President Cyril Ramaphosa says 6,700 direct jobs will be created during Phase One of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone which was launched on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa, accompanied by trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel, Gauteng premier David Makhura, Tshwane mayor Stevens Mokgalapa and officials from Ford Motors, participated in a sod-turning ceremony in Silverton, east of Pretoria, on Tuesday.
Ramaphosa, who delivered the keynote address, said he was filled with pride to announce what would be achieved through the special economic zone.
“I am pleased to note that the 18 companies that have been engaged to set up operations in this special economic zone are already revving their engines and are rearing to go; with nine already confirmed to set up factories here by January 2021,” Ramaphosa said. ” The projected investment amounts to approximately R3.6bn, and a potential 6,700 direct jobs will be created.
The launch comes as Ramaphosa is about to launch his second investment conference which takes place at the Sandton Convention centre on Wednesday. Ford Motor Company, which is driving the development of the Tshwane zone, said it had already made a R11bn investment in South Africa since 2009.
Neale Hill, Ford Motor Company CEO, said: “We aim to contribute towards the 1% objective of global vehicle production in South Africa, and we will strive to achieve the 60% local content target by 2035. Through this initiative, we are taking a significant leap forward towards supporting the South African Automotive vision.”
Hill said Ford South Africa is already a centre of excellence for the Ford Ranger pickup, which is assembled in Silverton. “It is sold locally and exported to well over 100 markets around the world,” Hill said.