Production at Toyota SA has come to a grinding halt. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA – Production at the Durban manufacturing plant of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has been halted by a strike by about 4 000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), largely over transformation issues. 

Clynton Yon, a TSAM spokesperson, confirmed that Numsa members had embarked on a protected strike at the company’s Prospecton plant in Durban and its warehouse facility at Atlas Road in Johannesburg yesterday, resulting in the suspension of operations at the plant. 

Phakamile Hlubi-Majola, the national spokesperson for Numsa, said the strike started yesterday and would continue until the workers decided to call it off. 

Hlubi-Majola claimed that TSAM was an untransformed company that routinely failed broad-based black economic empowerment compliance targets and its own employment equity targets. 

She said that TSAM steadfastly refused to procure from black service providers and had not taken any practical steps to enable black companies to participate fairly in the procurement process. 

Numsa’s demands include establishing a transformation committee to oversee recruitment and procurement, and changes to the bonus system. 

It said Toyota must hire 70percent contract workers and 30percent through learnerships instead of the current 100 percent through learnerships.