More than 8 500 jobs are expected to be created through the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ), and up to 70% of those jobs will go to local residents of Mamelodi and surrounding areas in Pretoria.
This came out at a briefing on progress in the development of the SEZ.
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola and Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, received the briefing, at the Ford Motor Company headquarters in Silverton, Pretoria, on Tuesday.
The Tshwane Automotive SEZ was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November last year. The SEZ is situated in Silverton near Mamelodi and Nellmapius townships, and is adjacent to the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) plant.
It will act as an automotive component supplier industrial park and will support FMCSA’s ambition to become the world’s largest Ford Ranger pick-up plant.
On Tuesday, the Director-General of the Department of Trade Industry and Competition, (the dtic) Lionel October, revealed that all plans are on track to finish all construction work by June next year.
“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. The involvement of Ford Company as a key partner in the project is a massive confidence boost for South Africa,” he said.
Government has prioritised supporting, developing and expanding the SEZ Programme because it plays a key role in driving the new Industrial Strategy, which is aimed at reigniting economic activity and unleashing private investment in sectors with high growth potential, including the automotive sector.
It is expected that the Tshwane Automotive SEZ will positively contribute to South Africa’s industrial strategy, by attracting automotive components manufacturing companies and related services.
Majola said the SEZ was a key launch pad towards developing Tshwane as the first Automotive City in the African continent.
“We are very excited that the development of the SEZ will be done through the District Development Model. This will enable us to measure the impact of our efforts in the communities correctly. We are also 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,” added Majola.
An estimated R25 million of the project funds has been set aside for training, mentorship and support for local Small Medium and Micro Enteprises (SMMEs).
Image: Deputy Minister Fikile Majola and Gauteng Premier, David Makhura are briefed on site at the construction of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone at Ford Motors Company in Silverton, Pretoria.