Employment and Skills

naamsa represents 21 companies involved in the production of passenger cars and commercial vehicles which collectively employ in the order of 30 250 people Employment in the component sector, including enterprises that are not members of NAACAM, comprised around 80 000 people in 2019.

The future of the automotive industry in South Africa lies in large-scale vehicle production, with high levels of localisation and significant employment multipliers. In this regard, the SAAM’s 2035 vision is the achievement of “a globally competitive and transformed industry that actively contributes to the sustainable development of South Africa’s productive economy, creating prosperity for industry stakeholders and broader society”.

A key summary of the SAAM 2021-2035 objectives is as follows:

  • Grow South African vehicle production to 1% of global production by 2035;
  • Increase local content in South African manufactured vehicles to 60%;
  • Double automotive employment in the supply chain;
  • Improve automotive industry competitiveness levels to that of leading international competitors;
  • Transformation of the South African automotive value chain; and
  • Deepen value-addition within South African automotive value chains.

The automotive sector recognises that the SAAM vision will only be realised if the six development objectives are met. Achieving the SAAM objectives will require careful coordination and a close working relationship between government, the private sector and organised labour. Six industry development pillars have been identified as being critical to the realisation of the SAAM.

The six pillars relate to:

  • local market optimisation,
  • regional market development,
  • localisation,
  • infrastructure development,
  • industry transformation, and
  • the development of industry-required technologies and skills.

The automotive industry employs workers at various skill levels and is labour intensive. The automotive industry and the relevant stakeholders, the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), the Manufacturing, Engineering and related services seta (merSETA), and Services SETA facilitate and promote skills development and training, Incubation programs, SMME development in the automotive sector, and the management of incentive programs aimed at addressing skills shortage and transformation in the industry.

Workforce by Occupation Category and Chamber

Source: naamsa using merSETA Sector Skills Plan 2020-2025.

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