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AIDC Eastern Cape moves to support Automotive Industry Master plan

Oct 29, 2018
AIDC Eastern Cape moves to support Automotive Industry Master plan

The AIDC EC unveiled a new three-year strategy on Monday, at the Radisson Blu in Port Elizabeth, to drive localization, transformation and skills development in the Eastern Cape's automotive supply chain in support of the South African Automotive Industry Master plan.

Speaking at the launch Board Chairperson, Weza Moss said the AIDC EC had repositioned itself in the light of the current automotive landscape to align its program resources with the South Africa Automotive Master plan (SAAM2035).

SAAM2035 was developed by the sector collectively as a comprehensive guideline to secure the sector's future.

The AIDC EC Board embarked on a process to review and test the relevancy of its strategy against the backdrop of the sector's priorities to grow GDP and jobs, Moss said.

"Stakeholder engagements with the industry bodies for component manufacturers and assemblers, OEMs, SEZs, government departments, independent researchers and benchmarking entities informed and affirmed an outcome towards close alignment with the pillars that underpin SAAM2035," he said.

"Key, but not limited, to the new strategy, is how we impact and contribute to localization and the deepening of the value chain, how we develop suppliers, particularly in the context of transformation and then how we capacitate them and assist them with issues of compliance pertaining to international standards."

AIDC EC CEO, Hoosain Mahomed said the company had earmarked three anchor projects in the Eastern Cape to underpin the new strategy which would be reviewed again in 2022.

"The organisation envisages incubators for both of the Eastern Cape's manufacturing hubs around East London and Port Elizabeth and a learning center that supports the development of skills required by the automotive and manufacturing industries towards Industry 4.0", he said.

"In execution of the strategy discussions with the DTI and educational institutions – the TVETs are are ongoing and a number of MOUs have already been signed with, among others, NAACAM, East London IDZ and the Coega SEZ.

"The new strategy acknowledges the priority in South Africa of skills that are relevant for the current and future needs of manufacturers, while it also incorporates the urgent need for job growth and addressing unemployment.

"A learning visit to Germany recently re-enforced for us the benefits and requirements of implementing skills development initiatives that address the specific needs demanded of manufacturers in Industry 4.0.

"The Auto sector is the biggest driver of jobs in the Eastern Cape, which is why investment in skills must be a top priority,'' Mahomed said.

Moss, said the new strategy of the AIDC, which was established in 2003 as an implementing arm of the Eastern Cape Province Department of Economic Development to assist manufacturers become more globally competitive, represented a notable shift in focus.

"The strategy is now closely aligned with SAAM2035 and seeks to assist the sector in the Eastern Cape in a deliberate way, raise percentages of local content in South African Manufactured vehicles from below 40% to 60% by 2035 and in the process facilitate transformation targets, Moss said.

Moss asserted that its shareholder, the ECDC and patron, the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism, led by MEC Lubabalo Mabuyane, were to be lauded for enabling the organisation to "shift boldly and ambitiously."

The AIDC would continue to provide technical support to suppliers, as it has for the past 15 years, he said.