Ford SA Helping Establish Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa is teaming with government entities to help establish the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone near its Silverton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Pretoria. The new venture was announced earlier this month by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and aims to create jobs and opportunity in the region.
According to Managing Director of FMCSA Neale Hill, the establishment of the SEZ is the result of five years of collaboration between the automaker and local, provincial, and national government. Neale credits the Department of Trade and Industry as being an especially vital piece of the puzzle, as it oversees the whole of 10 SEZs in South Africa and is the key stakeholder in the project.
In addition to the Department of Trade and Industry, Ford worked closely with the government of the Gauteng Province, the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, and the Automotive Industry Development Center at a provincial level and the City of Tshwane and Tshwane Economic Development Agency at a local level.
“The public-private partnership between all three spheres of government and the private sector is crucial in order to drive growth in the automotive industry, to create more jobs, and to boost the economy,” said Hill. “The government’s new region-based model for special economic zones is an important new tool to attract domestic and international investment, which will help businesses to become more competitive on a global scale.”
The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone is expected to roll out in several stages. Currently, construction is underway on a 200-acre development with the final product expected to cover 400 acres. Ockert Berry, the vice president of operations for Ford Middle East and Africa, says that nine supplier companies have expressed interest in investing in the development of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ.
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