SA cement industry at a crossroad

by Ofentse Sefolo
SA cement industry at a crossroad

Imported cement is undercutting the local industry by at least 45%, says Bryan Perrie, Managing Director of The Concrete Institute (TCI). The institute has applied to the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) of South Africa to investigate the surge in imports of low-priced cement on behalf of South African cement producers including AfriSam, Dangote Cement SA, Lafarge Industries South Africa, Natal Portland Cement Company and PPC.

“The undercutting of local manufacturers, combined with unprecedented low levels of demand because of slowed economic growth, has led to the industry facing a survival crisis that threatens to undermine the industrial capacity of the country. The cement industry has no option but to request ITAC to conduct a safeguard investigation to determine whether the cement industry requires protection from the surge in imports,” says Bryan.

He adds that the South African economy is at a crossroad where trade policy determinations will play a critical role in determining the industrial direction of the country. “The cement industry must compete on a level playing field and not be scrambling to survive against low-priced imports. The sector needs space to grow, which a successful ITAC application would provide,” concludes Bryan.

For more information, contact The Concrete Institute on Tel: +27 (11) 315 0300 or via www.theconcreteinstitute.org.za.

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