TASEZ congratulates Ford on Car of the Year win

For the first time in its history, a bakkie has won the prestigious South African Car of the Year award, with the accolade going to the Ford Ranger. The award is particularly welcomed in Gauteng, following the crucial investment Ford has made into boosting the country’s automotive sector, particularly in the City of Tshwane where Ford has an extensive plant in Silverton and a large investment in the nearby Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ). TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu congratulated the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa on its win. “We are proud to be able to say that the 2023 Car of the Year is produced by a company within TASEZ.” The Gauteng MEC for economic development, Tasneem Motara, echoed his sentiment, adding that the quality of the product as well as the innovation that had gone into it augured well for the future of the automotive sector. From an overall investment of R16-billion in 2021, Ford ploughed some R3.4-billion into TASEZ to build a factory to manufacture the Ranger chassis as well as to support suppliers of Ford components. “The Ford Ranger’s triumph represents a milestone for the industry, setting a new benchmark, and symbolising a noteworthy accomplishment for one of South Africa’s primary export products,” the chairperson of the 2023 competition, Mabuyane Mabuza, noted at the announcement on 1 June 2023. Congratulating all the finalists, Dr Zulu stressed the importance the sector played in the country’s economic growth, particularly in Gauteng. “The South African automotive industry is the fifth largest exporting sector out of more than 100 sectors and accounts for 18,7% of the country’s manufacturing output.” South Africa’s automotive sector is one of the country’s largest economic sectors, contributing 4,3% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) – 2,4% manufacturing and 1,9% retail, according to figures from the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa). Motara added that as the leading auto manufacturing hub in the country, “we’re committed to developing the sector through our support for the implementation of the South African Automotive Master Plan 2035 (SAAM) and through our Special Economic Zones”. The SAAM’s long-term aim is to see production grow to 1.4 million vehicles a year by 2035, and the use of local content rise to 60%. “This growth will play an important role in tackling the challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality,” Motara said. The Car of the Year competition is held by the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists, with the 2023 edition seeing 21 finalists vying for overall honours.

TASEZ welcomes new colleagues

We extend a warm welcome to three new colleagues who have joined our TASEZ family: Rembuluwani Mavhungu and Noluthando Mkhathini, who are both members of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, and Khutso Semetjane. Rembuluwani will be taking up the position of financial reporting manager. He has worked in the finance and auditing field for more than eight years in the both private and public sectors, including spending time in the office of the Auditor-General. A registered Chartered Accountant, Rembuluwani also holds two post graduate diplomas in accounting science and applied accounting science on the back of his business degree in finance and accounting. Noluthando is joining us as financial accounting manager. She too has two post graduate diplomas in accounting sciences and in finance, banking, and investments, following her degree in accounting at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Noluthando has extensive experience in public entities, having worked for provincial and local government departments and development agencies for 14 years. Khutso will be taking up the important role of TASEZ’s stakeholder engagement manager. He brings with him a wealth of experience in stakeholder engagement as well as in dispute resolution. He too has a finance background, holding a national diploma in internal auditing, and previously held anumber of finance positions at the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation. We wish Rembuluwani, Noluthando and Khutso all the very best as they join a team that is committed to transforming South Africa’s socio-economic future and building a strong, inclusive, and innovative automotive industry. Vangile NeneCorporate Services Executive

TASEZ sets standards for SEZs – Ugandan MPs

A visit from a Ugandan parliamentary delegation has highlighted the importance of South Africa’s Special Economic Zones in attracting much-needed foreign investment to growing a country’s economy and creating jobs.

