Pretoria: The Department of Trade and Industry (dti), its automotive social partners, labour and business have committed to work together to ensure the long-term stability of the sector.
The dti met with stakeholders in the automotive sector on Thursday, where they agreed to work together towards ensuring the long-term competitiveness of the sector, including deepening the value chain, ensuring the long-term stability of supply and productivity.
“As an indication of all stakeholders’ commitment to the development of the sector, a new initiative announced by the department — the Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness Initiative (ASCCI) — was endorsed by all parties in the meeting,” said the department.
ASCCI will focus specifically on inherently improving the levels of competitiveness in SA’s automotive supply chain, and in doing so, increasing opportunities for increased production capacity, gainful employment and economic transformation within the sector.
In an industry-first for SA, a national strategy for competitiveness improvement will be led and implemented through a facilitated steering committee structure, with committed participation from the major national industry representative stakeholders. These include the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA), the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), as well as with government representation through the dti.
The Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP) remains the flagship fiscal support programme for the sector. However, fiscal support alone is not the only driver of long-term industry growth and sustainability.
“This has to be complemented by continuous improvement and competitiveness gains in the domestic value chain, and to this effect the steering committee has already designed a co-ordinating and implementation blueprint of activities to achieve this. This initial set of activities is intended to run from now until 2017,” said the dti, NUMSA and NAAMSA in a joint statement.
Key focus areas include those of supplier operational capabilities, increasing levels of localisation and manufacturing value addition in SA and other strategic issues impacting on local supply chain competitiveness.