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Ed Richardson :
Industry and government powering SA Automotive Week 2009


Ed Richardson :
Private enterprise and government have joined forces to support the development of the South African auto component and manufacturing industry.

The dti, Eastern Cape government, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, original equipment manufacturers Toyota SA, Mercedes Benz, General Motors SA and Volkswagen SA, the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam), the Automotive Industry Development Council, the (AIDC), the Retail Motor Industry Organisation of South Africa (RMI), the East London and Coega IDZs, and the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Seta (Merseta) are among the organisations which are supporting the second South African Automotive Week (SAAW), according to organiser Andrew Binning.

Memorandums of understanding were signed with the organisers by Merseta, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality and the Province of the Eastern Cape in Gauteng on November 4.
The South African Automotive Week is an international Trade Show focused on component manufacturing that includes an international Exhibition, Conferences, meetings and networking functions. It will take place in Port Elizabeth from October 7 to 10, 2009.
Merseta CEO Dr Raymond Patel said his organisation was excited about the contribution The South African Automotive Week would make to the development of skills.

“The Week caters for emerging automotive role-players and seasoned industry campaigners alike because it is essential that the automotive industry embraces a culture of learning, innovation and improvement. Despite our great strides, we have a lot to learn and much scope for increased efficiency through the development of skills,” he said at the signing.
SAAW working group chair Alfred da Costa said the government and industry partnership would help generate significant returns to the provincial and national economy.

“The South African Automotive Week’s focus on trade-only automotive manufacturing role-players, and is key to the development of quality contacts and potential foreign investment.’’

France has confirmed that it would send an official automotive trade mission to participate in the Week exclusively and explore opportunities for trade and agreements.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Trade and Investment Director Anele Qaba said the Metro was proud to host the South African Automotive Week.

“The Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, incorporating Port Elizabeth, Uitenhage and Despatch remains a key automotive hub for the continent and visitors love its unique blend of industry and world class leisure opportunities.’’
The South African Automotive Week takes place in alternate years to the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS). Whereas JIMS has a consumer focus, SAAW is a Trade-only Show focusing on component manufacturers, according to Binning.

It is the only event endorsed by NAACAM in 2009.

Naacam Executive director Roger Pitot described South African Automotive Week as “the premier trade show for component manufacturers in South Africa.“
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