Manufacturing sector data reflects the impact of unrest in July

JOHANNESBURG – The Steel and Engineering Federation of Southern Africa (SEIFSA), says the manufacturing production and sales data reflects the negative impact of the July’s unrest in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.
According to manufacturing data released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), total manufacturing production declined to -4.1% year-on-year in July 2021, when compared to July 2021, with a monthly decline of -8.0% from June 2021.

Total manufacturing sales increased by only 3.2%, down from a high of 29.3% in June 2021, while declining marginally by 13.1% from June 2021. However, some encouraging news is that year to date, manufacturing production increased by 12.9%, with sales improving by 24.8%.

Speaking after the release of the numbers, SEIFSA Chief Economist Chifipa Mhango said that the sub sectors of manufacturing account for 29% share in total manufacturing production. Total production across all 13 sub-categories increased by an average of 4.5% in July 2021, down from a high of 27.6% in June 2021 year on year, with total sales increasing by 12.1% in July, down from a high of 38.6% in June 2021.

M&E total manufacturing production sales were R66.7 billion in July, down from R81 billion in June 2021. The largest sales value in the month of July being in the non-ferrous metal products at R15.3 billion.

“As one of the backbone sectors of the South African economy, the Metals and Engineering (M&E) sector remains a crucial supplier of inputs into major sectors such as construction, mining and other manufacturing sub-industries and is thus an integral part of economic and industrial development in South Africa.” Mr Chifipa said.

“With that in mind, what is clear is that while the focus of the South African Government is on economic policy and its recovery plan, there is an urgent need to also address the socio-economic challenges facing our country, as there can be no real growth in an unstable socio-economic environment,” Mr Chifipa said.

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