Business Unity South Africa CEO Cas Coovadia says the private sector is keen to invest in manufacturing production in the context of the post-COVID-19 recovery. He was speaking to the media yesterday on the sidelines of the Manufacturing Indaba in Sandton, north of Johannesburg
He says that the private sector needs government to do its part when it comes to the implementation of regulations in the industry.
Coovadia says the blanket approach towards localisation may also need to be reviewed to encourage greater private sector participation.
“You can’t set an overall target to say we are going to achieve 20% local manufacturing in five years. We need to actually target specific product areas, look at what the capacities are in those areas and how we can actually jack up local manufacturing and set targets for those areas.”
“So we need to be a bit more pragmatic about what we can do and what government needs to do is ensure that those areas of activity which are hampering manufacturing are addressed. Like the blockades for instance.”
Investing in local
Manufacturing companies are increasingly looking to de-risk manufacturing production by enhancing and investing in local production. This as global supply chain disruptions, initially occasioned by the pandemic and exacerbated by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, continue to constrain the global economic recovery.
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel says South Africa could benefit from the global de-risking opportunities if it deals with some of the most urgent constraints in key sectors of the economy.
“The lesson that many big cooperations are taking is the need to diversify, to not have the concentration risk that all of the world’s manufacturing taking place only on the Asian continent. That gives an opportunity for Africa.”
He adds: “If we can make good progress on energy, on logistics, on water, and skills development, on digital infrastructure, we are well-positioned to benefit from the search by global corporations to de-risk.”
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