File photo: (David Zalubowski / AP).

CAPE TOWN - The South African automotive sector has been a success story for the country despite a difficult economic climate and competition from other African countries, a senior industry executive has said.

Toyota South Africa Motors chief executive and president Andrew Kirby said the automotive sector contributed 58 percent of total manufacturing in the country and 6.9 percent of the gross domestic product.

The sector was among South Africa's top ten employers and had leapfrogged the mining sector, Kirby said during a tour to Toyota’s Durban plant by the joint oversight committee on trade, international relations, economic and business development.

“The vision for the South African  Automotive Master Plan 2035 is to increase 60 percent local content and 100 percent employment growth, transform the industry, increased value addition within the industry, upliftment of informal sector and township revitalization, amongst others,” he said.

Kirby added that the general plan was to grow the South African vehicle production to 1 percent of global output, increase local content in assembled vehicles to 60 percent and double total employment in auto value chain.

Joint oversight committee on trade, international relations, economic and business development during visit to Toyota plant in Durban. PHOTO: Department of trade and indutry (dti)

The trade and industry department said the purpose of the visit to Toyota Durban was to oversee the work done by the economic cluster departments with regard to investments and employment creation as well as the transformation achieved as a result of incentives and support the company received from the government.

- African News Agency (ANA)