Davies laments exclusion as he leaves for swansong trip

Outgoing trade and industry minister, Dr Rob Davies.

Port and rail charges, and the escalating cost of electricity have been identified by trade and industry minister Dr Rob Davies as the most threatening challenges to escalated multi-lateral trade.

Speaking ahead of departing for Paris where he will be attending a ministerial summit of peer officials hosted by the World Trade Organisation, Davies was quietly lamenting the fact that his name had not been included in members of parliament to be sworn in this week.

“I’m definitely not going back to parliament,” he said.

“My name’s not on the list.”

Yet Davies, who has headed up the Department of Trade and Industry since 2009, seems to have harboured hopes that President Cyril Ramaphosa would retain his services when he formed his new cabinet, most likely early next week.

“I’m available if I’m needed,” he said.

Davies was optimistic about “industrial action plans” instituted under his tenure, especially those that have had a strong bearing on the automotive sector and that resulted in increased exports from various component part manufacturers and assembly line plants across South Africa.

But the cost of freight and industrial electricity consumption, he warned, would play a crucial role in South Africa’s continued presence in the automotive market in years to come.



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