Industrial Steel, one of South Africa’s largest steel companies, is an industry where the number of machines can be as high as the number working in the country, according to the company’s chairman, Kip Thiam.
“This means we can make the world’s best steel,” he said.
Industrial Steel has produced nearly 1.3 million tonnes of steel since it was founded in 2008, making it the world leader in the sector.
The company, which has been working with the South African government to secure $2.4bn in financing, also has plans to invest up to $2bn in its own steel production in the coming years.
Industrial’s chief executive, Peter Thiam, said that in order to ensure that South Africa had a steel industry of the future, he would like to see the country’s steel-making infrastructure strengthened.
“Steel is an essential component in the fabric of our society and its production is the foundation of our prosperity,” he told the Associated Press news agency.
Industrial had no immediate comment to the AP.
The South African steel industry has been in decline for years.
According to South African trade body SAPS, South Africa imports nearly one-fifth of its steel, compared to a global average of 17%.
According to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), the South Africa steel industry accounted for less than 2% of US steel exports in 2016.
The country’s overall industry also has a reputation for producing high-quality products but also suffers from poor productivity.
In 2015, the SAPS said that the country had the third-highest rate of productivity in the world at 4.6%.
In 2015-2016, industrial reported losses of $16.7bn, down from $24.4b in 2015.
According the GAO, the steel industry is facing “critical issues” including low wages and the lack of adequate health and safety training.
The GAO also said that over half of the steel produced in South African facilities was of lower quality than that produced in the rest of the world.
The SAPS has been pushing the government to invest in a new steel manufacturing complex that would be able to produce up to 15% more steel by 2020 than it currently does.
South Africa is currently home to only about 2,300 factories, according the World Steel Association (WSA).
“The industry is not producing the products that it needs, which is why it is the only industry in the industrial sector that is in such a bad state,” Thiam said in April.
The government has been trying to diversify the South-South market by creating a number of other industries, such as small- and medium-sized businesses, small and medium enterprises and small-scale manufacturers.
The World Steel Confederation, a trade body that represents steel-producing countries, has estimated that South-Sarasan steel would be worth around $7.5bn in 2021.
However, that figure is based on the company producing only 5% of the market.
The Confederation estimates that South African industrial steel could be worth $3.7tn in 2021, and it is expected to be the biggest steel market in the United States.