Our journey began in 2016 when the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) began developing a masterplan to set up a smart automotive city in the City of Tshwane precinct as a smart Automotive City (Tshwane Automotive City) in the north of the City of Tshwane.
The focus then moved to Silverton to support Ford Motor Company of South Africa’s growth plans. When a plan was developed in 2017 for the Silverton Industrial and Retail Part, which incorporated Ford’s development programme), the then Department of Trade and Industry agreed to develop it as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) focusing on the automotive manufacturing sector.
After extensive consultation, in-depth research, and the creation of a holistic business plan, the SEZ was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2019.
The TASEZ came out of an intergovernmental agreement between what is now the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDEC), and the City of Tshwane.
GDEC is the project owner, with the City of Tshwane being the landowner. The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition is the custodian of the economic policy that drives the SEZ as well as the owner of the SEZ Infrastructure Fund that supports investors.
Construction of the automotive city began in 2020 and work on the first phase was completed by November 2022.
TASEZ began with a R3.4-billion budget, creating 8 700 jobs during the construction phase and providing a much-needed economic boost to the nearby Mamelodi township. During 2020/21, 3 348 construction jobs were filled, with 67% of the construction employees coming from neighbouring communities. Within the zone itself, 603 operational jobs have already been created by investors.
We expect many more jobs will be created as we continue to evolve and expand into a multi-faceted hub designed to bolster South Africa’s automotive manufacturing capacity and global competitiveness.