Greville Wood Developments - Job Creation Blue Print Second Address - 5 August 2003

Second Address to the Select Committee on Labour & Public Enterprises- Parliament - 6th August 2003. The first address outlined how Gear could be reinforced through a second tier of labour intensive manufacturing and this Address outlines the engineering systems, procedures and technologies necessary to develop that second tier that can provide economic development in townships and rural villages.

In preparing for this address I wish to thank the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of the Witwatersrand, who very kindly agreed to listen and criticize the draft. A number of professors, doctors & lecturers gave up their time to participate in the presentation, however we stress that this does not mean that they supported the engineering plan, only that they found no major flaw during the presentation.

In our 2002 petition to Parliament, we defined leadership as government, business and labour and during this address we will continue to use this definition. In the initial letter to the Speaker (11 Jan. 2002), we highlighted leadership’s reluctance to debate developing practical solution to joblessness and will provide evidence regarding this.

The recent Growth and Development Summit set a target of creating 2,5 million jobs by the year 2014 to combat joblessness and unemployment. When this concern is linked to the creation of labour intensive manufacture in a global climate that provides only high tech, capital intensive manufacture favoured by GEAR, policy formulation has to be reinforced with practical engineering plans so that the 2.5million jobs can materialize.

Let us remember that manufacturing is the most effective of all sustainable economic development, comprising mining, forestry, fishing/ farming and manufacturing. It forms the "Backbone" of all successful world economies and if removed from the US economy, high profile companies like Microsoft, Intel etc. will collapse over night.

To set in place the industrial platform to provide the 2,5 million jobs, engineering business plans can be formulated around the: -

Industrial systems used in PE to manage labour intensive, automobile assembly lines in the 1950’s & 60’s.

Engineering systems used to develop the automobile local content manufacturing programmes from the early 1960’s.

Systems used by Tele-Medicine and ATM’s to provide problem solving & management.

These elements structured in a manufacturing business plan which incorporates our Technikons, could supplement GEAR to provide growth and development at the micro-economic or local level, where most of the 2.5 million jobs are to be developed.

To understand the Blue Print, it must be asked why has GEAR failed the jobless community?

It failed because it excluded engineering from the formulae that was supposed to provide growth, employment and redistribution to jobless communities. Because of this exclusion, it could not provided business solutions that address issues surrounding poverty, while at the same time provide jobs. These surrounding issues are low levels of skills and literacy, virtually no access to financial structures, the negative impact of distance to markets on communities without motorized transport and men leaving their families to find work elsewhere as migrant workers, living in single sex hostels.

Nedlac, workshops, summits, bosberaads, policy formulation or economic evaluations, do not and cannot provide these practical solutions, which are developed in sophisticated engineering design offices. To demonstrate this point, try creating a mass transport policy if there are no Buss and Train systems available. Policy makers can write all the policy they like, but policy alone will never provide a buss or a train, as engineering can. In other words engineers must provide the trains and busses first, before a mass transport policy can be developed.

Transposing this argument to the problem of poverty and education and training as a policy solution, these also have to be formulated around tested engineered solutions in order to provide jobs, but there are no practical mass solutions to Africa’s current poverty constraints and the idea of upgrading people in skills development training programmes, without providing them with jobs is an expensive, fruitless exercise.

Nigeria tried this method the 1970’s with the aid of Britain and according to a study by Oxford University (printed in Fortune Magazine 1984), where previous to the new education and training programmes, Nigeria had millions of poor, uneducated jobless people, but after ten years of education and training, now had millions of trained, well educated, jobless people.

Without engineering’s ability to provide industrial solutions that remove the constraints surrounding poverty from which industrial business plans can be developed, Nigeria and Nedlac have not been successful in freeing low-skilled African people from the poverty trap, nor have they provided the industrial means for people to become active participants in economies through their sweat equity.

Therefore the current Gear approach will continue to do the opposite it claims it will do and in the eyes of the jobless people and communities, where economic growth is not happening, GEAR simply means Burgeoning unemployment, Underdevelopment and Misdistribution of resources to people whom already have jobs.

