Will a multibillion-rand "carrot" be enough to convince government of motor companies’ commitment to black empowerment and create a black industrialist base that government policy has so far failed to achieve? Trade & industry minister Rob Davies makes no secret of his disappointment that increased use of local components in SA vehicle manufacturing has done little for black-owned businesses. Dave Coffey, president of the National Association of Automotive Component & Allied Manufacturers (Naacam), says a study shows that out of scores of suppliers dealing directly with vehicle assemblers, only 15 are black-owned. Almost all of these provide services rather than parts. However, the reality for anyone hoping for dramatic change is that not only are SA’s vehicle manufacturers all wholly foreign-owned, but so are many of their SA-based suppliers. They are subsidiaries of multinational companies that enjoy global relationships with their customers. This is complicating government’s desi...

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