05 December 2023

…continued from Part 1

This is the second part of an article concerning the imminent closure of the ArcelorMittal Newcastle ‘long’ steel products operation in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, which is likely to cause considerable turbulence within the local steel sector, with potential projected ‘knock-on’ effects including product shortages, quality issues and even price increases, according to Southern African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) Chief Executive Officer, Amanuel Gebremeskel.

Gebremeskel advises project owners to be aware of the inevitable transitionary challenges, and to make sure that they allocate sufficient budgets and set realistic lead-times when it comes to the structural steel required for their projects.

 Quality supports sector sustainability

Most importantly, he also cautions the entire steel supply chain to be aware of quality issues that could potentially arise, and to support the SAISC in its ongoing quality initiative; as well as its mission and objective to develop and promote high standards within the industry.

“The closure of an established and high-quality long product manufacturing steel mill means that we will have to diversify our sources of long product steel. Inevitably, this means we will – more than ever – need a quality regime to closely monitor the steel which will either be imported, or be manufactured by smaller mills.

As the designated custodian of all technical matters related to structural steel, the SAISC spearheads this quality initiative on behalf of the South African steel sector, as the promotion of quality throughout the sector contributes to its ongoing viability and sustainability. We therefore call on all players in the steel value chain to support this vital initiative, so that we can maintain our lead in the design, manufacture and construction of high-quality steel projects locally and Pan-Africa,” Gebremeskel concludes.

About the South African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC)

Founded in 1956, the South African Institute of Steel Construction (SAISC) represents all facets of the steel construction industry – as well as those with an interest in the use of steel in all sectors of business and society as a whole. The mission of the SAISC is also to promote the holistic vigour and prosperity of the people and companies in South Africa that provide steel-related products or services to the construction and related industries.

SAISC members include the steel mills, merchants and value-added processors and service centres, steelwork contractors, companies that provide services (such as fabrication, galvanising or painting); or products such as fasteners, paint and a variety of other products, client bodies, architects, specifiers, consulting engineers, project managers, quantity surveyors, engineering procurement and contract management contractors and assorted others.

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