Progress made at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) is impressive, says Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola.

Majola and Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Parks Tau on Tuesday visited the TASEZ to evaluate progress made so far in the construction. President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the project in 2019.

Speaking during a walkabout at the construction site, Majola said he is impressed with the progress made so far.

“What we are seeing here is amazing. Ford told us that what is happening here has not been done elsewhere,” Majola said. The Deputy Minister first visited the site in November 2020 when construction was still at an early stage.

According to Majola, about 70% of work has been done.

The SEZ has to date created numerous jobs and opened up development opportunities for the local community in its construction phase. To date, about 6 000 job opportunities have been created for local communities.

Although construction is still underway, production has started in some areas.

Earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook an oversight visit to the site.

He tracked progress made at the site 14 months after the sod-turning event of the R3.4 billion joint investment by government and Ford Motor Company, which established the first automotive incubation centre adjacent to the special economic xone. The automotive hub is an expansion of the OR Tambo International Airport Special Economic Zone.

The TASEZ fulfils the District Development Model objective of co-ordinated development and economic opportunities in local areas. It also focuses on attracting foreign direct investment and growing exports of value-added commodities.

In line with the South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan’s priorities of accelerating economic reforms, reindustrialising the economy and creating jobs through aggressive infrastructure investment, industrial parks and Special Economic Zones are rebuilding the country’s manufacturing capacity.

As a direct result of the President’s investment drive, it unlocked a R15.8 billion investment injection into South Africa from Ford Motor Company with a further R4.3bn investment from automotive components suppliers located in the SEZ.

Upon completion the zone will house a number of component manufacturers and logistics providers that will supply parts and services to Ford.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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