Tasez

job creation

TASEZ celebrates group of learners

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) celebrated the achievements of 134 learners who graduated from a training course on organisational health and safety on 14 May 2024. The training, under the guidance of TASEZ’s safety, health and environmental manager Patricia Mandleni, is an important part of the special economic zone’s commitment to broaden economic participation by promoting small, micro, and medium sized enterprises and co-operatives, while promoting skills and technology transfer. Learners were called to the stage, where they were presented certificates by TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu. “It is important that TASEZ supports training of people in the automotive manufacturing and construction sectors as well as individuals from our neighbouring communities,” Dr Zulu noted. “We are driven by helping make sure that the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035 is a success, as well as helping develop a skilled workforce for our ever-changing industry which will need different high-level skills that embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he added. “We are determined to play a role in shaping the future of automotive excellence.” SAAM 2035 calls for transforming the industry and has identified six pillars for growth: According to the recently published Industrial Policy and Strategic Review – Transforming Vision into Action: Charting South Africa’s Industrial Future the rapid scaling-up of infrastructure spending should be a top priority, with specific focus on improving electricity and freight transport for established businesses, and to qualitatively upgrade infrastructure to support economic activities in working-class communities, especially by providing industrial, commercial and cultural centres. Training is an important aspect of transforming the economic landscape, as the country’s industrial development increases its pace and reach, ensuring the realisation of the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030, Dr Zulu added. The NDP identifies artisans and SMMEs as key elements in driving the economy through infrastructure development and manufacturing. The NDP has set a target of producing 30 000 artisans a year by 2030, with the country currently seeing 20 000 artisans qualify annually.

Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition delivers key policy assessment at TASEZ

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) was chosen to host the delivery of a critical national policy assessment by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel on Tuesday, 7 March 2024. The minister delivered the Industrial Policy and Strategic Review – Transforming Vision into Action: Charting South Africa’s Industrial Future. “TASEZ was chosen as the venue for this occasion as it demonstrates how changes in the approach to implementing industrial policy has given different, significantly positive, results,” the minister said at the beginning of his review. This review – and plan for the future – takes place at a critical time, as the country celebrates 30 years of democracy, and a few weeks before South Africa’s seventh administration takes office. South Africa’s economic development has, over the past three decades, leaned into the national industrial policy to drive growth and transformation in an effort to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, with industrialisation identified as a key to unlocking the economy, building investor confidence and creating jobs across multiple sectors. Economic impact of investment into South Africa Minister Patel noted that foreign direct investment (FDI) into South Africa rose to R1.1-trillion between 2019 to 2023, a significant increase from the previous five-year period which garnered R312-billion. Investments over the past five years were 3½ times larger. This was despite the turbulent headwinds the country had to endure over the last five years:   The FDI packages ameliorated much of the negative impact of the six shocks the country endured. “The resilience of the South African economy has surprised many commentators,” Minister Patel noted. He referred to the 2023 EY Attractiveness Africa Report which highlighted that South Africa attracted the most FDI projects in Africa – 157, making up 23% of the continent’s total. According to the report, South Africa’s FDI was valued at US$26.8-billion and created about 15 000 jobs, the highest number in southern Africa. The minister also noted that of the R1.5-trillion pledged at the five cycles of the South Africa Investment Conference, a third of the projects had already been completed, with others under construction. “What we did in these five years is to try and get investment to flow notwithstanding the headwinds – and we have already seen some real impact.” Minister Patel reviewed the work done by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition over the past five years, discussing a number of success stories in a variety of sectors; examining the challenges that had arisen; and charting a way forward to speed up the various economic programmes. Several key elements were vital to the success of the reimagined industrial strategy, including: This was supported by a number of programmes including the development of sectoral masterplans, which saw a move towards a multi-stakeholder approach, “in which government, the private sector and labour collectively developed and implemented plans”. The masterplan process modelled a new approach, where the state works in a flexible way to address the diverse concerns facing individual companies and other stakeholders. A catalytic project on SEZ development TASEZ is shining example of this approach; showcasing a more rapid and coordinated development process, particularly in reference to setting up special economic zones. One of the key drivers of TASEZ’s business approach is the South African Automotive Masterplan, with its focus on transforming the sector, promoting localization and creating jobs. TASEZ is a critical case study in the speedy implementation of the special economic zones in South Africa. It took four short years for TASEZ to develop from a dusty veld to a modern industrial hub, with an automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa – supported by other component manufacturers. “Investment was unlocked through an anchor firm, Ford, while the dtic, the Gauteng government, and the City of Tshwane pooled their resources and capabilities,” the strategy review notes. “This solid base allowed for the rapid unlocking of 11 investments by component firms and help establish the SEZ by developing a network of interconnected producers around the zone.” The review noted: “All of this was underpinned by strong alignment with pre-existing policy including state support through the Automotive Production and Development Programme and investment funding through projects like the Automotive Investment Scheme.” In its short existence, TASEZ has seen an investment of R16-billion from Ford; R5.6-billion from the various component manufacturers; and R3.92-billion from government – in its first phase of development. In addition, the first phase of TASEZ has seen the creation of 3 244 permanent jobs in the automotive manufacturing sector and a further 5 071 jobs in construction. Procurement spend in the small, medium and micro enterprise sector has totalled R1.7-billion so far. “This mode – of moving quicky, working through partnerships, coordinating across the state and aligning with broader support programmes – offers a sturdy pathway for the revitilisation of industrial policy,” the review report noted. TASEZ is now preparing to begin the second phase of development, with several investors already preparing to join the hub. “As a special economic zone that plays an integral role in transforming the automotive manufacturing sector,” TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu, adding that the Africa’s first automotive city could attest to the importance of a strong industrial policy in encouraging global investors.

