Port Elizabeth – The construction of a $100 million state-of-the-art truck and passenger car plant in the Eastern Cape will see nearly 7 000 jobs being created.
The multi-million dollar investment by Chinese vehicle manufacturer First Automobile Works (FAW) in a plant that will be built at the Coega IDZ outside Port Elizabeth has been hailed as a success for government which has been attempting to attract foreign automotive investment into the country.
“This is a big accomplishment for the Eastern Cape and has the potential to create hundreds of new permanent jobs in the province, contributing to the strengthening the province’s economy,” said Economic Development MEC Mcebisi Jonas on Tuesday.
He said the commitment by FAW to build the plant in South Africa came about following a number of top-level meetings between FAW’s executives and government representatives, including President Jacob Zuma, Coega Development Corporation (CDC) CEO Pepi Silinga,
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Nelson Mandela Bay Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile.
“It’s expected that negotiations will be concluded towards the end of February next year, followed by the signing of an agreement at Coega. Construction will start shortly after the signing of the contract,” added Jonas.
He said FAW’s decision to build the plant in South Africa was significant as it will be one of the biggest manufacturing investments by a Chinese entity in the country so far, adding the name of yet another original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to the existing list of assemblers in the province, which includes Volkswagen, General Motors and Mercedes Benz.
The plant will be built on 400 000 square meters of land and is expected to produce 5 000 trucks annually, as well as light commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
“The truck assembling facility is expected to create 400 to 500 jobs, with more jobs being created when FAW start producing an additional 30 000 passenger vehicles annually,” said Jonas.
He said FAW’s decision was prompted by Coega’s location, the proximity to the port of Ngqura, logistical solutions on offer, the availability of skills in the metro and support mechanisms offered by the CDC.
Source:- BuaNews – Thando Cezula 30 Nov 2011