BMW says its South African employees have now accepted the deal brokered between the Automotive Manufacturers Employers Organisation (AMEO) and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA), although a fresh strike involving the country’s component industry is now also hitting the country.

Earlier today, NUMSA said BMW had not accepted the deal, which will see an 11.5% pay increase and associated benefits, but the German automaker says local elements to the dispute had now been resolved.

“There were some local issues that needed to be discussed, but they were finalised this morning (9 September), a BMW South Africa spokesman told just-auto. “However, we are not producing today because the component industry strike means we can only produce in limited numbers.

“We would never have started at 6 [am] because we had to prepare the paint shop. Notification of the end of the strike came too late. The reason they were still in dispute was about shift allowance. We resolved it yesterday afternoon.”

The National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA) estimates the strike has seen around 3,300 vehicles in daily lost production, while AMEO says the industrial action had cost US$58m per day.

However, it now appears the ending of the OEM manufacturing strike, will be replaced by a much larger walk-out, potentially involving up to 70,000 workers in the petrol station, components, automotive retail, panel-beaters, car and spare parts, fitment workshops, truck body and trailer builders industries, as well as dealerships.

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That new strike could affect BMW and many automakers and comes against a backdrop of huge industrial unrest in South Africa that also spread to the gold mining sector, where a further 90,000 were reported to have walked out, although its appears they have now returned to work.

“We don’t stop completely,” the BMW spokesman said. “The problem for us is we are a just-in-time facility, so a lot of components we can’t stockpile.

“Seats for example, have 18-20 options just for a front driver’s seat, it is bespoke. We can build 80-90 cars a day during the strike – just by using the stockpiles we have.

[However] “We are still losing 250 cars a day – that go [es] on top of the 8,000 we have [already] lost.