South Africa eyes stake in steel production

23 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Johannesburg – South Africa may re-enter the steel production industry through the establishment of a state-owned company or a partnership with the private sector, the Business Report newspaper said on Wednesday.

The paper quoted Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba as saying South Africa’s decision to sell Iscor, the state steel company which split into what is now ArcelorMittal South Africa and Kumba Iron Ore, was ill planned.

“One mistake South Africa made was to sell Iscor,” the paper quoted him as saying, according to Reuters report.

Gigaba was also quoted as saying the state needed to take a “leading role” in driving development but its re-entery into the steel sector could be in partnership with private industry.

The paper said the minister expressed concern about the price of steel as South Africa aims to beef up its railway network and rolling stock.

Africa’s largest economy, a top global exporter of iron ore, is aiming to lower the domestic steel prices which it sees as vital to new industries and job creation.

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