Tshwane SEZ shows the way on how to successfully attract investment and create employment

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) has set the benchmark for the development of South Africa’s new special economic zones. Special economic zones (SEZs) are key to making South Africa an attractive option for foreign direct investments. SEZs are important instruments in advancing the country’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development, the promotion of exports and job creation. Africa’s first automotive city, based in the City of Tshwane, was an exemplary case in how to develop and set up an SEZ to hit the road running. From being gazette in January 2020 to seeing the first cars come off the production line in November 2022, TASEZ achieved all of this in just two short years – and during the Covid 19 pandemic. The TASEZ case study was central to discussions that took place in a workshop held in Pretoria on Thursday, 11 April 2024, that looked at how SEZs can be implemented speedily. Piloting a new method “We are conscious of the responsibility we have been given in piloting this new model for the development of SEZs,” says TASEZ CEO Dr Bheka Zulu. “It could not have been done without the strong strategic partnerships between our investors and all three tiers of government.” The TASEZ model has now set the benchmark for the establishment of new SEZs. Representatives from the country’s new SEZs joined the teams from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) responsible for SEZ development, the Industrial Development Corporation’s (IDC’s) SEZ unit, and TASEZ. TASEZ chair and executive director of the Industrial Zones Programme at the IDC, Lionel October, said: “We are here today to begin to standardise and formulate SEZ set up procedures.” The dtic’s Shaun Moses set the scene for the discussion, outlining the policy and strategies driving the development of SEZs. He highlighted the underlying economic challenges South Africa had to tackle: This led to the government identifying a number of objectives to change the economic landscape: combining growth with transformation; boosting local production; growing exports and expanding trade within Africa; increasing investment; establishing a reliable and low-cost energy system while greening the economy; and growing employment. This, Moses pointed out, would be achieved through promoting jobs and higher incomes via industrialisation; building an inclusive economy; and making sure public policies make an impact. Factors for success It was against this background that TASEZ became the pilot project for a new approach to setting up SEZs. There were a number of critical factors that ensured the project’s success: “The scale of the TASEZ project demanded a well-coordinated, systematic and objective approach in responding to the socio-economic performance targets, job creation and SMME opportunities.” Crucially, it was the agile project management approach that ensured TASEZ’s success. Key factors to this success were: One of the proposals to speed up the development of new SEZs, put forward by the technical advisor of the Industrial Zones Programme at the IDC, Dr Siyabonga Simayi, was the creation of multi-sites, or the extension of the boundaries of existing SEZs, to incorporate the development of new SEZs. This would see the development of a zone with more than one site, or the development on land that did not share a border with the existing SEZ. The licence of an existing Industrial Development Zone could be used to facilitate the creation of new SEZs, cutting down on read tape and allowing for a speedier and more agile process, Dr Simayi told the workshop. This would see a single licensee, operator and entity, with one management team and board; single operating systems and processes, and a single budget with one audit process. The workshop concluded by agreeing that there was a need to develop clear guidelines and operating procedures to implement successful SEZs within two years. As Stieneke Jensma, the chief operations officer of the Industrial Zones Programme at the IDC, noted in summing up the day: “TASEZ has done it – we know it’s doable.”

TASEZ supports training in manufacturing

The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone’s (TASEZ) commitment to seeing young South Africans gain skills can be seen in the hub’s partnership in the Auvergne Skills Development Centre – a new training centre for young people in the furniture manufacturing sector. TASEZ and Auvergne Designs have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a strategic partnership, particularly in regard to skills training. “Young people hold the country’s economic future in their hands,” said TASEZ CEO, Dr Bheka Zulu. Skilled workers are critical to every sector within South Africa’s economy; being the primary drivers for industrialisation and economic growth. The MoU includes a number of areas where the partnership will be invaluable, including: All these elements will promote transformation within the automotive manufacturing sector, as expressed in the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM), which lists a number of objectives and goals the industry needs to see happen by 2035. Key goals in the SAAM are the localisation of labour and materials; encouraging access to the sector for previously disadvantaged businesses and communities; the embracing of new technologies; and the development of local and regional markets. The skills development centre was officially opened on 24 March 2024 by the MEC for Economic Development Tasneem Motara, who noted that the initiative “fosters employment opportunities within the furniture manufacturing sector”. Skills training can boost economic growth and change lives, Motara added. The curriculum of the training centre, based in Rosettenville, Johannesburg, covers a diverse range of skills ranging from upholstery to carpentry, from furniture design and making to building new ventures. The launch of the Auvergne Skills Development Centre also saw the first cohort of trainees begin their year-long course in upholstery. Along with the furniture refurbishment training, the group will also undergo training in new venture creation – a critical skill required for anyone wanting to start their own businesses, including SMMEs. As a partner, TASEZ stands ready to support youth development, unlocking access to workplace opportunities, providing mentorship, and encouraging local communities to develop their own businesses.

Tasneem Motara, Gauteng MEC for economic development, addresses the media

TASEZ gets accolades from media

During a roundtable discussion on Gauteng’s economic development with MEC for economy, Tasneem Motara, and members of the media on Thursday, 15 February 2024, it was a journalist who noted that the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone could be considered “a resounding success”. A manufacturing development project that could have taken a decade, came to fruition in a mere 36 months. TASEZ – Africa’s first automotive city – was officially launched in November 2019, and the first cars rolled off its Ford production line in November 2022. The automotive hub’s achievement was even acknowledged when it won a Built Environment Recognition Award as a “state-owned entity that implemented infrastructure projects timeously” at the end of 2023. As a special economic zone focused on growing investment and innovation within the automotive sector, TASEZ is a vital cog in the country’s economic development. Based in the automotive hub of the City of Tshwane, TASEZ sees itself as “shaping the future of automotive excellence” as it helps the South African automotive industry on its path to transform the sector by attracting investments and becoming more inclusive and more sustainable. Motara briefed the media on the economic landscape of the province, highlighting a number of achievements and speaking plainly about the challenges. Key to the development of the Gauteng economy is transformation and the building of the township economy. Motara explained how the province has provided financial aid and legislative support to emerging entrepreneurs and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs). Among the programmes run by the Gauteng provincial government are the acquiring of products and services from township SMMEs; support for upgrading township businesses in the key sectors of manufacturing, retail, ITC, the taxi industry and backyard real estate. Public private partnerships involving the Gauteng provincial government include: Bizniz in a Box hawker stalls in partnership with Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa; the Last Mile delivery initiative providing market access to motorbike riders, in partnership with UberSA, iBoltSA and Takalot; and the refurbishment of five township bakeries, with family tree, Heinkeken and Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa providing equipment. Although not part of the roundtable discussion, TASEZ too plays its part in empowering local township economies. It has a Memorandum of Understanding with the local communities through the Community Project Committee (CPC) which represents Eersterust, Mamelodi and Nelmapius.

