Business is still slow as the country is presently in Level 1 lockdown. Many industries are still on short-time working and employees have taken salary cuts, while some businesses are continuing to restructure and to reduce staff numbers in order to survive under the recession triggered by COVID-19.
Scrap metal recyclers are continuing to operate under Level 1 lockdown restrictions. Not much scrap is available and prices paid are still very high. No export permits are being issued at present for copper, brass and aluminium scrap. The Department of Trade and Industry and the International Trade Administration Commission are investigating an export tax on scrap metal to stimulate local and downstream industry; a decision will be made shortly, for probable implementation in early 2021.
The latest economic forecast for South Africa suggests an 8.2% contraction in 2020. Load shedding is continuing to affect business as there has not been much maintenance within Eskom. Unemployment is over 35% and could go higher over the next few months owing to the recession. At the time of writing, the rand is trading at 17.15 to the US dollar.
Non-Ferrous Metal Works (ZAF) (Pty) Ltd, Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division