During our initial address to the Select Committee, it was asked why leadership had not bought into the Blue Print plan? This question must be answered, for by doing so, the practical reasons why Gear has failed to deliver at the local level and will continue to do so will become obvious.

When Kennedy announced that America was going to the moon, he did not first approach Congress, Business and Labour, but went to people trained and equipped to solve and provide solutions to complex problems, scientists and engineers. NASA’s phenomenal success is the direct result of engineers using science to develop technological solutions to complex problems, surrounding space flight and this method successfully placed Man on the Moon.

NEDLAC tried a different route and use government, labour and business leaders to develop solutions to the complexities surrounding poverty and to date this method has failed.

By contrasting these examples, it can be deduced that Nedlac’s failure to address poverty and joblessness was because it excluded science and engineering from providing practical ways to tackle and develop solutions to the complexities surrounding poverty.

Adapting what we know from automobile design and manufacture, to problems surround poverty, we earlier mentioned that industrial systems could be modified to manage and problem-solve at a low skills-literacy level. In this regard, GWD demonstrated to the Foundation for Research Development and the CSIR how low-cost, appropriate industrial solutions can overcome factory problems, in real-time throughout the African continent, effectively removing low-skills and illiteracy constraints from labour intensive manufacturing development in Africa. This then opens the way for labour intensive manufacturing to be directed into any low skilled community, including townships and rural villages and the engineering elements that underpin this plan are as follows: -

Product engineering and supplier quality assurance systems and procedures (SQA), used in the 1960’s by the local auto manufacturers to develop auto component manufacturers and bring them inline with international manufacturing practices and standards.

Market analysis, product planning and engineering development systems and procedures, used by Ford PE in the 1960’s to develop products that overcame Japan’s domination of the South Africa light truck market. This resulted in the Cortina and Bantam Pick-ups being planned, designed, developed and manufactured in Port Elizabeth and these unique, locally manufactured vehicles, supplied by the local labour force, have dominated the local pick-market. Many of these systems used to develop these vehicles are also used in our growing aerospace and electronic manufacturing industry.

Recently, Business Day reported that Minister Erwin had discussed with Ford USA the possibility of exporting cars and trucks from SA. The truck in question to expand export into the global market is the Bantam and follows in its bigger brothers footsteps, the Cortina P/Up, which was exported to Britain from the late 70’s up until Ford left SA in1984.

These two truck products demonstrate the phenomenal success that local engineers have provided the local auto industries and other achievements in the electronic and aeronautic industries, shows that South African engineers can, when markets are targeted and specific products identified and planned, compete with the industrialized world’s product R&D and associated manufacturing industries.

Therefore, the above demonstrates that South Africa has the engineering potential, capacity and ability to develop this second tier of labour intensive manufacturing, just as engineers did in providing the automobile industry’s local content programmes in the 1960’s.

This engineering achievement is the basis for the current success in the Dti and Gear’s global auto export policy. Therefore there is no reason why engineers cannot adapt and transfer these 1960’s engineering designs, plans, systems and procedures to enable the development of worker-owned, labour intensive factories at local township or rural village, which initially are taught to manufacture their community housing needs and building requirements. Through the process of manufacturing communities building requirements, the worker-owners become manufacturing literate and are now capable of progressing into other forms of manufacturing, once these skilled building tasks are completed, thereby providing economic sustainability in communities through manufacturing as an on going process.

There are other elements that underpin the Blue Print plan and these systems are: -

Adapting graphically illustrated, process systems, used in automobile factories prior to assembly automation. These systems used in the local car plants from the late 1940’s, managed the assembly process and were also used to overcame skills shortages and illiteracy while upgrading low skilled people into competent assembly plant workers. These industrial "Recipes" engineers referrer to as "process engineering", can equally be used to overcome skill deficits and illiteracy in labour intensive factories, placed within township and rural communities.

