Once level 4 restrictions have been implemented since 1 May, local car factories will again have limited access to vehicles, but engine dealers are permitted only to re-sell cars under level 3. Emergency engine repairs are permitted at level 4; general repairs and maintenance are only authorized at level 2.

If lock-down constraints are alleviated, automobile dealerships will be one of the first companies to begin work to help transform the economy.

The auto industry plays a vital role in getting individuals, goods and services into the market. This accounts for about 85 per cent of new franchise companies in SA, the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (Nada). With the domestic shutdown almost halting the economy, Nada’s call added to growing pressure on the government to reopen the economy at least partly to avoid mass losses in jobs and company closure.

The detailed risk-adjusted strategy announced by the Government on Saturday is based on Covid-19. On Thursday, the 23rd, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a phased approach from 1 May for the lifting of the difficult lockout and the simplification of its March rules.

The new regulations only provide for repairs to emergency vehicles under level 4. Therefore, in the time framed by your guarantee conditions, some owners will not be able to service their vehicles.

It is confirmed that the government is preparing for easing the national locks with a multi-stage alerting system linked to financial activity and the severity of the Covid 19 transmission, which was introduced on Thursday night by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mark Dommisse, national chair of Nada, says that while Nada agrees with the risk-adjusted and incremental approach to unlocking economic growth, the Government urges the car retailer to be a key element in making all industries operational.

SA employs approximately 1 600 franchise dealers directly, with an automotive value chain effect of nearly 1 million. Collective investment from franchise distributors is worth more than R40bn, says Nada, which makes 2.5% of the 6.9% GDP contribution of the motor industry.

Osman Arbee, CEO of Motus, an automotive group that distributed the Hyundai, Kia, Renault, and Mitsubishi brand, believes that our high-tax base is a powerful contributor to taxes and we will help to kick-off other industries, including operator firms, parts manufacturers and automotive financing, other financial service and workshops.

By Noni Nchwe