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More auto-makers suspend production in South Africa

Two more auto makers have temporarily stopped the production of cars at their South African plants as the strike by 222 000 members of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) takes its toll.
On Monday, Japanese car maker, Toyota, and US-based auto maker, Ford, warned that they would be suspending production this week because their car parts suppliers had been hit by the strike.
Toyota said it will bring to a stop “some production” at its South African assembly plant from Tuesday (today) this week.
Toyota said this step was taken because of the strike – which is in its third week – at the car components suppliers.
“Toyota will close two production lines from Tuesday at our Durban plant,” Mary Willemse, Toyota spokesperson, told Reuters.
As if this was not enough, Ford, the US motor firm on Monday said it had briefly put on hold production at one of its South African plants on the back of a labour dispute at some of its parts suppliers.
“Production at our Silverton assembly plant has been temporarily suspended due to the strike,” Ford spokeswoman, Alicia Chetty, told Reuters.
This comes about a week after the US-based General Motors (GM) suspended production at its Port Elizabeth plants. GM also cited the Numsa strike as the reason for this move.
About 222 000 Numsa members went on a wage strike on July 1 this year in demand for 12-15 percent wage increase from South Africa’s steel makers.
This strike started shortly after the end of a five-month long strike by miners working for the world’s three biggest platinum miners, Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin.
This strike hit the country’s economy very hard that it posted negative growth in the first quarter.
Economic experts have claimed that the current Numsa strike could lead to a possible downgrade by the world’s three rating agencies, Fitch, S&P and Moody’s. (VENTURES AFRICA)
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