PRETORIA - South Africa’s new Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone will create more than 8500 jobs, with up to 70 percent going to local residents in Mamelodi and surrounding areas, the department of trade, industry and competition said late on Tuesday.
The department said this in a statement after Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Fikile Majola and Gauteng province Premier David Makhura received an update on the development of the zone at the Ford Motor Company headquarters in the capital Pretoria earlier in the day.
President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the zone last November and it will act as an automotive component supplier industrial park, supporting Ford South Africa’s ambition to become the world’s largest Ford Ranger pick-up plant.
Plans are on track to finish all construction work by next June, director-general of the trade department Lionel October said.
“This project is a game changer and very strategic for all three tiers of government, the City of Tshwane, the Gauteng provincial government and national government,” he said.
“The involvement of Ford Company as a key partner in the project is a massive confidence boost for South Africa.”
The government says its special economic zones programme is key to driving the country’s new industrial strategy, aimed at reigniting the ailing economic and unleashing private investment in sectors with high growth potential, including the automotive sector.
“We are … happy that in this project, government’s localisation policy imperatives have been surpassed and currently 45 percent local businesses have been empowered in the construction phase,” Majola said.
An estimated R25 million (US$1.5 million) of the project funds has been set aside for the training, mentorship and support for local small, medium and micro enteprises.
African News Agency (ANA)