Providing support for the growth of the Eastern Cape automotive industry is one of the pillars of the provincial government’s strategy to “industrialize the province and unlock our huge economic potential,” Eastern Cape MEC of economic development, environmental affairs and tourism Mcebisi Jonas told delegates at a South African Automotive Week (SAAW) conference.
The economic potential “centred around our three ports and two IDZs,” he said at the Automotive Industry Centre (AIDC) conference.
We have prioritized development of our ports, and Transnet has committed significant resources to all three ports, he said.
Ngqura is being developed as a transhipment hub to provide feeder cargo to East and West African ports.
“This will directly link the Eastern Cape into global logistics systems, which will have obvious economic and trade benefits.
“We are also upgrading the ports of East London and Port Elizabeth, and developing transport corridors to Gauteng.
“We have also secured significant commitments from Eskom to ensure energy security for our industrialization programme,” he said.
Other support for the industry includes the building of a steel production facility in the Coega IDZ, “tapping into the iron-ore deposits in the Northern Cape.
“Effectively priced steel is a critical feedstock for industrial manufacturing, and will enhance our competitiveness as a province in the auto, ship-building and capital goods sectors,” he said.
Local production of “competitively priced” feedstocks such as polymers are seen as a priority.
“The strategy also proposes ways to mend our broken skills pipeline, and outlines social economy programmes to absorb those who are unlikely to find formal employment in the near future,” he said.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/10/industrialising-the-eastern-cape/