JOHANNESBURG, 6 August 2021 – The Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA) welcomes the cabinet reshuffle and is looking for forward to working with new Minister of Finance, Mr Enoch Godongwana. The departure of outgoing finance minister Tito Mboweni is disappointing, considering the level of experience, expertise and political background. However, SEIFSA acknowledges that it was his own personal wish to vacate the office after bringing stability to the Treasury Department during these challenging times. SEIFSA applauds his efforts and contribution to strengthening South Africa’s fiscal position.
SEIFSA also welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s the decision to pull the security cluster into his control, especially following last month’s violent unrest that led to the disruption of businesses and manufacturing activity. The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 43.5, clearly demonstrating the massive level of disruption in the supply chain caused by the inability to deliver much-needed raw materials to industries and other customers of final manufactured goods. Commenting on Mr Godongwana’s appointment, SEIFSA Chief Economist Chifipa Mhango said his background in Government administration and his role as part of the African National Congress’s Economic Transformation Committee, coupled with his education background in economics, makes him a suitable candidate for the finance portfolio. “We are confident that he will continue following the prudent direction set by Mr Mboweni,” he said.
“SEIFSA looks forward to the continued drive towards infrastructure investment in the economy, as when measured in terms of fixed investment levels to GDP, it is still below par when compared to other emerging economies. We hope under Mr Godongwana, there will be real efforts made to ramp up investment,” he said, adding that there also needs to be more focus on the implementation of policies that will support the manufacturing sector and drive job creation, considering the massive unemployment rate in South Africa.
“We wish President Ramaphosa well with his new Cabinet and look forward to continuing our robust engagements with the relevant departments as we work towards a common vision to rebuild our economy.”