Collective Bargaining: Industry policy

MIDP review

dti draws up Customised Sector Programmes

“¢ The department of trade and industry (dti) has drawn up Customised Sector Programmes (CSP) for the metals and capital equipment sectors. It has prioritised sectors that are key contributors to growth and employment in the country.

The CSPs aim to boost production, maintain and create jobs, enhance exports, attract local and foreign investments and encourage broad based black economic empowerment.

In the metals sector, some of the ideas it proposes are to:

* tackle the prices of basic metals (especially the use of import parity pricing which sets the local price of steel as if it were imported)

* help set up six different beneficiation projects: base metals (Springs), jewellery, refrigerated containers, extend catalytic converter manufacturers to produce entire exhaust systems, the rolling of very thin stainless steel and establish a metal park to support SMMEs.

* put an export duty on scrap metals to discourage local scrap metal dealers from exporting.

In the capital equipment sector the focus will be on producing Pebble Bed Modular Reactors (for export) and on boosting mining equipment exports to Brazil and Chile . dti will also assist with research and skills training and coordinate different players in the industry.

The Motor Industry Development Programme (MIDP), a joint programme of government, business and labour that supports the automobile industry is up for review. Now in its 9 th year, the parties are to examine the details of the programme and come up with proposals on how it should look after 2012.

The MIDP aims to: “¢ provide high quality and affordable vehicles and components to the domestic and international markets “¢ provide stable and sustainable employment through increased production “¢ make a greater contribution to the economic growth of the country by increasing production and achieving an improved sectoral trade balance It tries to do this by: “¢ phasing the SA automotive industry into the global economy over a period of time (through a gradual decrease in tariffs) “¢ increasing volumes via exports “¢ providing incentives to companies to expand production. While business, labour and government are involved in a joint review of the programme, Numsa will ensure that it develops its own independent position. This follows a resolution put to last year’s National Congress calling for a review to see whether the MIDP had created the jobs that it had promised. Numsa will soon hold workshops with shop stewards from auto, tyre and those companies that are manufacturing components to understand what is happening in the sector and to start to formulate its own position. Deadline for submissions to government on the MIDP review is June 30 2006 .

In a bilateral meeting between German trade union, IG Metall and Numsa earlier this year, a German shop steward from BMW who is also on the BMW Works Council, told Numsa that the current incentives of the MIDP were encouraging the company to produce in this country. However, he said that anything that would take away these advantages could see BMW moving its export production to another of its plants across the world.