Revitalising the domestic steel industry is not only possible, it is essential if the economy is to regain a growth trajectory and create jobs.
A recent study by Oxford Economics confirms what we all intuitively understand: steel is one of the backbone industries on which economies are built and jobs created. Our product is used to make the objects that make a modern society work—without steel, manufacturing would simply be impossible. That means that steel has an unusually long and influential value chain, creating value and jobs across its own supply chain and then into the whole economy.
The research shows that for every $1 of value added within the steel industry, a further $2.50 of value is added by companies across the globe that supply the industry.
To put it in terms that should resonate particularly strongly in this job-hungry country, every two jobs in the steel sector translate into in 13 more jobs across its supply chain. In South Africa, steel creates 190 000 jobs directly.