Tasez

Jenny Tennant

The TASEZ breakaway discussion team at the Tshwane Energy Summit 2024: the CEO of the AIDC Andile Africa, TASEZ's CEO Dr Bheka Zulu, the NAAMSA's chief policy officer Tshetle Litheko, and the co-founder of the Mobility Centre for Africa Vincent Radebe

TASEZ hosts vital and vibrant discussion on new energy vehicles

New energy vehicles loom large in the discussions on the evolving automotive manufacturing landscape – but the time for the internal combustion engine is not yet over. Two experts from the industry discussed the important topics of whether the legacy original equipment manufacturers are being left behind by disruptive innovators like Tesla and BYD, and the new energy vehicle landscape in a South African context during a breakaway session at this year’s Tshwane Energy Summit on Thursday, 20 June 2024, held in Menlyn Maine, Pretoria. The breakaway session was hosted by the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone, Africa’s first automotive city and an important player in the country’s automotive manufacturing sector. Introducing the session, TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu provided the insight into the new energy vehicle (NEV) landscape globally and locally. “We all know that the NEV space has been growing. In the last year, if you compare figures from the first quarter of last year, it grew by 8.7% – units that have grown from 1 665 to 2 220. And in the second quarter, that number grew to 3 042. These are the some of the figures that show the demand and the need for the sector to grow.” He noted a number of important milestones in the drive towards cleaner energy: the publication in 2023 of a White Paper on NEVs aimed at unlocking the potential of South Africa’s NEV market; the fact that 2024 marks a centenary of manufacturing in South Africa – and Ford is celebrating its 100 years in South Africa. Opportunities available in NEV space The NEV space is one that can open opportunities in unexpected ways, Dr Zulu noted, such as the “last mile” programmes that have rolled out across South Africa delivering goods to the consumers’ doors via scooters or motorbikes. This is particularly important in growing the township economy. Although a critical element, NEVs are not confined to passenger vehicles but will also impact public transport and freight and logistics, Dr Zulu said. South Africa exports the majority of its vehicles, so it needs to comply with the clean energy regulations set by it external markets. For example, Europe has set stringent regulations that have to be met by the automotive manufacturers: it will require 55% lower carbon-dioxide emissions from 2030, with a target of zero from 2035. Mobility Centre for Africa co-founder Victor Radebe delivered a thought-provoking talk asking are the legacy OEMs sleeping at the wheel in the face of disruptive innovation by front-runners such as Tesla and BYD. Using the work of academic and business consultant Clayton Christensen, Radebe dived into the concepts surrounding “disruptive innovation” noting that “it’s like a tidal wave that strips over established industries creating new markets, whilst leaving old ones in its wake.” Disruptive innovation starts humbly, often ignored or dismissed by established companies. But then it marches on, transforming the landscape and toppling giants, Radebe said. “Christensen’s The Innovators Dilemma explains why many established firms, despite their resources and expertise, find themselves in this predicament hesitating at the edge of innovation,” Radebe said, adding: “This is where legacy OEMs find themselves.” Rise of the NEVs The automotive manufacturing industry is currently experiencing a seismic shift driven by the electrifying rise of NEVs. “Legacy OEMs are finding themselves in the slow lane compared to speed stars like to Tesla and BYD.” This technological race is not just about who gets to the finish line first, but who can navigate the twists and turns of innovation without losing control, Radebe noted. One of the innovations of NEVs is that the manufacturers build most of their parts, whereas the biggest OEMs rely on a supply chain of multiple suppliers from across the globe. Radebe looked at the potential drivers for change: Another important element is that of the minerals required to make the batteries required by the NEVs. “If you look at the upstream supply chain, China controls the extraction of the of the raw materials. They control the processing of the raw materials.” The beneficiation of minerals is a hot topic in South Africa that will have to form part of a more in-depth negotiation. “The future outlook of the automotive industry will be shaped by those who dare to navigate the choppy waters of innovation in geopolitical, geopolitical uncertainties,” Radebe said. “Legacy OEMs need to embrace a bold strategy to protect their turf, whilst diving headfirst into the new technology and business models, partnerships, heavy investments in innovation, and a willingness to disrupt their own operations.” NAAMSA’s chief policy officer, Tshetle Litheko, brought the topic closer to home, discussing the NEV landscape and outlook in South Africa. NAAMSA represents the South Africa automotive manufacturing industry and the seven original OEMS in the country. NEVs, the next natural step Litheko noted that because of environmental pressures, the innovation and migrating towards NEVs is unavoidable – “it’s the next natural step”. South Africa currently produces 0.5% of the global production of cars. Through its South African Automotive Master Plan, it aims to produce 1% of the world’s cars by 2035. However, Litheko noted, the export markets that South Africa has are now looking to cleaner energy vehicles such as hybrids and EVs. So, the current production of vehicles with internal combustion engines will not be fit for purpose and South Africa will need to adjust its products accordingly. “That said, one of the biggest markets that we need to factor in is the 1.4 billion market in Africa – and that market is not about to migrate or evolve into these NEVs.” In the African market the production of cars is around two million, with South Africa producing a third of that. He then referenced India, with a similar population density to that of Africa, and pointed out that India currently produces almost eight million vehicles annually. “India is the biggest and fastest growing exporter of cars into South Africa (and by extension into Africa).” Taking a leaf out of India’s book, South Africa

RFP020/2023: Internal audit services

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) wishes to procure the services of an internal audit service provider for a period of three years from an external institution with specialist internal audit expertise, pursuant to sections 51(1)(a)(ii) and 76(4)(b) and (e) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999). Closing date: 28 June 2024 at 12h00

