Stakeholders discuss local automotive future

SA Auto Week, presented by naamsa, the Automotive Business Council, saw stakeholders from across all spheres come together to discuss and plan innovative and tangible solutions that will drive progress and growth within the local automotive industry.

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Hosted at Gallagher Convention Centre in Gauteng, SA Auto Week forms part of the country’s Transport Month activities. The event is the local automotive industry’s premium networking and thought leadership conference and exhibition that draws to a close tonight with naamsa’s annual Accelerator Awards ceremony.

Naamsa President and CEO of Isuzu Motors South Africa, Billy Tom, says SA Auto Week is an inclusive platform that sees captains of industry from across the value chain, including government, lawmakers, social partners and OEMs, come together for meaningful discussions and strategic partnerships to be formed.

The four focus areas of naamsa include the country’s transition to New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), transformation beyond compliance, energy security, as well as transport logistics and infrastructure.

Panyaza Lusufi (Premier of Gauteng), Charl Potgieter (Absa Vehicle and Asset Finance Managing Executive) and Oscar Mabuyane (Premier of the Eastern Cape) at SA Auto Week.

“We are fighting hard to protect the future of our industry,” says Billy Tom. “When it comes to certain aspects like policies to support the growth of the NEV segment, we are lagging behind other African countries like Morocco, Egypt and Kenya. That is why we, as an industry, are eagerly awaiting the announcement by the SA government in this regard on 1 November 2023.”

He also explained that the success of the industry lay in successful collaborations and securing high levels of investment to secure growth.

The conference was also addressed by Gauteng Premier, Panyaza Lusufi, and the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Oscar Mabuyane. Both provinces are manufacturing hubs for the local automotive industry.

“SA Auto week represents a paradigm shift. I can assure you that we want to be joint players and allow your businesses to prosper,” Panyaza stated. “We want our economy to prosper and in everything we do, create opportunities for all.”

Billy Tom (CEO of Isuzu Motors SA and President of naamsa).

Gauteng Province is also looking at ways to combat vehicle-related crime, including the implementation and use of advanced technology. A new vehicle licensing system is also currently being developed as a counter measure.

Both provinces have also committed to establish charging infrastructure for NEVs, as well as secure a reliable electricity supply to support the manufacturing activities of OEMs.

According to the Eastern Cape’s Oscar Mabuyane, one of the province’s focus areas is to attract more investment.

“We are collaborating with naamsa, NAACAM and national government role players to ensure that the Eastern Cape does not lose its competitive advantage,” he explained. “We want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to compete globally and protect the industry.”

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