Interventions in manufacturing bearing fruit

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pretoria - Government’s intervention to support the manufacturing sector is bearing fruit, with the Automotive Investment Scheme unlocking private sector investment of R24.5 billion.

“Our Automotive Investment Scheme has unlocked private-sector investment of R24.5 billion, and generated exports of automotives and components of R103 billion in 2013,” said President Jacob Zuma, as he delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in the National Assembly on Thursday evening.

The intention of the AIS, which falls under the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), is to grow and develop the automotive sector through investment in new and replacement models, as well as the manufacturing of automotive components.

The objective here is to increase plant production volumes, sustain employment and strengthen the automotive value chain.

The country’s automotive sector employs in excess of 100 000 people.

President Zuma on Thursday said the country had built a world-class auto sector on the African continent exporting to over 152 countries.

The leather and footwear sector has also grown to 60 million pairs of shoes, and exports grew by 18% with significant benefit to the balance of trade.

“The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development shows that South Africa doubled its Foreign Direct Investment inflows to R88 billion in 2013 while 2014 projections are also positive,” he said.

However, the manufacturing sector was hit hard by the global financial crisis.

“Government committed more than R2.8 billion to companies in the sector, through the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme.

“We are very pleased with the response of our manufacturers who committed over R12.4 billion in private-sector investment. It is a very good story to tell indeed,” explained the President.

The programme offers incentives designed to drive growth and promote competitiveness in the manufacturing sector. It includes a package of incentives specifically designed for established manufacturers, with the aim of promoting competitiveness and retaining jobs.

In addition, to advance transformation, government has introduced the programme to find and develop black industrialists over three years.

“Given such success in manufacturing, we are poised to make progress in our quest to ignite growth,” said President Zuma. -

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