Automotive manufacturer Mercedes-Benz Cars will invest €600-million, or about R10-billion, to expand its South African subsidiary Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA’s) manufacturing plant, in East London, and equip it for the future.
The investment will be used to build a new paint shop and a new body shop and to upgrade the assembly shop and new logistics warehouses.
The expansion will safeguard the 3 300 jobs of MBSA's employees, as well as the multiplier effect of MBSA's importance in the East London region.
The company on Tuesday also confirmed its decision to produce the next generation of C-Class vehicles at the East London plant.
“The investment is a sign of our commitment to South Africa and efforts to revive economic growth, as well as the socioeconomic development of the East London region,” commented Mercedes-Benz Cars production and supply chain board member Markus Schäfer.
President Cyril Ramaphosa welcomed the announcement, stating that a central priority for government this year has been to encourage significant new investment into the economy, which is necessary to realise economic growth, employment and reduce inequality.
South Africa is seeking to raise $100-billion in new investment over the next five years to create jobs and grow the economy.
This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of passenger vehicle production at MBSA’s East London plant.
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene and the Eastern Cape Premier Phumulo Masualle were also in attendance at Tuesday’s announcement.