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Eastern Cape
Apr 17 2012 2:30PM
 
Multimillion-rand IDZ investment
READY: IDZ CEO Simphiwe Kondlo
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Sithandiwe Velaphi

The East London Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) is revving up for increased motor company investments, with a multimillion-rand expansion due to be completed this year.

Mercedes-Benz South Africa, one of the main boosters of local economic development in the province, and the East London IDZ has attracted major players in the car industry.

East London IDZ chief executive Simphiwe Kondlo said Mercedes-Benz South Africa had announced plans to produce its new generation C-Class W205 at its East London plant, a move that will inject billions into the local economy through the direct investment and spin-offs.

Mercedes-Benz's parent company, Daimler AG, is preparing to inject a further R2.5bn into its East London manufacturing plant following the decision to produce the C-Class W205 in South Africa, alongside sister plants in Germany, the US and China.

" With the first W205 due to roll off the assembly line this year, the IDZ is hard at work preparing for the feeder ramifications of this new investment.

"To best prepare for and sustain these opportunities, and to stimulate future automotive developments, the IDZ has authorised a feasibility study to look into ways to both enhance and refine the multi- original equipment Manufacturing ," said Kondlo.

He believes the overall success achieved in the car supplier park goes to the heart of what the IDZ prioritises in its value proposition.

"The suppliers located in the park are producing world-standard products and components that are globally competitive.

Every Mercedes-Benz C- and E-class unit rolling off the world's assembly lines sports a component manufactured right here in our zone by Foxtec- Ikhwezi."

Late last year Mercedes Benz announced it would adopt the Buffalo City metropolitan municipality, implementing the Business-Adopt-A-Municipality initiative of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.

Barry Canning, Mercedes-Benz manager, said this was part of a long-term strategy to help the metropolitan municipality improve service delivery.

provinces@thenewage.co.za

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