Cre­at­ing jobs for KZN youth

Vuk'uzenzele - - General - Hlengiwe Ngob­ese

A PRI­VATE PUB­LIC part­ner­ship will see young peo­ple re­ceiv­ing skills in ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion.

Twenty-five young peo­ple from KwaZulu-Natal are set to ben­e­fit from a new R95 mil­lion Mahin­dra plant which will man­u­fac­ture a new range of dou­ble cab bakkies called Pik Up on the out­skirts of Dur­ban.

The staff re­ceived train­ing in part­ner­ship with global Mahin­dra and Mahin­dra group and AIH lo­gis­tics. They will be sent to In­dia for fur­ther train­ing where re­quired.

The trial pro­duc­tion of the fa­cil­ity is un­der­way with an es­ti­mated 2 000 ve­hi­cles planned to be pro­duced an­nu­ally, even­tu­ally lead­ing to 4 000 ve­hi­cles rolling off the assem­bly lines a year.

"The in­vest­ment is good for busi­ness con­fi­dence. lt con­tin­ues to show that KwaZulu-Natal is a con­ducive place for in­vestors. lt also sends a mes­sage to those who re­main re­luc­tant that Dur­ban is a place to con­sider when it comes to in­vest­ment," said MEC for Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Tour­sim and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs Sihle Zikalala.

He said the ini­tial em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties gen­er­ated in this enterprise would con­trib­ute to the ex­pan­sion of the skills base in the prov­ince.

One of the em­ploy­ees is engi­neer­ing grad­u­ate Sthem­biso Mthembu who said he is very happy to have a job.

"I have been sit­ting a home for a year with­out get­ting any em­ploy­ment. This op­por­tu­nity has helped me to pro­vide for my­self and fam­ily. Although l have a mechanical engi­neer­ing de­gree l didn't know much about as­sem­bling a car. The train­ing they gave us helped us to gain con­fi­dence and ex­per­tise," he said.

Mahin­dra's Chief of In­ter­na­tional Op­er­a­tions Arvind Matthew said the com­pany aims to source 40 per­cent of the com­po­nents for the Pik Up bakkie from lo­cal sup­pli­ers.

"The assem­bly of the Pik Up is the first step in our long-term plan that will see us in­crease em­ploy­ment and lo­cal sourc­ing in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.

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