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Transnet crisis emphasises urgency to invest and reinvent

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What recently happened to Transnet – together with the World Bank’s ranking of South African ports at the bottom of a global list of 351 ports – presents a big challenge to policymakers. This is according to North West University Business School’s Professor Raymond Parsons.

Vehicle exports statistics for July indicated a huge fall of almost one-third, or 8 381 units, compared with the 25 312 vehicles exported in July 2020. Last year, the export of vehicles and automotive components amounted to a new record of R175.7bn, equating to 13.9% of SA’s total exports. The automobile industry is the country’s fifth-largest exporting sector.

According to naamsa/The Automotive Business Council, the disruption of the industry’s exports and imports was the culmination of three developments during July, being the civil unrest, level 4 lockdown measures and the Transnet crisis. These disruptions also impacted domestic sales of new vehicles. The Absa Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reflected that the magnitude of the monthly decline was worse than during the hard lockdown in April 2020. It curtailed the automotive industry’s good progress made during the first half of the year.

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