MINISTER OF Trade and Industry Mandisi Mpahlwa has committed the government to continued support for the auto industry, which he describes as a “success story”.
Commenting on the overall car sales increase of 22% for 2004, the minister told Parliament recently that the industry was currently leading the manufacturing sector and was the “third largest sector in the South African economy”.
Mpahlwa said that the growth in the automotive industry could be attributed to the Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP) which is subject to “periodic reviews” that study domestic and global trends. Despite the recent negative press surrounding the MIDP, Mphalwa said that the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) was “committed to seeing the continuation of the MIDP”.
He said that the department had “constructively addressed concerns” with the programme regarding the issues that were brought forward by Australia about certain aspects of it. He said that the MIDP’s reviews would continue to be of use to the dti for “ensuring its sustainability and maximising its impact in the automotive sector”.
The automotive sector had been identified by the dti as a ‘priority sector’ because of its “high growth and employment potential”. As a result, the department aimed to promote direct investment in this sector.
Mpahlwa commits to continuation of MIDP