South Africa’s economy relies as much on manufacturing as it does on agriculture and as a result the industry surrounding manufacturing is booming. What is the manufacturing industry? It covers anything that as the name suggests relates to the manufacturing of goods and services. For sake of brevity, we will be using the car manufacturing market as our prime example when explaining the law and matters related to manufacturing.
In order to be a manufacturer in South Africa there are numerous legal loopholes and hoops to navigate in order to make sure your business is up to code. Let’s start with licencing and registration to become a vehicle manufacturer in South Africa (each manufacturing industry requires this and each has their own protocols but licencing is a must regardless). In order to apply for this licence, manufacturers need to go to their provincial department of transport complete an application and notice in respect of manufacturer/importer/builder of vehicles (MIB) form. It is also vital to enquire what documentation such as ID, VAT registration and business certificates are required.
Secondly, know that each sector also has a code of conduct, and in the vehicle manufacturing sector the competition commission has recently released a draft of a new code of conduct – this one focused on the right to repair, allowing vehicle owners to have their cars repaired by a provider of their choice instead of being bound to the manufacturer for fear of voiding their warrantee. Let’s hope this comes into effect.
Of course all of this is subject to provisions contained in the Manufacturing Development Act No. 187 of 1993 which sets out how to develop industrial zones specifically for the growth of the manufacturing sector.
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