50-year-old Cape steel firm in new lease of life
R550 million investment by Turkish firm DHT Holdings into a Cape steel firm, which was shut down eight years ago, has resulted in the re-establishment of the company and the return of 300 of the retrenched workers.
The 50-year-old Cape Town Iron and Steel Works (Cisco) plant in Kuils River was shut down in 2010 and put in care and maintenance by its previous owner, listed Murray & Roberts (M&R), resulting in the loss of 360 jobs. M&R shut the plant because it was not economically viable at the time. DHT Holdings acquired Cisco in 2012, invested R550m to expand and upgrade the steel plant, and has now returned the plant to full capacity.
The Department of Economic Development issued a new directive in 2013 that gave the International Trade Administration Commission the power to bar exports of both ferrous and non-ferrous scrap metal unless the metal was first offered to domestic purchasers at a 20 percent discount to the prevailing international price.
This was an attempt by the government to come to prevent many local foundries and other beneficiators from closing down or significantly reducing their production capacity.