Government intervention saves 650 jobs in the steel sector

BY SUPPLIED - DECEMBER 21, 2015

The Department of Labour and the Economic Development Department have worked together to facilitate Evraz Highveld Steel access to the Department of Labour’s Training Layoff Scheme. This forms part of government’s broader response to problems experienced in the steel sector.

China’s lower demand and the oversupply of steel in the world market have negatively impacted the global industry, including local companies and threatened the loss of thousands of local jobs. Government’s intervention has helped secure continued employment for 650 workers at Highveld Steel who had been facing possible retrenchment.

Government worked closely with stakeholders including Evraz Highveld Steel management and trade unions – Numsa, Solidarity and Cosatu as well as the CCMA to identify the Training Layoff Scheme as an alternative to retrenchment, facilitate the application process and finalise agreements between the Department of Labour/ UIF, Merseta, company and trade unions.

This agreement is an example of what can be achieved when social partners and stakeholders work together driven by the desire to preserve jobs, reduce poverty and unemployment.

The Department of Labour and Economic Development Department would like to express appreciation to the management, the unions and stakeholders of Evraz Highveld Steel for their resolve to ensure the survival of the company.