Tshwane SEZ operations in full swing Check Out

All 10 of the zone’s auto component manufacturing companies have commenced full production, signaling the official commencement of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) in full operation.

After starting to produce the new Ford Ranger on November 14, 2022, Ford Motor Company of South Africa (FMSA) did this.

As a special purpose vehicle manufacturing zone, TASEZ was created. In order for South Africa to become one of only three global hubs for the production of the next-generation Ford Ranger, its initial phase of development was expressly designed to provide extra infrastructure and capacity within the FMCSA supply chain.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), the Gauteng Department of Economic Development, and the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality entered into an unprecedented intergovernmental agreement that resulted in the establishment of TASEZ in May 2020.

Tshwane Sez
Tshwane Sez

The mandate of TASEZ, according to the deputy minister of trade, industry, and competition, Fikile Majola, is in line with and effectively derived from the national strategies of the South African government, particularly the new Special Economic Zones (SEZs) approach that was approved by Cabinet in 2019.

The planning, development, and management of Special Economic Zones is emphasized in the strategy, along with the participation of the private sector and all three tiers of government (national, provincial, and municipal). With a focus on forming alliances with the private sector to release investment that will create jobs, the new strategy takes a multifaceted approach to industrial growth, according to Majola.

For the development of the new Ford Ranger, FMCSA invested US$1.05 billion (R15.8 billion) in capital.

Despite the economic and investment difficulties brought on by COVID-19, TASEZ started building the suppliers’ facilities in January 2021. Three of these companies began producing parts for the previous Ranger in the zone as early as November 2021.

According to Majola, “during the past ten months, all investors have moved in and have been getting ready for the fresh commencement of manufacturing of the new Ford Ranger.”

Currently, the zone’s ten suppliers have invested R3.62 billion, compared to the R4.2 billion total expected investment.

In comparison to a planned objective of 2 080 jobs to be realized during the production ramp-up, the total number of permanent positions produced by these suppliers now stands at 1 259 jobs (76% youth and 32% women).

Up to now, 4 848 construction jobs have been created, with 12% women and 53% young people. By enabling Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) in townships, TASEZ also contributes to creating inclusive economic growth and meaningful economic possibilities.

With 244 SMME packages issued for a total of R1.1 billion, the total procurement spend on SMMEs through construction packages is currently resting at 38% of the target of 45% for Phase 1 construction.

There are now 5 500 people employed by the FMCSA throughout its own facilities, an increase of 1 200 employment. The local supplier network of Ford has reportedly added 10,000 new employment.

“The quick development of the Tshwane Automotive SEZ is a testament to what South Africa can accomplish with great collaboration between the public and commercial sectors, with a significant contribution made by the communities of Mamelodi, Nellmapius, and Eersterust. They made sure the project could go without interruption in light of the deadlines,” Majola added.

The TASEZ program will continue to be led by its mission to establish itself as a premier engine for inclusive industrial development and economic expansion, as it is already preparing to launch the second phase of development. This will concentrate on mixed-use buildings with an industrial node, a retail node, and an Automotive Center of Excellence node.

According to Majola, “the knowledge gained through the effective execution of TASEZ will be important in unlocking and developing the potential of the other SEZs throughout the country.”