The South African automotive industry has a global link for the manufacture and export of vehicles. Many of the major multinational firms use South Africa to assemble vehicles for both the local and international markets.
Automotive manufacturing is the 3rd largest contributor to South Africa’s economy, making it a crucial sector that also provides employment for over 28 000 people.
It is made up out of four segments namely Cars, Light Vehicles, Medium Commercial Vehicles and Trucks and buses.
In addition to the seven motor manufacturers, the industry includes a number of importers, distributors and truck manufacturers. Various occupations within the automotive manufacturing field are in high demand.
Critical shortages are currently being experienced in a large number of careers within the Automobile Manufacturing Sector and many potential career pathways are available to you.
The plastics industry in South Africa is very large and extremely diverse and it supplies products to almost every other sector of the economy.
The converting sector manufactures plastic products by extruding or moulding plastic raw material. Plastic products include a wide range of products such as sheet pipe furniture, automotive components, medical and industrial products. A large number of high demand jobs in the Plastics Sub-sector include Technical Engineers, Technicians, Operators and Polymer Technologists.
Polymer Technologists may be based in offices, laboratories or manufacturing environments and are engaged in the manufacturer of products from polymers. The processing methods that may be used include extrusion, resin infusion moulding, blow moulding and rotational moulding. To become a polymer technologist you need to know about the properties, characteristics and processing behaviour of materials and understand the different manufacturing processes and construction methods. A keen interest in Science, design and technology and being able to find practical and innovative solutions to problems is essential.
The Metal and Engineering sub-sector plays an extremely important role in almost all primary and manufacturing sectors by providing and servicing capital equipment, whilst the manufacturing of transport equipment ensures efficient distribution of goods.
The key occupational groups are Metallurgists, Materials Engineers, Mechanical engineers, Electricians, Toolmakers, Fitter and turners, Welders, Mechanists, Fettlers, Metrologists, Shop-floor operators and machine operators.
Many Metal and Engineering Occupations are in high demand and include Boilermakers, Electricians, Fitters and Turners, Millwrights, Welders, Tool, Jig and Die makers.
The South African retail motor and components industry is predominantly a motor sales and service repair economic sub-sector. The industry is made up of a range of services including new and used vehicle sales, maintenance and repair of motor vehicles, manufacture and sales of motor components and the retail sale of automotive fuel.
The motor retail industry can be sub-divided into two basic categories, the technical and non-technical.
The technical stream relates to the manufacturing of the vehicle parts and accessories and to the repair and maintenance of vehicles while the non-technical sphere involves the sales or management of a motor retail business.
South Africa is experiencing a critical skills shortage on the technical side of the Motor Retail and Components Manufacturing Sub-sector.
A Motor Mechanic or a Fitter and Turner are 2 examples of possible technical careers which young people could enter in to.
The non-technical side covers career paths in sales and management positions.