Growing the auto industry through partnerships

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) continues to deliver on its aim of building an inclusive economic industry. It has officially joined forces with the communities of nearby Mamelodi, Eesterust and Nellmapius, through the Community Project Committee (CPC), committing to work together to create job opportunities while at the same time building an inclusive automotive industry. This commitment was formalised on 16 February 2023 when TASEZ and the CPC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Pretoria’s Menlyn Maine. The documents, including a social compact, detail and highlight TASEZ’s responsibilities to the local communities and their commitment to supporting the project. Based in Silverton, TASEZ is Africa’s first automotive city, a hub that provides tenants with a prime location close to an established automotive industry, links to regional and international markets, customised solutions and support services to boost business efficiency, and a number of incentive packages. As a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), TASEZ has been given the mandate to be a catalyst for employment, transformation, socio-economic development, and industry growth. Transforming the auto industry “Part of the transformation agenda is that you need to take the communities with you and broaden the economic participation,” said TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu at the signing ceremony. “The development of special economic zones must include a social element – in that you cannot develop state-of-the-art facilities within communities that are not benefiting from the project. The needs and requirements of the surrounding communities must be considered.” Among the aims of TASEZ is to provide programmes targeted at small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and for corporate social investment (CSI) programmes, along with skills development programmes, Zulu said. The construction of the first phase of TASEZ helped create 5 000 jobs, with 204 local SMMEs benefitting by procurement spend, the executive manager of business development at TASEZ, Msokoli Ntombana, noted. To date, permanent employment for 1 950 people has been secured, with the vast majority (60 to 70%) coming from local communities. “The government has invested R4.2-billion into the project and the investors that have taken occupation have invested a further R4.5-billion,” Ntombana added. A living document The terms of reference in the MoU also highlighted the communities’ commitment to making the project a success. “This is going to benefit the community greatly. We will make sure the project is a success and minimise stoppage time,” said CPC chairperson, Shiba Madonsela. Madonsela noted the MoU provided a clear agreement and partnership. “The community must know that this is a living document, and they will see the results of it. While signing this I have a feeling of joy as it bonds TASEZ and the community together.” Describing it as a milestone, Madonsela said: “With the partnership between the community and TASEZ, the economy will grow, the project will create employment opportunities, and our youth will be upskilled in fields such as robotics.” Community engagement specialist and CPC secretary Zama Ndebele described the occasion as extremely important. “History has shown that when the community and government work together a project will be a success.” He added: “This [agreement] is close to my heart. It gives meaning to how projects in the country can be managed.” It would be one of the building blocks that will lead to Tshwane becoming the automotive city. Zulu added that the partnership with the local communities was long overdue, and he was looking forward to what lies ahead. “We will travel together as partners to make this a success.” The occasion has set the tone for the relationship between the communities and TASEZ; one of partnership, respect, and a willingness to succeed.

Vangile Nene joins TASEZ team

TASEZ has appointed  Ms Vangile Nene as its Executive for Corporate Services, reporting to the CEO Dr Bheka Zulu. Nene previously worked with government as Chief Director: Professional Services and State Technical Capacity at the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure. Here, Nene designed, developed, and oversaw the execution of frameworks and policies. She also oversaw the implementation of human capital investment, engineering, and professional services capacity building programmes in addition to providing marketing and public relations experience. She took up these positions after spending almost six years in the financial services industry, which gave her a good grounding for her career development. Most of Nene’s roles have involved developing strategies and ensuring the successful execution thereof. In addition, she is also highly qualified, with an MBA from Regenesys Business School, during which she studied 14 modules across a range of disciplines, which followed public management and marketing courses. Nene has also attended a range of further education symposiums across a variety of aspects.

