Ford SA have partnered with government to launch Tshwane Automotive Economic Zone in plan to create over 7 000 jobs
Ford SA has partnered up with national, provincial, and local government to facilitate the creation of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) adjacent to Ford’s Silverton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Pretoria, and the SEZ was officially launched by South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.
MD of Ford SA, Neale Hill says, “The launch of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ is a milestone achievement following five years of engagement between Ford Motor Company and government, specifically the Department of Trade and Industry.”
“It is an exceptionally proud moment for Ford to have partnered with the South African government in the creation and development of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ, as an enabler for economic development for Gauteng Province, City of Tshwane and the surrounding communities.”
The department of Trade and Industry is the key stakeholder and is responsible for all 10 SEZs in South Africa. The Tshwane Automotive SEZ is a collaboration on a provincial level with the Gauteng Province.
Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) and the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) have been appointed as the operating company for SEZ.
“The public-private partnership between all three spheres of government and the private sector is crucial in order to drive growth in the automotive industry, to create more jobs and to boost the economy.”
“This exciting new project testifies to Ford’s ongoing commitment to South Africa as one of the country’s largest original equipment vehicle manufacturers, as well as that of key supplier companies that are essential cogs in the wheel as we drive towards creating a brighter and more prosperous future. It is only by government, industry, and communities working hand-in-hand that we can create these opportunities and fulfill our true potential” Hill adds.
Tshwane Automotive SEZ goal is to drive investment in the City of Tshwane, supporting the economic development of surrounding communities and, ultimately becoming a world-class automotive manufacturing hub.
The SEZ shall be launched in several phases, with construction already underway for the initial 81 hectare phase. Once completed, the SEZ will span 162 hectare of land currently owned by the City of Tshwane.
VP of Operations, Ford Middle East and Africa, Ockert Berry says, “We currently have nine Ford supplier companies that have expressed keen interest in investing in the Tshwane Automotive SEZ, which will create approximately 7 000 jobs in the initial phase,” explains Ockert Berry, VP of Operations, Ford Middle East and Africa. “Having these suppliers located adjacent to the Silverton Assembly Plant is a crucial step towards increasing the efficiency of our local operations, and unleashing further potential increases in production capacity for the domestic and export markets.”
“In conjunction with the AIDC, we are engaging with further supplier companies to establish operations within the supplier park, which will ultimately create an estimated 70 000 jobs in the total value chain once completed,” Berry states.
The Ranger is by far the country’s top light commercial vehicle (LCV) export and is the best-selling pickup in Europe. Currently, Ford SA exports the locally assembled Ford Ranger to more than 100 global markets. The Everest is assembled locally for South African customers, and for export markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ford’s R11-billion investment between 2009 and 2018 in local operations saw production capacities increase from around 25 000 to 110 000 vehicles per year when the Ranger production and export program commenced in 2011.
The most recent investment of approximately R3-billion in 2016 enabled the Silverton plant to further expand its production capacity and is now capable of producing up 168 000 vehicles per year or 720 vehicles per day.
Along with the vehicle assembly operations in Pretoria, Ford Motor Company supports two global diesel engine programs at its Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, with a combined production capacity of up to 250 000 engines per year.
Production commenced at the end of 2018 for the new generation 2.0-litre Bi-Turbo engines, installing 120 000 units per year. These engines are supplied to the Silverton Assembly Plant for use in the local and export Ranger, Ranger Raptor and Everest models.
Struandale Engine Plant is capable of producing up to 130 000 fully assembled 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engines, supplied to the Silverton vehicle plant for installation in Ranger and Everest model.
The Port Elizabeth plant makes component sets, comprising of cylinder head, block, and crankshaft for the existing 2.2 and 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engines.
Through recent investment and expansion the installed capacity climbed to its highest-ever figure of 280 000 sets per year to support export markets as well as local engine assembly.