In the mid 1990’s, Siemens assisted GWD to adapt their cybernetic telemedicine systems to reinforce the Blue Prints manufacturing business plan, enabling factory development to extend into informal township and rural villages. This coupled to technikons who provide the initial training, can present a platform similar to the one used by telemedicine but this new techno-system will facilitate a small group of manufacturing business specialists to maintain in real-time, the engineering and business plans, as workers work, earn and learn their respective manufacturing and management tasks.

This new telemanagement, problem solving tool, work in much the same way as a doctor examines and prescribes remedies or reports on x-rays from a remote televised point, or provides surgery skills and procedures from a different country from where the locally based surgery is being performed. This recently happened in South Africa where a surgeon in the US, guided local surgeons during an operation through a new operating procedure, in other words he was transferring skills, audio-visually through IT systems to the site of operation.

This system provides the practical means to allow low skilled people and communities to work and earn while learning business skills, so they can ultimately run and manage their own factories, management systems and engineering R&D.

At this point we stress that there is no difference in transferring medical skills and managing patient health problems, to transferring manufacturing skills and managing factory problems through the systems Siemens used to develop and provide telemedicine. In this regard the Minister of Science & Technology requested his Engineering Advisor to evaluate the possibility of modifying telemedicine systems and procedures to provide and sustain small labour-intensive industry in low skilled, township and rural villages, as proposed in the Blue Print.

After the GWD demonstration, and the resulting CSIR report the Minister confirmed that this modified telemedicine systems, could be adapted to provide remote factory management, problem-solving and skills transfer, maintaining the business plan while workers-owners, work, earn and learn their respective tasks. Soon after the Minister conceded that this plan would work and provide jobs SACOB was invited to examine the business plan, but as they admitted, they were unable to fault it and the Vice Principal – PE Technikon; Prof. Brian Wells openly supported the development of the Blue Print

Although the CSIR, Government and SACOB acknowledged that the engineering business plan will work, the Minister of the Department of Science and Technology stated that it should be piloted, but indicated his department did not have the funds to develop a pilot. This pilot could provide the vehicle and entry point to kick-start the delivery of the 2.5million jobs, targeted at the recent Growth and Development Summit.

We have provided a very brief view of the engineering platform required to develop a second tier of labour intensive manufacturing. Now we discuss this platform in more detail with the view to address conflicting and confusing reports on the Blue Print from government, business and labour and provide a possible reason for their rejection.

The red graphics on the screen illustrates how automobiles are planned, designed, developed and then manufactured. Everyone will agree that to the left of the Dividing Line is engineering responsibility and without specialized technical knowledge of Automobile design and manufacture, non-technical leadership would not be able to evaluate the effectiveness of engineering systems and procedures that bring about 40million cars annually. However to the right of the Dividing Line is the business side, where economists would be able to evaluate the influence cars have on markets and society.












Similarly if the product is changed from cars to houses the conditions will remain the same and all those processes to left of the Dividing Line are of engineering’s responsibility, while to the right is the business, socio-economic side. The Dividing Line












Therefore for manufacturing in general, it can be said that activities to the left of the dividing line are engineering’s responsibility, while everything to the right of the dividing line is the domain of businessmen and economists. The Dividing Line




From the examples we can begin to comprehend why over many years the Dti, business and labour have not been able to provide meaningful assessments to a plan that teaches communities to manufacture their own homes, schools and community buildings and through this processes, change low skilled communities into manufacturing literate ones, capable of developing into sustainable general manufacturing from this initial experience of manufacturing buildings.

Therefore, the simple reason for their failure, is that the Blue Print is to the left of the Dividing Line, while leadership who are generally trained in arts and commercial departments, and trained to evaluate the consequences, rather than the engineering development of manufacturing. In other words, leadership is trying to evaluate the BP as if it is to the right of the Dividing line. I.e. the consequences of the engineering plan, rather than as the graphics demonstrates, the development of a engineering plan to provide general manufacture within labour intensive factories, which even engineers cannot evaluate, without developing a pilot.





