Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – Trade and Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel on Monday welcomed the R1.2 billion investment announced by Isuzu.

"This announcement by Isuzu comes after last week’s South African Investment Conference at which investment pledges of R363 billion were made. This adds a further R1.2 billion to the what was announced last week, bringing new investment pledges made by businesses this month to just above R364 billion," said Patel.

Patel had a meeting with the senior leadership of Isuzu during a recent visit to Japan.

He said that the investment showed confidence in South Africa's economic growth potential and will help to secure more than 1 000 direct jobs at the plant.

Patel said that the South African Automotive Master Plan, which was developed in partnership between government and industry, provides a good basis for companies to plan and gives policy certainty on which investment decisions can be made.

"During my discussions with the Isuzu executive leadership in Japan recently, we shared perspectives on the opportunities that will come from the African Continental Free Trade Agreement," Patel said. 

"I am pleased that Isuzu will expand its exports to other African countries, using the local manufacturing platform. This will deepen our industrialisation drive. It will boost the Eastern Cape economy and consolidate Isuzu’s presence in the local and Continental market."

He said that the partnership between SA and Japan has expanded since the signing of the Strategic Co-operation Partnership in 2011, which aims to strengthen and deepen bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.

African News Agency (ANA)