Tag: jobs

It seems counterintuitive that a mass resignation trend would coincide with a global pandemic but the so-called “Great Resignation” is set to become one of the key economic features, or effects, of Covid-19. Referring to the phenomenon whereby people are voluntarily quitting their jobs en masse, the Great Resignation raises many pertinent questions about the value and nature of work, and deserves to be interrogated as both an economic and social occurrence.

The trend began in the United States in 2021 but quickly spread to many other parts of the world. In South Africa too, there have now been numerous reports of a similar trend emerging as employees re-evaluate their personal and professional priorities in the wake of the pandemic.

Important to note is that this trend appears to be limited to skilled employees – a contingent who typically have the skills, experience and resources that allow them more career options and flexibility around, for example, working hours. Equally significant to note is that more and more experts and commentators are calling it the “great reset” and suggesting the trend be viewed as an opportunity for workers to better align their skills and expertise with their personal goals and values, and for companies to take a more robust and streamlined approach to the skills they hire for.

A Harvard Business Review article on the topic recommends that companies “get on the same page with employees by reconceptualising what it means to be part of their organisation”. Experts from three industries share their views around an effective reset.

Reset with a hybrid workplace model

David Seinker, founder and CEO of serviced office space offering, The Business Exchange, has been championing hybrid work models since long before the pandemic accelerated the adoption of alternative work models. He believes the Great Resignation too is an opportunity for us to reevaluate the nature and nuances of skilled work and to make the necessary adjustments to benefit both employees and employers.

“For some two years now, employees have proven that work can happen independently of a specific location and set working hours, which means that the office is now viewed as a destination rather than the default. Companies can’t afford to mandate employees to simply go back to the office in the traditional 9 to 5 sense without considering how experiences of the physical working environment contribute to employees’ job satisfaction,” he shares.

Seinker explains that hybrid work models offer a best-of-both approach that the post-pandemic employee is likely to insist on and businesses concerned about retaining talent need to at the very least consider more flexible working arrangements.

Reset with a robust working environment, dynamic opportunities

“Talent retention, particularly in the creative industries, has been a challenge for a while now, which is why we’ve been committed to exploring ways to ensure we can offer the best people the best working environment, whether that be on a permanent or freelance basis, where the emphasis is on harnessing their unique skills and expertise in a way that satisfies their professional goals as much as it does our needs,” says Reagen Kok, CEO of Hoorah Digital.

Interestingly, research by the Boston Consulting Group Johannesburg has found that money alone isn’t the only thing that attracts tech and digital talent in Africa, but that the “right workplace culture and values, and the learning and skills training they offer” still plays an important role in employee retention.

Kok shares that, in his experience, highly skilled and talented people are seeking more dynamic opportunities that align with their personal values. “The pandemic forced many of us to deeply reevaluate how we spend our time and we’re taking the steps to ensure there is more alignment between what we want from life and what we’re doing at work. Our role as employers is to step up and meet employees somewhere along this journey, or risk losing them to the companies who are.”

Reset to become more people-focussed, lead with empathy

A reset necessitates the prioritisation of the human before the employee, acknowledging that workers are people before they are talent, skills or resources. And humans thrive in trusting, empathetic environments.

This is something that is high on the agenda for public relations and integrated marketing agency Irvine Partners, who remain committed to building trust and leading with empathy as some of the ways it seeks to mitigate the potential impact of the Great Resignation. Listening to employees’ expectations, whether through formal or informal channels, is key. “Employees want — and deserve — to feel heard, acknowledged and recognised. Operating from the point of view that your employees are your most valuable resource is imperative, and needs to underpin the company culture at large. As an example, this year we hired a senior team member who left a major agency because they refused to even consider remote working. He was spending hours a day in traffic and his employer didn’t see anything wrong with that. Even if they’d met him halfway with a hybrid, he would’ve stayed. They lost a talented and hard-working team member as a result. While all companies have different realities, there is always a middle ground,” says Hayley van der Woude, MD. She adds that it is the leaders in the organisation who need to drive an empathetic focus on people.

Writing in Business Day, Johann van Niekerk, MD of Outsized for Africa, says that those companies who see the great resignation as the great reset and adjust their strategies accordingly, “could increase the range of available skills and therefore the company’s competitiveness and output”.

