The designation of locally-produced cement, which can make it necessary for it for use by contractors on any authorities tasks and prohibit the use of imported cement on these tasks, has reportedly been approved in precept by National Treasury.
Bryan Perrie, CEO of Cement & Concrete SA (CCSA), a newly established consolidated concrete and cement trade physique, mentioned on Monday that his understanding from the Department of Trade and Industry and Competition [dtic] is that the trade’s application for designation is with National Treasury.
“According to [the dtic], it has been approved but still has to go through the chief procurement officer or something like that to be formally gazetted. In principle, designation has been approved but that is the best I have. I don’t have anything in writing,” he mentioned.
National Treasury has not but responded to a request from Moneyweb for touch upon the standing of the application.
The matter has turn out to be extra necessary in gentle of the federal government’s deliberate large infrastructure funding plan.
The authorities in July 2020 unveiled 50 Strategic Infrastructure Projects and 12 particular tasks, involving a complete funding of R340 billion, as the primary tranche of a large infrastructure expenditure programme to drive the submit Covid-19 financial recovery effort.
First post-pandemic-recovery infrastructure tasks gazetted
‘Smoke and mirrors’ from authorities on infrastructure expenditure
The 2021 Budget Review launched final week revealed that authorities has a programme to spend R791.2 billion on infrastructural funding over the following three years.
The CCSA has been established by way of the consolidation of The Concrete Institute (TCI), the Concrete Society of Southern Africa and the Association of Cementitious Material Producers (ACMP), and was launched on Monday.
Perrie, who was beforehand CEO of TCI, mentioned all that designation means is that locally-produced cement should be used for any government-funded project, whether or not it’s a native, municipal, provincial, nationwide or state-owned enterprise project.
He mentioned the designation should be enforced to make sure that contractors don’t use imported cement, which is the place the issue arises.
Perrie added that a lot of the imported cement coming into South Africa meets the regulatory normal however is partially subsidised within the nations the place it’s produced.
“They [imported cement producers] also don’t have to comply with the empowerment requirements, the labour requirements, and don’t have the Mining Charter,” he mentioned.
Perrie mentioned imported cement producers could make the proper high quality of cement and the designation “is really to protect the local industry from unfair competition effectively”.
Read: Cement imports speed up
He mentioned the CCSA will in future take the lead on all issues associated to cement and concrete in South Africa, together with tariff safety in opposition to imported cement and the designation of cement.
The International Trade Administration Commission (Itac) in December 2020 accepted an application from the cement trade for a sundown overview of the import tariffs imposed on cement from Pakistan 5 years in the past.
Perrie mentioned all the data has been supplied to Itac for this overview “so the ball is in their court”.
The cement trade can be nonetheless ready for Itac to finalise an application first submitted to the fee in August 2019 by TCI, on behalf of the trade, for “safeguard action” in opposition to low cost cement imports, notably from nations resembling China and Vietnam.
Commenting on the rationale for the institution of CCSA, Perrie mentioned there was at all times an enormous quantity of confusion about what the three organisations have been doing.
He mentioned ACMP, for example, “sits in the background and very few people know about them”.
“They are very involved with government in legislation on emissions and carbon tax and that sort of stuff,” he mentioned.
Perrie added that corporations have been placing money into all three organisations however felt it could be much better to place their resources right into a single physique that represents and will be the voice of the broader cement and concrete trade and in addition hopefully remove any overlaps and gaps in what they have been doing.
He mentioned CCSA has been mandated to advertise and assist the trade to drive development and ship shared worth by way of a unified platform for cement and concrete.
Read: Operating surroundings doubtlessly improves for SA cement trade
The physique will create long-term shared worth and trade development in South Africa by driving collaboration, expertise improvement, innovation, and the very best requirements in sustainable cement and concrete supplies and merchandise, he added.
“At a time where many conflicting and ambiguous messages are shared readily on various platforms, and with the proliferation of substandard products and services, the need for authoritative engagement with all stakeholders is critical,” he mentioned.