ATC180914: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on its study visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, dated 14 September 2018

Trade and Industry

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on its study visit to the Federal Republic of Germany, dated 14 September 2018
 

The Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, having visited the Federal Republic of Germany on 3-4 May 2018, reports as follows:

 

  1. Introduction

The mandate of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry covers trade and industry, including the regulatory and standards architecture. This requires regular and informed oversight and the development or processing of legislation that effectively facilitates economic development and job creation.

 

Industrialisation has resurfaced as a driver of economic development and a tool for job creation due to the upstream and downstream linkages it creates throughout the economy. However, modern industrialisation is shifting towards decentralised production, the development of new global production value-chains and business models, such as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This requires modernisation of South Africa’s manufacturing sector to maintain global competitiveness.

 

The First Industrial Revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The Second used electric power to create mass production. The Third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is building on the digital revolution of the Third. It is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres and involves the complete automation of industry. As South Africa is moving towards deepening industrialisation and the exportation of higher value-added products, it must be able to keep abreast with global technological developments that would aid faster and more diverse production. This new revolution could potentially have a massive impact on the South African labour market, due to the need for substantively different skills to enable the new or improved production systems.

 

The benefits associated with the Fourth Revolution are greater efficiency and productivity, lower transport and communication cost, higher pay, more high value-added goods, and lowering the cost of trade. However, the challenges associated with the new industrial developments include labour displacement; the need for a highly skilled labour force; an increase in the inequality gap; and the need for business to change technology and the way it does business. These should be taken into consideration when adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution strategies to minimise their impact.

 

  1. Purpose of the study tour

For South Africa to benefit from this industrial wave, it needs to consider how its industrial policy can facilitate the integration of its industries into the global markets. The Committee has identified Germany as a case study to understand the following:

 

  • The developmental path Germany embarked on;
  • Support provided by government; and
  • The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on the labour force and how they mitigated against the displacement of labour.

 

  1. German stakeholders visited

During its study visit to Germany, the Committee engaged the following stakeholders on Industrie 4.0:

 

  • The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), the Ministry’s central tasks are to reinvigorate the social market economy, stay innovative in the long term and strengthen the social fabric in Germany. It covers the following 9 areas: 1) Europe, 2) The Economy, 3) Industry, 4) Energy, 5) Foreign Trade, 6) The Digital World and Innovation, 7) Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), 8) Tourism and 9) Vocational Training and Profession.
  • The German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), the ministry responsible for promoting education and research. It shares responsibility with federal states in the fields of non-school vocational training, training assistance and continued education. One of its priority concerns is the establishment of social equality in education. The BMBF’s mandate is to ensure research excellence, this is essential for a country whose prosperity is built on the innovative strength of its industry. The aim of the High-Tech Strategy is to make Germany a leader in providing scientific and technical solutions in the fields of climate and energy, health and nutrition, mobility, security, and communication.
  • The Trade Union representative from Platform 4.0’s Working group on Work, Education and Training.
  • The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Ministry works to encourage economic development within Germany and in other countries through international cooperation and partnerships. It cooperates with international organizations involved in development including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the United Nations.
  • The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the implementing arm of the BMZ. It provides services worldwide in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development including economic development and employment, energy and the environment, and peace and security. They also work with the private sector, fostering interactions between development policy and foreign trade.
  • The German–African Business Association (Afrika-Verein Der Deutschen Wirtschaft), the foreign trade association representing German companies and institutions with an interest in investing in or trading with Africa.
  • Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), the central organisation for 79 Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Germany. All German companies are registered in one of the chambers, except for handicraft businesses, the free professions and farms. DIHK is the voice of more than three million entrepreneurs.
  • The German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI).
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW), a German multinational company which produces automobiles and motorcycles. The company was founded in 1916. Its headquarters is in Munich, Bavaria. They have an assembly plant in South Africa and have further expanded their operations to produce the X3, resulting in an investment of R6 billion.

