VW SA INVESTS R230m

progress: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Dieter Haller, Germany's ambassador to South Africa, at the official opening of the new VWSA distribution centre yesterday. PHOTO: TSHEPO KEKANA. 17/06/2010. © Sunday World.
progress: Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Dieter Haller, Germany's ambassador to South Africa, at the official opening of the new VWSA distribution centre yesterday. PHOTO: TSHEPO KEKANA. 17/06/2010. © Sunday World.

DEPUTY president Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday used the official ribbon cutting ceremony of a new R230million Volkswagen SA parts distribution centre in Centurion to highlight the failings of the automotive industrial sector to adhere to government's broad-based BEE policy.

DEPUTY president Kgalema Motlanthe yesterday used the official ribbon cutting ceremony of a new R230million Volkswagen SA parts distribution centre in Centurion to highlight the failings of the automotive industrial sector to adhere to government's broad-based BEE policy.

Speaking at the VWSA event in Centurion, Motlanthe said: "The automotive industrial sector faces numerous challenges stemming from the past, which, despite good ongoing efforts, still need to be surfaced as shared concerns in the overall development of our country.

"I am saying this aware that the motor and automotive sectors are the most important in the manufacturing environment. They contribute more than a quarter of the manufacturing gross domestic product," he said.

He pointed to the findings of a study by the Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development Research Unit based at the University of the Witwatersrand, which painted a less than rosy picture of BBBEE in the metals, engineering and automotive industry.

He noted that the study revealed that less than 1 percent of the businesses in these industries were black-owned.

"Further, it found no link between training initiatives and the translation of these into a change in the structure of employment equity," Motlanthe said.

He said outside the box thinking was needed, so that more opportunities were created for black-owned enterprises to supply technical or core services, or inputs to these companies.

"For all the challenges outlined above, we are proud to have VWSA as one of our leading corporate citizens.

"We will continue to work with you and our labour partners," Motlanthe said.

VWSA managing director David Powels used the opportunity to respond to the deputy president.

"We take note of and share the issues you have raised. We are addressing many of the issues, not all, but many issues, and will continue to do so," Powels said.

Volkswagen SA yesterday said its new 26000 square metre parts distribution centre in Centurion would be fully operational before the end of 2010.

Chairman of the VWAG Board of Management, Martin Winterkorn, said construction of a new R60million Dealer Training Academy would begin in the fourth quarter of 2010 on a site next to the new distribution centre.

He said its objective would be to improve the group's capabilities at the customer retail level in all spheres. -I-Net Bridge

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