The local automotive component industry needs to grow considerably to meet the needs of vehicle assemblers and the South African Automotive Masterplan. File Photo: IOL

DURBAN – The local automotive component industry needs to grow considerably to meet the needs of vehicle assemblers and the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035 (Saam). 

Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC) facilitator Meghan King said on Wednesday that upgrading was required both in terms of performance and volume. 

“An additional 500 suppliers are required, with at least 25 percent of them being black-owned to reach Saam objectives,” she said. 

The DAC is a public-private partnership between the eThekwini Municipality and the automotive manufacturing sector in KZN. While there was a willingness and desire to procure locally manufactured components, options for assemblers and suppliers were limited. 

“They're constrained by the pool of available suppliers and product ranges and high barriers to entry both financial and non-financial,” said King. 

The Saam had driven the automotive sector to significant growth ambitions, with investments by assemblers reaching R60 billion over the next five years. Manufacturing programme manager at eThekwini Municipality Ravesha Govender lauded the efforts of the cluster to support the car sector.

BUSINESS REPORT