 

  1. Delegation

The following Members and staff undertook the study visit:

 

  • Ms J Fubbs (African National Congress (ANC)) (Chairperson and Leader of the delegation)
  • Mr A Williams (ANC)
  • Ms P Mantashe (ANC)
  • Mr D Macpherson (Democratic Alliance)
  • Ms E Ntlangwini (Economic Freedom Fighters)
  • Mr A Hermans (Committee Secretary)
  • Ms M Sheldon (Content Advisor)

 

  1. Outline of the report

Firstly, the report provides an overview of German business. Secondly, it describes the implementation of Industrie 4.0 in Germany and the impacts thereof on Germany’s economy, labour market and environment. It then highlights the key enabling factors for Industrie 4.0. Thirdly, it provides the Committee’s key observations from the study tour. Fourthly, it lists its acknowledgements and sets out its recommendations to the Minister of Trade and Industry for consideration by the National Assembly.

 

  1. An overview of German business

The manufacturing sector’s share to the German Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is more than 22 per cent, together with the service sector, they are key components in the German economy. The German economy consists of a unique mix of companies. There are many small companies, a few large companies and a very strong, internationally successful German Mittelstand or medium companies. The Mittelstand are those companies that employ more than 500 individuals with an annual turnover of up to €15 million. There are about 1 300 German SMEs, which tend to be larger than in other countries because of Germany’s strong industrial base and associated services sector. A large number of SMEs are also world market leaders for their products and are internationally active in about 16 foreign markets each.

 

In Germany, it is mandatory for all businesses, with the exception of dentists, lawyers and architects to register with a regional chamber of commerce and industry. Currently, there are about 79 local chambers of commerce and industry representing roughly 3.5 million German companies. All regional chambers of commerce and industry are members of the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK). The DIHK is indirectly the umbrella body for all German businesses. Member companies financially contribute to the chambers’ budgets based on their size and turnover with the smallest businesses being exempted from membership contributions.

 

Furthermore, DIHK organises the international German chamber of commerce network consisting of 140 locations in 92 countries including three offices in South Africa. These international chambers are bilateral chambers between Germany and the resident country and the membership of these is voluntary. Government co-funds 20 per cent of the total budget for the German chambers abroad with the rest of the funding being raised by companies.

 

In this regard, the German federal government supported competence centres in partnership with a research institution or a university or a chamber of commerce.  These centres focus on specific sectors and distribute information and demonstrate best practice to interested companies. They also serve as platforms for the interaction of academics with the private sector. These think-tanks aim to develop theoretically sound solutions for the business challenges faced by companies and organizations. They are designed to create eco-systems for start-ups, investors, established companies and SMEs.

 

  1. Overview of Industrie 4.0

In principle, the fourth industrial revolution consists of the development of cyber-physical systems, where physical objects are embedded with software, microcomputers and sensors to allow them to become “intelligent” and to interact with their environment and each other. This has led to digital manufacturing and smart production. So new forms of production are taking comprising of vertical integration, which is digitalisation within a company, and horizontal integration, which is the digitalisation between companies. Therefore, production relies on a supply chain of data that is available in real-time and can be exchanged between all the different parties. This can lead to products becoming intelligent and having information about their own processing. Thus, allowing customers to be digitally involved and to customise their products; and facilitating employees to do maintenance from afar.

 

Germany has branded its involvement in this revolution as Platform Industrie 4.0. In the Committee’s engagement with the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, it became apparent that Industrie 4.0 presented an opportunity for the German manufacturing sector to become the leading player for the fourth industrial revolution and the leading provider for Industrie 4.0 solutions. Industrie 4.0 represents the future for the manufacturing sector in Germany where the digitization of the manufacturing processes could lead to improved quality, lower cost, and increased efficiency.

 

The digitalisation of the German economy is changing manufacturing and the nature of work through the automation of the production processes. In order to achieve the objective of Industrie 4.0 which is to “drive digital manufacturing forward by increased digitisation and the interconnection of products, value chains and business models”. Germany is reinforcing its social compact between government, industry and labour. This includes the involvement of industry, science, politics and society to work together to develop and secure Germany among the top international positions in industrial manufacturing. In the early stages of Industrie 4.0, cooperation was loosely among individual stakeholders but with the need for secured financial resources and the need for enabling legalisation, and collaboration with other stakeholders such as business and labour, Industrie 4.0 needed to be formalised to include all the relevant stakeholders. Failure to include these critical players would in the future compromise the legitimacy of the fourth industrial revolution.

 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution envisioned by Germany takes into consideration the economic, environmental and social impact as well as the benefits to enterprises and society. These are discussed below.

