Cheap cement imports crippling local industry

Posted On Thursday, 16 January 2020 11:55 Published by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Local cement manufacturers are being severely undermined by cheap imports from countries such as China, Vietnam and Pakistan.

Databuild_CEO_Morag_Evans

Government’s failure to stem the influx of these products could have a severe detrimental impact on an already struggling industry, says Databuild CEO Morag Evans.

“In an industry already in the grips of a severe downturn owing to the decline in infrastructure development, not only are these imports negatively impacting the competitiveness of our local manufacturers, but independent studies have shown the quality of these international products to be inferior.”

Evans cites a recent investigation conducted by PPC Cement, which revealed extensive contravention of cement quality regulations. “According to the report, of the 14 products tested from ten different producers, most were either over or underweight and of inconsistent quality.

“Allowing sub-standard products to be released into the market is unacceptable, as the long-term health, safety and environmental implications could be severe, to say the least. Consequently, government should urgently consider imposing stricter cement standards, while cement producers need to continue educating users on the importance of using cement that has been certified as compliant with technical regulations.”

The Concrete Institute’s petition to government to impose 45 per cent import tariffs on cement imports could go a long way toward protecting local manufacturers from cheap imports, Evans continues.

“Tariff restrictions have worked in the past,” she points out. “Imports from Pakistan declined in 2016 following the implementation of between 17 and 70 per cent import duties in 2015.

“The risk of such a move, however, is that it could lead to an upsurge in the price of cement and ultimately increase inflation, which would not bode well for the country’s economic growth.

“South Africa has numerous cement-producing plants which are more than capable of keeping up with local demand. Government should therefore work to protect these assets by helping manufacturers focus on increasing their export figures, but with 158 of the world’s 195 countries producing cement, this could prove challenging.

“At a time when South Africa’s unemployment rate is at an all-time high, the nation cannot afford the downfall of an industry that is indispensable to our economic development and which provides employment to thousands of South Africans.

“Government needs to level the playing field for our local cement producers so that they can focus their efforts on expansion rather than struggling to survive,” Evans concludes.

Last modified on Friday, 17 January 2020 12:19

Most Popular

Balwin's Munyaka registers record R850 million in opening weekend sales, selling 555 apartments

Mar 09, 2020
Steve_Brookes_Balwin_Properties
JSE listed Balwin Properties, a developer that cares about environmentally responsible…

Balwin Properties and ABSA launch South Africa’s first green home loan

Mar 13, 2020
Apartment 71933
JSE-listed Balwin Properties Limited (Balwin Properties or the Company) and Absa Group…

Growthpoint reports a steady first half with its growth strategies paying dividends

Mar 11, 2020
Growthpoint Properties Group CEO Norbert Sassee
Growthpoint Properties (JSE: GRT) reported distributable income growth of 2.2% to R3.2bn,…

Spear REIT launches innovative self-isolation campaign for returning travellers in Cape Town, South Africa to combat COVID-19:

Mar 18, 2020
Double Tree Op
JSE listed Spear REIT Limited, the owner of the Double Tree by Hilton Cape Town, is the…

Financial Fitness – Is this the right time to buy property?

Mar 20, 2020
Governor Lesetja Kganyago SARB1
With the South African Reserve Bank’s announcement of interest rates cut of 100 basis…

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.