By Reon Janse van Rensburg
There is a new revolution heading for South Africa. This revolution consists of vehicle manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Nissan and BMW currently discussing options to bring the electric vehicle to South Africa. Vehicle manufacturers in South Africa are currently running the risk to remain behind in the global shift to “greener” (environmentally friendly) vehicles. According to Engineering News the industry is preparing on a unified stand about electrification that will be presented to government by the end of the year.
One of the industry’s goals is to convince lawmakers to lower or decrease the import costs on electric vehicles by 23%, to increase domestic sales. Another goal is to have an infrastructure in place that allows people to charge the vehicles as it is needed. However, it remains a crisis as South Africa is a country where state owned institutions such as Eskom are in a severe financial crisis.
Marius Croucamp, Deputy General Secretary of the Metal and Engineering Industry at Solidarity soon meets with Naamsa (National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa) to discuss matters such as the strategic liaison, development of the vehicle industry specifically relating to Solidarity members in the industry, how the fourth industrial revolution will impact the industry as well as opportunities for Sol-Tech to provide possible technical training in the industry.
Croucamp emphasised the importance for Solidarity as trade union to remain at the forefront in the industry since electric motors form part of the fourth industrial revolution. He would also like to meet with BMW and Nissan to further discuss the subject.
Croucamp concluded with the following: “We welcome calls to roll out electric vehicle technology in South Africa since it is the direction the world is moving in and South Africa cannot afford to fall behind in this area. New opportunities can be created by the industry which can create job opportunities especially if the manufacturing of electric vehicles can be done in South Africa.”
Solidarity will keep its members and the public updated with any new developments. Keep an eye on our webpage and social media for more news.