 

  1. Impact of Industrie 4.0

With reference to the economic impact of Industrie 4.0, the increased digitalisation and the interconnection of processes would allow for the optimisation, increased productivity and flexibility of smart production systems, improved quality and the customisation of products under conditions of mass production. It also allows for maximum efficiency in the provisions of products to customer’s demand in real time. The use of smart production systems could increase companies’ competitiveness as well as lower cost of production. The growth potential for Industrie 4.0 has been projected to up to €78 Billion by 2025.

 

The impact of Industrie 4.0 and the digitalisation of the manufacturing industry on companies is varied in its intensity and speed of change. The transitioning environment, new business models and modernisation are changing the working environment and the educational requirements for effective participation in the workplace. This evolution towards totally digitised operations has been gradual and companies operate at different stages within the process. Therefore, training requirements are usually company specific. Currently, there is no clear, holistic understanding about what the detailed implications will be regarding new educational requirements, new skill requirements, the impact on low and semi-skilled workers, and the opportunities digitalisation presents.

 

However, Industrie 4.0 is expected to have a significant impact on the workforce. Routine jobs are expected to be reduced or eliminated as a result of direct communication because of technical advances. The rapid change in technology should require a workforce to be reskilled more frequently than during the previous industrial revolutions. Job descriptions and qualifications required are changing with an increased demand for specialised skills. This will provide for an increase in job opportunities within specialised fields within the smart factory; however, it could also lead to traditional job losses. There was a recognition from the German government that workers would need to be reskilled and that the appropriate educational opportunities at school and university, the provision of vocational training by the private sector, and on the job training would be critical to advance the fourth industrial revolution.

 

Government was of the view that the introduction of Industrie 4.0 may not necessarily lead to overall job losses, as it would create new types of jobs that require different skill sets that could offset these losses. It is predicted that there will be an increased automation of routine jobs, while workers will increasingly work alongside robots or machines or operate these more remotely. This will mean that workers must be able to engage in more self-initiated work rather than process driven steps and be able to use their experience to make decisions. Therefore, life-long training and education will be essential. However, intelligent assistants should also enable relatively low skilled workers to complete complex tasks by offering guidance. Currently, the overall impact on the number of jobs is uncertain given the changing technologies and nature of work, as well as the reality that not everything can be automated.

 

In terms of job losses, there was a general perception that, while the exact impact was unknown at this stage, the impact should be fairly balanced, as different skills would be required as technologies changed. Therefore, there would be losses in certain areas, while new jobs would be created in others. The key to mitigate this was considered to be further training and education for existing and new employees. For example, as fuel-driven vehicles are being replaced by electric vehicles, the skills required to design, manufacture and maintain these vehicles would shift. However, there are industries, such as agriculture, where technology may not be able to replace or supplement human labour due to the delicacy of the work. It was also highlighted that there was a fear of job losses due to technical changes. Similarly, this is also the fear of developing countries such as South Africa that are considering adopting Fourth Industrial Revolution strategies but there is a need to strategically plan on how to mitigate this, particularly for manual workers.

 

Based on a DIHK study, digitalisation is a strong driver of economic growth, as 44 per cent of companies in all sectors were able to increase their revenues. However, there are differences among sectors dependent on how far advanced their digitalisation process is, which is also often related to their relative size and access to resources.

 

They also reported that more companies were driven by opportunities for business models rather than fear of competition when transforming their companies digitally. These include creating more flexibility for work and for employees. However, there are challenges to this transformation, namely the cost of investing in staff training and IT security, particularly for smaller companies.

 

From an environmental perspective, the smart production systems will be energy and resources efficient through the reduction of waste, energy consumption and overproduction. Through the development of an environmental, social and economic value system that meets the current needs without comprising the ability of future generations would be enhanced and increase sustainability. It would have the ability to plan energy demand activities during sessions of the natural overproduction of energy through wind and solar energy. 

