DURBAN - The almost R500 million investment by Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) in the expansion of its minibus taxi manufacturing plant in Durban is another "vote of confidence" in the capability of the South African automotive industry and the KwaZulu-Natal economy, Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel said on Sunday.
Patel launched the plant in Durban this past week. The expansion is part of the Toyota South Africa Motors Hiace Ses’filikile plant.
"Manufacturing is the largest contributor to economic output in the province, supporting more than 350,000 direct jobs," Patel said in a statement issued by the trade and industry department (dti) on Sunday.
Patel encouraged the automotive industry to prioritise local production of vehicles in line with the automotive master plan and to look at electric and hybrid vehicles in future expansion plans.
“Last year, government and stakeholders adopted an automotive master plan, aiming to achieve one percent of global vehicle production by 2035 (increase from current 600,000 units to almost 1.4 million units a year) and increase Iocal content from current 39 percent to 60 percent. The master plan is targetting to double employment in the value chain from current levels to about 240,000 and also to achieve at least level 4 BEE status from 2021,” Patel said.