Work at Beijing Automobile International Corporation (BAIC) SA, the new Chinese car manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth that was officially opened by President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart, Xi Jinping, in July, is expected to resume this week after contractors downed tools over unpaid bills. Production was hampered for nearly three weeks at the R11bn factory in the Coega special economic zone. BAIC SA is a joint venture between China’s BAIC Group, which holds 65%, and SA’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), with 35%. It was launched with much fanfare during a sod-turning ceremony in 2016 but has been dogged by work stoppages. In the latest dispute, Scribante, WBHO and Ivor Smith Electrical suspended work on August 31, claiming their payment has been withheld since July, City Press reported on Sunday. Scribante is allegedly owed R31m and Ivor Smith more than R1m. WBHO is owed millions of rand, it reported. But BAIC spokesperson Mandla Mpangase told Business Day that t...

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