The Blue Print is in the Red Line Enclosure






After our previous address to the Select Committee we copied our address to the following: -

The SA Academy of Engineering and requested their comments on the engineering business plan and the possibility of assisting the Select Committee and or NACI in evaluating the potential of the Blue Print.

Minister Erwin to provide the Select Committee copies on the numerous evaluations undertaken by the Dti since 1995.

Business South Africa who were requested to comment on the business plan.

The Trade Unions were canvassed to support developing a practical solution to poverty and joblessness, nationally.

Nedlac with a request to review the plan.

The results of these requests are as follows.

  1. The South African Academy of Engineering replied that they accepted the technologies underpinning the plan and would be prepared to assist the Select Committee and or NACI in assessing the Blue Print.
  2. Minister Erwin did not reply.
  3. However the Dti used a negative report on the Blue Print from Prof Eddie Webster head of the Sociology of Work Unit, University of the Witwatersrand dated 1996, to convince Prof Wiseman Nkuhlu in 2001 that his claim that the Blue Print would revolutionizes governments thinking on poverty and joblessness was wrong. Prof. Webster has indicated that he will revise his negative report to government to one of support. His new report and the economic development of the Blue Print using Labour intensive factories and Stokvels as a base will be part of the address to the National Advisory Council on innovation that the Presidency requested. This we believe vindicates Prof. Nkuhlu first assessment of the Blue Print.

  4. The CEO of Business SA did not reply
  5. Cosatu, Numsa, and Fedusa did not reply
  6. Nedlac replied telephonically stating that Nedlac could not discuss a practical solution to poverty and joblessness as engineering was not a member of Nedlac.

We believe that the silence from leadership is a tacit acknowledgement that they, like engineers are not able to evaluate the plan without a pilot. Therefore to answer the question, why has leadership not adopted the Blue Print, the answer from the above is simple. They do not have the engineering skills to evaluate it and make informed decision about it, just as they have not had the engineering skills to provide development at the low skills level through Nedlac, Gear and two Job Summits.

Similarly, during the 1960’s, local leadership generally did not have the engineering skills to develop local component manufacturing factories, without the assistance provided by the American automobile manufacturers. It was they who transferred the engineering systems, procedures and products into to the local component factories, enabling them to perform and supply components to international standards.

It is these technologies, techniques and industrial management systems developed from experience in developing local automobile component manufacture and the design and development of the Cortina Pick-Up, in the 1960’s & 70’s that are imbedded into the Blue Print.

We will come back to this point, but now must address a point that has repeatedly cropped up since 1995, in discussions with the Department of Housing. This is in regard to the manufacture of housing, as the catalyst to develop labour intensive manufacturing at township and rural village involvement. Members from the construction industry and officials from the Department of Housing, who often come from the construction industry, have objected to the manufacture of house and classrooms, claiming that Black people will not purchase these manufactured houses.

Since 1984, all market analysis has demonstrated that these claims are false and based upon self-fulfilling questioning and argument with a view of keeping construction interests dominant. The Senior Architect of Anglo America Corporation supported our view, that if job creation was to be addressed through housing, delivery methods had to be changed to prefabrication. (See Attachment). So as a number of officials in the Department of Housing, including Ms Botha, DA representative in this Select Committee, have expressed negative views towards the manufacture of houses, we provide the Select Committee with a comparison sheet and ask the Department of Housing, Ms Botha and all those favouring brick construction at the exclusion of manufacturing, to comment on the following.

See Attachment No 1

This attachment concerning Construction verses the Manufacture of Houses and GWD argues the case for manufacturing houses under the following three headings and they are:

1. False Perceptions Propagated by the Construction Industry Concerning the Manufacture of Buildings

2. Perceptions that the Construction industry actually develops sustainable jobs and markets.

3. The Construction Industry Reinforces Poverty, whereas the Manufacture Industry can Free Communities from the Poverty Trap.