 

  1. Process of Implementation

To ensure a smooth transition, an SME would implement Industrie 4.0 in stages. Firstly, they would collect and process data about their production processes, such as delivery time, quality and stocks. This stage requires an understanding of and a strategy around data usage, IT security and standardisation of data. Secondly, developing and implementing assistance systems, which are tools to assist employees such as robots or “cobots”, tablets and virtual reality glasses. During this stage, acceptance by employees is a challenge that needs to be managed and overcome. Thirdly, horizontal and vertical integration between departments and within a company, as well as with suppliers must take place. This requires more cooperation and standardisation to automate these processes. Fourthly, service orientation is decentralised; thus, digitalisation moves beyond improving productive efficiencies to changing the business model. Finally, the product would be able to determine its own production and containers can reorder themselves through an autonomous system or self-organisation. This entails artificial intelligence and advanced robotics.

 

It was also highlighted that the initial digitalisation stages are relatively easy as the technology is readily available; as the stages progress more research and development is required to facilitate this. More recently, Germany has established competence centres that focus on digitalisation, called digital hubs. These digital hubs are used to showcase, develop and pilot solutions for businesses.

 

  1. Enabling factors

A number of factors have enabled Germany to move into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, while there are other areas that they are developing to support this transition. These are discussed below:

 

  1. Social compact between industry, labour and government

During the Committee’s engagement with various stakeholders, it became apparent that the social compact that exists between government, labour and the private sector in Germany has been critical to facilitate growth in the manufacturing sector and has eased the migration towards Industrie 4.0. Initially, the need for a coordinated approach to underpin Germany’s involvement in the fourth industrial revolution was not evident. To address this gap, government established Platform Industrie 4.0 in 2015 to facilitate buy-in to government’s agenda that would eventually change the operation and structure of the manufacturing industry and to drive the acceptance of the modernisation process within society. This Platform leverages the social compact and goodwill that exists between government, business and labour.

 

Six federal ministries are involved with industrialisation: (i) the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs (BMWi), (ii) the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), (iii) the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), (iv) the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI), (v) the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), and (vi) the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. Government’s involvement in driving this process has been critical to bring all stakeholders together and to continue securing the legal foundation required to enable Industrie 4.0.

 

The major goal of the alliance between the manufacturing industry, trade unions and government is to ensure the sustainability of the German economy and to increase its industrial competitiveness. There is acknowledgment that individual stakeholder interest can derail such a process, with business wanting favourable conditions such as reduced regulatory constraints and new infrastructure, and labour interested in the retention and promotion of worker interest and to ensure the improvement in workers’ working conditions, but these interests must be directed towards a common goal. Historically, the German stakeholders have successfully managed to overcome their differences and work together effectively to benefit society.

 

Business associations are mainly concerned with technical infrastructure design and with economic policy developments which would include developments at a European level. The legal and regulatory framework in Germany and the European Union, securing data protection, reducing regulatory burden, incentivising research, promoting innovation are crucial focus areas that would underpin the modernisation of the manufacturing sector.   

 

Employees associations are clearly focused on the reconfiguration of the labour market as digitisation would require some form of deregulation and flexibility, as it relates to wages and working hours. The standard contract of permanent employment may become obsolete as other forms of employee contracts, such as temporary or fixed-term, would have greater significance in a digitalised world.

 

For the success and sustainability of Industrie 4.0 strategy, the involvement of trade unions is essential. The German labour market should take cognisance of the evolution towards an increased digitalisation of the manufacturing sector. It therefore becomes essential for the labour movement to avoid becoming pawns in the interest of business but to drive the reconfiguration of the labour market that would ensure security of labour and improve working conditions within the era of digitisation. Digital processes create new opportunities and the way the workplace operates and is changing the burdens placed on workers. These new opportunities and challenges relate to working arrangements as well as to the re-examination of standards with respect to education and training, which would ultimately lead to new requirements for the workforce.  Reskilling and re-education of the workforce should be central to any reconfiguration process against the backdrop of potential job losses among unskilled and semi-skilled workers. What is crucial for the labour movement going forward is the protection of new and traditional forms of productive labour.

 

 

 

  1. Training

The DIHK indicated that, legally, the local chambers of commerce are responsible for organizing vocational education and training in partnership with government. Therefore, business drives the vocational needs, the content of the training and the funding thereof collectively to meet their specific requirements. The model followed is usually that individuals receive on-the-job training for about two days a week and then spend the rest of the time at a vocational training centre. Afrika-Verein added that this model works well, as training and opportunities to work are aligned, which further incentivises business to be involved as it benefits them.

