Trade and Industry (dti) Minister Rob Davies on Thursday launched the R985 million industrial complex, Komatsu campus, saying the launch demonstrates the confidence that business has in the South African manufacturing sector.
"With 2 500 employees in the Southern region, we are pleased that Komatsu is looking at the full value-chain of supply management, and this is evident in the announcement made by the company as it consolidates their operations, part distribution, equipment workshop, technical training centre and headquarters under one plant to retain the existing 953 jobs.
"This is a significant contribution towards addressing the challenge of unemployment and skills development," said Davies.
The launch was held at the Komatsu's campus in Germiston. The new Komatsu campus is one of the largest single owner industrial complexes in South Africa. The 300 000m2 facility incorporates Komatsu head office operations, the Isando branch, parts distribution centre, equipment workshop and technical training centre.
The launch follows a visit to Japan in September 2018 by a delegation from Invest South Africa, Presidential Special Envoy and Business Leadership South Africa. The visit was part of government's drive to attract R1.2 trillion worth of investment projects over five years.
The delegation engaged with Japanese government, business federations, government agencies, banking institutions, as well as current and potential investors.
The Japanese company also participated in the Presidential Investment Summit last month, wherein the investment in the expansion was announced.
Davies said it has been evident throughout the years that most Japanese investments in the continent are long-term and consistently of high quality, concentrated on training and upgrading employee's skills.
"I am pleased to see the Japanese companies strengthening, increasing and expanding their footprint in South Africa as the regional hub which bodes very well for the South African economy," he said.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Komatsu, Tetsuji Ohashi, said Africa and South Africa in particular, have become an integral part of their global business. He said South Africa was not only the company's biggest market on the continent, but the base from which operations in nine separate countries across the region are driven.
"The investment comes as Komatsu prepares to work towards its centenary year in 2021 and the promotion of its mid-range management plan. What we are doing today is sowing the seeds for future growth," Ohashi said.