South African Iron and Steel Institute Logo

South African Iron and Steel Institute

Goverment COVID-19 Portal
COVID-19 Framework for the South African Primary Steel Industry
General COVID-19 Resources

Overview of the primary steel industry in South Africa

South Africa was ranked the 27th largest crude steel producing country in the world in 2019 according to data by the World Steel Association (worldsteel). South Africa also produced approximately 35% of the total crude steel production of the African continent during 2019. 

Total South African crude steel production as reported by the members of SAISI amounted to an estimated 5.666* million tonnes in 2019, a decrease of 10,5%, compared with 6,328 million tonnes produced during 2018. This represents about 0,3% of world production which reached 1 869 million tonnes in 2019 according to the World Steel Association (worldsteel), an increase of 3,0% when compared with 2018. 

According to data released by the South African Revenue Service, imports of primary carbon and alloy steel products (excluding semis, stainless steel and drawn wire) during the twelve months of 2019 amount to amount to 894 088 tonnes, an increase of 14,0% compared with 784 206 tonnes of primary carbon and alloy steel products imported during the corresponding period of 2018.

The range of primary carbon steel products and semi-finished products manufactured in South Africa includes billets, blooms, slabs, forgings, light-, medium- and heavy sections and bars, reinforcing bar, railway track material, wire rod, seamless tubes, plates, hot- and cold-rolled coils and sheets, electrolytic galvanised coils and sheets, tinplate and pre-painted coils and sheets. 

The range of primary stainless-steel products and semi-finished products manufactured in South Africa includes slabs, plates and hot- and cold-rolled coils and sheets. 

According to data released by the South African Revenue Service, a volume of 0,525 million tonnes of ferrous scrap were exported and 0,131 million tonnes were imported during 2019.

* Estimated – as from July 2008 not all data is available.