Engineering company owners exasperated with government’s non willingness to see the light

“Slowly we keep the wheels of industry running between the few professionals and companies that are left in the fabrication and engineering space. Real companies with real passion for this industry. Companies with long-term views. It’s called building a civilisation. Please note that if you come to the few of us that are left, you will get a product that will run its lifecycle or more. We don’t take chances and we work to a proven code,” said Francois Coertzen, owner of Coertzen Engineering Consultants, recently in a LinkedIn post.

“Unfortunately if you are in corporate life, you have to be a conformist. I don’t because I am a private company and make decisions for myself. I take my hat off to Mr Neal Froneman from Sibanye-Stillwater who had some harsh words to say in an interview on the state of the mining industry and the country. Sibanye-Stillwater is the world’s largest primary producer of platinum, second largest primary producer of palladium and third largest producer of gold.”

“However, I see Transnet as our biggest national risk, over and above Eskom now. There is no reform and no plan. Our harbours (Portnet) are barely functional. The rail network is collapsing fast. How do we import and export?”

“The state department is now spending more time bringing out a new BEE policy than addressing the real issues that could halt this economy over night. It would be a saving grace if government puts together an advisory committee of proven industrialists and people out of other sectors and start listening to them.”

“I come back to our schooling system. We as business can do nothing with the matriculants produced. We need serious reform. Politics has no place in education on secondary and tertiary level. Educators and education visionaries are needed… urgently.”

“Just an opinion.”

All the spend is going to China and India
Equally frustrated is Tony Cimato, Chairman and CEO at The Efficient Engineering Group Of Companies. “I sometimes wonder if this government has any idea of how to repair our broken country? The one place to start, would be to create jobs, get the youth off the streets and prepare them for their lives ahead! This can only happen if government assists local companies by making it imperative for local spend.”

“Our dwindling skills are quickly finding jobs overseas and no one is transferring skills. The billions that were pledged to government for infrastructure projects has seen little or no fruition. The projects that were to materialise haven’t found their way to production and the few that have, all the spend is going to China and India!”

“A fine example is the strip mill that is going to be built. This mill is funded by the IDC and DTI and all the equipment is coming from the East! How much has gone to local companies….nothing!”

“All the power generation projects that were so hurried have come to an almost stand still. The modus operandi of the tech companies that supply the technology is simple, they make the T&Cs almost impossible to attain and then spin government a story that there is no one in the country that can supply! I have this knowledge first-hand as it has happened to our company.”

“In closing I want to speak to the powers that be. If something is not done very quickly to remedy this situation, our skills would have left and tax base will shrink!”