 

In Germany, as in most countries, academic qualification appears to be more attractive compared to vocational training and apprenticeships. However, there is a need to balance this, as both sets of skills are critical. It was suggested that government should address this at school level by increasing parents’ awareness about the value of vocational training. The ideal balance for industry is 30 per cent university graduates and the rest vocationally trained.

 

The Industrie 4.0 working group, “Labour, Vocational and Training”, recognised the importance of vocational training. They are of the view that the worker remains central to his/her own development and the link between theory and training would provide the optimal environment for achieving applied knowledge and gaining practical qualifications. Industrie 4.0 presents companies with the need to significantly change requirements for qualifications for their workforce and the need to find solutions to remain at the forefront of the digitisation drive. Reskilling of the labour force should be flexible and aligned with business development processes. Siemens, as part of Industrie 4.0, and cognisant of the need to be innovative, analysed the changes as a result of digitalisation and customised and aligned their vocational education content to its specific needs, as well as to provide the worker with the rights skills going forward.

 

The expansion of in-service training is crucial and would increase the flexible forms of learning within the company. One should recognise that Industrie 4.0 provides the labour market with sufficient opportunities to develop their skills and enhance their qualifications within a changed vocational and training system.

 

Furthermore, the Germans acknowledge that effective skilling is a long-term strategy that starts from kindergarten. They also raised their challenges of an ageing population and low birth rate to retain high levels of skilled labour, as this type of labour cannot easily be substituted.

 

  1. Rules and legislative framework

Government is responsible to provide business with an enabling environment to aid the transformation to digitalisation. These include:

  • Broadband/digital infrastructure: This is the backbone for all digitalisation efforts. Initially, the German government upgraded the copper cables rather than investing in fibre optic networks, which are considered to be more efficient. However, it appears that this will be revisited and investment in fibre optic is being considered for the future.
  • Legal security around using data for economic purposes: This arose with the implementation of the EU regulations for personal data. In particular, there is an awareness among companies regarding the importance of Information Technology (IT) security. There is a need to better coordinate initiatives related to developing IT law in Germany. Furthermore, business expressed a need for clarity on the right to use data and data ownership, which was being discussed at a European Union level.

 

The international, regional and national legal and regulatory frameworks can either stimulate or inhibit the modernisation of the manufacturing sector through the digitalisation process. This includes areas such of protection of data, IT security, and intellectual property laws. The digitalisation of the economy, and the move towards the automation of the production process necessitates a focus on IT security as the risk of cyberattacks have increased significantly. As a result, it becomes critical to minimise risks and threats to network and information systems.

  • More digital competence at all educational stages:   There is a need for more basic digital skills in schools that can be developed further as part of vocational training. This requires further training of teachers and better digital infrastructure at schools. Furthermore, education and training must be developed continuously and new relevant qualifications developed to enable Industrie 4.0, such as the new e-commerce qualification.
  • Standardisation: There is a need to develop standards to enable inter-operability between companies and processes.

 

Furthermore, there is a need to digitise public administration, which has been a challenge for Germany, as each bundesland may act independently.  A portal for companies is planned to facilitate administrative dealings with the state, such as establishing a new company and accessing state funding.

 

As mentioned by BMWi and DIHK, Industrie 4.0 presents increased digitalisation and the interconnectedness of production processes as well as a move towards inter-company cooperation and value chain creation. This interconnectedness, through different interfaces, requires a secure usage of data and reliable protection of IT infrastructure. Industrie 4.0 identifies five basic requirements for the successful implementation of IT security, which are:

  • Guaranteeing availability i.e. ensuring functionality of the IT system;
  • Ensuring the integrity of information and data;
  • Securing the privacy and access to data and information;
  • Validation and authentication of source; and
  • Ensuring the quality through the continuous monitoring of the implementation of security safeguards.

 

Legislation and regulations governing IT security in Germany mainly focus on the protection of the physical infrastructure rather than ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of the information system overall. The German IT Security Act and the European Directive on security of network and information systems does not address or improve security, but rather focusses on maintaining the functionality of critical infrastructure such as energy, transportation and health, which are public goods. Although legislation requires companies to provide for IT security it does not provide clearly defined security standards. Due to the changing environment, the onus falls on companies to ensure a higher level of IT security to protect their IP rights.

