top of page

24/7 National Hotline: 0860 163 272 | Email:

STEEL INDUSTRY: Seifsa complains about being exposed

Jul 14, 2021






by Gerhard Papenfus

To confirm your support for NEASA’s continuous campaign for an employer-friendly market dispensation, in which sound business principles prevail, click here.

Dear Steel Industry employer
In a recent article, Seifsa complains bitterly about a communiqué by NEASA, in which another scheme by Seifsa is blatantly exposed.

NEASA’s communiqué explained, in broad terms, Seifsa’s settlement proposal of their current negotiations with NUMSA and other unions, which, if they ‘succeed’ in agreeing with NUMSA, Seifsa will attempt to ‘sell’ to unsuspecting employers in the Steel Industry.
NEASA pointed out the devastating effect that this proposal will have on employers if they are lured into signing it, not understanding its devastating impact on the wage bill of their business. In this, NEASA explains, correctly so, that Seifsa’s indiscretions are the reason for the disproportionate conditions of employment Seifsa members are currently bound by, and which they now want all employers in the industry to adhere to.  
It is laying the blame for the predicament Seifsa finds itself in at Seifsa’s doorstep, which they have taken issue with.
However, if one takes cognisance of Seifsa’s conduct in the past, it is difficult to see how they are not to blame:

  • Seifsa managed to negotiate a minimum, cost-to-company, wage of R12 000 per month for an unqualified, unskilled and inexperienced employee, rendering this category of employees unemployable in the Industry;
  • Seifsa extended their agreements, for many years, to unsuspecting employers in the Industry, until 2011 when NEASA, through extensive litigation, stopped it;
  • Seifsa’s actions resulted in years of litigation and millions of Rands in legal fees in order to prevent the extension of their unlawful and unaffordable agreements, while they represent only 10% of employers in the Industry; 
  • Seifsa extended these agreements, under the auspices of the MEIBC, which was never constituted in terms of its constitution – a fact which they vehemently denied in court, under oath, but admitted to shortly afterwards;
  • Seifsa willingly and unashamedly participated in extension applications, later deemed a “sham” by the Labour Court;
  • Seifsa, to this day, views the extension of their agreements, which will close down many businesses overnight, as paramount, and who will do so again at the first opportunity; and
  • Seifsa now, yet again, attempts to convince the Industry that conforming to their agreement is the best option for employers, without indicating the devastating practical implications this will hold for employers, apart from ‘levelling the playing field’ for employers affiliated to Seifsa, who, through their own actions, have caused their own unsustainable wage predicament. 

So, if Seifsa is not to blame, then who is?
Is it not strange that in their response, where NEASA is accused of ‘playing the man and not the ball’, Seifsa makes no attempt at defending their proposal or providing any counter arguments, but rather launches a scathing, “no holds barred” attack on NEASA and myself, its Chief Executive – unashamedly playing the man, with no ball in sight?  
Perhaps this is because their proposal is indefensible.
Be that as it may, despite Seifsa’s protests, NEASA will continue to, unapologetically, expose Seifsa, defending the interests of employers in the Industry, even those who are not NEASA members, against all threats, as the survival of this Industry is at stake.      

Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA).

For more information:
NEASA Media Department 


Filter items with Category
bottom of page