SA to investigate scrap metal shortage hurting industry

The scrap metal industry contributes R15 billion to GDP and employs about 350 000 people, the ministry said.
Image: Moneyweb

The South African government will investigate a shortage of scrap metals which is hurting the country’s manufacturing and processing sectors, the trade ministry said on Friday.

Minister Ebrahim Patel called on the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa (ITAC) to explore measures which could help support the metals industry suffering from price increases for scrap.

“The downturn in global manufacturing resulting from COVID-19 has led to the amount of scrap metal available locally and internationally being dramatically reduced,” the ministry said on Twitter.

“Due to the steep global increase in prices and reduced economic activity, the industry has called on government to assist it urgently.”

The scrap metal industry contributes R15 billion ($878 million) to GDP and employs about 350 000 people, the ministry said.

The construction, mining, and transport equipment manufacturing industries are the biggest consumers of metal products. They together account for about 15% of South Africa’s GDP.


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Mr T-Shirts & Slops never ceases to totally amaze me.

Yes you are quite right – another example of what happens when you switch off the economy over night and send everyone home. 350,000 people, were part of an industry deemed non essential. Now you seem surprised there is no scrap! Who did you expect would strip, cut and bale the metals in lock down?

You have the gall to now announce an investigation – do you really not know!!! There are examples of this idiocy throughout the economy. Opening different industries at different levels is non-sensical, everything is interconnected. Many companies deemed allowed (by who and on what basis changes daily) to open at different levels, could not – because essential supplies/ services required for the running of their businesses were not available, as they came from companies only deemed ‘safe’ to operate at multiple levels below them.

It is because of the likes of this man, that epitomises everything that is wrong at Luthuli house and the NCCC.

Not all is lost, it is because of him and his comrades, that you have a guaranteed TEN BAGGER+ of an investment over the next few years and that is the ZAR short.

Some years ago when commodity prices were high, every bit of scrap metal that was concreted into the ground was removed and sold for scrap. For ‘new’ scrap you need industries creating offcuts, or industries upgrading machinery or upgrading plants. There is little of that going on so where is the scrap supposed to come from?

Also 350 000 people? So about one in every 20 people employed works in scrap metal? Please.

Where is the rest of the article?

How and why do people and businesses still think government can do anything for them.

So what is expected from an investigation? Discover that due to lockdown copper theft for supply to scrap metal has dropped. Discover that the industry has strange business models and poor energy efficiency.

And where does the 350 000 come from. That’s a very very high number. Surely 35 000 is the number?

It is sad when Trade Industry does not understand economics. The price of scrap increases as result of the shortage of supply A price increase leads to scrap suppliers (these guys with the trollies pushing their trollies through the streets) will look harder for pieces of metal….but unfortunately also those that steal telkom cables and farm infrustructure will also work harder. Nothing to investigate, open the economy so that the scrap from vehicle manufacturing and parts, hardware manufacturing etc increases.

Close all scrap dealers. Will save Eskom and other industries a fortune.

End of comments.





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