East London gets R1bn smart factory
A FACTORY worth R1-billion, which will create jobs and innovative technology, was launched at the East London Industrial Development Zone’ on Tuesday.
The 28 000m² state-of-the-art smart factory resides within a customs controlled area , a short five minutes from the East London Airport and 10 minutes from the port.
Yekani Group chief executive Dr Siphiwe Cele tied the launch to Youth Month, saying the company was reaffirming its commitment to investing in the youth.
Yekani Manufacturing (Pty) Ltd is a 100% black-owned information and communications technology company.
“Our new home is a stronghold, where young people’s brilliance will be nurtured with an ultimate objective of forming a pool of entrepreneurs within this group,” Cele said.
“We want the world to know that Africans are capable of pioneering new technology and at Yekani, we [believe] that our strength lies within our biggest asset – our people,” he said.
The technology facility, which is estimated at creating 1000 jobs, is also aimed at improving the quality of education throughout South Africa.
Cele said Yekani Technology, with the help of its sister company Yekani Manufacturing, manufactures and supplies devices purpose built for education.
It is aimed at enhancing the 21st century classroom experience for both teachers and students to improve the standard of education.
“Two years ago, the department of education in Gauteng introduced a five-year paperless e-learning classroom initiative in township schools and those with a 100% pass rate in last year's matric finals received brand new tablets.
“The department led by the MEC Panyaza Lesufi entered into a partnership with one of Yekani’s local resellers to provide the tablets to the selected township-based schools,” Cele said.
“We are happy to have played our part in this education initiative – a project aimed at improving learning for students by providing digital textbooks and past papers.
“We believe that this new home will allow us to showcase our capability, flexibility, expertise and quality as well as contribution to the development of the manufacturing industry, not only in the country but also in the African continent,” Cele said.