Tasez

investment

Women of the SEZs initiative launched in Mamelodi

Shining a spotlight on the role of women in South Africa’s economy, a significant event took place in Mamelodi on 7 September 2023 with the launch of the Women of the SEZs initiative. The initiative aims to showcase the achievements of women in the special economic zones (SEZs) space, inspire future generations, and create an environment that nurtures their growth and success. Welcoming participants to the event, Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) corporate services executive Vangile Nene said the intention of the initiative is to create a legacy, much like how people look back at the contribution made by the women of 1956, who marched to the Union Buildings protest the pass laws. “We hope that generations will look back on this day,” she added. Among those attending the launch was the chair of the SEZ CEO Forum Kaashifah Beukes; the acting deputy director-general responsible for industrial finance at the department of trade, industry and competition and TASEZ board member, Susan Mangole; Irene Ramafola, the chair of TASEZ’s audit and risk committee; TASEZ’s CFO, Rebecca Hlabatau; and Lebogang Zwane, project manager at the Motheo Construction Group. Also present were community liaison officers from the Community Project Committee, a structure set up between the local communities of Eersterust, Mamelodi and Nellmapius and TASEZ to find ways of working together to create local job opportunities and training programmes; representatives from DSV, Feltex and Automould – factories based within the TASEZ hub; and the women of TASEZ. The Women of the SEZs initiative is a declaration of the sector’s commitment to building a future where women’s voices are not only heard but celebrated, and where their contributions are not only acknowledged but revered. Growing the Women of the SEZs initiative “We want to grow this initiative and involve all the other SEZs across the country, and beyond,” Nene added, while Mangole noted that “today marks an important day, where we find ways to inspire and build women.” Central to the launch was a panel discussion on the role of women in South Africa’s key economic sectors and how the role they can play in bring about transformation. Ramafola, as the panel moderator, pointed out that the women of 1956 had their own challenges, and “we have ours”. “While South Africa has made great strides in building a non-sexist society and progress has been made to promote gender equality, the same cannot be said when it comes to the economy,” she said. “Why is this the case?” she asked the panel. Panellists Mangole, Beukes and Zwane spoke passionately about the challenges women face in the industrial sectors, sharing practical solutions and personal experiences. Ideas raised during the wide-ranging discussion included: The Women of SEZs initiative is a rallying cry, a call to action to champion diversity, foster inclusivity, and empower excellence. It serves as a testament to the unyielding determination of women who continue to steer the course of progress, innovation, and collaboration within the SEZs and beyond.

Growing township automotive sector through investment, regulating, upgrading skills

Government takes the automotive sector very seriously, Premier Panyaza Lesufi said at a workshop on township mechanics held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, 6 September 2023. Addressing a packed hall of industry role players including the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ), the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI), the MerSETA (Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services), the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC), professional automotive mechanics, apprentices and learners, Lesufi said that key to investing in and growing the sector – particularly in the province’s townships – it was important to make sure that the businesses needed to be regularised and be competitive. In addition, “those who want to invest in the townships must invest on our terms. They must consult with the local players and make sure they empower them”, Lesufi said. The workshop was part of the Growing Gauteng Together initiative run by the Gauteng provincial government and the Gauteng department of economic development. He told the delegates at the workshop that the township economy was critical to developing the country’s economy in general. “This is the only province that has passed a law ensuring that the government will buy services from townships, hostels and informal settlements.” TASEZ is a prime example of ensuring that townships are included in the development of the automotive sector. One of the policies essential to the TASEZ business model is that investors must make provision for the inclusion of local community members in their workforces. Lesufi’s message drew on the data shared by the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Fikile Majola, who noted that the workshop should provide long-lasting, actionable solutions. SMMEs crucial to economic growth The triple challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality impact on the country’s development agenda, and the townships are the epicentre of these challenges. More than a quarter of South Africa’s population live in townships and more than half of those in the townships are unemployed, yet the township economy is critical to the country. He referred to the importance of special economic zones (SEZs) being connected to the township model of economic development. SEZs are geographically designated areas set aside for specifically targeted economic activities to promote national economic growth and exports by using support measures to attract foreign and domestic investments and technology. TASEZ, Africa’s first automotive city, is located in Silverton near the townships of Eersterust, Mamelodi and Nellmapius. Much of the workforce used in the factories based at TASEZ come from the surrounding communities. Majola noted that the South African Automotive Masterplan spoke about doubling production by 2035. “One million cars are manufactured annually on the African continent, with 700 000 of those coming from South Africa, Morocco and Egypt.” The continent had a population of 1.3 billion. He compared this to the production figures from India, which manufactures 4 000 000 cars a year. It has a population of 1.4 billion. “We must be more competitive and ramp up production.” And that can be done through developing small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). “Globally, all economies are driven by SMMEs, but the number of SMMEs in this country is too small for an economy the size of South Africa,” Majola added. “If we are to expand the SMME base in South Africa, we have to think outside the box, but within the law.” Collaborative efforts TASEZ has a team dedicated to helping develop SMMEs and providing skills development programmes. Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Tasneem Motara pointed out just how important the automotive sector is to South Africa. It contributed 4.9% to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2023. “It is a huge player in the economy with the potential to grow.” However, she added, picking up on the issues of SMMES: “How do we address the challenges small businesses face?” Common challenges include struggling to access to markets; financing; to support; and infrastructure. The automotive sector had added challenges, such as being unable to receive reliable parts; a lack of entrepreneurial skills; and the onerous and expensive accreditation processes. Collaboration was key to growing small businesses. “We need to focus on the informal sector, but also ensure that industry bodies are included.” Skills development was crucial, she added. “We have to find meaningful solutions.”

