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Govt to finalise strategy to support transition to EV manufacturing – Ramaphosa

Image of President Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa

3rd July 2023

By: Thabi Shomolekae

Creamer Media Senior Writer

     

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President Cyril Ramaphosa noted on Monday that government will soon be finalising a strategy to support the transition to electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing to keep up with global developments.

Worldwide, countries are incentivising the manufacture and uptake of EVs as the world moves towards decarbonisation.

Ramaphosa explained that the decarbonisation of the country’s society could drive growth, improve industrial competitiveness, create jobs and harness the potential of innovation.

“South Africa has some important advantages. We have the world’s largest reserves of platinum and are an attractive location for renewable energy, both of which are important elements in the production of green hydrogen. Such hydrogen can be used as an e-fuel in some models of vehicles, which are exempted from the European Union ban,” he stated.

He argued that while there were fears that the move towards decarbonisation would result in job losses, BMW’s plans for job retention, reskilling and training on electro-mobility would provide certainty to more than 20 000 employees at the company’s facilities across the country.

Last week, the BMW Group announced that it would be spending R4.2-billion over five years to prepare its local manufacturing plant for the production of the next-generation BMW X3.

The plug-in hybrid X3 will be exclusively manufactured in South Africa at BMW’s Rosslyn plant in Pretoria from the second half of 2024.

Ramaphosa said while other vehicle manufacturers were producing hybrid vehicles, the X3 will be BMW’s first locally-produced electric vehicle.

Ramaphosa noted that the investment announcement affirmed the confidence investors continued to have in the country’s economy and said it also gave effect to the principle of the country’s transition to low carbon energy.

“Working in partnership as government, business, labour and civil society, we have to ensure that the transition to new forms of production is managed in a just, equitable manner. Among other things, this means that auto manufacturers need to be supported to expand their investment in the production of new energy vehicles in South Africa,” he said.

Ramaphosa highlighted that the country currently had a range of measures to support automotive manufacturers, such as the special economic zone incentives, the Automotive Investment Scheme and others.

Edited by Sashnee Moodley
Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

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