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Cyril Ramaphosa

MADDRESS BY PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA AT YOUTH DAY CELEBRATION

ORLANDO STADIUM, SOWETO
16 JUNE 2018

Programme Director,
Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa,
Premier of Gauteng, Mr David Makhura,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Chairperson of the NYDA, Mr Sifiso Mtsweni,
Members of Parliament and provincial legislatures,
MECs, Mayors and Councillors,
Representatives of various youth formations,
Compatriots,

Sanibonani. Avuxeni. Dumelang. Goeie Dag.

It is just over two months since we gathered here in Orlando Stadium to bid farewell to Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela, a great woman of fortitude who inspired generations of youth in the struggle for democracy.

Today, we gather here to commemorate and celebrate the heroic deeds of the youth of 1976 and all the Young Lions that came after them.

These were gallant freedom fighters who selflessly sacrificed their own lives for the liberation of their people.

Today, we also celebrate a new generation of young freedom fighters who have dedicated themselves to the struggle against poverty and inequality; the struggle for dignity, prosperity and justice for all.

From those who have come before them they have learnt the value of selflessness, discipline, hard work and an abiding love for the people.

As we seek to build a new, inclusive South Africa, we look to the energy and creativity of youth.

Young people have been at the centre of every decisive historical moment in the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

Young people are catalysts of social change.

From the founders of the ANC Youth League in 1944, to the students who led the 1976 uprising, to the Young Lions of the 1980s, it is the youth of our country who hastened the demise of apartheid.

Even as we built a democratic South Africa, it was fearless young people who reminded us that liberation would not be complete until the wealth of the land is shared among its people.

The current generation of youth has therefore chosen as its mission the attainment of economic freedom.

Compatriots,

Youth continue to bear the brunt of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

They remain the hardest hit by disease, violent crime, drug abuse and underdevelopment.

We understand the frustration of young people who cannot find jobs, who do not have the skills and experience employers are looking for, and are unable to find the support they need to start their own businesses.

Our shared responsibility, as government, business, labour and civil society, is to develop pathways for young people into work.

It is this task to which we should be directing all our efforts and all our energies.

We are making progress in many areas.

The National Youth Development Agency has established a value chain of entrepreneurship which includes skills development training, development finance, mentorship, support and market linkages.

More than 2,500 start up companies have been provided with funding, creating more than 10,000 jobs in the economy.

Beyond this, more than 25,000 young people have been placed in job opportunities over the past three financial years.

Government has done much through its public employment programmes and investment in infrastructure to give priority to young people and women.

It introduced the Employment Tax Incentive to encourage companies to employ more young people.

Government, business, labour and civil society have begun preparations for a Jobs Summit, which will need to take extraordinary measures to create jobs on a scale that we have never before seen in this country.

It will need to forge a new social compact which mobilises all sections of society behind the task of growth and job creation.

We have demonstrated what is possible through working together.

The Youth Employment Service, which is an initiative led by the private sector and supported by government and labour, was launched earlier this year to bridge the gap between school and work.

With a number of large companies already involved, it aims to create a million work experience opportunities for young people over the next three years.

As part of this initiative, small businesses and micro-enterprises run by young people will get assistance through wage sponsorship and through business literacy and entrepreneurial training.

The challenge for unemployed youth is not only one of skills.

There are many graduates, who have completed university degrees, who are still unemployed.

This is a vast pool of skills and knowledge that is being wasted.

Society has invested a great deal in the education of these young people, but our economy is not benefiting from this investment.

On this Youth Day, we call on all companies – both in the public and private sector – to make a deliberate effort to seek out unemployed graduates and employ them.

It does not place a great burden on individual companies, but if taken up on a large scale, such a call could significantly reduce youth unemployment, while bringing much needed skills and capacity into the economy.

Employers need to understand that for our country to succeed, for their businesses to thrive, they must take responsibility for providing young people with the work experience they need.

They must realise that the only way to get work experience is to get work.

If we are to succeed in creating more jobs for young people, our economy needs to grow much faster – and for that it needs investment.

We have embarked on a massive investment drive that aims to attract $100 billion into our economy over the next five years.

