As the backbone of the blue-collar sector in the Amajuba area, ArcelorMittal has been a massive source of employment and income for many households and businesses, over the past few generations.
Yet, in the wake of the challenges faced over the past few years by the steel giants, it has now been reported that ArcelorMittal South Africa has declared force majeure this, after a breakdown at the blast furnace, located at their Newcastle Works plant.
According to reports, the clause of force majeure loosely translates as a superior force, which allows certain terms of an otherwise legally binding agreement to be ignored due to unavoidable circumstances.
With the blast furnace suffering thermal damage, an estimated shutdown period of three weeks is forecast, in order to complete the repairs.
ArcelorMittal SA has apparently communicated with its clientele, informing them of the current situation, thereby declaring force majeure as a result of the breakdown.
Along with this, ArcelorMittal has also claimed parts of the production process have been moved to the Vaal Melt Shop, which is situated at its Vereeniging Works plant.
Currently, the company is unable to predict the full extent of production losses. This is due to uncertainty on when the blast furnace will indeed be up and running. However, the company has assured every effort is being made to resolve the issue timeously.
Author: Quinton Boucher
Edited: Calvin Swemmer