A modern economy cannot be productive without a steady supply of electricity.

The ongoing power cuts in South Africa are expected to result in the shedding of at least 350 000 jobs, despite projections of 3.9% economic growth for 2021.

This is according to a research report by accounting firm PwC, which notes that the return of load shedding in the fourth quarter, after 11 weeks of no power cuts, undermines economic growth.

  • Global economic environment is favourable for trade-dependent South Africa, power cuts pose domestic challenges
  • Unexpected power station breakdowns, delays in returning to service some other units under maintenance, and the quicker than expected depletion of emergency systems resulted in nearly 15 000MW of capacity being out of action
  • This amounts to nearly half of the power utility’s coal-powered fleet
  • Load shedding is expected to reduce 2021 GDP growth by three percentage points
  • It is expected to cost the country 350 000 in potential jobs
  • Mike Schüssler says South Africa has lost well over a million jobs already due to load shedding
  • The service industry that probably uses the most electricity is the telecommunications sector – and if users can’t use their cellphone, then those service providers can’t make money
  • Manufacturing is also suffering
  • Electricity issues have also had a negative impact when it comes to attracting investors, further injuring economic growth
  • SA cannot be productive in a modern economy if there’s no electricity

SA sheds 86 000 jobs

Source: EWN

South Africa lost 86,000 jobs as the number of employed persons decreased from 9,652,000 in the first quarter of 2021 to 9,566,000 in the second quarter of 2021, according to data released by Stats SA on Tuesday.

The drop in employment was largely due to decreases in the manufacturing sector, community services sector, construction, electricity and business services sectors.

There were increases in the mining and transport sectors, while the trade industry reported no change over the same period.


SA lost half a million formal-sector jobs

Source: News24

South Africa lost 552 000 formal-sector jobs in the year to end-March, the latest quarterly employment statistics (QES) from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) show.

In the first quarter of 2021, total employment in the formal non-agricultural sector declined to 9.644 million, which was 5.4% less than in March 2020. The number of full-time jobs fell by even more (-6.5%), while part-time employment increased by 47 000 or almost 5% year-on-year between March 2020 and March 2021.

The total number of jobs also declined compared to the last quarter of 2020 and the first quarter of 2021 – by 9 000 posts – from 9 653 000 in December 2020 to March 2021.

The biggest falls in employment during the first quarter were in trade, construction and electricity, but community and social services, mining and manufacturing saw employment gains.

Total gross pay earned by South Africans fell by 1.9% between March 2020 and March 2021.

The South African economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, and many businesses were not allowed to operate for months during the hard lockdown last year. The SA GDP numbers for the first quarter of 2021 showed that the economy was 3.2% smaller than the same quarter a year ago.

Amazon on a hiring spree in South Africa

Amazon is advertising 168 jobs in South Africa, including work-from-home positions that can be done anywhere in the country.

South Africa is one of the countries where Amazon is expanding its presence. Last year Amazon Web Services (AWS) went live with the Cape Town region, which opened many new positions.

This followed an announcement by Amazon in June 2020 that it was hiring 3 000 new staff members in South Africa, ranging from customer service associates to technical experts.

Amazon customer service director in South Africa, Andrew Raichlin, said they were “thrilled with the talent in South Africa.”

This hiring spree will take the number of employees of Amazon in South Africa to 7 000, which makes it one of the largest tech employers in the country.

Another vote of confidence in South Africa is Amazon’s decision to base its new African headquarters in Cape Town.

The company is the anchor tenant in the new R4-billion River Club development, which received the go-ahead from the City of Cape Town earlier this year.

Amazon’s expansion in South Africa continues and the company is now advertising many new vacancies in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

There are also a few work from home vacancies where successful candidates can work from anywhere in South Africa. Applicants must have a fibre broadband connection at home.

Most of the new Amazon jobs are technical, including operations and support engineering, software development, and technical product management.

Source: Ford

Ford Motor Company has announced an investment of R15.8-billion in its South African manufacturing operations – marking the biggest investment in Ford’s 97-year history in South Africa. It also represents one of the largest-ever investments in the South African automotive industry, boosting Ford’s production capability and creating new jobs.

