President Ramaphosa has launched Tshwane Automotive Hub on Tuesday, 05 November 2019. The Automotive Hub is an outcome of the SA investment conference held in October 2018 where the Automotive Industry pledged investment, transformation and localisation in fulfillment of commitments in the Automotive Master Development Plan 2035.
The Tshwane Automotive hub is expected to help the country attract new automotive component manufacturers, while also strengthening the City of Tshwane’s positioning as an automotive city.
Ford SA will be the anchor tenant of the Hub, crowding in new investments and localisation opportunities for component manufacturers. It is estimated that the Hub has the potential to create more than 5 000 jobs once fully operational. It is also estimated that the Hub will result in a number of new business opportunities to nearby communities such as Eesterust, Moretele View, Nellmapius and Mamelodi.
The automotive hub, which is part of the expansion of the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) Special Economic Zone (SEZ), will be developed through a joint partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry, Gauteng Provincial Government and the City of Tshwane.
Broadly, Special Economic Zones are an initiative of the South African government, aimed at repositioning the country in the world economy and have become global tools for social and economic transformation, resulting in exponential growth when deployed. The programme’s main focus is to attract foreign direct investment and grow exports of value-added commodities.
Among key objectives of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ are:
Developing infrastructure required to support the growth of industrial activities,
Attracting foreign and domestic direct investment,
Promoting regional economic development,
broadening the economic participation of Small, Micro and Medium Enterprises and cooperatives.
Speaking from the site of the hub, Ramaphosa hailed the development as important to the economy, as the country works to attract investment to jumpstart the sluggish economic growth. He said the development will not only be a “catalyst for growth, but will also bring jobs and support local industries”.
“South Africa is still proving to be an attractive investment destination,” he said, adding that the development will help address the twin challenges of low growth and unemployment.
The project comes as government is engaged in efforts to drive investment into the country, with Ramaphosa set to open the second Investment Summit, in a bid to lure capital into the country.