The chairman of the board of TASEZ visits the hub

TASEZ gets clean audit for third year in a row

TASEZ chairman of the board Lionel October has congratulated the entity on its sterling performance in receiving a clean audit from the Office of the Auditor-General. The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) is proud to announce it has received a clean audit for its 2022/23 financial report. This is the third consecutive year the entity has received such a finding from the Office of the Auditor-General. “It is with immense pride and gratitude that I announce a momentous achievement that reflects our unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and excellence,” said board chair Lionel October. “This clean audit reaffirms our commitment to prudent financial management, effective controls, and ethical practices.” The clean audit means that TASEZ produced financial statements that are free from material misstatements and have no material findings on reporting on performance objectives or non-compliance with legislation. “It reinforces our position as a reliable SEZ for local and international investors, assuring them that their investments are managed with the utmost integrity and diligence. Our ability to consistently uphold the principles of transparency and accountability is a cornerstone of TASEZ’s reputation as a world-class hub for automotive investments,” October added. TASEZ, known as Africa’s first automotive city, provides an SEZ that offers a range of financial incentives and high-level support services to investors. Its mandate is to accelerate economic reform through attracting investment and creating jobs and opening up opportunities for small, medium and micro enterprises – and ultimately transforming the automotive sector.

Business leaders from the BRICS nations visit the TASEZ plant in Silverton

TASEZ talks investment opportunities to BRICS businesses

In the week prior to the 15th annual BRICS summit due to take place in South Africa from 22 – 24 August 2023 under the watchful eye of chairperson President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) played host to a delegation of business leaders from Brazil, Russia, India and China. A high-level group of business leaders from the BRICS nations are in South Africa to explore investment opportunities across a wide range of economic sectors, including the automotive manufacturing sector. The group visited the TASEZ plant in Silverton on Monday, 14 August 2023 and was warmly welcomed by a large TASEZ team, headed up by board chair Lionel October and CEO Dr Bheka Zulu, eager to talk business opportunities and investment incentives. “We want to showcase our special economic zone to big investors who want to take up occupancy in our hub,” October said. Tshwane is uniquely placed as an automotive hub, with Ford based in the TASEZ plant and BMW and Nissan in the nearby industrial area. October sees the city becoming the gateway to Africa for the automotive sector. With Phase 1 of the TASEZ development complete and fully occupied by anchor tenant Ford and nine manufacturers producing components required for the Ford Ranger, the TASEZ team are now looking to implementing the development plans for Phase 2 and 3. “We are looking for two or three other global companies to take up the incentives available in the zone, along with the infrastructure and support TASEZ supplies,” October said. “We are excited to be hosting businesses from some of the largest countries in the world,” Dr Zulu said. “This is an important milestone for us, to engage with world business leaders and share with them our plans.” The BRICS group incorporates more than 40% of the global population and over 25% of the world’s economy. With this in mind, it is critical for South Africa’s economic and social growth and development to encourage foreign direct investment into the various sectors. “We do not see our SEZ in isolation, there are numerous linkages that will expand the reach of what happens in our hub,” Dr Zulu noted.

TASEZ launches exciting brand campaign

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) is taking bold new steps to make sure it becomes renowned as Africa’s first automotive city and a world-class hub for the industry. Monday, 24 July 2023 saw the launch of a major communications and branding campaign drawing attention to the work TASEZ in attracting investors, manufacturers, and stakeholders from around the world. Campaign messages on social media platforms, at selected notable sites across the country including international airports, and on digital billboards across the Gautrain, will raise awareness of the unique opportunities and benefits offered by the special economic zone, and at the same time, establish TASEZ as a powerful and distinct top-of-mind brand. The objectives of the six-month campaign are to: Together, we can propel TASEZ to greater heights in the global automotive landscape.

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 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.