South Africa: Government Committed to Local Vehicle Production – Deputy Minister Magwanishe

The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Bulelani Magwanishe says the South African government is committed to supporting the local production of vehicles in order boost exports, job creation and economic growth. Magwanishe was speaking at the launch of the new Polo by Volkswagen South Africa in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape.

“As the government, our commitment to local vehicle production is marked in our Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), with a prime focus towards adding value in the manufacturing and industrial sector. Export promotion, job creation and inclusive growth remain as the fundamentals to this policy,” said Magwanishe.

He added that the automotive industry is the largest and leading manufacturing sector in South Africa’s economy. The industry currently employs about 300 000 people, 31 000 in vehicle assembly, 82 000 in component manufacturing and the rest in retail.

“As government we commend VWSA on the launch of its new invention with investment value of R6.1 billion. This investment is particularly strategic to ensure expansion, and Radical Economic Transformation, which is inclusive of Black Industrialists,” he added

He also said that the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti) Automotive Production and Development Programme was successfully providing the much-needed support to the automotive sector.

“Under this programme, we have the Automotive Investment Scheme (AIS), which has disbursed R8 billion from its inception in 2009 to 2017. The government’s total commitment to the scheme is R13.5 billion. Moreover, this programme has supported a total of R48.3 billion in investments during this period. The country’s new Automotive Master Plan and associated support programmes will be announced in the near future following Cabinet endorsement,” he added.

Magwanishe also said the government has partnered with the automotive industry in creating the Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness Initiative (ASCCI).

“Applied through various interventions, ASCCI has cultivated competitiveness in the past three years. To date, support has been facilitated to more than 23 firms. 30 more firms are currently being taken through various interventions, since 2017. Through these interactions, we believe as a department that it is not about the role that we play but mainly about the goals that we aim to achieve,” stressed Magwanishe.

He reiterated that the dti would be persisting in pursuing efforts intended to increase local content in vehicle production, attract component manufacturers, provide investment assistance for expansion as well as advance competitiveness improvement programme.

Magwanishe lauded VWSA’s efforts of supporting the entrance of Black Industrialists in the automotive value-chain through their Ntinga empowerment project which is in line with the Enterprise and Supplier Development element of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice.

“Our Black Industrialists Policy is fixated on expanding our industrial base and injecting new entrepreneurial dynamism into the economy. Similar initiatives by other vehicle manufacturers must be advanced through the partnership of the public and private sector, and other stakeholders. It is imperative to additionally facilitate effective transformation across the value-chain in areas such as dealerships, panel beaters and mechanical workshops,” said Magwanishe.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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South Africa: President Zuma Congratulates Prof Millar on Winning Prestigious AU Award

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated renowned South African scientist, Prof Robert Millar, on winning the prestigious African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Award today, 28 January 2018.

The award was handed out during the opening ceremony of the 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU taking place in Addis Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Prof Millar won in the Life and Earth Sciences category. Each winner receives US $100 000 in prize money.

President Zuma said: “The development of science and technology is essential for the improvement of the lives of Africa’s people, and this is one area where we need to invest resources and encourage our youth to explore”.

President Zuma also said: “The South African government will continue to provide a conducive environment for research and innovation as one of those areas identified in the National Development Plan.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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South Africa: President Zuma Congratulates Prof Millar on Winning Prestigious AU Award

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated renowned South African scientist, Prof Robert Millar, on winning the prestigious African Union (AU) Kwame Nkrumah Award today, 28 January 2018.

The award was handed out during the opening ceremony of the 30th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU taking place in Addis Ababa, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Prof Millar won in the Life and Earth Sciences category. Each winner receives US $100 000 in prize money.

President Zuma said: “The development of science and technology is essential for the improvement of the lives of Africa’s people, and this is one area where we need to invest resources and encourage our youth to explore”.

President Zuma also said: “The South African government will continue to provide a conducive environment for research and innovation as one of those areas identified in the National Development Plan.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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UN-AU leaders sign Framework for Implementation of Agenda 2063 and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In keeping with the enhanced and mutually reinforcing partnership between the two organizations and to further accelerate the implementation of the sustainable development agenda for Africa, the United Nations Secretary-General H.E. Antonio Guterres and the African Union Commission Chairperson H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat signed the AUUN Framework for the Implementation of Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, at the 30th African Union Summit. This follows the signing of the peace and security framework between the AU and the UN in April 2017.

The joint AU-UN sustainable development framework envisions stronger coordination between the two organizations to ensure that the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the AU’s Agenda 2063 are mainstreamed and integrated into the national planning frameworks of Member States and contribute positively to people-centered and planet-sensitive structural transformation in Africa. The importance of a peaceful, stable and secure environment and respect for human rights to achieve sustainable development is recognized in both the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

During the signing, United Nations Secretary General, H.E. António Guterres, noted that “eradicating poverty is the overriding priority of the AU’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” and that he is happy that “today, we signed the framework on the implementation.”

In the same light, the African Union Commission Chairperson, H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, expressed satisfaction with the existing partnership between the AU and the UN, adding that the signing of this Framework will enhance the achievement of the two Agendas.

The framework also outlines the monitoring of implementation tools, to ensure that implementation results are monitored and challenges addressed. The framework further stresses the nexus between peace, security and development in the implementation of the two Agendas in Africa.

A harmonized and integrated approach to the implementation of the two Agendas will minimize duplication, optimize domestic resource mobilization and external stakeholders and development partners support and strengthened partnerships. An Action Plan to operationalize the framework will be discussed and agreed when the two leaders meet again in April 2018 for the 2nd Annual AU-UN Conference.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

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