“The FF Plus has sent a letter to the chairperson of the parliamentary portfolio committee on Trade and Industry to urgently intervene to save Highveld Steel from closure,” Adv. Anton Alberts, the parliamentary spokesperson on Trade and Industry for the Freedom Front Plus said.
Adv. Alberts says that although it appears at this stage that the company can no longer be rescued, the state has an obligation to protect the country’s industrial capacity in terms of an undertaking of the Industrial Development Corporation.
This, together with President Jacob Zuma’s commitment in his SONA last week to create and protect jobs, makes it of paramount importance to offer a lifeline to Highveld Steel, Adv. Alberts says.
In the letter to Ms. JE Fubbs, the chairperson of the portfolio committee, Adv. Alberts says, amongst others:
“The closure of Highveld Steel is a source of great concern to me. Numerous people have been retrenched and many of them are under immense financial pressure as a result.
“I note that apparently the reason for the retrenchments stem, inter alia, from the fact that the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) did not release and/or make committed funds available to Highveld, as they undertook to do.
“This is of great concern given the value and lives being destroyed by the closure. We thus hereby request the Chairperson to contact the IDC in order compel them to explain/account to the Committee why the funds were not made available to Highveld.
“The Committee must ideally also enquire with the Department and IDC what else can now be done to save Highveld and its employees."
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