The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Ebrahim Patel, recently hosted the inaugural Automotive Executive Oversight Committee (EOC) in Pretoria. The key responsibility of the EOC is the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the progress made in the implementation of the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM) towards the achievement of its objectives.
Government’s SAAM masterplan is targeting to raise local content in the automotive industry from the currently less than 40% to 60% by 2035. The EOC comprises representatives from vehicle assemblers, automotive component suppliers, labour and government.
“The meeting agreed to set up six working groups each of which will focus on a different pillar of the masterplan, namely; Local market optimisation, Regional market development, Localisation, Infrastructure development, Industry transformation and Technology and associated skills development,” explained Renai Moothilal, Executive Director of The National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM).
“The realisation of these six objectives are projected to have a fundamentally transformative impact on the position of the South African automotive industry. Minister Patel alluded to a wish that the EOC will contribute to the creation of a stable and predictable environment for investment,” he said.
“NAACAM is deeply committed to promoting meaningful transformation in the sector and will actively endeavour to increase the number of Black-owned component manufacturers in the sector. He said that platforms such as the NAACAM Black Supplier Day and the NAACAM Show are key opportunities to showcase the capabilities of Black-owned manufacturing businesses.”
He urged NAACAM members to take ownership of their transformation agendas and encouraged them to support the development of emerging supplier.
He said that the focus of the localisation initiative is the conception and development of an innovative solution to promote the identification of Tier 1 localisation opportunities.
“We encourage NAACAM’s Tier 1 members to actively identify new deeper localisation opportunities and engage emerging suppliers to assess the feasibility of localising components. There are a number of ‘low hanging fruit’ in the deeper localisation space, we must work harder to exploit them,” he said.