The effects of globalisation on the South African automotive industry

Qobo, Mzukisi (2000-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2000.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Since the late 80s and early 90s there has been a sustained debate on the concept of globalisation. This has been, to a larger extent, due to global industrial restructuring In most countries the effects have been felt mostly in the manufacturing sector, and these were evident in areas such as technology, employment pattern and composition of labour force. Globalisation introduces a tendency to create a division of labour between a core of relatively well paid, skilled and secured workers, and a large pool of workers doing non-regular forms of work e.g. 'casual' jobs or part-time contracts, and with much of the work sub-contracted to companies with less unionised and low paid workers. This research assignment explores the effects that changes in global production have on the South African automotive industry. As South Africa is becoming increasingly integrated into the world economy it certainly will not be unaffected by effects of globalisation. The auto industry, and Volkswagen in particular will be use as a case. The industry is one of the largest export industries in South Africa at the current moment, and is said to have embraced the realities of globalisation. It is also a fairly well developed industry, technologically. The auto industry has always epitomised 'Fordist' forms of production with inward-looking industrial activity. The waves of changes in the sphere of production globally have both positive and negative etfects on the automotive industry. They are spurring development and innovation in an ailing industry, and thrusting it on a path towards 'world-class' manufacturing. On the other hand festructuring trend which is an outflow of global isation poses a great threat on employment patterns, and in the long run may lead toil"'decline in formal employment and introduction of non-regular forms of work e g. part-time, casual employment, and subcontracting. This will happen as pressures mount on the industry in line with the logic of international competitiveness to rationalise and cut costs.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die konsep "globalisering" lok reeds sedert die laat tagtigerjare wydverspreid debat uit. Die kontensieuse aard van die begrip kan grootlike toegeskryf word aan die verskynsel van globale industriele herstrukturering. Wereldwyd is die impak van laasgenoemde veral gevoel in die vervaardigingsektor. Hierdie tendens het by uitstek in aspekte soos tegnologie, indiensnemingspatrone en die samestelling van die arbeidsmag gemanifesteer. Globalisering het die geneigdheid om 'n verdeling van arbeid te bewerkstellig in terme waarvan 'n kern van relatief goed besoldigde, geskoolde en beskermde werkers onderskei kan word van 'n relatief swak besoldigde groep wat stukwerk verrig. Die tweede groep verrig deeltydse werk, wat in baie gevalle uitgekontrakteer word aan maatskappye met lae vakbondverteenwoordiging. Die fokus van hierdie werkstuk val op die impak wat veranderinge in globale produksie op die Suid-Afrikaanse motornywerheid het. Namate Suid-Afrika toenemend deel word van die wereldekonomie, raak dit al hoe moeiliker om die negatiewe effekte van globalisering vry te spring. Die motornywerheid, en spesifiek die vervaardiger Volkswagen, word as gevallestudie gebruik. Die tegnologies ontwikkelde industrie is een van Suid-Afrika se vernaamste uitvoernywerhede, en volgens kenners het veral hierdie sektor die realiteite van globalisering ter harte geneem. Kenmerkend van die motornywerheid was nog altyd sy "Ford-agtige" vorm van produksie, gefokus op inwaartsgekeerde industriele aktiwiteit. Die golwe van verandering in wereldwye produksie hou sowel positiewe as negatiewe gevolge vir die motornywerheid in. Aan die positiewe kant moedig dit innovasie in 'n andersins stagnerende industrie aan. Die negatiewe sy hiervan is egter die bedreiging wat dit inhou vir indiensnemingspatrone. Dit mag op die langtermyn lei tot die agteruitgang van formele indiensneming en 'n toename in nie-algemene vorme van werk (bv. tydelike indiensneming en subkontraktering). Hierdie neiging sal posvat namate industriee deur die logika van internasionale mededingenheid gedwing word om te rasionaliseer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51974
This item appears in the following collections: