Task team set up to prevent motor industry job losses

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pretoria - Trade and Industry Minister Mandisi Mpahlwa 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.

Industry stakeholders and the minister convened a meeting in Pretoria to discuss the effects of the economic down-turn on the motor 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).

The stakeholders had put forward a set of suggested proposals to respond to the crisis to stem any further loss of jobs.

The department said they had wanted to ensure continued investment in the sector.

The meeting agreed to set up a joint task team to work with other stakeholders in deciding on an appropriate response.

In a statement, the department said it had entered a process of consultation with the industry, labour, and other concerned government departments.

"The process will be as inclusive as possible, while at the same time remaining mindful of the urgency that the current situation demands," said the department.

The minister emphasized that such a response will be undertaken in line with the principles and timelines agreed between the government and its social partners recently at National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).

Nedlac, under President Kgalema Motlanthe's instruction, last week 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.