President Cyril Ramaphosa tours the Mara smartphone factory with The Mara Group Chief Executive Ashish Thakkar and the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
Photo: Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa tours the Mara smartphone factory with The Mara Group Chief Executive Ashish Thakkar and the Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Photo: Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa with The Mara Group Chief Executive Ashish Thakkar at the launch of the Mara smartphone plant at the Dube TradePort. 
Photo: Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)
President Cyril Ramaphosa with The Mara Group Chief Executive Ashish Thakkar at the launch of the Mara smartphone plant at the Dube TradePort. Photo: Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)
Employees at the Mara smartphone plant at work. 
Photo: Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)
Employees at the Mara smartphone plant at work. Photo: Siyabulela Duda (GCIS)
Members of the business community meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa (left), the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel (right) at an event organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 
Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the business community meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa (left), the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel (right) at an event organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the business community met with President Cyril Ramaphosa at an event organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 
Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the business community met with President Cyril Ramaphosa at an event organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the business community meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa (centre), the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel (right) and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala (left) at an event organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)
Members of the business community meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa (centre), the Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel (right) and the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Sihle Zikalala (left) at an event organised by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

DURBAN – President Cyril Ramaphosa has been on a tour of KwaZulu-Natal where he launched the Mara smartphone plant and met with members of the KZN business community. 

Ramaphosa described the Mara Phones plant as a great moment in South Africa's drive to be a producer of goods.

"The highlight of my visit is the Mara smartphone plant. At the investment conference, the chief executive of Mara Phones Ashish Thakkar was willing to set up the factory at the Dube TradePort. The smartphone plant is an outstanding world-class facility. The facility is equal or even better than smartphone factories. With the launch of the smartphone factory we have made history. The launch of the plant shows that South Africa is indeed a place where people should invest," said Ramaphosa.

Mara Phones will have an initial workforce of 313 in year one but plans to increase its staff complement to 1 369 in the next five years.

At the moment, the plant has 200 formerly unemployed engineering graduates, 66 percent of whom are women and 92 percent youth.

Ramaphosa also met with members of the KwaZulu-Natal business community at a business meeting hosted by the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

At the meeting the business community discussed the issues that they were facing including the Durban port, Transnet, Eskom and the sugar industry.  

In his address the president said that the issues of Eskom will be spoken about at the upcoming Medium Term Budget Policy Speech which is set to take place later this month.  

According to the president, the MTBPS will discuss the future of Eskom and deal with a number of Eskom related issues such as debt.

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