The year has started with extreme volatility and renewed pressure on commodities. We have been battered with dire economic predictions but I take comfort that there is a small chance that economists can often be wrong. With this in mind we can no longer plan our way into the future. We have to knuckle down and work hard together to create the future we want to see.
So, I would like us to move from survival mode to growth all be it slow and arduous.
From the SAISC perspective we are now a larger group with a number of very competent and successful associations and some that need to be bedded down and re-energised. This will require back-to-basics but I think we are entering an exciting time. The first order of the day is to continue to assist our members to identify markets and opportunities going forward. Exports are often highlighted as a cure all especially when the rand dollar exchange rate is in our favour. We believe there are opportunities but dedicated export departments are required to improve our success rate. As a collective we should all lobby to ensure more projects come on stream.
Southern Africa needs a substantial investment in infrastructure which bodes well for the steel industry in the longer term. Our efforts on the promotion of local fabricated structural steel continue in earnest, designation and enforcement of duties on fabricated structural steel have begun to yield some success. I believe that if we work together as an industry and all sing from the same hymn sheet we can generate sufficient momentum to encourage the positive change and mind shifts we require.
We have a great deal of work to do to ensure that we have a balanced approach to tariffs and a sustained drive towards competitiveness and innovation.
I am still confident that we can deliver and compete with the rest of the world.
We are a can do industry.
We have a proven track record of delivering world-class quality projects.
Our Members have world-class facilities and have adopted the most modern technologies available today.
For our members, help us to continue helping you. Send young staff on training courses; get involved and give us your feedback. It is only through a concerted effort on skills development and innovation that we can become the world leaders that we know we can be.