Cape Times

Car makers commit to boosting black ownership

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

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