CLAIRE BISSEKER: Moving R363m forward and yet much more backwards
The billions in new fixed investment pledges stand in stark contrast to the continued attrition in SA’s manufacturing sector
As ever, it has been a week of stark contrasts in SA. On the one hand, President Cyril Ramaphosa has been basking in pledges of R363bn in new fixed investment; on the other, SA’s industrial base continues to bleed. How can these two stories be reconciled?
In Durban, a beaming Ramaphosa opened Mara’s new R1.5m hi-tech cellphone manufacturing facility and, in Tshwane, a new automotive special economic zone in partnership with Ford, where nine car manufacturing companies will open factories, scoring R3.6bn in new investment and the creation of 6,700 direct jobs. In addition, Isuzu Motors in Port Elizabeth has committed to investing R1.2bn to run its next-generation bakkie programme out of SA. Almost R3bn in local content will be generated through the project’s lifetime.