President Cyril Ramaphosa at the launch of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/African News Agency (ANA)

PRETORIA - The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone launched on Tuesday is a significant step towards an ambitious R10 billion investment target this financial year for South Africa’s capital city, mayor Stevens Mokgalapa said.

“I’m looking forward to exceeding this target significantly so residents can enjoy the full benefit of economic activities that create jobs and improve their quality of life,” Mokgalapa said at the launch at Ford Motor Company in Silverton, Pretoria.

“The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone will assist in driving Tshwane into a leading automotive investment destination and provide an array of job creation, skills development and small business opportunities.”

Mokgalapa said Tshwane municipality aimed to build a high-growth economy “where all its people will be able to fulfill their true potential”.

"Dignity is strongly linked to being able to work. Having a vested interest in this automotive park, the city has also ensured that it’s prioritised and fast-tracked through the STRIC (Tshwane Strategic Investment Committee) process that identifies strategic service delivery projects,” he said.

Tshwane was committed to fostering closer relationships with all spheres of government and critical stakeholders in order to position itself as an ideal investment destination, the mayor added.

President Cyril Ramaphosa with government officials including Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Tshwane Mayor Stevens Mokgalapa at the launch of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone. PHOTO: Jonisayi Maromo/African News Agency (ANA)

"Today demonstrates just that, a working partnership amongst all three spheres of government, private sector, labour and the community working in unison. I am humbled and excited to be part of this ground-breaking event,” said Mokgalapa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa was set to deliver the keynote address at the official launch of the hub.

The automotive hub is an outcome of last year's investment conference where the automotive industry pledged investment, transformation and localisation in fulfillment of commitments carried in the Automotive Master Development Plan 2035, the presidency said.

Ford SA will be the anchor tenant of the hub, crowding in new investments and localisation opportunities for component manufacturers. 

The Hub has the potential to create more than 6,000 jobs once fully operational and it is expected to yield new business opportunities for nearby communities such as Eesterust, Moretele View, Nellmapius and Mamelodi.

The Tshwane automotive hub, which is part of the expansion of the OR Tambo International Airport special economic zone, will be developed through a joint partnership between the department of trade and industry, the Gauteng provincial government and the City of Tshwane.

- African News Agency (ANA)