“This investment will further modernise our South African operations, helping them to play an even more important role in the turnaround and growth of our global automotive operations, as well as our strategic alliance with Volkswagen,” said Dianne Craig, president, Ford’s International Markets Group. “Ranger is one of our highest volume, most successful global vehicles. This investment will equip our team with the tools and facilities to deliver the best Ford Ranger ever, in higher numbers and with superior quality.”

Ford announced the investment at a media briefing attended by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as several key government leaders, including Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, Department of Public Enterprise Minister Pravin Gordhan, Gauteng Premier David Makhura, City of Tshwane Executive Mayor Randall Williams, and senior Ford executives.

With this investment, Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant is expected to generate revenues exceeding 1.1 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product.

The annual installed capacity at the Silverton plant will increase to 200,000 vehicles from 168,000, supporting production of the all-new Ford Ranger pickup truck for the domestic market and export to over 100 global markets. The plant also will manufacture Volkswagen pickups trucks as part of the Ford-VW strategic alliance.

The expanded production will help create 1,200 incremental Ford jobs in South Africa, increasing the local workforce to 5,500 employees, and adding an estimated 10,000 new jobs across Ford’s local supplier network, bringing the total to 60,000.

The overall investment includes US$686 million (R10.3 billion) for extensive upgrades to the Silverton Assembly Plant that will increase production volume and drive significant improvements in production efficiency and vehicle quality.

These include construction of a new body shop with the latest robotic technology and a new high-tech stamping plant, both of which will be located on-site for the first time. Both facilities will modernise and streamline the integrated manufacturing process at Silverton while contributing to higher quality and reducing overall cost and waste.

The new stamping plant will use a high-speed line to produce all the major sheet metal components for the new Ranger. It includes a fully automated storage and retrieval system for stamping dies, which will be housed innovatively in the roof of the facility, thus eliminating related labour-intensive processes. In addition, a modern blue-light scanner system that scans surfaces for imperfections will ensure the highest-quality final product leaves the stamping plant.

Extensive upgrades also will be made to the box line, paint shop and final assembly to improve vehicle flow within the plant, along with the expansion of the container and vehicle yards.

Ford also will build new vehicle modification and training centres – the latter developed to ensure all Ford employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to maximise the efficiencies of the enhanced Silverton facilities.

“The extensive upgrades and new state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies will drive efficiencies across our entire South Africa operation – from sequenced delivery of parts direct to the assembly line, to increased vehicle production line speeds and precision of assembly to ensure the world-class quality that our customers expect,” said Andrea Cavallaro, director of Operations, Ford’s International Markets Group.

Island mode

The new investment program builds on the recently announced Project Blue Oval renewable energy project, which aligns with the company’s global target of using 100-percent locally sourced renewable energy for all its manufacturing plants by 2035 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The first phase of Project Blue Oval already is underway with the construction of solar carports for 4,200 vehicles at the Silverton plant.

“Our aim is to achieve ‘Island Mode’, taking the Silverton Assembly Plant completely off the grid, becoming entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024,” Cavallaro said. “It will be one of the very first Ford plants anywhere in the world to achieve this status.”

Modernising our supplier base

Ford also will invest US$365 million (R5.5 billion) to upgrade tooling at the company’s major supplier factories.

“Supporting our suppliers with this new tooling will ensure we modernise together to deliver world-class quality for the all-new Ranger at higher volumes for our domestic and import customers,” Cavallaro said.

Economic growth

“As part of our extensive investment in the Silverton plant, we also are building a new Ford-owned and operated chassis line in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) for this new vehicle programme,” said Ockert Berry, vice president, Operations, for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“Having this new line and our major component suppliers located adjacent to the Silverton plant in the TASEZ is key to expanding our production capacity, as parts will be sequenced directly onto the assembly line,” Berry added. “This will significantly reduce logistics costs and complexity, improve efficiency and allow us to build more Rangers for our customers.”

In addition to its representation on the TASEZ board, Ford also is working closely with all three spheres of government and relevant state-owned entities such as Transnet, in developing the Gauteng Province – Eastern Cape Province High Capacity Rail Freight Corridor. This will be a full-service line linking the Silverton Assembly Plant and the TASEZ with Port Elizabeth, which is home to Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant and the Coega Special Economic Zone.

The GP-EC High Capacity Rail Freight Corridor will channel all of Ford’s inbound and outbound logistics exclusively through Port Elizabeth to support the higher production volumes. It is projected to create thousands of jobs within the value chain.

