http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/gauteng-to-focus-on-automotive-partnerships-to-create-jobs-mec-2012-08-07

Gauteng to focus on automotive partnerships to create jobs – MEC

Published 07 Aug 12       By: Megan Wait
The Gauteng Economic Development Department would continue to strengthen its partnerships in the automotive sector, as part of its focus on the creating jobs, while building a growing, inclusive economy, member of the executive council (MEC)) Nkosiphendule Kolisile said on Tuesday.

As part of its commitment towards reindustrialisation efforts to support job creation and growth in labour-intensive industries, the department’s growth and development agency would be speeding up the implementation of a number of projects in the automotive sector, as well as focusing on infrastructure and export promotion.

The department aims to mentor about 80 individuals, working in the auto body repair industry, and link them to business opportunities. The project would also help the individuals to gain financial assistance for the purchasing of equipment.

He cited manufacturer Nissan’s first global export project, which would see a direct investment of about R1.5-billion in its Pretoria plant. “A further R1.2-billion investment is expected from their tier-1 supplier base. This project would create in excess of 4 000 new jobs and 400 construction jobs. A total of R15-million has been set aside for this intervention,” Kolisile said.

Speaking to journalists at a media briefing in Johannesburg, the newly appointed MEC pointed out that the department would also launch a jobs campaign in September, to engage with corporates and small business.

“I will be talking to business to seriously consider job creation. We need to unfreeze and invest in the province. I believe, that together we could cause a dent on unemployment and create economic growth,” he noted.

Kolisile said that the department would also fast-track its work on the Gauteng Smart City programme in the coming months. This is a geographically positioned composition and collaboration of information and communications technology companies that would be located in Nasrec, Soweto.

“We would soon activate projects such as the creation of a data centre, a business process outsourcing centre and an electronics manufacturing and assembly centre,” he said.

If successfully implemented, these centres have the potential to create in excess of 11 000 jobs.