Cape Town Iron and Steel Works (Cisco) reopens

Scrap-based steelmaking company reopened after nearly eight years of closure following a R550 million Turkish investment.

The company, based in Kuils River, Western Cape, was established in 1967. Murray and Roberts closed its doors eight years ago resulting in 360 job losses. In 2012, Turkish company DHT Holdings took ownership to expand and upgrade the steel plant, which produces steel from scrap. DHT have invested R550 million to expand and upgrade the steel plant and expects to produce 500 000 t/y.

The reopening of the Cisco factory follows the introduction of a trade directive that provides local steel mills with greater access to scrap metal, through a price preference system that favours local industry.

“Scrap metal, whether in our homes, workplaces and in trains and cars that are scrapped, is a national resource. Local foundries and steel mini-mills had been under pressure for a number of years due to unavailability of scrap metal, a vital feedstock, due to a surge in the export of scrap metal,” said Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel.

“For many years we have seen the exporting of scrap metal that is transformed into steel products that go into the infrastructure of other countries. Mr Turanli saw an opportunity to help South Africans take our scrap metal and turn it into steel products that we can use in our infrastructure,” he said.

“The company has invested R550 million, while the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has provided about R230 million. Here you have a combination of scrap lying around that can be used, finance from foreign investors and the IDC, know-how and workers ready to work.”

He said steel products that had been produced by Cisco since October had gone into local products in the Western Cape, as well as being exported to the US, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

“The president had put a target for R100 billion fresh investment over the next five years so we can expand factories, mines, hotels and other workplaces to create jobs for South Africa’s people,” he said.

“We started this project in 2012 and have always had the support of the Economic Development Ministry. I was here prior to 2012. You said grab opportunities here. We are continuously working to add value to raw material sourced in South Africa,” said DHT president Dagistan Turanli.

The Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Elif Comoglu Ulgen said the investment by DHT was the second-largest investment by a Turkish firm in South Africa.

To date, 300 direct jobs and 120 indirect jobs have been created and 80 000 tons of steel have gone into local industry and exported.