Cabinet has endorsed the final report on the work of the Intra-Departmental Task Team on Iron Ore and Steel, Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane said on Thursday.

The report includes recommendations to amend the Competition Act and to introduce export taxes on iron ore and steel “where appropriate”, he said, briefing the meeting after Wednesday's fortnightly Cabinet meeting.

According to a Cabinet statement, the recommendations are scheduled for “urgent implementation”.

Chabane did not provide further details on potential export taxes

He recalled that the price of steel had been the subject of much debate between government departments and mining houses, and said government hoped to stimulate competition and expand beneficiation.

“Within the context of a beneficiation programme, where the government is emphasising and wanting to expand beneficiation of South African mineral products, steel is one of the critical aspects of it, and therefore government would want to expand the number of participants in terms of those who are producing steel.”

Chabane said it was vital to have steel available for infrastructure expansion projects, including the country's planned rail freight overhaul.

“The government is going to take similar steps with regard... to redirect the steel products to provide for the South African economy.” -Sapa