Johannesburg - Vehicle production will stop by the end of the week as a result of the strike in the automotive components industry, the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa) said on Wednesday.
“The strike will further disrupt vehicle manufacturing operations...,” Naamsa president Johan van Zyl said in a statement.
“By the end of the current week, all the major vehicle producers will again be unable to operate as a result of the unavailability of locally produced equipment components,” he said.
Thousands of petrol attendants, workers at component manufacturers and retailers, panelbeaters, car and spare parts dealers, fitment workshops, and dealerships, downed tools over wages on Monday.
The industrial action followed a three-week strike in the automotive sector, during which production lines at major vehicle manufacturers, including Toyota, BMW and Nissan, shut down and production was halted.
The automotive sector strike ended on Monday.
Van Zyl said aggregate production losses at vehicle manufacturing level amounted to over 45,000 vehicles so far, which translated into a production revenue loss of about R20 billion.
“These figures will rise further as a result of the current strike in the component manufacturing industry,” he said.
The strikes had damaged the country's status as a reliable supplier to international markets and could negatively affect future export contracts being awarded to South African manufacturers.
“Labour stability is one of the most important considerations in decisions by multinational corporations to allocate vehicles for production in South Africa.
“Frequent and prolonged industrial action portrays the country as an unreliable base for manufacturing of vehicles for the world market.”
Countries such as Morocco, Kenya and Nigeria were “aggressively” competing for new automotive investments.
“Trade unions will have to accept responsibility for any lasting negative consequences from the prolonged strike,” said Van Zyl.
The “turbulent” industrial relations environment was undermining the interests of the country, the automotive industry and official industrial policy, he said.
“Unless the strike is resolved in the next few days, the damage to the prospects of the automotive industry and on foreign investment will be immeasurable and will take years to redress.” - Sapa