“Ford’s investment in our South Africa manufacturing operations underscores our ongoing commitment to deliver ever-better vehicles to our customers in South Africa and around the world, while providing opportunities for our own employees, new team members and our communities,” said Neale Hill, managing director, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

By Mike Schüssler and Phumlani Majozi for IOL

Nearly 1.4-million formal and informal jobs are at risk in the South African economy with the present Level 3 restrictions impacting directly across at least seven sectors.

The sectors are travel, tourism, entertainment, leisure, manufacturing, agriculture, and services that are not elsewhere classified.

The total number of people employed across these sectors equates to one in 12 jobs being directly at risk of destruction. If one includes family and dependants as a reflection of the normal size of households, the level 3 restrictions could impact millions more as they rely on the breadwinner’s wages.

As many also help dependants outside the immediate family, the overall number of people impacted could be as much as 10 percent of the South African population.

Remember, too, that South Africa is often credited with the highest unemployment rate in the world. The impact will be felt even if only half of the jobs at risk are destroyed.

Some provinces, such as the Western and Northern Cape, have even higher numbers: One in six jobs in the Western Cape and one in five in the Northern Cape are at risk.

While the Eastern Cape has only one in 13 jobs at risk, the impact could be greater as the provincial extended unemployment rate could increase to close to 60 percent. Measured differently, the risk for the Eastern Cape is that only one in four adults will have a job if the jobs at risk are destroyed.

While metropolitan unemployment rates are generally lower than rural unemployment rates, all eight metros in the country could end up with extended unemployment rates above 40 percent.

One, Nelson Mandela Bay, would have an unemployment rate of more than 50 percent. Two others, Mangaung and Ekurhuleni, could have unemployment rates of close to 50 percent.

Limpopo and the Eastern Cape already have the highest unemployment rates in the country, so any, even a small, increase would have a devastating impact.

Overall, South African unemployment could rise from 43.1 percent to 51.6 percent within a year, driven by the potential level 3 job losses. And increasing job seekers.

In addition to these unacceptable job losses, the level 3 restrictions are having detrimental repercussions for the turnover of industry as well.

The formal private sector turnover of the industries impacted by the restrictions was R69 billion a month in 2019. The formal private sector is at risk of losing 8.1 percent of its turnover every month that the restrictions remain, using annual financial statistics.

The estimated impact across these sectors is a reduction of at least 60 percent in turnover. This means that R41.4bn is lost every month that the restrictions remain.

The formal salaries paid to employees in these sectors is R9.6bn per month. Personal income tax is estimated at R1.5bn per month. Adding agriculture and informal employee income would be close to R10.5 million.

The knock-on impact can be seen by the fact that these industries buy R38.7bn worth of goods from other sectors every month, and spend R1.5m on advertising as well as fixed costs such as rent, leases, and interest of R4.6bn per month.

Moreover, these sectors pay R7.6bn in taxes every month (excluding employees’ PAYE mentioned above).

These taxes are made up of VAT, excise duties and company taxes.

The total taxes combined are well over R9bn for the formal sector alone per month. Adding things like passenger taxes and tourism spend along with the informal sector VAT spend, the impact of the level 3 restrictions on the fiscus is certainly well over R10bn a month.

The fact that the government extracts more than R10bn a month from these industries during normal times, but cannot find any funds to help them when they are in trouble, is economically short-sighted.

Keeping these businesses alive and operating as far as possible, while they take precautions against the Covid-19 pandemic, will help pay for the now bigger deficit even in the short-term.

Over a maximum period of six years, a relief package that helps the whole industry for three months at a rate of just more than R10bn will have been more than paid back.

Government relief on that scale will also mean that banks will be more likely to help restructure repayments, and suppliers would also be able to help with more finance, too.

Moreover, paying employees extra via the Temporary Employee/Employer Relief Scheme would also help greatly. No one can go 10 months with reduced earnings as a result of harsh restrictions without any government relief.

The government has a moral duty to not cause business failure, as well as to avoid mass hunger. It must immediately open the economy up again and allow businesses to take the necessary hygienic precautions without undue interference.


