13 April 2022
MISA, the Motor Industry Staff Association, is devastated by the impact of the flooding in Durban and surrounding areas will have on the retail motor industry that is still recovering from the blow of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Less than a week after Toyota announced that 10 198 Light Commercial vehicles were either built or assembled at the Prospecton Plant in Durban, images of the flooded plant emerged.
This plant was responsible for over 10 000 of the vehicles sold locally in last month, according to an earlier statement released by Toyota.
Martlé Keyter, MISA Chief Executive Officer: Operations, says this disaster at Toyota’s Headquaters in South Africa could not have strike the motor retail industry at a worse time.
“The industry was grateful last week that new vehicles sales broke through a threshold last experienced in October 2019 with over 50 000 new vehicle sales. Domestic new vehicle sales was at 50 607 units.
“Just yesterday MISA participated in a discussion of the Union’s affiliated federation, FEDUSA, on climate change. The message was clear: climate change is serious and companies needs to think about it now. Tomorrow is too late. South Africa must mobilise all its resources to combat climate change as we did in combatting the spreading of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Keyter.
According to her, the Union will take whatever steps it can to minimise the impact of the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal on its members.
“The motor retail industry can’t afford more retrenchments with the unemployment rate at 35.3%. MISA’s more than 53 000 members being dependent on motor vehicle- and component sales, vehicle services and repair work,” says Keyter.
MISA will donate R90 700 to the Gift of the Givers Foundation who are busy providing blankets and warm meals to displaced communities. Gift of the Givers is the largest disaster response non-governmental organisation in Africa. The Union, its staff and the MISA office bearers contributed in less than an hour.
The South African Weather Service (SAWS) says the exceptionally heavy rainfall over the past 48 hours exceeded the expectations of the southern African meteorological community at large. More than sixty people died.
“Overnight rainfall reports from KwaZulu-Natal have underscored the particularly heavy and extreme nature of the rainfall, with some 24-hour falls exceeding 200 mm. More noteworthy, is that a few stations even reported 300 mm or more! A selection of the highest overnight rainfall measured in KwaZulu-Natal includes King Shaka International Airport (225 mm), Margate (311 mm), Mount Edgecombe (307 mm), Port Edward (188 mm) as well as Virginia airport (Durban north) with 304 mm. Such rainfall is of the order of values normally associated with tropical cyclones; however, SAWS must strongly emphasise that this system is not tropical in nature, nor is it a tropical cyclone.”
The SAWS predicts more heavy rainfall this weekend.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will visit the worse affected areas today. There has been calls from several role players to the President to declare KwaZulu-Natal a disaster area and to deploy the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to assist with the rescue attempts.
Issued on behalf of MISA by Sonja Carstens, Media, Liaison and Communication Specialist.
For MISA Press Releases, phone Carstens on 082 463 6806 or email Sonja.Carstens@ms.org.za.