ECDC approves investment to create new jobs [Bizcommunity (South Africa)]
(Bizcommunity (South Africa) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Development financier the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) has announced that it has approved an investment of R15 million into a global automotive company: TrelleborgVibracoustic-Ikhwezi, which is based in East London, Eastern Cape.
Late last year, TrelleborgVibracoustic (TBVC) announced that it had entered into a majority-owned joint venture with East London-based Ikhwezi Investment Holding to manufacture chassis bushings for the Mercedes-Benz C and E class locally, to support the South African supplier of automotive suspension systems, Foxtec-Ikhwezi.
TBVC currently supplies several suspension mounts for the C and E classes and has recently been nominated on the next-generation C Class (W205), which is scheduled to start production in 2014. The bushings and suspensions are supplied to Mercedes-Benz plants worldwide as well as locally in East London.
The plant covers an area of 4000m2 and production began in 2013. It will initially employ 22 people, increasing to around 55 once peak volumes are reached. Ikhwezi has a 30% share and will provide support services, such as recruitment, finance and information technology management. TrelleborgVibracoustic (TBVC) will have full product design and manufacturing responsibility.Modern technology brought into the Eastern Cape
"ECDC's investment of R15 million into this multimillion rand JV operation is well timed. With this investment, ECDC has ensured that modern technology is brought into the Eastern Cape and this will improve skills for the economy and job opportunities in the car manufacturing sector. Currently, the TBVC plant in Port Elizabeth supplies bushes for the current model, which is manufactured in Poland.
"With this investment we have swung the manufacturing philosophy and technology of the plant towards increased local content. Disbursement started at the beginning of the current financial year. We have also leveraged on other export trade opportunities to the European markets. We are proud of the fact that we have used the incentives from the Jobs Stimulus Fund to further boost local employment opportunities at the plant," said ECDC's chief executive, Sitembele Mase.
Through this fund, a total of 40 new jobs will have been created once the full effect of the incentive has been felt. Currently 22 employees have already been employed with further imminent increases in the pipeline.Extensive training
"The most exciting part is the extensive training provided to previously excluded employees in Poland this year. It is gratifying to observe the commitment and high-tech skills being applied by black artisans and graduates in their operational areas. With an incentive such as the Jobs Stimulus Fund, the cash-flow pressures are minimised. It is also when such incentives are invested wisely in purchasing of new modern technology that really matters for future expansion and growth," Mase said.
Conrad Vigne, of TBVC's finance department, said that TVBC is grateful for the ECDC investment and the incentive. "The company is still growing and, in the next few months, we hope to utilise more of the Jobs Stimulus Fund, because we want to hire at least another 18 people before the end of the year.
"Most of the people employed thus far are working as machine operators in the company to meet the labour-intensive nature of the business. Some of them are graduates of the Buffalo City FET College in East London. In addition to the training they received, TBVC also sent them to Germany and Poland for further specialised training. It was an exciting experience for these new employees. For some of them, it was the first time they have been outside South Africa," said Vigne.
All rights reserved.
(c) 2013 Bizcommunity.com Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
[ Back To Technology News's Homepage ]