In the next two weeks trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel is expected to release a new white paper on incentives in the motor industry. It has been a long time coming. The policy document was due more than two years ago. The delay has resulted in vocal frustration among local motor industry executives, who want to take a supportive policy to their head offices when they pitch the local plants for manufacturing allocations.

News last week that Nissan will have to lay off workers, as a plan to build a small bakkie at the Rosslyn plant has fallen through, is unrelated to this delay. The bakkie was also planned to be built in Russia, and with that plan falling victim to Russia’s war in Europe the numbers clearly didn’t add up as a Rosslyn-only product. However, Nissan’s bad news does illustrate what’s at risk. Motor companies operate vastly complex supply chains, and even when one model falls by the wayside the implications for employment are significant...

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