors Group, National Treasury, South African Reserve Bank)
BUSA Economic Policy Committee
A meeting will be held on the 29th of May, which we will attend.
A process has been set in motion to react sensibly to the National Development Plan (NDP) at BUSA. The speeches by Professor Raymond Parsons and Trueman Goba at the SEIFSA conference on the NDP gave valuable pointers to future work within BUSA (and SEIFSA). The EC department have been researching the NDP and IPAP for some time now.
ESKOM electricity price increase application
Nothing more has been heard about ESKOM’s ‘appeal’ to NERSA about the 8% increase allowed. In the meantime, ESKOM briefed the country recently about future maintenance and supply, (courtesy of Mr Ken Dewar of PEMA)
“On the 13th of April, I attended a meeting at Megawatt Park between the office of Eskom’s CEO, BUSA and various industry bodies. At the meeting a presentation was made by Eskom highlighting the invidious position that they were in regarding power supply during the coming months. The presentation covered the numerous reasons for Eskom being in this position, such as:
- The need to do planned maintenance to prevent large un-planned breakdowns
- The new environmental regulations which require modifications to pollution control equipment (FGD, Bag-houses)
- The inability to continue to run their gas turbines at high levels
- Breakdowns and supply problems from Cabora Bassa
- NERSA’s refusal to grant them the funds needed to install demand side management equipment in domestic consumers
- Coal supply and quality issues
- Reduced efficiency levels at older power stations
- Problems at Medupi
This winter is going to be different to previous years, in that Eskom are going to continue with scheduled maintenance through the winter. They are to go with a program of 80% availability, 10% planned maintenance, and 10% expected un-planned outages. This will leave them short of meeting demand, particularly in the early evening (5 – 9pm) period so, consequently, we can expect load shedding to occur. Eskom will attempt to do this in an orderly manner and expect to give at least a day (if not more) notice of the areas to be affected and the times.”
The South African Reserve bank
There were no engagements since the Roundtable of the 15th of April.
NEDLAC Finance & Monetary Chamber
The Chamber hosted an event on monetary targeting addressed by several speakers on the 3rd of May (National Treasury, Nedbank, AIDC, and CSID) (presentations available on request).
Discussions with other groupings
4.2 International Trade Policy Issues
BUSA Trade Policy Committee
The SACU-India tariff reduction negotiations are on-going.
Scrap metal study
Since the Economic Development Department and ITAC are continuing with the process to give preference to local buyers of scrap metals. It is known that the Metal Recyclers’ Association will launch a legal challenge to the initiative.
The study to motivate for transformers to be designated by Dti was unsuccessful. ESKOM recently applied to ITAC for a rebate on tariffs on transformers. SEIFSA and the transformer manufacturers individually made submissions to ITAC and Dti to make them aware of the domestic production capacity and resists such rebates.
Manufacturing Trade & Tariffs Forum
The feedback and information about the international trade issues emanating from the work of Danie Jordaan is invaluable.
Support for SEIFSA companies wanting to enter African markets
As part of the SEIFSA strategic plan, the possibility of (legal) support for companies wanting to operate in African markets was investigated. As part of BUSA’s facilitation of business activity we became aware of ‘LEX Africa’ which is a network of legal firms in most African countries doing exactly what we were looking for. A document is available with basic information and details of legal firms that can provide support in the country of choice. We have put the links on the SEIFSA website. The document is regularly updated, so information will be the current.
4.3 Industrial Policy
Department of Trade & Industry: Industrial Policy Action Plan 2013/2017
This (latest) version of IPAP was launched on the 4th of April. We continue to study this, and will shortly produce an evaluation of the policy.
Trade and Industry Chamber: NEDLAC
The next TIC meeting is at the end of May, and we may be able to report on its proceedings at Council.
The potential for ship building and repair in SA
Also as part of the strategic plan, SEIFSA has been in contact with the facilitators of a process between Transnet and the companies interested in expanding exactly these activities in SA. We hope to have a report soon.
4.4 BUSA Transformation Policy Committee
There has been a meeting of TransPol on the 24th of April (which Christelle Badenhorst attended) where Dti gave feedback on progress with the proposed amendments to the BEE Codes. Feedback was not that illuminating and several statements in the Press and around Transnet’s tenders have given renewed reason for concern. The EC breakfast session with the drafters of these Codes took place on the 22st of May and will be reported on at Council.
4.5 Interaction with Associations
The following meetings took place with Associations;
- EEAIA on the 7th of May,
- SAFMA on the 7th of May,
- EMASA, the 13th,
- NFMIA, on the 23rd of May,
- DDC, 24th of May,
- Light Engineering Association, on the 28th of May,
- MTTF, also on the 28th of May,
- Association of Metal Service Centres, on the 29th of May
- IHS Global Insight (a partner) on the 13th of May, and
- With IHS Global USA office on the 17th of May
5. Upcoming Seminars
June (date to be confirmed); Customs initiatives to control imports through SA’s ports of entry, with either the Commissioner or her senior staff, and possibly experts from other sectors (clothing, rubber, glass) with success stories.