PRESIDENT CYRIL RAMAPHOSA LAUNCHES AFRICA’S FIRST AUTOMOTIVE SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE (SEZ) IN GAUTENG
The Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), a wholly owned subsidiary company of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, has been tasked to deliver Africa’s first Automotive City project on behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Government, the Tshwane Automotive City(TAC).
As a sub-project of the TAC programme, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially launched the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) on Tuesday, 05 November 2019. This follows the application from the Gauteng Provincial Government to the Minister of the Department of Trade and Industry for the expansion of OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) SEZ License to incorporate the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone.
AIDC in conjunction with Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) developed a mixed used spatial development plan with a design ethos of being a productive city, living city and green city. AIDC is the designated Operator of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone, therefore responsible for the implementation of the project from the design phase to operational phase.
Chief Executive Officer for the AIDC Mr. Lance Schultz says “the AIDC’s aim is to ensure that planned investment for ‘Phase 1’ meet government’s objectives and Ford Motor Company’s suppliers that will be part of the pilot phase.
The AIDC has a proven track record in establishing supplier parks, having been the project lead in the establishment of the Automotive Supplier Park (ASP) situated in Rosslyn. The ASP was a first of its kind automotive supplier park in Africa and houses a tenant pool comprising of component manufacturers and suppliers to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). The Tshwane Automotive SEZ is set to follow a similar model built in phases over 162 hectares of land provided by the City of Tshwane. The total production impact of the development would be R43,8 billion during construction. The first phase of Tshwane Automotive SEZ is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.
The AIDC is mandated to support the local automotive industry to become globally competitive and bolster Gauteng’s position as an automotive destination of choice. As at the time of the groundbreaking launch, the AIDC had engaged 18 companies to occupy the Tshwane Automotive SEZ and nine had already confirmed to set up facilities by January 2021.
The Tshwane Automotive SEZ is ideally located adjacent to Ford Motor Company (FMCSA) in Silverton, which is planning for a large increase in production volume. At the groundbreaking launch of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ, Gauteng Premier Mr. David said “This Ford SA investment will help us strengthen the position of South Africa as the manufacturing hub of our continent”
Job Creation and local economic development
The Tshwane Automotive SEZ seeks to promote regional economic development and create decent work; economic as well as social benefits for the Tshwane North locale. The first phase of the developed alone will create 6 700 direct jobs. Mr. Schultz says one of the key objectives of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ is “to create opportunities for new suppliers, SMMEs, component manufacturers and Black Industrialists.” Local communities will benefit greatly from these opportunities. The communities include Mamelodi, Eersterus, Silverton, Nellmapius and their surrounding areas.