Johannesburg - The first phase of a taxi-manufacturing company was launched in Springs in Ekurhuleni on Tuesday, said the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).
It said the plant was being established in partnership with the Beijing Development Works company from China.
Head of the IDC Geoffrey Qhena said plans to develop the plant were initiated by the department of trade and industry in 2010, following calls for a local bus, truck and minibus manufacturing programme.
"The assembly plant is expected to provide many benefits to South Africa, including increased localisation of the automotive industry and export opportunities."
Taxi owners would also benefit from the local production of the 16-seater taxis.
"The vehicles will include a free two-year, 200 000km service plan to ensure that they are affordable and safe," said Qhena.
The plant was also expected to create employment for locals.