willowvale motor industry 04-10-10.jpgWillowvale Mazda Motor Industries (WMMI) has bemoaned the lack of government support despite a Presidential directive which compels government institutions and other public entities, including parastatals, to procure vehicles from the local vehicle assembly plant.

Despite a Presidential directive to the State Procurement Board issued in 2002 aimed at compelling government and state enterprises to purchase vehicles from the local assembly plant except in special cases, Willowvale Mazda Motor Industries continues to be shunned.

Government departments continue to flout the regulations.

Only recently, the CMED opened a tender for the supply of 200 double cab vehicles, among them Isuzu and Ford Ranger brands which the struggling car assembly, Mazda is assembling.

WMMI Managing Director, Engineer Dawson Mareya said the firm is losing a lot of business to foreign markets due to little support.

“We have been concerned, as much as we are aware that there is a Presidential directive for government to buy vehicles locally but we have seen an increasing number of vehicles built in South Africa,” said Mr. Mareya.

Foreign car assemblers in countries such as South Africa benefit from export duty subsidies of up to 40% which has seen certain brand new vehicles imports fetching lower on the local market than in their country of origin.

Engineer Mareya called for government to assist the industry through consistent policies such as stable duty rates which will enable the motor industry to plan ahead.

At its peak in 1997 the local industry sold 18 000 vehicles per annum, a figure which dropped to 4 700 by last year.