 

  1. Other matter

During the Committee’s engagement with BMW in Germany, they highlighted their recent investment in South Africa and that the South African plant had just completed manufacturing its first X3. While BMW is committed to continued investment in the South African automotive industry, they were concerned about the delay in finalising the new Automotive Masterplan, as the Automotive Production Development Plan was coming to an end. This would leave a policy vacuum, which could negatively affect their ability to finalise their long-term investment strategy.

 

  1. Key observations

Based on its engagements, the Committee made the following key observations:

 

  1. In the Committee’s various engagements with stakeholders, it became apparent that notwithstanding the fourth industrial revolution, the industrial sector would remain a driver for economic growth and employment creation.
  2. The increased digitalisation of the global economy provides an opportunity for countries to transform their manufacturing sectors as well as being presented with new opportunities and challenges. 
  3. It was noted that South Africa may have an advantage compared to Germany in a number of areas, as much of industry does not need to be digitally transformed but can be developed from scratch. Therefore, the development of a digitalised economy can be crafted to meet our specific needs and conditions, rather than merely imitating the German or other international experience.
  4. This provides greater opportunity for companies to innovate and transform their markets through adopting specific industry applications, that are developed for the local high-tech market.
  5. Emerging economies, like South Africa, have the opportunity to lead and adopt Industrie 4.0 objectives thereby increasing their competitiveness.
  6. However, it is the country’s response to the impending fourth industrial revolution and whether its current industrial strategy takes cognizance of these developments that would determine whether it can seize the opportunities presented by this revolution.
  7. The social compact between government, private sector and labour in Germany is historically strong and the visit reemphasised the need for these parties to effectively work together to grow the economy and mitigate the effect of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and globalisation.
  8. There is a need for greater coordination and collaboration with the Portfolio Committees on Economic Development, on Basic Education, on Higher Education and Training, on Labour, on Science and Technology, on Small Business, and on Telecommunications and Postal Services to effectively oversee South Africa’s transition into the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as well as the mechanisms established to facilitate this.
  9. There is a need to focus on education and vocational training starting at the elementary school level. This should include developing an understanding of the importance of vocational training in relation to university education. Furthermore, the integral role of business in taking responsibility for the provision of vocational training was noted and the importance of training individuals to fulfil a skills need for industry.
  10. As the automotive industry remains an integral part of South Africa’s industrialisation policy, it is critical that South Africa provides policy certainty in this regard to ensure ongoing investment in the industry and the demand for the established component manufacturing sector. Therefore, there is a need to finalise the Automotive Masterplan to close this policy gap.

 

  1. Acknowledgements

The delegation of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry wishes to thank the Office of the South African High Commissioner in the Federal Republic of Germany, especially Mr J Moatshe (Economic Counsellor) for being instrumental in ensuring that the Committee engages with key stakeholders during this visit.

 

The Committee wants to express its deep appreciation to German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Trade Union representative from Platform 4.0’s Working group on Work, Education and Training, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, the German–African Business Association (Afrika-Verein Der Deutschen Wirtschaft), the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK), the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), and Bayerische Motoren Werke (BMW) for their valuable contribution to the discussion.

 

The Committee also wishes to thank its support staff, in particular the Committee Secretary, Mr A Hermans, and the Content Advisor, Ms M Sheldon, for their professional support and conscientious commitment to their work. 

 

The Chairperson of the delegation thanks all Members for their active participation during the process of engagement and deliberations and their constructive recommendations made in this report.

 

  1. Recommendations

Informed by its deliberations, the Committee recommends that the House requests that the Minister of Trade and Industry should consider:

 

  1. Finalising the South African Automotive Masterplan as soon as possible.
  2. Collaborating with the Ministers of Economic Development, of Basic Education, of Higher Education and Training, of Labour, of Science and Technology, of Small Business, and of Telecommunications and Postal Services to ensure an integrated strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  3. Facilitating a social compact between the government, the private sector and labour to spearhead the integration of South Africa’s manufacturing sector into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  4. Engaging with the Minister of Higher Education and Training and the private sector to revitalise apprenticeships and vocational training to ensure that appropriate skills are developed that support deeper industrialisation and facilitate the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

 

Report to be considered.

 

 

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