The National Union of Metal Workers South Africa (Numsa) and the Solidarity Union have called on government to intervene and assist Evraz Highveld Steel in Witbank in Mpumalanga, to continue operating.
South Africa's second largest steel producer has closed shop, leaving more than 1 700 people jobless. Evraz Highveld Steel in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga was no longer sustainable due to the flooding of the market by cheaper Chinese steel.
Talk of tariffs came too late for Evraz. There is an oversupply of steel globally, a problem that has put many jobs in jeopardy, the world over.
Evraz Highveld Steel is leading steel producer for over 50 years. It was ranked among 15 leading steel producers around the world.
The National Union of Metal Workers South Africa's Regional Chairperson Job Leshaba says they are working to save the jobs.
“As Numsa in the province we are not laying down, we are looking at options at what is it that we can do in order to save that company in order for the workers to go back and work.”
A Hong Kong-based company is alleged to have attempted to buy Evraz Highveld Steel, but later pulled out of the deal.