Component industry group gets new head

Renai Moothilal. Picture: Supplied
Renai Moothilal. Picture: Supplied

Development economist and automotive industry specialist Renai Moothilal has been appointed executive director of the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (Naacam). Moothilal will take the helm at Naacam, which has been without a full-time head since last year, from next month and will relieve Roger Pitot who has been advising the organisation part time.

A University of KwaZulu-Natal trained development economist, Moothilal will join Naacam after spending the last decade at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and more recently as a senior official in its automotive policy unit.

During this period, he was instrumental in managing various policy and programme-related issues including the transition from the Motor Industry Development Plan to the Automotive Production and Development Programme, institutionalising the Automotive Supply Chain Competitiveness Initiative, as well as laying the groundwork for the development of an automotive masterplan from 2020 to 2035.

Outside of core policy issues, he has been part of several incentive adjudication committees as well as being an adviser to automotive companies on issues related to investment and production in South Africa. Moothilal’s experience at the DTI also included a stint at its investment promotion unit.

He has also worked at the national Treasury, FNB Corporate and the Liberty Group. His appointment comes as Naacam is looking to enhance its positioning and role within the automotive environment to deliver greater value for members.

Welcoming Moothilal, Port Elizabeth- based Dave Coffey, managing director of Shatterprufe and president of Naacam, said: “He [Moothilal] brings a unique set of skills and experience and has, in a fairly short time, made his mark in the automotive manufacturing sector. “Renai is respected by its key stakeholders and has a deep and holistic appreciation of the challenges and opportunities faced by different sector players.” Coffey said the sector as a whole was operating in a challenging, highly competitive environment hallmarked by constant change, and that Naacam had to adapt and grow accordingly.

“Under the leadership of the DTI, preparations are firmly under way to develop an automotive masterplan and supporting policy framework to optimise growth and economic outcomes from the sector up to 2035. “Naacam wants to ensure that the automotive component supplier base in South Africa both contributes to and benefits from this growth,” Coffey said.

Naacam represents about 150 automotive component and related services companies, spread across more than 220 production sites throughout South Africa. In 2015, there were about 82 000 direct jobs associated with component manufacturing. In the same year, companies in the sub-sector invested more than R2.7-billion while generating sales in excess of R82-billion.

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