Electric vehicles produced as in-house projects by the Metair Group. Picture: SUPPLIED
Electric vehicles produced as in-house projects by the Metair Group. Picture: SUPPLIED

Metair, the manufacturer, distributor and retailer of batteries and automotive components, says it expects the labour relationship environment to remain challenging and fragile as factories partially return to work.

Metair has been categorised classified as a level 3 economic participant, but after extensive lobbying and interaction with industry bodies such as National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa), the group was categorised as level 4.

The return to work processes have run smoothly with only some minor labour incidents experienced as businesses deal with the difficulty of selecting, allocating and rotating employees according to the government’s imposed 50% employee participation rate, the group said.

The group said, however, that the financial effect of operating at 50% capacity could be the same as under complete coronavirus lockdown, and it needs to reach full capacity. “Our business design proved to be robust as we own all our major factories and have no rental obligations,” the group added.

Metair has deferred all major capital and project expenses, including dividend payments.

In afternoon trade on Thursday, Metair’s share price was down 1.52% to R14.30, having fallen 38.1% so far in 2020.

gernetzkyk@businesslive.co.za