Source: Supermarket & Retailer 

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has called for a moratorium on all retrenchments and potential ‘future processes’, in an effort to preserve jobs during the country’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Fedusa is the second largest national trade union centre in South Africa and has a membership of 556,000 workers.

“The Federation believes that all possible avenues must be considered instead of continuously using workers as scapegoats,” it said.

“Finance minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget speech in February 2021 is not expected to bring about any joy, considering the October 2020 MTBPS outlook – budget deficit is 15.7% of GDP and gross debt is 81.8% of GDP.”

Fedusa said that the South African Reserve Bank should also continue to provide support to workers in 2021.

“Although the SARB was very instrumental in the process, it needs to continue on this trajectory, as the loan guarantee schemes and tax relief measures have yet to deliver the results that were promised, considering that only a meagre R15 billion of the R200 billion capacity relief to SMME’s were provided.”

Statistics South Africa recorded 2.2 million job losses in the second quarter of 2020, leaving just 14.4 million employed people in both the formal and informal sectors

According to the latest Quarterly employment statistics (QES) survey released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), formal sector jobs decreased by 616 000 in the third quarter, year on year.

Pledge to create jobs

Announced as part of the country’s coronavirus economic recovery plan in October, president Cyril Ramaphosa said that government will create a ‘presidential employment stimulus’ designed to respond to the rise in unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim of this stimulus is to create or support 800,000 jobs in South Africa within the current financial year.

Ramaphosa said that this is being achieved through an ‘unprecedented’ expansion of public and social employment, as well as through the protection of existing jobs in vulnerable sectors and support for livelihood and enterprise opportunities.

“Eleven national departments and all nine provinces are responsible for the implementation of programmes supported through the employment stimulus,” Ramaphosa said in an update in December.

“As the progress report shows, over 400 000 opportunities have already been supported, with several programmes in the recruitment or beneficiary identification phase.”

Ramaphosa said that the remaining programmes are all on track to meet their targets.

3M to cut 3 000 jobs

By Martin Baccardax for The Street

3M has said that it will eliminate around 2 900 jobs next year, while pulling back on investments in slower-growth markets, as part of an overall cost-cutting plant that will cost around $300-million.

3M said the updated restructuring plans, which were first launched in January, will affect all of its business divisions and geographies include a pre-tax charge of between $250 to $300 million, around $150 million of which will be taken in the current quarter. The moves will likely result in annual pre-tax savings of between $200 million to $250 million each year, 3M said, as it re-positions its global operations in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic.

3M will detail the restructuring plans at an industry conference hosted by Credit Suisse later today, with CEO Mike Roman scheduled to speak at 8:10 Eastern time.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has advanced the pace of change and disrupted end markets around the world, increasing the need for companies to adapt faster,” Roman said.

“At the same time, we are seeing significant opportunities from our new operating model which we launched at the start of the year. As a result, we are taking further actions to streamline our operations, positioning us to deliver greater growth and productivity as global markets emerge from the pandemic.”

3M shares were marked 0.23% lower in early trading Thursday to change hands at $171.50 each to clip their six-month gain to around 6.5%, well shy of the 13.6% gain for the Dow Jones Industrial Average benchmark.

Last month, 3M posted modestly slower-than-expected October sale growth figures Friday, suggesting a potentially sluggish start to the fourth quarter for the industrial group.

3M said October sales rose 3% from last year to $2.9 billion as healthcare revenues rose 12%, offsetting a 4% decline in transportation and electronics. Safety and industrial sales rose 4% while consumer sales were 7% higher, 3M said, compared to respective gains of 6% and 3% in August.

3M had forecast “flat to low single digit” October sales growth during its third quarter earnings conference call with investors last month, but declined to provide profit or revenue guidance for the final three months of the year owning to broader economic and demand uncertainty linked to the coronavirus pandemic.


Engen refinery set to shut down

By Shirley le Guern for IOL

The Engen oil refinery (Enref) is expected to close its doors in 2023 and the facility may be converted into a fuel storage facility for imported product, according to sources close to the refinery.

Suppliers to the refinery, who did not want to be named, said they had been informed last week that they should plan ahead for its probable shutdown, although Engen’s head office says that no formal decision has been made.

Combined with depressed demand as a result of Covid-19 and persistent low gross refining margins, the outlook for the refining business remains negative and continues to deteriorate, Engen spokesperson, Gavin Smith, said in a statement.

