Does AMSA bully its customers?

“NEASA recently received complaints from numerous AMSA customers to the effect that AMSA is employing bullying tactics towards them. The following are examples of complaints we have received,” said Gerhard Papenfus is the Chief Executive of the National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA).

“One NEASA customer complained that they haven’t received deliveries for six months. Then, unexpectedly, two deliveries were made, in excess of the company’s credit limit. AMSA demanded immediate settlement, threatening the client that, unless immediate payment is made, the particular order will be cancelled and the material will be supplied to another customer.”

“Another NEASA customer complained that, although they are on allocation, the same product appears on a tender list, where the highest bidder gets the material. Consequently, this particular company, in desperate need for steel, was forced to pay a much higher price.”

“One NEASA customer complained about the fact that they needed a special type of steel they were told by AMSA that in exchange for this ‘favour’ they had to sacrifice more than ten times their allocation for that substitute product in exchange for the small amount of special steel.”

“And complaints about the quality are simply brushed aside and the complainants are blamed for having too high standards. Only a monopoly, hiding behind duty protection, can make itself guilty of this bullying behaviour.”

“If you are wondering why we are embarking on this type of drastic action, it is because AMSA is a monopolistic, self-serving entity, kept alive by state protection, to the detriment of the entire steel industry.”

“Unless AMSA is capable of supplying the South African steel downstream timeously, with the correct quantity, high-quality raw material at a competitive price, all duties protecting AMSA must be scrapped. In such a scenario, AMSA has to determine how it will survive. It is not for the state to play a role in keeping this monopoly alive.”

“Almost 100% of the entire steel industry supports this demand. Out of approximately 11 000 companies in the steel industry, only six companies (including AMSA itself) support the duties protecting AMSA.”