Outcomes of task team expected end of March

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pretoria - The reports of five task teams, established by government to look into the effects of the global economic crisis on certain sectors in South Africa, will be released at the end of the month.

"The team will complete its work in detailing suitable interventions towards the end of March 2009," said Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mphahlwa on Tuesday.

He said he could not preempt what interventions the task teams would propose and that the approach to handling the situation would differ from sector to sector.

Nedlac, under President Kgalema Motlanthe's instruction, recently decided to put in place an inclusive, multi-stakeholder and fast-paced process to decide on the country's response to the down-turn, focussing on the worst-affected areas, such as the automobile and components manufacturers among others.

Five task teams, namely the leadership, investment and finance, social intervention, employment and distressed sectors task teams were established.

The motor vehicle industry is one of the sectors worst affected by the crisis due to a slow down in local demand and in the export markets.

"We are of the view that the motor vehicle industry is very important for the South African economy," said Mr Mphahlwa, adding that the demand for vehicles was on the decline as a result of the crisis.

In February, the minister and leaders in the automotive industry have agreed to set up a joint task team to come up with appropriate responses to potential job losses in the industry.

South Africa's motor industry is facing 34 000 job cuts which will throw the industry into a crisis, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) and the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam).