The much- anticipated investment by Chinese Automotive Manufacturer, First Automobile Works (FAW) took a giant step closer to implementation (today) with the signing of the investment lease agreement between Coega Development Corporation and China FAW Group Corporation. The investment, valued at over R600 million, will see FAW construct a state-of-the-art truck and passenger car plant at the Coega Development Industrial Development Zone. The investment, funded jointly by FAW and China-Africa Fund will, during the first phase, generate 500 permanent jobs for the region with more jobs expected when FAW expands operations to include the production of passenger vehicles. The plant’s initial output will be 5000 trucks per annum, with this figure expected to appreciate when the plant starts producing light commercial vehicles and passenger cars.
On hand to witness the signing and offer messages of support were the Premier of the Eastern Cape Noxolo Kiviet, MEC for Economic Development Mcebisi Jonas and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Zanoxolo Wayile. Speaking after the signing ceremony, the Executive Mayor hailed the signing as ground breaking and a much needed boost for the local economy. “We firmly believe that this investment will put us on the right track as we seek to tackle the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Mayor Wayile went on to thank FAW for showing confidence in the region.
The Premier of the Eastern Cape Noxolo Kiviet said that it was always gratifying to see ideas being translated into concrete actions powerful enough to effect change in the lives of ordinary people. The Premier also noted that the FAW investment was in line with the Provincial Government’s strategic objective of re-positioning the province as an investment hub.”This investment is in line with the objects of the new growth path and the provincial growth strategy and should send a signal to other potential investors that Coega is a viable investment destination”.
According to FAW Chairman, Jin Yi, the truck assembly plant in Coega will contribute to a healthy growth in bi-lateral trading between South Africa and China. “The launch is the first of a number of initiatives indicating our confidence in the region and the country. FAW has full confidence in Coega to deliver on its promise”. Chairman Yi also intimated that trucks assembled at the Coega plant will not only be for the South African market but for other African countries as well. “This agreement indicates a firm step between Coega and FAW, we will also speed our enterprise development initiatives to ensure skills development”, he concluded.