Original Research

Black economic empowerment in the Eastern Cape automotive industry: Challenges and policies

GS Horn
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 10, No 4 | a1062 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v10i4.1062 | © 2014 GS Horn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 May 2014 | Published: 22 May 2014

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GS Horn, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

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Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in South Africa are under pressure to meet the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) policies and charters of the South African government by giving BEE suppliers additional opportunities to tender. However, many BEE suppliers, due to being historically disadvantaged, experience various problems which make it difficult for them to win tenders, including lack of finances, opportunities to tender and management and business skills, and problems with quality and capacity. This paper outlines these practical problems experienced by BEE suppliers, the effects of these problems on risk and complexity in the South African automotive industry and policies that address these problems and assist BEE suppliers to become A-rated suppliers. Data for the paper was obtained from interviews with: senior employees of the AIDC involved with supplier development training; middle managers of supplier quality and development departments at the three OEMs in the Eastern Cape Province; and BEE and small suppliers identified to undergo AIDC training. The findings of the study are that unless sufficient training is given to BEE and potential BEE suppliers, supply to OEMs will remain in the hands of existing established suppliers and very little transformation will occur within the automobile industry in South Africa.


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