THE Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber (NMBBC) welcomed Isuzu to Nelson Mandela Bay last week Friday and congratulated the company on the opening and unveiling of its Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth.
CEO of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Nomkhita Mona said the investment confirms Isuzuâ€™s confidence in the city as an investment location.
â€œIt is clear the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro remains an attractive destination and stronghold for the automotive industry. This launch is in line with Nelson Mandela Bayâ€™s stated intent of positioning itself as Africaâ€™s automotive manufacturing hub,â€? Mona said.
She said the road towards stability in the automotive industry will be supported by the Department of Trade and Industryâ€™s automotive production and development programme through the 2035 SA automotive masterplan.
â€œThe policy environment will focus on ensuring that South Africa accounts for 1% of global vehicle production volumes by 2035.
â€œDevelopment and empowerment of black-owned business for inclusive growth as well as increasing local content are the main agenda points for future planning,â€? Mona added.
â€œWe remain encouraged by some of the packages and incentives created by government for the automotive industry that will create a cascading effect of wealth creation for downstream businesses and communities.
â€œAs the Business Chamber, we encourage our big businesses to engage in linkages with the smaller businesses in the region.â€? Commenting on increased production levels, transformation and localisation, Mona said they wanted the Bayâ€™s automotive economy to lead and innovate in critical areas.
â€œOne of the major issues for existing investors is an environment characterised by ease of doing business. The Business Chamber will continue to lobby to ensure that the necessary environment and provisions are made for our auto manufacturers.
â€œThe Isuzu investment is a much-needed response to mitigate the General Motors South Africa disinvestment, which would have been a big blow for the cityâ€™s unemployment rate.
â€œWe are encouraged by the fact that Isuzu would absorb most of these jobs,â€? she said, adding that NMBBC congratulates Isuzu South Africa on this significant investment and achievement, and wishes the company everything of the best in the future.