20 March 2012
The Eastern Cape Automotive Sector Support Initiative was launched in Port Elizabeth on Monday, with the government, industry and labour set to collaborate on a number of measures to advance the sector in the province.
“Today marks the start of a process of ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors in the Eastern Cape to jointly formulate responses and implement key programmes in the automotive sector,” Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at the launch.
Joint provincial programmes
Joint programmes already agreed upon cover the areas of logistics, skills development, and supplier development, localisation and incubation.
The support initiative will work on developing the road and rail corridor between Port Elizabeth and East London, and between the Eastern Cape and Gauteng province, while also undertaking regular skills and needs audits in the sector.
It will also work with the Durban Auto Cluster to implement the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Project.
National development programme
Davies said the national Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) has contributed positively to the motor industry in terms of production and export values.
“Production volumes have grown from about 389 000 units in 1995 to a peak of 587 719 units in 2006 before dipping to 373 923 units in 2009, and bouncing back to 532 545 units in 2011,” Davies said.
The MIDP is being phased out, and will be replaced by the Automotive Production Development Programme (APDP), which comes into operation in 2013.
Davies said there was an opportunity to increase the local content in domestically assembled vehicles, coupled with an expansion of the component export basket.