parliamentBusinessLive reports that the local cement industry has called on parliament to back its application for tariff increases for cement imports, arguing that the sector is facing an existential crisis.  

Local cement industry players recently lodged a tariff increase application with the International Trade Administration Commission (Itac), the organisation tasked with customs tariff investigations, trade remedies, and import and export control.  Bryan Perrie, an industry spokesperson and MD of The Concrete Institute, said the recent surge in cheap cement imports would add to the jobs crisis in SA.  The construction industry accounts for 8% of total formal employment in SA and 17% of its total informal employment.  The cement sector on its own directly employs more than 7,000 people and has created an additional 35,000 indirect jobs.  Without tariff protection, these could all be under threat, said Perrie.  “Urgent action is required.  We have asked Itac for a safeguard action against cheap cement imports which are undercutting local producers by almost 45% and skewing market prices,” he warned said.

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