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The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa’s) seventy-sixth annual general meeting saw Arabella Holdings Executive Chair Elias Monage elected as the body’s new president and Chair of the Board of Directors. Seifsa represents 23 independent employer associations in the metals and engineering sectors.

ArcelorMittal South Africa Marketing Director for Africa Alpheus Ngapo, Babcock International Africa Division Company Secretary Neil Penson, Auto Industrial Group CEO Andrea Moz, South African Mint Company’s Managing Director Tumi Tsehlo, MphoNo Energies Managing Director and KSB Pumps & Valves Board Member Nonhlanhla Ngwenya, Lixil Africa Chief Legal and Human Resources Officer Seneca Lutchmana and Murray & Roberts Power & Energy Human Resources Executive Patrick Metswi were also elected to the Seifsa board at the AGM.

This board is the most diverse since the organisation’s inception, says Seifsa CEO Kaizer Nyatsumba. “We commend Seifsa membership associations for having elected the most transformed board in the Federation’s history, both in terms of race and gender. Colleagues and I are encouraged by this development, which we believe to bode well for transformation in the metals and engineering sector.”

Delivering the presidential address at the AGM, outgoing Interim President Alpheus Ngapo wished the new board members luck in the year ahead, and stressed the importance of greater collaboration between business, government and labour in helping to lay the foundations for a return to economic growth. He said policy certainty and growth in the mining, construction and automotive sectors were particularly important to the health and survival of the metals and engineering sector.

He added that although production in the metals and engineering sector was generally increasing alongside international commodity prices, the cluster was still going through a structural adjustment and its challenges were still prevalent. “Its growth pattern still fluctuates, productivity is generally poor, capacity utilisation is still below the required 85% and investment and profit levels are low. Domestic production costs have also been rising alongside output levels.”

“Although these challenges signalled the resilient nature of businesses in the metals and engineering sector, regrettably, the optimism and hope for better future business prospects was not shared by all purchasing executives. There continues to be understandable concern among a number of stakeholders and observers that the country is de-industrialising,” Ngapo said.

“There is no doubt that focused effort and planning is required to navigate Seifsa and its member Associations through increasingly challenging circumstances, socio-economic difficulties, political and regulatory uncertainty and the weak business landscape. To achieve its objectives, Seifsa requires a well-informed, strong, respected leadership, a united and effective Board and Council and a presence and voice with all stakeholders.”

Image: https://www.seifsa.co.za/about/team-seifsa/

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