Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha - The metals and engineering sector was among the sectors shedding jobs in the thousands.

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba 2017 would be an opportunity for stakeholders to come up with workable solutions to stop the jobs bloodbath in the metals and engineering sector, according to Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) chief executive, Kaizer Nyatsumba. 

The metals and engineering sector was among the sectors shedding jobs in the thousands. In the period between July 2014 and June this year, 25 000 people lost jobs in the sector. 

“The loss of jobs in this sector is a worrying trend and should be of great concern to all of us. The sector currently faces pressure from different fronts, including weak economic growth, low business and consumer confidence, increased competition from imports, low productivity and falling export figures,” Nyatsumba said.

In this year’s first quarter, metals and engineering exports declined by 8.3% compared to the fourth quarter of last year. “The unfavourable market conditions have forced a number of companies, many of which are our members, either to scale down or to close down,” he pointed out. 

- BUSINESS REPORT