Partnerships required to revitalise Gauteng’s auto sector

Gauteng is using the automotive sector as a catalyst for economic growth and job creation. However, there is room for more private sector participation as the province moves ahead with its aims of realising its 2030 plan. Speaking at the recent National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa South African Auto Week, MEC for economic development in Gauteng, Tasneem Motara, shared the province’s economic vision with the conference delegates. “There remains a huge need to trigger the economic recovery of our province and reposition it as the centre of industrialisation through the auto sector.” The province’s 2030 and beyond plan is a blueprint to ensure that it remains South Africa’s economic hub. Among its aims are to invest in transport nodes to better serve underprivileged communities. At the same time, it named the automotive, aerospace, and defence sectors as being among its ten targets to help grow employment. Motara explained that, in producing what was then a ten-year plan, the province engaged with numerous stakeholders. One of the tools at its disposal are Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which Motara says will boost manufacturing, increase exports, grow employment, and expand social infrastructure developments in support of the province being the gateway to Africa. “These are a critical enabler of jobs.” Together with the private sector, the hubs have been a success, such as the Tshwane Automotive SEZ, which was established in May 2020 and was Gauteng’s first such hub, she adds. In 18 months, it attracted 12 investors, creating more than 5,000 direct jobs during the construction phase. Some 40% of the construction contracts, worth R1 billion, went to black female-owned enterprises. The hub has had a positive impact in terms of contributing to jobs created across the supply chain, as well as local content, and has seen the entry of three new foreign companies that were previously strangers to South Africa’s shores. Toyota Motors has started the second phase of its development, which will also focus on “deepening economic participation through the development of innovation,” says Motara. The Ford Motor Company, which recently started production of the next-generation Ranger, has invested R15.8 billion in South Africa, the last tranche going into the Tshwane SEZ, at which its facility boasts 585 robots. To continue growing hubs, which bring with them other advantages such as the development of communities and a supporting ecosystem, government must create additional infrastructure, she says. To this end, the province will be “ensuring the participation of local communities”. However, the motor sector has been hard hit by the recent Transnet strike as well as downtime on the railways due to cable theft. Motara said that government is working on a solution and has prioritised the matter as the state logistics company needs to be brought up to speed so that its rails and ports work efficiently, helping enable Gauteng’s vision. At the same time, government, in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, committed R5.8 billion to it to repair aging infrastructure. Government is making progress. However, to meet its aims, more private sector partnerships are required, which are seen as critical. “We wish to build on great partnerships with private sector, civil society, universities, research institutions, and innovation centres to maximize the potential of future generations. We invite you to join us on this ambitious economic exercise. “As the leading auto manufacturing hub in the country, we are committed to the development of our projects to tackle the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment, and inequality,” Motara said.

New energy vehicle sales to overtake combustion motors by 2035 – Minister Patel

As South Africa starts to shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), there is no doubt that these will become more popular than traditional internal combustion engine cars, LDVs, and trucks, and this move has government’s backing. This is the word from Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, who was addressing the recent South African Auto Week conference. He said that sales of passenger EV cars will outstrip those of combustion engines by 2035. Industry is, however, awaiting the conversion of a Green Paper on this subject into a White Paper. Initially published in May 2021, it was meant to be with Cabinet for its thoughts by October 2021. However, this has not happened, due to financing constraints as government’s purse is stretched as it deals with infrastructure and socio-economic issues. This delay has drawn criticism from those in the industry. However, a costing exercise involving original equipment manufacturers and the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa has been completed, which led government to the conclusion that it needs to shift from a singular focus on incentives to a broader one in terms of greater production of EVs. The balance of timing of production and consumer incentives is “absolutely critical,” he noted. South Africa cannot afford to be left behind as it is a major exporter of vehicles to the UK will be around 75% of cars made locally are shipped there – and that internal combustion-based engines from 2030 will be prohibited by the European Union. “That costing exercise convinced us that we needed to rethink the elements of the package that we had in mind, shifting from an initial focus to see how we can incentivise the consumer market in South Africa, into a shift with a greater emphasis on the production of electric vehicles,” Moneyweb quoted him as saying. Given the recent Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, Patel was hopeful that work could start based on the National Budget to be tabled next February as there are signals South Africa is heading in the right direction. South Africa’s automotive sector accounts for five percent of gross domestic product. However, energy constrains need to be considered. Fortunately, government has opened up the grid so that independent power producer can add power to it without limits. Eskom’s rolling blackouts are costing the country around R4 billion a day when stage four hits. If not for the loadshedding, the economy could be between eight and 10 percent bigger.