Massive job loss has been experienced in the KwaZulu-Natal manufacturing industry mainly due to low demand caused by the slow economy, challenges such as high fuel prices, electricity outages and social unrests.

According to Siza Sibanda, KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental affairs acting head of department , who addressed delegates during the KZN Manufacturing Indaba in Durban, KZN is strategically located as it is home of two of the busiest trade Ports of Durban and Richards Bay and has easy access to the Indian and Pacific Ocean, routes to Asia, South America, and Europe.

KZN Manufacturing is responsible for 12% of South Africa’s GDP, employs 1,6 million people and is among the top three sectors in-terms of revenue generation.

According to Sibanda, government ought to reassess its policies, strategies and structure of the economy as to alleviate the burden and challenges faced by the manufacturing sector, in order to curb further job loss and total collapse of the industry.

By Sinenhlanhla Nala