We believe that in order to make progress it is essential that the Department of housing and Ms Botha comment on the points made in Attachment..

Apart from presenting this argument to the Department of Housing on a number of occasions answer since 1995 without them replying, it was also presented to a university school of engineering, a technikon and the Academy of Engineering. None of these bodies have challenged the argument for using the manufacture of housing as a catalyst to kick-start labour intensive manufacturing. This route would make the Departments of Housing and Labour the driving force in poverty alleviation through sustainable job creation.

Note. The Blue Print has always suggested that manufacturing and construction house delivery methods should have an equal opportunity so that communities could chose between brick built homes coupled to no sustainable economic development from their delivery, or chose manufactured houses that provide sustainable employment and long term growth, enabling communities to free themselves from the poverty trap.

We can wrangle and argue on and on for we would be surprised if the Department of Housing and Ms Botha were able to negate the rational for manufactured housing detailed in the addendum. Therefore the best way forward is to demonstrate the superiority of the manufacturing plan over current construction methods, is through developing a replicable pilot and not through some assessment by economic experts who’s lack of engineering expertize precludes them from making large scale complex evaluations, without engineering involvement.

With this in mind, reviewing the causes underpinning the failure to address joblessness over the past nine years, the recent Job Summit continues the line of failure as it has failed to take cognisance that high tech, capital intensive robotic manufacture creates jobless production for global export products favouring Gear and through this, failed to provide practical business plans to marry labour and local raw products through labour intensive manufacturing. This method would provide long-term growth and development where poverty is rampant and could form the platform to develop the 2.5 million jobs.

The Blue Print only requires a small initial investment to develop a replicable pilot, from which factories can be developed and replicated through IDC loans, then repaid via intensive down streaming of locally manufactured products. This method of job creation teaches people to explore the comparative advantage, firstly in the local then global economy, which in turn brings a sense of pride in ownership and dignity from the fruits of their own efforts. All of this positively impacts on the human psyche, stimulating creativity and innovation. This human stimulation, coupled to the ability to R&D economic product, beneficiating local raw materials will provide the creative human force that can overcome the negative forces surrounding poverty, which debilitate Africa’s people.

We have demonstrated that leadership’s present methods cannot overcome these negative forces surrounding and causing poverty, therefore for South Africa and Africa to address poverty and free its people, it must go the route that the USA took by developing NASA. It must approach the complexities surrounding poverty through a NASA like structure. And like the US, mobilize science and engineering to provide solutions that enable Nedlac and Gear to emerge from its present helpless state, to one where economic development can take place in the township and rural village level and the Blue Print Pilot is where this solution can start.















Pilot Development

Estimated Cost, Timing & Validation Details over Three Years

Main Pilot & Systems Development Market Integration Pilot

R7,000,000.00 + R3,000,000.00 + R10,000,000.00

































In the two addresses to the Select Committee on Labour and Public Enterprises we have demonstrated that in order to address poverty and turn the tide on burgeoning joblessness, engineering will have to develop a second tier of industry that can provide long term economic growth and employment in townships and rural villages. We also demonstrated that brick construction methods of house delivery, does not develop economically sustainable communities and in fact sustains poverty. We then showed that engineering has the ability, through existing local, tried and tested systems and technologies, to develop a platform that can provide economic development at the local level, through the manufacturing process and by initially communities manufacturing houses and schools, this process can start nationally.

We have highlighted solutions at Mondragon Spain and China that used similar engineered platforms and were able to grow Township and Village Enterprises (TVE’s) in China at a phenomenal 30% per annum for over 20 years, through worker owned manufacturing and agriculture. After twenty years this local labour intensive, industrial tier, provided 129million Jobs (Harvard Bus. School Report No 9-798-066).

We as engineers have pointed out the way to bring Africa out of poverty and address joblessness on large scales. It is now up to the politicians to show the will to take this new way forward by supporting the development of a Pilot that can demonstrate how to economically empower low-skilled people at the Micro-economic level.