President Cyril Ramaphosa is on Tuesday expected to attend the launch of two multi-billion rand investments in KwaZulu-Natal, which were pledged during investment summits.
The first is the launch of a new automotive component plant at KwaDukuza north of Durban, while the other entails a R 7.7 billion expansion of the Sappi Saicor paper mill at Umkomaas on the South Coast.
The Sappi mill will expand the company’s production of dissolving wood pulp, which is used to manufacture synthetic textiles.
Sappi says there is a growing global demand for environmentally friendly material in the textile sector.
Sappi first announced its upgrade and expansion project for Saiccor Mill at the South Africa Investment Conference in 2018, answering Ramaphosa’s call for investment into the South African economy by domestic and international companies.
The R7,7 billion Sappi Saiccor upgrade and expansion project is aimed at increasing the capacity and global competitiveness of Sappi Saiccor Mill while also creating employment opportunities in the short and long term.
Work first commenced on the expansion project in 2018 but construction ceased for a period in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Sappi Saiccor Mill is a major role player in KwaZulu-Natal, contributing over R6.7 billion annually to the local economy.
The mill employs more than 1 200 staff and 700 contractors.
Sappi’s KwaZulu-Natal operations comprising three mills, forestry operations and sales and export services contribute R12 billion per annum to the provincial economy. This number rises to R60 billion per annum when reflecting indirect benefits.
Vehicle wiring systems
The new 35 000 hectare plant at KwaDukuza will create 4 000 new jobs in the manufacture of vehicle wiring systems and instruments for Toyota, Isuzu, Nissan and Ford.
This facility is one of five capital investment projects that form part of a R1.4 billion commitment by Metair Investments Limited to support the expansion and localisation of the new Ford Ranger.
Metair Investments was formed in 1948 to meet the needs of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the automotive components sector and exports products to approximately 46 countries.
Metair Investments shareholding has 14 subsidiaries of which eight are based in South Africa, with KZN hosting the highest number of employees.
Some 3 000 contractor positions were created over the lifetime of the project, with more than 2 500 local residents being employed.
A permanent community skills centre was established at the mill and some R150 million has been invested in local enterprise and supplier development opportunities. The project has also seen a 9% increase in permanent staff at the mill.
South Africa Investment Conference
Ramaphosa’s engagement with these key investments mark the realisation of pledges made by industrialists at the South Africa Investment Conference.
Government welcomed these investments as welcome contributions to South Africa’s efforts at economic reconstruction and recovery and endorsements of South Africa’s standing as an investment destination for domestic and international enterprises.
VIDEO: The 4th South Africa Investment Conference in March:
Source: SABC News (sabcnews.com)