Toyota South Africa Motors has confirmed operations at its Prospecton plant in Durban have been “suspended” due strike action by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa).
The strike has also interrupted proceedings at Toyota SA’s Atlas Road Warehouse in Boksburg.
On Monday, Numsa released a statement accusing the local arm of the Japanese automaker of failing to meet both broad-based black economic empowerment compliance targets as well as its own employment equity targets.
“Toyota is an untransformed company which routinely fails BBBEE compliance targets. They also repeatedly fail to meet their own Employment Equity targets. This is because there is no political will from the management team to genuinely address these issues,” Numsa said.
“They also steadfastly refuse to procure from black service providers. They keep claiming that black people have no experience, but we reject this explanation. This is simply an excuse used by many in the South African corporate space to justify racism and a lack of genuine transformation.”
Numsa’s demands include the establishment of a “transformation committee” for recruitment and procurement, free medical consultations, transport allowances for apprentices and specifically designed apparel for female workers.
In a statement on Monday evening, Toyota SA responded that it “would like to place on record” that the statement issued by Numsa relating to the strike action “is a misrepresentation of the facts and is, in some instances, defamatory”.
The automaker added it “therefore reserves the right to respond to these allegations and will do so in detail once all the facts have been reviewed and appropriate feedback is given to Numsa”.
“[Toyota SA] would like to reiterate that it remains committed to ongoing engagement in good faith with the union in order to come to a satisfactory resolution,” it added.
The brand builds the Hilux, Fortuner, Corolla and Corolla Quest at its Durban factory.