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South Africa

The economic and business environment is improving and slowly returning to pre-COVID levels.

There is still a shortage of suitable scrap metal locally and the prices being paid are very high.

The Department of Trade & Industry, the Treasury and the International Trade Administration Commission have introduced export taxes on scrap metal equating to 10% on both copper and brass and to 15% on aluminium. Scrap dealers are continuing to melt copper, brass and aluminium into blocks, ingots and billets, thus causing a local shortage.

COVID cases are decreasing dramatically and the country is back at Level 1 lockdown. The economy is opening up but restrictions still apply to travel - especially to Europe as South Africa is still on the red list which requires a period of quarantine. Well over 9 million people, or 16% of the South African population, have been fully vaccinated but there are concerns about a possible fourth wave in December when businesses and schools close for the holidays.

South Africa’s biggest metalworkers’ union NUMSA called a strike in early October in pursuit of pay increases and this could last a few weeks despite some hopes of a rapid settlement.

Meanwhile, the rand is trading at 15.10 to a stronger US dollar.