SA auto industry may lose business

Both Ameo and Sacci have raised concerns about the long-term impact of the strike.

FILE: Striking Numsa members march in Randburg. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Serious concerns have been raised about the future of South Africa's automotive industry.

This as a strike by National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members in the component supply sector enters its fourth week.

All seven of South Africa's major car manufacturers have shut down due to the industrial action.

They're estimated to be losing around R50 million a day.

Numsa is demanding a wage hike of 10 percent for three consecutive years, but employers are offering just over six percent.

Employers have also called for a three-year stability deal to be signed with the unions.

Automobile Manufacturers Employers Organisation chairperson Thapelo Molapo is warning that buyers of South African components may take their business elsewhere.

"The overseas head offices have a lot of excess capacity in other manufacturing zones around the world. What they will simply do, as a natural course of business, will be to take those orders to destinations where production can actually occur."

The South Africa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Sacci) is also concerned about the possible impact on the sector.

Chief Executive Officer Neren Rau asks, "What are we going to do in terms of response if those markets decide to seek supply elsewhere in the world? What would be the implications for job losses if our current markets overseas decide that South Africa is no longer a reliable supplier?"