TASEZ celebrates group of learners

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) celebrated the achievements of 134 learners who graduated from a training course on organisational health and safety on 14 May 2024. The training, under the guidance of TASEZ’s safety, health and environmental manager Patricia Mandleni, is an important part of the special economic zone’s commitment to broaden economic participation by promoting small, micro, and medium sized enterprises and co-operatives, while promoting skills and technology transfer. Learners were called to the stage, where they were presented certificates by TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu. “It is important that TASEZ supports training of people in the automotive manufacturing and construction sectors as well as individuals from our neighbouring communities,” Dr Zulu noted. “We are driven by helping make sure that the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035 is a success, as well as helping develop a skilled workforce for our ever-changing industry which will need different high-level skills that embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he added. “We are determined to play a role in shaping the future of automotive excellence.” SAAM 2035 calls for transforming the industry and has identified six pillars for growth: According to the recently published Industrial Policy and Strategic Review – Transforming Vision into Action: Charting South Africa’s Industrial Future the rapid scaling-up of infrastructure spending should be a top priority, with specific focus on improving electricity and freight transport for established businesses, and to qualitatively upgrade infrastructure to support economic activities in working-class communities, especially by providing industrial, commercial and cultural centres. Training is an important aspect of transforming the economic landscape, as the country’s industrial development increases its pace and reach, ensuring the realisation of the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030, Dr Zulu added. The NDP identifies artisans and SMMEs as key elements in driving the economy through infrastructure development and manufacturing. The NDP has set a target of producing 30 000 artisans a year by 2030, with the country currently seeing 20 000 artisans qualify annually.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition delivers key policy assessment at TASEZ

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) was chosen to host the delivery of a critical national policy assessment by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel on Tuesday, 7 March 2024. The minister delivered the Industrial Policy and Strategic Review – Transforming Vision into Action: Charting South Africa’s Industrial Future. “TASEZ was chosen as the venue for this occasion as it demonstrates how changes in the approach to implementing industrial policy has given different, significantly positive, results,” the minister said at the beginning of his review. This review – and plan for the future – takes place at a critical time, as the country celebrates 30 years of democracy, and a few weeks before South Africa’s seventh administration takes office. South Africa’s economic development has, over the past three decades, leaned into the national industrial policy to drive growth and transformation in an effort to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, with industrialisation identified as a key to unlocking the economy, building investor confidence and creating jobs across multiple sectors. Economic impact of investment into South Africa Minister Patel noted that foreign direct investment (FDI) into South Africa rose to R1.1-trillion between 2019 to 2023, a significant increase from the previous five-year period which garnered R312-billion. Investments over the past five years were 3½ times larger. This was despite the turbulent headwinds the country had to endure over the last five years:   The FDI packages ameliorated much of the negative impact of the six shocks the country endured. “The resilience of the South African economy has surprised many commentators,” Minister Patel noted. He referred to the 2023 EY Attractiveness Africa Report which highlighted that South Africa attracted the most FDI projects in Africa – 157, making up 23% of the continent’s total. According to the report, South Africa’s FDI was valued at US$26.8-billion and created about 15 000 jobs, the highest number in southern Africa. The minister also noted that of the R1.5-trillion pledged at the five cycles of the South Africa Investment Conference, a third of the projects had already been completed, with others under construction. “What we did in these five years is to try and get investment to flow notwithstanding the headwinds – and we have already seen some real impact.” Minister Patel reviewed the work done by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition over the past five years, discussing a number of success stories in a variety of sectors; examining the challenges that had arisen; and charting a way forward to speed up the various economic programmes. Several key elements were vital to the success of the reimagined industrial strategy, including: This was supported by a number of programmes including the development of sectoral masterplans, which saw a move towards a multi-stakeholder approach, “in which government, the private sector and labour collectively developed and implemented plans”. The masterplan process modelled a new approach, where the state works in a flexible way to address the diverse concerns facing individual companies and other stakeholders. A catalytic project on SEZ development TASEZ is shining example of this approach; showcasing a more rapid and coordinated development process, particularly in reference to setting up special economic zones. One of the key drivers of TASEZ’s business approach is the South African Automotive Masterplan, with its focus on transforming the sector, promoting localization and creating jobs. TASEZ is a critical case study in the speedy implementation of the special economic zones in South Africa. It took four short years for TASEZ to develop from a dusty veld to a modern industrial hub, with an automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa – supported by other component manufacturers. “Investment was unlocked through an anchor firm, Ford, while the dtic, the Gauteng government, and the City of Tshwane pooled their resources and capabilities,” the strategy review notes. “This solid base allowed for the rapid unlocking of 11 investments by component firms and help establish the SEZ by developing a network of interconnected producers around the zone.” The review noted: “All of this was underpinned by strong alignment with pre-existing policy including state support through the Automotive Production and Development Programme and investment funding through projects like the Automotive Investment Scheme.” In its short existence, TASEZ has seen an investment of R16-billion from Ford; R5.6-billion from the various component manufacturers; and R3.92-billion from government – in its first phase of development. In addition, the first phase of TASEZ has seen the creation of 3 244 permanent jobs in the automotive manufacturing sector and a further 5 071 jobs in construction. Procurement spend in the small, medium and micro enterprise sector has totalled R1.7-billion so far. “This mode – of moving quicky, working through partnerships, coordinating across the state and aligning with broader support programmes – offers a sturdy pathway for the revitilisation of industrial policy,” the review report noted. TASEZ is now preparing to begin the second phase of development, with several investors already preparing to join the hub. “As a special economic zone that plays an integral role in transforming the automotive manufacturing sector,” TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu, adding that the Africa’s first automotive city could attest to the importance of a strong industrial policy in encouraging global investors.