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.

Keeping an eye on the investment

Government and the private sector have invested more than R8-billion in TASEZ to support South Africa’s automotive manufacturing capacity. The recent oversight visit by representatives from the dtic, the national and provincial departments of Treasury and the Gauteng Department of Economic Development demonstrates TASEZ’s importance as one of the key implementors of government’s industrial development policies. Some of the significant achievements of TASEZ during itsconstruction phase included: The creation of more than 5 000 job opportunities in phase 1 Over 2 000 direct job opportunities created in theoperational phase Over R1-billion procurement spent on 214 local small,medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) More than 300 SMMEs benefitted from accredited trainingprogrammes Procurement spent on SMMEs, with TASEZ’s assistance,resulted in the improvement in Construction Industry Development Board (cidb) grading.

SEZs focus

Special economic zones (SEZs) have become one of the major subjects of interest in both developing and developed countries, identified as one of the most effective ways to drive industrial development. The vision of Fetakgomo-Tubatse SEZ (FTSEZ), which will be based in the Sekhukhune District in Limpopo, is to be the global centre of excellence for sustainable solutions in green energy manufacturing, agro-processing and mineral beneficiation. Limpopo is one of the global leaders in the production of platinum, which is used mainly in industrial, medical and electronic products. FTSEZ Project Executive Mr Solly Kgopong says one of the key focus areas of the SEZ is to become a significant producer of hydrogen and other clean energy technologies. The hydrogen economy is a game-changer, he says, particularly in the efforts to re-industrialise the provincial economy. “For FTSEZ, this will provide demand for mining inputs supplies and the opportunity for large-scale industrialisation for mining inputs and beneficiation of mining outputs,” he added Africa’s first automotive city, TASEZ, is changing the face of South Africa’s manufacturing industry, accelerating economic reform, encouraging investment in the industry and, most importantly, creating jobs. Located in the City of Tshwane, TASEZ is a multi-billion rand project covering over 200 hectares. It is a crucial special economic zone that fits seamlessly into the priorities of the South African Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, according to TASEZ Business Development and Investment Promotion Mr Msokoli Ntombana. “TASEZ plays a catalytic role in extending economic participation across the Tshwane region, opening up multiple opportunities for small, medium and micro enterprises and co-operatives,” he said.

New CFO at the helm

Ms Hlabatau has been tasked with ensuring TASEZ’s financial sustainability. The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) is thrilled to announce the appointment of chartered accountant Ms Rebecca Hlabatau as the organisation’s new chief financial officer (CFO). Ms Hlabatau, who has 20 years’ experience in senior management in the public sector, brings a wealth of skills to TASEZ from her outstanding track record of working in the health, transport and legal professional services industry. She will provide TASEZ with strong financial leadership, ensuring a stable base on which it carries out its important role as a catalyst for employment, transformation, socio-economic development and industry growth. Ms Hlabatau brings her own experience of the transport sector as she was previously the CFO of the Cross Border Road Transport Agency (C-BRTA), a national public entity responsible for the regulation and facilitation of road transport cross border operations in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. She was previously the CFO of Legal Aid South Africa, a national public entity with a network of six provincial offices and 64 local offices located across the country, with a staff complement of 2 700 and a budget of R2- billion. Ms Hlabatau holds a number of degrees and diplomas, including a post graduate diploma in accounting science (CTA) from the University of South Africa (UNISA), graduating from the flagship Management Advancement Programme (MAP) at the Wits Business School, completing an International Financial Reporting Standards certificate from the University of the Witwatersrand, and reading for an honours in accounting science from UNISA. She is also a qualified chartered accountant, holding the globally recognised CA(SA). As TASEZ continues to grow and expand its impact on the automotive sector, Ms Hlabatau will be there to provide a steady hand on TASEZ’s financial helm.

Tasez appoints new CEO

Captain Bheka Zulu to steer TASEZ’s mettle in rebuilding SA’s manufacturing capacity. The Board of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) has appointed Captain Bheka Zulu as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from August 2022. Captain Zulu says he is encouraged by the performance and achievements of TASEZ. “The organisation has been able to attract interest from notable players in the automotive industry which has resulted in positive socio-economic spin-offs,” he says. TASEZ is a joint project between the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the City of Tshwane. Its mandate is to support the development of the South African automotive manufacturing industry. Captain Zulu was the CEO at a Durban-based ocean economy shipping company and a board member at the South African Maritime Safety Authority. He is also a part-time lecturer at the Durban University of Technology’s Maritime Studies Department and is a PhD candidate focusing on the ocean economy. As the new CEO, Captain Zulu is tasked with the overall responsibility of positioning TASEZ as a leading investment hub for automotive manufacturing in South Africa. In addition to its successful initiatives in the automotive sector, TASEZ has also shown its strength in good governance and financial management, receiving successive clean audits from the Auditor-General for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022.


The importance of women in the South African economy cannot be understated. They have a critical role to play that is not simply limited to their contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) but in creating jobs and growing the country’s production capacity. There is no doubt that the number of women-owned businesses in South Africa has increased over the past few years. However, much more still needs to be done as South Africa strives towards inclusive economic growth. The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, identifies women – particularly those in the rural areas – as key agents for achieving the transformational economic changes required for sustainable development. It is befitting that both the public and private sectors create opportunities for women-owned businesses. If South Africa, as an active proponent of inclusive economic growth, is to establish itself on a growth path, a concerted effort is needed to include the contributions of women. They are among the most resourceful entrepreneurs in South Africa and beyond; they are stronger and nimbler in living their entrepreneurial dreams. To quote the former United States first lady, Michelle Obama: “There’s no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”