SA manufacturing to get R5.8bn boost

2012-04-02 15:50

Johannesburg - South Africa plans to spend R5.8bn over the next three years to help manufacturers affected by the global economic downturn upgrade their factories, improve products and train workers, the trade minister said on Monday.

Rob Davies said the Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme would be put in place next month and it comes as South Africa has set out a massive infrastructure programme to create jobs at home and increase trade on the continent.

“The barrier to us trading amongst ourselves is infrastructure. We don’t have infrastructure that joins us. We only have infrastructure that takes raw materials to the port,” Davies told a news conference.

Economists doubt the effectiveness of such programmes especially after African National Congress governments have spent billions to train workers and improve competitiveness, only to see large sums laid to waste by corruption and as the ranks of unemployed swell.

South Africa has lost ground in several manufacturing sectors because of the high cost and low productivity of its workforce.

The average South African factory worker makes about six times more than a Chinese factory worker and is less efficient, according to data from the governments.

Davies said the government launched a pilot programme in the textile sector to some success.

  • eben.ferreira1 - 2012-04-02 16:26

    You are wasting your time and money

      bvniekerk - 2012-04-02 17:14

      Nee man!! We must manufacture locally and efficiently. . .so if we dont start, we wont get anywhere.

      Thando - 2012-04-03 07:38

      How is a waste ? This is good news

  • Marius - 2012-04-02 16:29

    Stop the Chinese imports. Problem solved.

      Thami - 2012-04-02 17:16

      Don't agree, its all about competing. The problem with our businesses is trying to make and sell a porche to a customer who's prepared to buy a daewoo. No your customer and give the the level of quality they are prepared to pay for.

      Thando - 2012-04-03 07:38

      We need a "Buy South African" campaign

  • Denny - 2012-04-02 16:56

    R5.8bn huh? And where do you think they got that? So the idea is to take taxpayers money (from those who have basically proven they can create job/profits hence the tax) and gamble by putting it into a speculative program which based on previous attempts and experience is unlikely to work. Sounds great! ;) Hey, maybe we can create a few more tenderpreneur millionaires.

  • Cassandra Olivier - 2012-04-02 17:00

    Stop sporting the Chinese they want to take over SA

      John - 2012-04-02 23:05

      I am so sick and tired of hearing about "the Chinese are taking over"... didn't hear anyone complain years ago when America was trying to take over the world... not that I condone Chinese "imperialism" or whatever one thinks it is...

  • John - 2012-04-02 17:34

    All structures and unions have failed in leveling the playing field as we are unable to manufacture competively due to protection of raw material exports such as steel. No support from Government to create jobs, raw material higher than you can import finished goods , no export incentives. Take a page from the book in South America. Job creation with world wide competiative rates, productivity and support for small to medium business.

  • Andrew - 2012-04-02 18:02

    A total waste of time and money. Our labour force is too rgulated, costly, inefficient and always on strike needless to say their lack of education. This nothing more than a pipe dream whch it has been for the last 18 years.

  • merushan - 2012-04-02 18:17

    Put a import tax on chinese products

  • Hugh - 2012-04-02 18:57

    train apprentices then adding a production index and keep the index right through his working life is the wat to go. He then gets paid according to that index like the old days when good workers were paid the highest and the crap peanuts. Today there is no incentive to work hard as the boss cannot adhoc increase your wage for hard work.

  • Ryan - 2012-04-02 19:06

    R5.8bn is medicine that treats the sympton (ie high output cost), but the disease is low productivity per unit of wage paid and the only way to treat the disease is to bust the Unions (ie. labour reform)

  • Lenzi - 2012-04-02 19:26

    If govt wants to help manufacturing the less they do the better.. what do these bigwigs know about manufacturing anyway?? I bet Zuma can't even change a flat tire. Most manufacturers i know say employment is like marriage so they just DO NOT EMPLOY, simple. Scrap minimum wage and allow employers to dismiss at will. After all if an employee is productive why fire him?

      Pierre - 2012-04-03 11:10

      The best comment of all the above. Individuals should have pride in what they do and produce, the payment for good services rendered will naturally follow

      Denny - 2012-04-03 17:03

      Unfortunately labour is such a political issue. Policies are therefore made which are politically expedient and not necessarily what is in the best interests of the economy. People need to realise that Easy-to-fire = Easy-to-hire. The harder you make it to fire people the less risk employers are willing to take in hiring new people. Our labour policies make it very hard to fire and coupled with price controls on labour (minimum wages) we end up with fewer jobs and greater unemployment (which is further encouraged by a welfare system). Politicians need to grow a pair before they have nothing left to tax.

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