We are ready and willing to play our part in creating a value-creating new economy. In so doing, we commit to invest in people, in our customers and in our national capacity to create value, as enunciated by the National Development Plan.
On these pages I reflect on a year of momentous challenge, change and achievement for our company, a year in which we drew ArcelorMittal South Africa back from the edge of a precipice – to the benefit of our employees, our suppliers, our investors, our customers and society.
On Our creation of social value of this report we set out just how critically important a thriving primary steel industry is to the achievement of the more competitive, more inclusive, more equal South Africa that the National Development Plan has mapped out for us.
A national engine for growth
We also attempt, on those pages (and in our expanded online report), to provide some insight into the enormous value that ArcelorMittal South Africa creates for a multitude of stakeholders. Without wanting to duplicate information elsewhere in this report, it bears repeating that steel is a key enabler of virtually every single part of our economy and the bedrock of our nation’s industrialisation with the five leading steel-consuming sectors alone contributing R600 billion in GDP and sustaining eight million jobs. By annually beneficiating 6.5 million tonnes of our nation’s iron ore and producing a staggering variety of quality steel products, every year our company adds many billions to the economy.
South Africa needs a strong primary steel sector more than is generally realised. In developing countries such as ours there is a positive correlation between GDP and steel intensity and, as we grow our economy, we will need more steel – 5.8mtpa by 2020 and more than 7mpta by 2030.
Unlocking the value of our mineral wealth
Few, if any, countries are as richly endowed with mineral resources to the extent that our country is. Iron ore is chief among the mineral endowments we have inherited. Yet, every year, we fail to unlock the potential that lies underground to create a vibrant economy that creates value-adding jobs.
We at ArcelorMittal South Africa stand ready and willing to play our part in creating that value-creating new economy. In so doing we commit to invest in people, in our customers and in our national capacity to create value, as enunciated by the National Development Plan.
Replacing what we already have in the Vaal Triangle, Newcastle and Saldanha would take more than a decade to accomplish and cost tens of billions of rand that would be much better spent elsewhere while exposing South Africa to very considerable security-of-supply risks.
But, reading this report, it will become abundantly clear just how close we came this year to losing what we have – a proud, almost 90-year-old national asset that employs over 9 300 people directly while supporting tens of thousands more at suppliers big and small, numbers that multiply into the millions through the flat, long and tubular steel products our mills produce every day of the year.