Sassda Columbus Stainless Steel Awards winners announced

    Emcee of the Sassda Columbus Stainless Steel awards, Peter Ndoro.

    Awarding steel excellence was the order of the evening at this year’s South Africa Stainless Steel Development Association’s (Sassda’s) Columbus Stainless Steel Awards, which took place at the Indaba Hotel on 20 October.

    The awards boasted a presence of 350 industry role players in the steel industry, and was a clear indication that the local stainless steel sector is home to a wealth of world-class products and skills, with a record of 39 world-class winners up from the 14 awards presented in 2014.

    Sassda executive director, John Tarboton said, “After the huge increase in the number of entries and winners as well as the number of categories, we truly feel that the aim of the awards has been realised, namely to boost the growth and development of the local stainless steel sector.”

    Tarboton added that the hype created around the awards also meant they have been invaluable in terms of raising awareness of stainless steel and its myriad of uses and applications within the local and global economy.

    The winners were drawn from a broader spectrum of sectors due to an expansion in the number of categories. This stems from a desire to broaden the scope of categories to ensure they were fully representative of the depth and diversity of the steel industry.

    The overall winner of the award-filled evening was Welfit Oddy, the only manufacturer of tank containers in South Africa, which is the second-largest tank container manufacturer globally.

    The awards not only over-subscribed in terms of sponsors, they also exceeded expectations in terms of the number of entries, which increased from 43 in 2014 to 144 in 2016.

    “The awards are also a key component of our drive to position stainless steel as simply brilliant. This stems from one of Sassda’s key roles, namely to market the medium of stainless steel in such a manner that producers and the public not only value its inherent strength and durability but also its aesethic appeal,” Tarboton explained.

    Centred on the standard of entries received, creative expert, Luke Hartdegen from Mettle Advertising explained, “The quality of the projects submitted, reflected a vast improvement compared to previous award submissions. For example, in engineering, the complexity of work submitted was far superior this year, and reflected an enormous overall improvement.

    “We also saw more willingness from companies to use stainless steel as opposed to the usage of alternative metals and in far more complex ways, too.”

    Masego Seemela

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