Car mak­ers com­mit to boost­ing black own­er­ship

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Roy Cokayne

SOUTH Africa’s ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ers are to cre­ate a trans­for­ma­tion fund of “many bil­lion rand” that would al­lo­cate funds to de­velop black own­er­ship in the sup­ply chain and ve­hi­cle deal­er­ship net­work.

The in­dus­try has also de­vel­oped a vi­sion and mas­ter plan to 2035.

De­tails of the trans­for­ma­tion fund and the mas­ter plan were dis­closed at a me­dia brief­ing yes­ter­day that was ad­dressed by ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize and sev­eral in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives.

The brief­ing fol­lows fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions be­tween the par­ties ahead of the ANC’s pol­icy con­fer­ence.

Mkhize said there was a much bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try than in other sec­tors.

He said there was much scep­ti­cism about rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, but the ANC be­lieves there had to be a new way of do­ing busi­ness in South Africa, and “the lead­er­ship in this sec­tor have openly em­braced that ap­proach”.

Mike Whit­field, the pres­i­dent of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers of South Africa (Naamsa) and the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Nis­san South Africa, said the growth of the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try was a trib­ute to the in­ter­ac­tion be­tween the var­i­ous stake­hold­ers and the sta­ble pol­icy en­vi­ron­ment.

“It’s one in­dus­try we can­not af­ford to ever take a step back­ward. If you look at Aus­tralia, where pol­icy and the in­dus­try did not align, it fun­da­men­tally does not have an assem­bly in­dus­try any­more,” he said.

An­drew Kirby, a Naamsa mem­ber and pres­i­dent and the chief ex­ec­u­tive of Toy­ota South Africa Mo­tors, said the in­dus­try had recog­nised the need to play a more ac­tive role in sup­port­ing in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion and in solv­ing some of the coun­try’s chal­lenges.

Kirby said one crit­i­cal el­e­ment they recog­nised was the need to de­velop a fund that sup­ported trans­for­ma­tion in the in­dus­try, and they had de­vel­oped a vi­sio­n­and a mas­ter plan with tar­gets they aimed to achieve by 2035.

He said these tar­gets in­cluded in­creas­ing to­tal an­nual man­u­fac­tur­ing vol­umes from 600 000 to 1.4 mil­lion ve­hi­cles and lo­cal con­tent lev­els in do­mes­ti­cally pro­duced ve­hi­cles from 38 per­cent to 60 per­cent, and dou­bling em­ploy­ment in the in­dus­try and the num­ber of black-owned en­ter­prises.

Tim Ab­bott, an­other Naamsa mem­ber and the chief ex­ec­u­tive of BMW Group South Africa and sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, said the ma­jor orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers (OEMs) in South Africa had come to­gether to work out a long-term plan for the in­dus­try.

Ab­bott said the trans­for­ma­tion fund would be held through a black fund man­ager with a board of man­age­ment that in­cluded OEMs and the govern­ment through the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try.

He said money would be al­lo­cated to de­velop black own­er­ship in the sup­ply chain and of ve­hi­cle deal­er­ships, and black­owned com­pa­nies would also re­ceive sup­port with man­age­ment.

ANC trea­surer-gen­eral Zweli Mkhize met with cap­tains of the mo­tor in­dus­try.

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