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AMSA’s antiquated production facility has, once again, failed the South African steel industry.
A few days ago, AMSA experienced a major breakdown at its Newcastle facility, which caused a shutdown that will last for weeks. AMSA produces ‘long products’ at its Newcastle steelworks facility, which include, among others, beams, angles and round bar. The non-availability of these items has a knock-on effect on every industry in which these products are input material. The damage caused by AMSA’s inability to supply is difficult to calculate, but it is of a significant magnitude.
In addition to the problems with AMSA’s long product production-line, they also only had a partial start-up at their flat product production-line in Vanderbijlpark. Flat and coated products are also essential for many industries outside of the steel sector and serious damage has therefore been inflicted on the South African economy.
In order to mitigate the effect of this shortfall, the industry is compelled to import. That, however, is hampered by the import duties protecting AMSA. This has a severe impact on production, competitiveness and the price of products, which in turn prejudices the public - it just makes everything more expensive for the citizenry of South Africa.
Not only is AMSA unable to supply the market with coated flat products, they are still pursuing additional duties on nine new tariff codes of flat products, some of which they don’t even produce. NEASA has consequently approached both Ministers Mboweni and Patel, urging them not to sign off on these nine new tariff codes. It is NEASA’s view that, among others, in view of AMSA’s inability to supply the market, there is simply no logic in granting more duties.
NEASA, once again, appeals to Government to, once and for all, stop this senseless protection of AMSA, a foreign monopoly, and scrap all protectionist duties with immediate effect.