The Select Committee on Trade and International Relations has called on the Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) to find creative ways of enhancing the manufacturing sector including the use of alternative energy sources.
The Committee’s call comes after hearing that electricity supply, and sometimes costs municipalities charge, has a potential to constrain the manufacturing sector. The Chairperson of the Committee Mr Eddie Makue says skills revolution in the manufacturing sector need to happen, and that energy supply challenges need to be resolved so that they do not hinder the broader government objectives of job creation, skills empowerment, beneficiation and localisation.
“In the country we should be looking to extend economic benefit from all the investments in SA to the region. Manufacturing is pivotal and all government departments should come on board especially if we are to successfully implement the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP),” Mr Makue says.
“It is evident that the IPAP implementation requires a lot of other departments, it cannot be Dti’s alone. Beneficiation and localisation should happen at a large scale in manufacturing so that economic benefits are extended to the greater number of South Africans,” he says.
The Committee is on a week-long oversight visit to Pretoria where it is expected to visit among others a Rail Coaches Manufacturing Plant and a BMW plant. The Committee heard from Dti in the morning that a number of manufacturing companies have had to close shop when the country experienced electricity supply challenges.
“The manufacturing sector is pivotal in jobs creation as envisaged in the National Development Plan (NDP). Assembling of goods should be complemented with transfer of skills and beneficiation,” he says.
He said the Committee is satisfied with massive operations at Transnet’s Advanced Manufacturing Plant in Koedoespoort (Pretoria East).