We are focusing on investment into those parts of the economy that have the greatest potential for growth and the creation of jobs.

We are focusing on investment that will create opportunities for young people in particular.

If we are to make effective use of this investment, young South Africans need to be equipped to participate in the fourth industrial revolution.

That is why we are investing so signficantly in education.

We are making great progress in ensuring that no child, regardless of their circumstance, is denied access to education.

Despite significant challenges, we are continuously working to improve the quality of teaching and learning in our schools; progress that is reflected in the consistent improvement in the matric pass rate.

We are working both to improve the quality of education and the environment in which learning and teaching takes place.

This year, we have agreed that emergency measures are needed to ensure sanitation in schools is safe and hygienic.

We cannot lose another young life to unsafe school toilets.

We can no longer expose our children to illness, injury and the indignity of inadequate toilet facilities.

Fellow South Africans,

From the beginning of this year, students from poor backgrounds entering universities and colleges for the first time are receiving free education.

This is a great victory for young people.

It is a vindication of struggles that have been fought over many years for quality education that is free, accessible and relevant.

It will have a far-reaching effect on the lives of millions of youth, enabling them to acquire skills, find employment, build careers and enjoy an improving quality of life.

This will do much to break the cycle of poverty.

More than that, it will ensure that our economy is able to draw on a far larger pool of knowledge and expertise.

Having achieved this great milestone, young people now have a responsibility to make full use of the educational opportunities available.

Young people must go to school and pass.

They must work hard at institutions of higher learning, achieve outstanding results and use their skills to contribute to building a new society.

Fellow South Africans,

We look to the youth to continue to be at the forefront of the struggle for a non-sexist society.

The empowerment of women, especially young women, must be one of our central tasks as we seek to build an inclusive society.

We must ensure that young women have the same educational opportunities as their male counterparts, that they are equally able to compete for jobs and that they receive equal pay for equal work.

Young men and young women need to work together to put an end to all forms of violence against women, especially the devastating scourge of femicide.

The recent spate of murders of young women by young men is deeply disturbing and requires that, as a nation and as individuals, we take decisive action to end such crimes.

This generation of young South Africans has an opportunity to fundamentally change gender relations and to achieve full and meaningful equality between men and women in all spheres of life.

The challenges that our youth face are great, but they are not insurmountable.

We can overcome them if we work together.

We can overcome them if the youth take the lead and become agents of their own liberation.

Young people must be preoccupied with activities that contribute to making South Africa a better and safer country for all to live in.

This means that they must not engage in alcohol and drug abuse.

It means they must not participate in crime and corruption.

And more importantly, young people must keep themselves safe from HIV by using a condom, abstaining from early sexual activity and being tested regularly.

Fellow South Africans,

As we celebrate Youth Day in 2018, we recall the lives of two outstanding founders of the youth movement in our country, Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu, whose centenaries we are marking this year.

These two giants embodied the values and the qualities from which we should all draw inspiration.

Tata Madiba and Mama Sisulu were always ready to serve as volunteers for the greater good of our people without any motive of personal gain.

They sacrificed their own interests to fight for the freedom of others.

The best way we can honour their sacrifices is to follow their example.

We must shun selfishness and strive for collective prosperity.

We must fight for the rights of others as much as we fight for our own.

We cannot stand idly by while the rights of others are violated, while there are people in the world who are still colonised, oppressed and exploited.

We cannot rest while there are still millions of people who go hungry, who do not have shelter, and who do not have work.

We all have a responsibility, each and every one of us, to do everything in our power to make the lives of others better.

The spirit of Tata Mandela and Mama Sisulu lives on in the young people of this country.

It lives on in their dreams, in their determination, in their struggle for a better life.

It lives on in their desire to be part of building a new nation of equality, prosperity and progress.

It lives on in their willingness to lend a hand, to be ever ready to say: ‘Thuma Mina. Send Me’.

If we all do our part, we will all succeed.

I wish you all a happy Youth Day.

I thank you.