Fraudulent job advert!

Dear job seekers, The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) has become aware of a scam job advertcirculating in its name. Some unscrupulous individual has posted (on various social media platforms) a fraudulent jobadvert with the intent of deceiving and taking advantage of unsuspecting job seekers. TASEZ only advertises job opportunities through its official channels, including this website. Any job advert claiming to be from TASEZ that does not originate from our official channelsshould be ignored.

TASEZ signs agreement with Motheo Group

Continuing on its track to shape the future of automotive excellence, the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone has concluded a partnership agreement with the Motheo Construction Group. Construction is about much more than erecting buildings, it is about developing people, and that is exactly what was on display when the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Motheo Construction Group. The important event took place in the City of Tshwane on Thursday, 2 November 2023, watched by a young group of construction learners who are part of the Motheo Academy. TASEZ executive of business development Msokoli Ntombana spoke of the close relationship the SEZ has with the Motheo Group. The Motheo Group’s website states: “We put roofs over heads, but we also put work boots on feet … We believe in building our nation not only with bricks and mortar, but with the powerful spark that comes from unity.” As the CEO of the Motheo Group Lettie Mashau noted: “Skills development is critical as it has a positive impact on our communities.” This is closely aligned with the ethos of TASEZ, which has a mission “to be a catalyst for employment, transformation, and socio-economic development and industry growth”. Ntombana explained that TASEZ was established as part of the country’s drive towards industrialisation. “But to industrialise, we need our people to be trained.” The partnership with the Motheo Group speaks to the government’s targets, he added, pointing to the fact that the construction group also focused on developing women in the male-dominated construction sector. Ntombana then turned to the learners and encouraged them on their journey, noting that “some of you will own your own companies in the future”. The young learners, who will be working on construction sites within the TASEZ hub, were advised by Mashau “to think beyond finding employment but how they will, in the future, create employment for others”. She shared how she too began as a young trainee, working her way up to her current position. “Like the founder of the Motheo Group, Dr Thandi Ndlovu, we need to leave something even when we are no longer here,” she said.

TASEZ features on Power FM business programme

The secret to the success of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone lies in its partnerships, says board chairperson Lionel October. He was speaking to Power FM’s Noluthando Mthonti-Mlambo during the business focus on 25 October 2023. TASEZ is based on partnerships between SEZ and the communities of Mamelodi and Eersterust, the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa and its international component manufacturers that come from Thailand, Portugal, Brazil, as well as South Africa, and government. “If the three partners work together the community gets real benefits – [jobs and skills development], government provides the world-class infrastructure required, and the private sector creates the jobs and brings the technology, creating our export platforms that is the secret to success,” October said. TASEZ is one of 10 SEZs set up in South Africa to help grow the South African economy. SEZs are geographically designated areas set aside for distinct economic activities and are supported by special arrangements and systems that are often different from those that apply in the rest of the country. They are seen as engines that can propel government’s strategic objectives of industrialisation, regional development, and employment creation forward through attracting Foreign Direct Investment and exporting value-added commodities. Looking at the impact of TASEZ on the South African economy, October pointed out that it is a relative newcomer to the SEZ space, being built in record time, in two years and during Covid-19. This was thanks to strong leadership from the president, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition and the provincial and local governments, October said. In addition, Ford invested R16-billion into expanding their plant in South Africa. “They are now producing the new Ford Ranger vehicle in one of the biggest plants in their stable, exporting to over 100 countries.” Ford’s investment has seen the creation of highly skilled jobs – 2 000 created by Ford and 3 200 created by TASEZ. “This development has really been beneficial to the local economy.” Considering how South Africa’s SEZs measure up globally, October looked to China and the Asian Tigers, pointing out that their success can be attributed to SEZs. “While they obviously provide tax incentives and import incentives, but the real winning proposition that we see from China is power, land and logistics.” It is important to provide a proper logistics system, rail and road; to provide regular and consistent electricity; and to provide a well-developed zone in which to base the manufacturing businesses. In the case of TASEZ, the partnership with the City of Tshwane ensures consistent power to the zone, October said. “We’re working on a railway link between Tshwane and Gqeberha to use Port Elizabeth as an export port.” Added to this is the world-class infrastructure provided within the TASEZ hub.

