Unfair trade practices puts steel industry at risk: union
Johannesburg - If there is no urgent intervention, the South African steel industry is at risk of collapse, trade union Solidarity warned on Tuesday.
Marius Croucamp, the union's deputy general secretary of the metal and engineering industry said that South Africa was being subjected to unfair trade practices.
An ArcelorMittal steel foundry. File picture: Supplied. Credit: ARCELORMITTAL
“Chinese steel is subsidised in China, with the result that steel is dumped on a large scale in South Africa, which places immense pressure on our steel producers because the playing field is not level,”he said in a public presentation to the International Trade Administration Commission.
“It is crucial that preventative measures should be set in place now to limit the dumping of Chinese steel in South Africa.”
Croucamp also said that communities functioned around steel plants. About 2 200 people lost their jobs when Evraz Highveld Steel had to close its doors due to these imports.
And the closing of Highveld Steel actually affected a further 13 000 job opportunities in the Witbank area.
“The steel industry provides about 66% of all jobs in the Vaal Triangle area. If a steel plant such as ArcelorMittal, which is under immense pressure, has to close its doors as well, it would bring the local community and the economy to its knees,” Croucamp said.