 

 

Mayihlome Tshwete

HOME AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON RESIGNS

The Department of Home Affairs wishes to announce that its spokesperson and Head of Communication, Mayihlome Tshwete, has resigned. Mr Tshwete will leave the department at the end of the month, 30 June 2018. He also served as spokesperson to Minister Malusi Gigaba.
Director-General Mkuseli Apleni says Mr Tshwete has served the department with diligence and played a crucial role in shaping public perspectives about the work of Home Affairs.
“I wish to thank Mr Tshwete for his contribution to the efforts to continually create awareness and inform the public about the programmes and policies of the Department of Home Affairs. We wish him all the best and success in his new endeavours,” he said.
 
COMESA, IOM, sign Co-Delegation Agreement on Cross Border Trade

COMESA, IOM, sign Co-Delegation Agreement on Cross Border Trade

COMESA and International Organization for Migration (IOM) today signed a co-delegation Agreement on the implementation of the small scale cross border trade initiative in five border posts within the region.

The programme is part of a broader COMESA-European Union Delegation Agreement of 13.4 million euros signed in May 2018 to implement the COMESA Cross-Border Trade Initiative. Programme financed under the 11th European Development Fund.

COMESA, has subsequently Co-delegated some activities to the IOM and the International Trade Centre (ITC) for a total amount of four million euros to ensure effective implementation.

IOM regional Director Charles Kwenin and COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya signed the Agreement in Lusaka, Zambia

Under the Co-delegation Agreement, COMESA entrust the implementation of activities related to border management information system, performance based management schemes for border officials and immigration formalities and procedures for small scale traders to the IOM.

It will also co-delegate capacity building for the Cross-Border Trade Associations and similar associations (including business services and access to finance) to the ITC.

Mr Kwenin said his organization will support COMESA in the implementation of activities which will contribute to achieving the results in this project.

“The partnership between COMESA, IOM and ITC will capitalize the unique experiences and capacities of each organization,” he said. “IOM will draw on its expertise in migration and human mobility issues, while ITC will draw on customs and trade experience, particularly by working on training and capacity issues, He added.”

He stressed that the potential of trade facilitation can only be fully realized by addressing barriers to the human mobility of persons engaging in trade anchored within the three Integrated Border Management/ Coordinated Border Management pillars of inter, intra, and cross-border collaboration.

Mr Ngwenya said the Co-delegation Agreement in line with the Pillar Assessed Grant or Delegation Agreement (PaGoDA) for the Cross-Border Trade Initiative Programme and is also part and parcel of the COMESA regional agenda.

He stressed the importance of implementing the programme while taking into account traditional best practices like social and economic values that favour women, who he described as ‘traditionally good custodians of finances’ in order to build a sustainable programme.

The Secretary General implored IOM and the ITC together with the Secretariat to work towards removal of strict immigration rules and procedures as they perpetuate illegal migrants especially amongst men.

“One of the issue this programmes should implement is the free movement of persons especially small scale cross border traders as this will ease the movement of goods as well. You cannot have goods moving freely when the people carrying them are restricted,” Ngwenya added.

Working in collaboration with the relevant national government authorities in the COMESA region, Ngwenya said IOM together and COMESA Secretariat will ensure successful coordination and implementation of the programme.

Four targeted border posts are between Zambia on one hand and Malawi, Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Tanzania. These are Mwami/Mchinji, Chirundu, Kasumbalesa and Nakonde/Tunduma. The other is Moyale border point between Kenya and Ethiopia.

Eddie Funde

FAREWELL TO A DEDICATED CADRE

For all those who knew Ambassador Eddie Sonwabo Funde and walked with him through the boulevard of struggle, none can contradict the fact that he was imbued with a spirit of no surrender. His path, a seesaw of unimaginable dimensions, would land him in different positions, on different continents and at different times.

A humble and unassuming gentle giant, he was always ready to serve the South Africa nation.

It was on the 22nd of May when we all received the sad and devastating news that Bra Eddie, as we fondly called him, passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Having joined the ANC after it was banned in 1961, he, like his peers of like mind, left the country in 1965 and joined Umkhonto we Sizwe, the spear and shield of the struggling masses of the people. He went on to study in Russia, gaining an MSc in Electrical Engineering in 1975.

In 1978, the ANC leadership appointed him to establish and head the ANC Youth Section.

