(Xinhua/Ye Pingfan)(rh)
Port Elizabeth - The trade and industry department expects in the “near future” to announce additional details on the master plan and associated support programmes for the operation and local production of electric vehicles and components in South Africa.

Deputy Minister of trade and industry Bulelani Magwanishe confirmed this last week at a function hosted by Volkswagen South Africa to launch its new Polo and showcase the R6.1 billion investment it had made in its Uitenhage plant and new products.

Magwanishe said South Africa was eagerly following developments in the e-mobility space and the government had in the past few years put in place regulations that allowed for the operation of electric vehicles on South Africa’s roads.

He said the aim of these regulations was to explicitly cater for incentives directed at the local production of electric vehicles and their components.

“Additional details on the master plan and associated support programmes will be announced in the near future following cabinet endorsement,” he said.

Incentive for investment

Nico Vermeulen, the director of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, said the master plan referred to by Magwanishe was the development programme for the motor industry post-2020 that would run until 2035 following the expiry of the current Automotive Production and Development Programme.

Vermeulen said it would provide an added investment incentive for research and development and new technologies and electric vehicle production was a new form of technology.

He said it would be available across the board and anybody would be able to make use of that incentive to produce electric vehicles, which would presumably largely be for export, because the South African domestic market was not large, with 200 or less electric vehicles sold a year in the country.

“Sales will grow, but from a low base and quite slowly,” he said.

Business Report