Trade, Industry and Competition Deputy Minister Fikile Majola will officiate the Toronto Group’s virtual sodturning ceremony of the first-of-a-kind charcoal manufacturing plant that will use alien invasive species on August 18.
Toronto Group is a beneficiary of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition's Black Industrialists Scheme (BIS).
The Western Cape-based company specialises in the manufacture of high-quality lump wood charcoal, with its primary production facility located in the Swartland municipality.
Its primary feedstock is alien invasive species that are mainly harvested under the auspices of the Working for Water Programme, to enhance the flow of water in riparian zones.
In a statement on August 14, Majola explained that the BIS had approved capital funding support for Toronto Group of R50-million for business development and the purchase and installation of modern capital equipment to manufacture high-quality lump wood charcoal.
“Through this BIS support, the company will implement its greenfield charcoal plant in Wellington, Somerset West, wherein they will supply local retailers and export to European countries,” he says.
The company has so far created five direct jobs and is expected to create 90 jobs by December, plus additional indirect job opportunities through its sourcing of raw materials from local suppliers.
The company also plans to expand into other provinces in future.
Owing to the nature of the product, its factories will be situated in rural areas where unemployment rates are even higher than those in cities.