President Cyril Ramaphosa, accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel, right, and Gauteng premier David Makhura at at the Ford Motor Company in Silverton, Pretoria. Picture: GCIS

Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially launched the Tshwane Automotive Hub at the Ford Motor Company in Silverton, Pretoria. 

He was accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel, and Gauteng premier David Makhura. 

This special economic zone is expected to help attract new automotive component manufacturers while strengthening Tshwane’s position as an automotive city. 

Aside from Ford in the east, Tshwane has BMW and Nissan/Renault and Tata in the north, and the Tshwane Automotive City (TAC) concept aims to transform the city and boost the Gauteng economy.

The hub is an outcome of the SA Investment Conference held last year, when a pledge was made to invest in the Automotive Master Development Plan 2035. 

Ford SA is the anchor tenant of the new Hub which, it is estimated, has potential to create more than 5000 jobs once fully operational.

The Hub is also expected to lead to many other business opportunities, such as for component manufacturers, in the surrounding areas of Silverton, Eersterust and Mamelodi. 

Ford announced earlier that it was adding a third shift to its assembly operation from August to increase production of the popular Ranger pickup truck (bakkie) from 506 vehicles to a peak of 720 a day for the local and export market. 

This shift added more than 1000 jobs along the value chain, it said.

The Automotive Hub is part of the expansion of the OR Tambo International Airport Special Economic Zone and is developed through a joint partnership between Tshwane, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Department of Trade and Industry. - Staff Reporter

Pretoria News