TASEZ hosts Smarter Mobility Africa Summit delegates

Participants at the 2023 Smarter Mobility Africa Summit toured the factories based at the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone on 4 October 2023 to get a glimpse into the future of the automotive industry. The group, who attended the annual summit, were looking at how the automotive industry is adapting to new, innovative and technologically driven developments. The summit, now in its fifth year, takes place at the start of national Transport Month held every October. This year’s theme for Transport Month is Siyakhe – we are building. According to the Department of Transport, the month draws attention to the multiple transport infrastructure services from aviation and maritime to public transport and roads. It is also a time to highlight South Africa’s road safety campaigns and create awareness of the economic benefits of the sector. The focus for the month is on how the country can build a better transport infrastructure to grow South Africa together. The delegates toured the Ford plant, looking at what the future holds in terms of new energy vehicles. Welcoming the visitors to TASEZ – Africa’s first automotive city – the acting CEO, Rebecca Hlabatau emphasised how important the automotive industry is to growing South Africa’s economy and tackling the country’s triple threats of poverty, inequality and unemployment. “Integrated smarter mobility is central to growing our economy, creating decent jobs, increasing equality, and protecting the environment,” she noted. TASEZ has a very important role in this regard as a special economic zone focused on supporting the transformation and development of the sector, Hlabatau added. “We hope you have gained some insight into the enormity of the projects going on in the sector during your tour this morning, including seeing a glimpse at what TASEZ offers its investors.” While creating an enabling environment for the manufacture of top-quality vehicles is crucial to what TASEZ offers, equally important is the creation of jobs for local communities. The SA Automotive Masterplan This is all in accordance with the South African Automotive Masterplan 2035. The plan has stipulated that the automotive industry must have made significant changes to ensure that South Africa can be a global role player. Key to the Masterplan is a globally competitive and transformed industry that actively contributes to the sustainable development of South Africa’s productive economy, creating prosperity for industry stakeholders and broader society. With this in mind, the objectives identified in the Masterplan include South Africa producing 1% of the world’s vehicles, using 60% local content, and making sure that 100% of those employed by the manufacturers are South African. “As we answer to those objectives, it is crucial for TASEZ to support young, emerging entrepreneurs to find ways to use their innovative and creative skills to come up with unexpected but relevant solutions to the changes in the sector.” Although a relative newcomer to the special economic zones space, TASEZ has been playing an important role in making sure the Automotive Masterplan targets will be met. By the end of 2022/23, TASEZ saw a total of R4,6-billion invested, against a forecast of R3,4-billion. During this same time, the investors employed 2 425 people against a target of 1 688, bringing the total number of people currently employed within the zone to 3 028. More than 65% of these jobs come from the surrounding townships and consist of 39% woman and 52% youth. “And like Smarter Mobility Africa, we too believe that together we will be able to build a better transport system in South Africa that will grow the economy and create jobs,” Hlabatau concluded.

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.