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Eastern Cape Business 2023-24

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The 2023/24 edition of Eastern Cape Business is the 16th edition of this successful publication that, since its launch in 2006, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide for the Eastern Cape. The Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) is supporting this issue of the journal, both in providing up-to-date information for editorial use and in sharing information about its activities. It will also distribute the journal through its regular channels. The Eastern Cape’s multi-faceted approach to the challenges and opportunities of sustainability are explored in a special feature. From caring for agricultural land through partnerships between farmers, wool brokers and fashion houses, to solar panels and improved lighting and water systems, companies are finding ways to incorporate sensible and profitable solutions into their business models. The Nelson Mandela Bay Development Agency celebrates a significant milestone this year, it being 20 years since it began operations.

OVERVIEW Manufacturing:

OVERVIEW Manufacturing: general Investment is accelerating. The 2022 Provincial Investment Conference attracted the highest number of investors ever into the province, and the biggest monetary amount. Many of the investors who were part of the pledge of a total of R46-billion were in the manufacturing sector, including the German roads surface and road maintenance company, Liesen Bitumen. The investment of Aqora Lithium Batteries points to a trend that will grow in the years to come, with renewable energy taking an increasingly important position within investment baskets. Bushveld Energy, a subsidiary of vanadium miner Bushveld Minerals, intends commissioning its Belco factory in East London in 2023. The company says that this will be the largest vanadium battery electrolyte plant in the world, excluding China. The company is targeting eightmillion litres per year within four years from the factory, that was built in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Among other manufacturers making investment pledges were Benteler, South African Breweries, Mhlobiso Concrete and Toyota Material Handling. SAB’s Ibhayi Brewery has allocated R510-million for plant expansion. The provincial government aims for more diversification in manufacturing and is targeting sectors where the province already has a competitive advantage (such as wool and mohair), are labour intensive, will have a broad impact and have low barriers for SMME entry. A fibre-processing plant to spin wool and mohair fibre into yarn is planned, as is a textile mill to focus on cotton, poly-cotton and acrylic fabric. The latter is planned for the IDZ in East London, which is already home to Da Gama Textiles, whose factory has the capacity to produce 45-million square metres of fabric per annum. Da Gama makes the popular and distinctive shweshwe fabric, using its own unique printing process. Several cluster development programmes aim to develop specific industries by bringing together expertise and logistical support. A Non- Automotive Manufacturing (NAM) Cluster concentrates on training, supplier development, energy efficiencies and developing new markets. Swedish concern Fagerhult Group has entered the South African market via an acquisition of the factory of Port Elizabeth’s Lighting Innovations, and the two subsidiary companies Arrow Lighting and Beacon Lighting. ONLINE RESOURCES Coega Development Corporation: Eastern Cape Development Corporation: East London Industrial Development Zone: SECTOR INSIGHT South African Breweries is spending R510-million on expansion. Liesen Bitumen, Fort Jackson, Mdantsane. Montego Pet Nutrition, Graaff- Reinet’s biggest private employer, has been investing in both expanded capacity and in power generation, with the installation of an array of solar panels. More than 200 staff members work in the Karoo town’s factory. First National Battery, a Metair Group company, has one factory at Fort Jackson and two factories in East London. Mpact runs two corrugated packaging convertor facilities in the Eastern Cape, at Deal Party in Port Elizabeth and Gately Township, East London. Bodene, a subsidiary of Fresenius Kabi, makes intravenous medicine in Port Elizabeth. East London hosts Johnson & Johnson’s finance, operations and research and development divisions. ■ EASTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24 36

Manufacturing: automotive Panelbeaters and mechanics are to get better access to markets. OVERVIEW SECTOR INSIGHT Ford is pushing for a rail link to Tshwane. An Aftermarket Programme has been introduced to assist independent mechanics and panelbeaters to get better access to the budgets spent annually by the insurance industry, estimated to be in the region of R40-billion, and the national government automotive fleet (R100-million). The scheme, to be run by the Automotive Industry Development Centre – EC (AIDC-EC), will be offered to 300 operators in the province for a three-year period in which training and funding will be highlighted. The Provincial Government of the Eastern Cape has announced that it intends partnering with the private sector to establish a Component Supplier Development Fund to expand access to finance for smaller enterprises. Another task of the AIDC-EC is to prepare the province for the introduction of electric vehicles. This entails promoting renewable energy projects within the sector, rolling out skills programmes to assist with the transition to new technologies and installing electric-vehicle-charging stations on major routes. Ford Motor Company has initiated discussions about the feasibility of developing a sophisticated rail corridor between Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. The company wants to send parts to Pretoria and export cars through the Port of Gqeberha. Ford makes engines for the Ford Ranger pickup and Everest SUV at its Struandale plant and it has committed to invest R600-million for modernising ONLINE RESOURCES Automotive Business Council: Automotive Industry Development Centre: Coega Development Corporation: Eastern Cape Development Corporation: National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers: and growing its local operations, which employ about 850 people, pictured. This is a part of a bigger investment which includes the vehicle assembly operations in Gauteng. The 520 963m² Kariega facility of Volkswagen South Africa is one of four plants worldwide that makes right-handdrive Polos but the only one in the world that makes the Polo GTI. Both the Coega Special Economic Zone and the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ) have areas dedicated to automotive and automotive components manufacture. Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s new C-Class project (W206) has sparked several other related investments, which collectively will create 2 078 new jobs over two years. The production of the C-Class vehicle is a technological marvel and the plant regularly wins international awards for quality. The installation of a new sequencing centre, installed by Automotive Logistics Solutions (an AHI company), has made the assembly line even more efficient. Home-grown manufacturer of powertrain and catalytic converter assembly systems, Jendamark, exports to 18 countries. Continental Tyre South Africa is producing a 19-inch tyre for the first time at its New Brighton facility in Port Elizabeth. Isuzu SA has completed its consolidation project, with truck and bakkie manufacturing now taking place at its new headquarters in Struandale, Port Elizabeth. ■ 37 EASTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2023/24

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