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Zuma praises Toyota as expansion adds 4 000 jobs

May 24 2016 12:51
Jeff Wicks, News24

Durban - President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday praised Toyota for its expansion project in Durban, which will result in the employment of 4 000 people to make the Hilux and Fortuner models.

Zuma was speaking at the launch of a multi-billion expansion project at Toyota's Isipingo manufacturing plant on Tuesday.

The expansion allows the local production of the Hilux and Fortuner models.

Zuma was joined by Department of Trade and Industries Minister Rob Davies and Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel.  

Toyota SA CEO Andrew Kirby said that the move, with a capital investment of R6.1bn, would develop supplier capacity and set the platform for sustainable growth in South Africa as a strategic export base for the car-maker.

"We have evolved into the largest manufacturer in Africa and we produce the largest variety of models in the country. More than 50% of production will be exported to over 70 countries," he said.

At peak production, a vehicle is produced every 90 seconds at the south Durban plant.

The site first started making the first Toyota vehicles in 1972. 

"I am pleased to hear that this investment in the production of the new Hilux and Fortuner supports more than 4 000, jobs whilst total employment in the plant exceeds 8 000 jobs," said Zuma.

"This is a significant contribution towards dealing with the serious challenge of unemployment in our country," he added.

"This investment clearly demonstrates the confidence that global automotive producers continue to have in South Africa as an investment destination and the supportive policy environment which we offer."

Zuma said that work towards the development of a new Automotive Plan to cover the period 2020 to 2035 had commenced with a target completion date of March 2017.

"We thus see a brighter future for our automotive industry in our country, and look forward to growth and continued success for this sector.

"We support the automotive sector also because it is part of the important efforts of growing our manufacturing sector," he said.

"Manufacturing is far more important than the 15% it contributes to the economy. It forms the basis of a modern economy."


toyota  |  jacob zuma
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