The year 1980 smiled broadly on bra Eddie. It was then that he got married to Nosizwe Funde nee Toni in Sofia, Bulgaria, where she was pursuing her studies in engineering. The two love birds had been an ‘item’ since 1977.

He served the ANC in different parts of the world and in various capacities. In 1983 he was sent by the ANC as its Chief representative in Australasia and the Pacific.

He plunged into this work with his usual enthusiasm, building lasting friendships with Australians from all walks of life.

Back home Bra Eddie served first as Administrator and Researcher of the Civil Service Unit of the ANC. Later he was tasked with the establishment of the South African Research and Development.

Thereafter he served in an executive and non-executive capacity in the Independent Development Trust. He also served on key boards, including Denel, Eskom and Murray and Roberts.

Bra Eddie became very active in the telecommunication sector. He pioneered and developed the White Paper on Telecommunications Policy which resulted in the formation of the SA Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (SATRA) and became its deputy chairperson.

As Chairperson of the SABC Board from 2004 to 2008 Bra Eddie and his Deputy Christine Qunta transformed the public broadcaster, ensuring that it delivered on its mandate.

They both supported the noble idea of positioning the SABC as the best Pan African public broadcaster that would compete and come up with an alternative view to

well-established broadcasters like the BBC and CNN. SABC News International was born out of this initiative, an initiative that was later scuttled by forces of doom and regression.

It was during his deployment as Ambassador in 2010 that Bra Eddie met with an accident that confined him to a wheel chair. However, always optimistic, he carried on with his telecommunications initiatives and ANC political work.

The worst was when their house was burnt down in May 2016. They lost everything that they worked hard for. Bra Eddie did not lose heart.

Strong willed, Bra Eddie was part of the ANC stalwarts and veterans

delegation that met our ANC leadership and insisted that the Veterans League be revitalized and a second conference of the League be convened.

His dream of the conference was realized when our leadership agreed to the convening of the Veterans League conference in October 2017.

Bra Eddie, your calls will be missed. Every Monday or Tuesday, I would receive a call from you where you’d insist on being briefed on the activities of the Veterans League. Bra Eddie would say, Snuki!, I would reply good morning bra Eddie .In a conciliatory and persuasive tone, he would say “when and how is the Veterans League going to implement its resolutions and those of the ANC,in uniting society ,getting rid of corruption, factionalism and gate keeping. Remember ,he would say ,conference took a resolution that an electronic membership system which will get rid of gate keeping be introduced. When is your

collective going to establish the Veterans Leagues Branches and Regions. Veterans must be at the forefront of uniting the ANC and society. We must humble ourselves and admit where we have erred. As veterans we must do door to door campaigns and ensure that the youth registers to vote and that we regain our rightful place as the leader of society. History will judge us harshly if we as veterans do not actively participate and ensure that there is intensive political education in the structures of the ANC. You must ensure that Veterans participate in all ANC committees and give guidance where necessary. We must be at the forefront in mobilising society for a successful victory in the coming 2019 elections.”

Bra Eddie as Veterans of the ANC, we are always ready to serve and will not disappoint you.

We shall deeply miss you.

Lala Ngoxolo Bra Eddie. We will always miss your undying fighting spirit.

Snuki Zikalala

President of the ANC Veterans League

Fedusa

FEDUSA Welcomes Passing of National Minimum Wage

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the passing of the National Minimum Wage by an overwhelming majority of political parties in Parliament on Tuesday.

Alongside with COSATU, NACTU; FEDUSA fought hard for minimum floor of wages under which no South African worker should be paid. FEDUSA and the sister federations wanted a minimum wage of R26 an hour but after difficult negotiations with business and government at NEDLAC, settled for R20 an hour, which would an equivalent of R3 500 a month for a 40 hour-week.

FEDUSA is keenly aware that the minimum wage is not a living wage but will lift more than 6.4 million workers or about 47% of the South Africa’s total workforce who earn below this amount out of abject poverty. In South Africa wages are regulated by the tripartite Employment Conditions Commission using the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) as its key policy instrument to prescribe permissible wage levels and statutory deductions.

