‘Local manufacturers should be protected as Chinese presence rises’

Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) CEO, Kaizer Nyatsumba

The double-edged sword of Chinese manufacturing in South Africa needs to be examined and solutions found to ensure local manufacturers and traders are protected.

This according to Steel and Engineering Industries Federation of Southern Africa (Seifsa) CEO, Kaizer Nyatsumba, who said that there was “no doubt” that there had been a growing presence of Chinese-manufactured products in South Africa, with Chinese business leaders investing in numerous sectors of the South African economy, including renewable energy, retail as well as the metals and engineering sector.

He said China was increasingly shaping global discourse and economic development and that the presence of Chinese-manufactured goods was set to increase even further in years to come.  

According to him, local Chinese projects often make use of Chinese workers, even on menial jobs, to the detriment of indigenous workers.

“Although Chinese investments bring a different flavour and level of enthusiasm in some industries, it is a catch-22 situation in the labour-intensive industries of the manufacturing sector where there is a negative effect on job creation,” said Nyatsumba.

This is one of the key issues that will be discussed at next week’s Manufacturing Indaba in Durban.


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