Steel giant ArcelorMittal SA is planning to resume deliveries of finished goods and stock to clients from when the present hard Lock-down is expected to be downgraded to Level 4 on 1 May.
But this is not a full restart for Amsa, but merely the delivery of products and material already stockpiled before its shut-down for hard Lock-down imposed by Government on the Covid-19 pandemic, said Tami Didiza, Senior Manager Stakeholder Management and Communications.
The Golden Triangle Chamber of Commerce (GTCoC) has welcomed the planned resumption of economic activity by AMSA – especially after dramatic economic devastation and poverty escalation by Covid-19 in the Vaal economy – as an essential step towards eventual full start-up.
Government has already announced details and planning on softening the hard Lock-down from May 1 against the background of a massive R500 billion economic and business/social relief plan announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Didiza told Vaalweekblad over the weekend that AMSA had its own plans with regard to its eventual full-start-up and that the company “would stick to these”.
“However, we have finished good and or stock available to be despatched immediately after Lock-down.
“So our customers will not have to wait for a restart to get deliveries. We also have slabs, blooms and other work in processed steel so the rolling mills can start with production after lock-down without waiting for the restart of iron and steel-making operations,” Didiza said on enquiry.
Didiza added that Amsa restart plans were based on market demand.
Amsa’s recent shut-down and slashing of salaries by up to 45% for managers and 40% for other employees was a major shock to a Vaal economy already under severe strain even before the Covid-19 pandemic struck, said Kritzinger.
Kritzinger added the GTCoC and stakeholders were doing an in-depth assessment and identifying recovery and prosperity scenarios to not only restore the regional economy, but to attract maximum investment and government infrastructure spend to the Vaal post Covid-19.
“The GTCoC thus welcomes Amsa’s step to resume deliveries and looks forward to a full restart especially in the Vaal of production by the company when circumstances allow,” said Kritzinger.