“Despite an excellent track record of operational efficiency, our refinery continues to be negatively impacted by the external global refining environment,” Smith said.

He added that Engen had initiated consultation with employees regarding a multibillion-rand proposal to increase its import and supply capacity in Durban.

“The proposal, which will ensure Engen meets South Africa’s growing demand for petroleum products, remains at a consultative stage with employees during which time alternatives are being evaluated,” it said.

Engen confirmed that it is considering several options with regards to the refinery but no decision has been made.

The refinery employs 650 people and it is unclear how many jobs are in jeopardy should it close.

Smith added Engen would consult stakeholders at the appropriate time should a decision be taken.

Yesterday, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Nomusa Dube-Ncube said she had assigned Trade and Investment KZN chief executive Neville Matjie to engage with Engen to look into this matter.

“This forms part of the implementation of the economic transformation and reconstruction plan which is aimed at turning around the situation,” she said.

Commissioned in 1954, the refinery is 66 years old. It has, however, undergone consistent modernisation and routine statutory inspections and maintenance work on its process equipment.

It currently produces Euro 2 spec fuel, according to Smith.

It is South Africa’s third largest oil refinery with a capacity of 135 000 barrels a day.

As South Africa does not have its own oil deposits, liquid fuels are either imported in finished form or as crude oil which is refined at the country’s oil refineries.

Although no official figures are available, the World Bank estimates around 18.63% of South Africa’s liquid fuel was imported in 2018. As demand has continued to outstrip supply from local refineries, this has continued to climb.

According to the South African Petroleum Industry Association, the fuel sector contributes about 8.5% of the country’s gross domestic product.

It said that investment in South Africa’s ageing refineries was necessary to avoid widening the trade deficit for liquid fuels.

Smith said that approximately 60% of Engen products sold in Southern Africa were produced by Enref with the remainder imported or procured from other local oil companies.

“The global refining environment is evolving with the emergence of mega sized, integrated and complex refineries resulting in excess global fuel supply and low refining margins. This is forecasted to persist well into the future.”

Transnet, which operates the R30billion multi-product pipeline that transports four different petroleum products, including refined petrol and diesel, between Durban and Gauteng, said it had not been informed of any proposed changes at Enref.

It added it could not comment on the impact of the refinery’s closure on the port of Durban or on the operation of the single buoy mooring about 2.5km off the coast of Durban, through which both crude oil and refined products are offloaded.

Engen, together with other companies in the fuel sector, is a part owner of this single buoy mooring.

Dube-Ncube said that as part of the province’s implementation of the economic transformation and reconstruction plan, they had adopted a business support, retention and extension programme which focused on:

Supporting businesses that are weak but that have sound foundations and can become viable through accessing existing short-term industrial policy support programmes to contain further job losses and protect important production capabilities.

Supporting existing businesses’ need to expand by creating an environment that is conducive to new investment.

She added it was also focusing on the key interventions that are catered for in the KZN Growth and Development Plan, which are to ensure that they improve access to economic development funding and performance monitoring of the value chain in key sectors.

“Engen remains a key player and a leader of the downstream South African petroleum market. We are proud of the fact that this company is located in this province and on the South Durban Basin, where it contributes towards job creation.

“Our wish is for the company to remain in this province for many more years to come,” she added.

“Importantly, as KZN we potentially have access to the abundant resources of the ocean, including fisheries, offshore oil and gas and maritime tourism.

“Our ports of Durban and Richards Bay handle over 60% of the country’s seaborne cargo. We remain determined to work with companies such as Engen to increase the participation of previously disadvantaged communities in sectors such as oil and gas – maritime industry,” Dube-Ncube added.

She said the department was also determined to position Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone as a site for energy infrastructure.

“The importance of the energy supply sector lies both in improving the quality of life for the previously disadvantaged majority as well as supporting large-scale industrial development.

“In particular, the oil and gas industry presents many opportunities for partnerships in this province. Ahead of lockdown, statistics showed that the oil and gas industry employed an estimated 7500 people and had an estimated annual turnover of over R196billion, with the refining segment of the industry contribution almost 99% to the total industry’s turnover,” said Dube-Ncube.

The industry is believed to account for more than 90000 indirect jobs in the distribution and marketing segment of the industry value chain, she added.


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