Part­ner­ships vi­tal to en­sure growth of au­to­mo­bile sec­tor

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

GAUT­ENG Pre­mier David Makhura led a del­e­ga­tion of high-level politi­cians visit three of the big­gest car builders in Tsh­wane: Nis­san, BMW and Ford.

“We want to im­prove part­ner­ships be­tween gov­ern­ment and the pri­vate sec­tor to in­crease the level of em­ploy­ment and skills devel­op­ment, and to ad­dress is­sues of lo­cal in­clu­sion in the economy,” said Makhura, speak­ing on the ob­jec­tives of Ntirisano.

The project is part of a larger pro­gramme by the gov­ern­ment to fo­cus on the im­por­tance of the au­to­mo­tive sec­tor within the broader man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try.

“The auto sec­tor re­mains a key driver of the South African economy, con­tribut­ing R115 bil­lion and cre­at­ing 110 000 jobs na­tion­wide. This ac­counts for 11,7% of South Africa’s man­u­fac­tur­ing ex­ports and 33% of Gaut­eng’s au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ing,” said Makhura.

Nis­san MD Mike Whit­field said part­ner­ships be­tween the three lev­els of gov­ern­ment en­sure that the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try is one of the more suc­cess­ful and grow­ing sec­tors in the South African economy.

Dur­ing the tour, Nis­san told Makhura of the com­pany’s Africa ex­pan­sion strat­egy, which re­quires South Africa hav­ing the nec­es­sary skills for a high-qual­ity work­force.

Whit­field stressed the im­por­tance of turn­ing the Nis­san plant in Ross­lyn into a base that ex­ports ve­hi­cles into the Africa, Mid­dle East and In­dia re­gions.

Echo­ing the sen­ti­ments of the pres­i­dent and CEO of Toy­ota Mo­tors Europe, Dr Jo­han van Zyl, who warned at the Hilux and For­tuner line open­ing in Prospec­ton that SA needs a trained and sta­ble work­force, Whit­field high­lighted the im­por­tance of skills devel­op­ment through part­ner­ships with or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Au­to­mo­tive In­dus­try Devel­op­ment Cen­tre. He said that the Nis­san pres­ence has been achieved in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the prov­ince, led by the pre­mier and the MEC, as well as Tsh­wane and the AIDC.

PHOTO: KEVIN SUTHER­LAND/BLOOMBERG

Work­ers work­ing on a BMW X3 in­side the BMW AG plant in Ross­lyn.

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