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Steel Industry: Conducting your business with the DUTIES-SWORD hanging over your head (yet another testimony)

Steel Industry: Conducting your business with the DUTIES-SWORD hanging over your head (yet another testimony)

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Below is another testimony from one of our members

Dear Gerhard

Just before receiving your advice regarding AMSA closing their order books for 2020, we received (true to form) yet another “short notice “price increase advice from AMSA! One tends to forget over time, exactly what the frequency and financial implication of this monopolistic pricing structure has done to the steel industry.

In my humble opinion AMSA, with the assistance of the government, have all but trashed the steel industry in South Africa. Further to the above, it is evident that we have not yet seen the full extent of the decay which will probably become clearer during the last quarter of the year only. This period incidentally would have been the ideal opportunity to recover some of the losses incurred during the Covid pandemic.

Unfortunately, the AMSA contribution consists of stock shortages, a closed order book, allocation of “lot” supplies, further price increases and protection against imports and competitors.

Whilst we value your legal proficiency, I wonder if the time has not present itself for the steel industry (as a whole) to stand together and escalate the matter to perhaps the Competition Commission ** or higher authority for adjudication? Whilst the cost implication remains a concern, it may be manageable if the steel merchants and downstream manufacturers all participate.

** On 15 September 2020 NEASA indeed lodged a complaint at the Competition Commission.