The Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) has officially entered into full operation, with all 10 automotive component manufacturing companies in the special economic zone (SEZ) having started full production. This follows after Ford Motor Company of South Africa (FMCSA) started production of the next generation Ford Ranger.
The TASEZ was established as a special purpose vehicle production zone. The first phase of the development was specifically aimed at creating additional infrastructure and capacity within the FMCSA supply chain to support South Africa to be one of only three hubs in the world to produce the next-generation Ford Ranger. TASEZ is known as Africa’s first Automotive City.
The TASEZ was established in May 2020 through a first-of-its-kind inter-governmental agreement between the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition, the Gauteng Department of Economic Development and the City of Tshwane metropolitan municipality.
The Deputy Minister Trade, Industry and Competition Fikile Majola said that TASEZ’s mandate is aligned and effectively born out of the national strategies of the South African government, particularly the new SEZ’s approach that was approved by Cabinet in 2019.
“The approach places an emphasis on the involvement of all three spheres of government and the private sector in the planning, development and management of an SEZ. The new approach presents a multipronged approach to industrial development with prominence on building partnerships with the private sector to unleash job-creating investment,” said Majola.
FMCSA made a capital investment of $1.05 billion (R15.8 billion) for the production of the new generation Ford Ranger, and in support TASEZ was poised to create the bulk infrastructure and more than 205 000m² under roof factory space that currently houses ten FMCSA suppliers.
“In January 2021, notwithstanding the economic and investment adversity caused by Covid-19, the TASEZ commenced with the construction of the suppliers’ facilities. As early as November 2021 three of these suppliers where already in operations in the zone, producing parts for the previous Ranger. During the past ten months all investors have taken occupancy and have been preparing themselves for the new start of the production of the new Ford Ranger,” said Majola.
The investment made by the ten suppliers within the zone is currently R3.62 billion against an overall projected investment of R4.2 billion. The total number of permanent jobs created by these suppliers is currently sitting at 1 259 jobs (76% youth and 32% women) against a projected target of 2 080 to be realised during the production ramp-up. A total of 4 848 construction jobs (12% women and 53% youth) have been created to date.
The TASEZ also partakes in driving inclusive economic growth and meaningful economic opportunities through empowering small, medium-sized and microenterprises in townships. Within the FMCSA’s own facilities, 1 200 additional jobs have been created bringing its total workforce to 5 500. An estimated 10 000 new jobs have been created across Ford’s local supplier network.