Financial Mail

EAST LONDON IDZ Cars and more


The East London industrial developmen­t zone (ELIDZ), along with the Coega IDZ, showcases the strategic importance of SA’s automotive production and developmen­t programme.

This intends to boost motor vehicle production to 1,2m units a year by 2020 and to deepen the domestic components manufactur­ing industry.

Mercedes-Benz SA recently invested R5,4bn to upgrade its assembly facility in East London, boosting investor confidence with the launch of the new-generation CClass sedan.

This has attracted additional operators in the ELIDZ automotive supplier park, leading to new jobs and skills transfer.

The ELIDZ wants to set up a multi-brand car assembly plant by 2017 but is not saying who the contenders are. It would bring in original equipment manufactur­ers for car brands not already made in SA.

ELIDZ corporate communicat­ions manager Ayanda Ramncwana says the zone’s private sector investment reached a total of R4,4bn at the end of the 2013/2014 financial year, more than 80% of it attributab­le to foreign direct investment.

She says the total number of secured investors in the zone has grown to 38. The bulk of these have started operating in the past 12 months.

Direct manufactur­ing and related services jobs in the zone have grown from 2 497 in 2012/2013 to 2 992 at the end of 2013/2014. An additional 1 659 jobs have been pledged by investors, and these will be realised in the next 18-24 months, Ramncwana adds.

A total of 1 571 direct constructi­on-related jobs were created in the past year.

“Investor confidence continues to grow

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