Gaborone – Botswana has revealed its intention to be part of the ever-growing South African automotive industry.
This week Botswana’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Tshenolo Modise, said preliminary studies indicated that about 60 percent of the inputs into South Africa’s auto industry were imported.
“Now, given Botswana’s proximity to South Africa, we see this as an opportunity for the country to partner and vertically integrate into the ever growing South African automotive value chain is expected to grow and double its output by the year 2035,” she said.
Ambassador Modise said Botswana could provide a base and host some of the component manufacturers supplying South Africa’s auto industry.
“As Botswana we have no shadow of doubt that our country can offer this service; after all, the government has put in place an enabling environment to facilitate the attraction of foreign direct investment and to equally ensure that the domestic sector flourishes in the country,” she said.
She also called on other manufacturers to consider using Botswana as a base from which to reach markets in the Southern African region.
The diplomat said Botswana was committed “to do and not just give lip service to the attraction of foreign direct investment because we view this as a way of diversifying economy from mineral revenue”.
The CEO of the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre, Keletsositse Olebile, said the country was pursuing cross-border linkages as part of the SADC effort to ensure mutual sustainable development.
Botswana is about 350km from Rosslyn in Tshwane where the Nissan, Ford and BMW plants are located. Botswana already hosts Kromberg & Schubert, which produces wiring sets and chloride for automotive batteries.
“The companies already in Botswana have not been reporting difficulties in delivering their goods on time,” said Olebile.