The BCEA allows employers to set wages at hourly, weekly and monthly rates. A living wage is much higher than the national minimum wage of R20 an hour or R3 500 a month for a 40-hour week or eight hours a day.  Employment Conditions Commission will be collapsed into a new tripartite structure to be known as the National Minimum Wage Commission once the new National Minimum Wage Act has been signed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and a minimum wage formally introduced in South Africa.

Versions of the NMW previously known as sectoral determinations that are announced by the Minister of Labour  every year for farm and domestic workers – currently standing at around R8 an hour – will be increased by more than 10% and collapsed into 90% and 80% respectively of the new national floor of R20 an hour wages. Minimum wages for these vulnerable sectors will be gradually increased to the level of the NMW, itself to be reviewed two years following the date of its introduction in South After and to be adjusted regularly thereafter in line with food and transport inflation for workers.

Djibouti

Djibouti Gets $110,000 Worth of ICT Equipment to Fight Financial Crimes

COMESA has handed over Information and Communications Technology (ICT) equipment

and analytical software worth over US$ 110,000 to the Djibouti Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The tools were procured through COMESA Regional Maritime Security (MASE) programme, which is funded by the European Union.

The equipment is intended to enhance the efficiency of the analytical work done by the FIU Unit as well as the quality of the intelligence disseminated to Law Enforcement Agencies and other relevant stakeholder in support of the country’s daily efforts to fight money laundering and financial crimes.

Receiving the equipment on behalf of the government, Central Bank of Djibouti Governor Mr. Ahmed Osman Ali said the fight against financial crime needs concerted efforts.

“This handover we are witnessing today is very important for Djibouti and it will greatly booster our efforts in tackling the different forms of financial crime in this region,” he said.

He commended COMESA and the EU for providing the equipment and added that the Central Bank is more than ready to use it effectively and achieve the desired results.

Apart from strengthening the IT capacity of its FIU, COMESA has also assisted Djibouti in translating its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) Laws into Arabic, an important step in the country’s endeavor to align its policies to international standards and become a member of the Middle East and North Africa Financial Action Task Force (MENAFATF). Representative of COMESA Secretary General, Ms. Elizabeth Mutunga, said COMESA’s main concern is to strengthen the fight against money laundering, adding that piracy, or any other crime is motivated and propagated by money.

She said: “If the ability for criminals to access their illicit funds arising from criminal activities is made more difficult, then we can expect that the crime will also be reduced and hopefully eradicated.”

EU Resident Representative in Djibouti Ambassador Adam Kulach said the fight against money laundering in the region will only succeed if key institutions such as Central Banks are strengthened. He reiterated the EU’s commitment to support the

region and urged the Central Bank to put the equipment to good use.

Three other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are implementing the MASE programme addressing different components of maritime security and the fight against maritime crimes. The RECs are the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the East African Community (EAC) and the Indian Ocean Community (IOC).

COMESA component of the programme is implemented in partnership with Interpol, focusing on building capacity in the ESA-IO region to disrupt financial network of pirates and their financiers. COMESA strives to strengthen Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) chain, from improving the legal environment to strengthening the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.

Sisa Ngombane

South Africa withdraws its Ambassador to Israel following Israel’s deadly attack in the Gaza Strip

The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border, which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians. The victims were taking part in a peaceful protest against the provocative inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
This latest attack has resulted in scores of other Palestinian citizens reported injured, and the wanton destruction of property.
Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack, the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice.
As we have stated on previous occasions, South Africa reiterates its view that the Israeli Defence Force must withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories. South Africa maintains further that the violence in the Gaza Strip will stand in the way of rebuilding Palestinian institutions and infrastructure.
The routine actions of the Israeli armed forces present yet another obstacle to a permanent resolution to the conflict, which must come in the form of two states, Palestine and Israel, existing side-by-side and in peace.
Like other members of the international community, South Africa is disturbed by the latest deadly aggression and reiterates calls made by several member states of the United Nations for an independent inquiry into the killings, with a view to holding to account those who are responsible.
Department of Home Affairs

Home Affairs expresses condolences on death of a cancer patient at Barrack Office in Cape Town

The Department of Home Affairs has today expressed its heartfelt condolences to the family of a cancer patient who died at the Barrack Office in Cape Town. The 45 year old man was brought to the office by members of his family, to help him get an ID as he was very sick.

On arrival, the family was assisted immediately from the vehicle by the office supervisor who had gone out of the office for a routine check, which is part of the campaign against long queues that the department recently launched.

With the help of the supervisor, the client was helped to alight from the vehicle and was taken straight into the office, to fulfill his request for an ID. He did not have to wait in a queue. The man was issued first with a temporary ID so he could apply for a smart ID card, which process he had started when he gave his last breath in the photo booth.

The family was grateful that we issued him a temporary ID before he passed on as this will ensure a dignified burial for him. A death certificate will be issued. The department would like to thank officials at Barrack for their speedy response and for doing all in their power to assist the deceased as well as the family in their hour of need. Officials who were visibly traumatized, are receiving counselling and other support from the department’s wellness team.

May our client’s soul rest in peace.

International Monetary Fund

Statement by IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton on Meeting with Egypt’s President

Following a meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi in Cairo today, Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement:

“President El Sisi and I discussed Egypt’s economic outlook and progress in Egypt’s reform program supported by the IMF. The reforms have started to reap results, especially with regard to Egypt’s macroeconomic stabilization: growth is at the highest rate since 2008, inflation has rapidly declined, foreign exchange reserves are at record levels, exports are growing and unemployment has declined.

“We also discussed the outcome of the Inclusive Growth and Job Creation Conference [link to the PR announcing the conference], co-organized by the Egyptian authorities and the IMF in Cairo May 5-6. I was encouraged by the determination, shared by policy makers, the private sector, members of the parliament and civil society. There was consensus that Egypt needs to lock in the gains in macroeconomic stabilization and shift gears towards the implementation of a home-grown structural reform agenda to achieve more inclusive and private sector-led growth. This will help create jobs, which is the best way to reduce poverty and improve living standards. In this context, the conference also benefited from the participation of former senior policymakers from Korea, India and Malaysia who shared their reform experiences.

“I thanked President El Sisi, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt Tarek Amer and the Minister of Finance Amr El Garhy for co-hosting the conference. As we continue our partnership, we stand ready to help Egypt achieve a better future for its people.”

Fedusa

Appeal Tariffs Exemption Ruling– FEDUSA

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) wants government to appeal the decision by American President Donald Trump on Tuesday not to grant South Africa exemption from steel and aluminium tariffs as this decision will only accelerate job losses in the manufacturing and mining industries, sectors that have already shed thousands of jobs due to the unfavourable global economic situation.

FEDUSA believes that at any rate South African steel and aluminium exports to the US are so negligible as to constitute any threat to that country’s national security.

According to the figures that have been cited by the Department of Trade and Industry from the US Census Bureau data, in 2017 the US imported a total of 33.4 million tons of steel, of which imports from SA were approximately 330 000 tons or 0.98% of total US imports and 0.3% of total US steel demand of 107 million tons, the 330 kilo tons exported from SA represents only 5% of SA production equating to roughly 7500 jobs in the steel supply chain.

 

As such, SA does not pose a threat to US national security and to the US steel and aluminium industries but is a source of strategic primary and secondary products used in further value added manufacturing in the US contributing to jobs in both countries.  However, due to these measures, SA will be disproportionately affected both in terms of jobs and productive capacity. Furthermore, SA offered to restrict exports to a quota based on 2017 exports level. However, despite these assurances, the United States has decided not to exempt South Africa from the duties,” the DTI said in a statement.

“It is important to note that some of the exempted countries are the biggest exporters of steel and aluminium to the United States.  For steel imports: collectively, countries granted exemption accounted for 58% of total steel imports into the United States in 2017. For aluminium imports: collectively, countries granted exemptions accounted for 49% of total aluminium imports into the United States over the same period”.

FEDUSA will be working with International Trade Union Confederation and other fraternal labour formations in the US to exert pressure on the Trump administration to reconsider its tariff decision against South Africa.

FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George said it ironic that the decision to exclude South Africa from the tariff exemptions was taken after President Trump played a round of gold with Australian businessman Joe Hockey.