South Africa: DTI Welcomes Ford Job Creation Efforts

Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on Thursday welcomed automaker Ford's announcement that it will be creating 1 200 jobs at its plant in Pretoria.

"The Minister has welcomed the announcement by Ford South Africa that it will be creating 1 200 jobs at its Silverton Plant in Pretoria, Gauteng. The announcement is as a result of a R3 billion investment commitment by the company earlier to expand capacity at the Silverton plant," said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

The American automaker in November 2017 announced it would expand production capacity at its South African plant in order to meet growing demand.

The expansion of the plant, said Patel, means greater volumes of production and the addition of a new model to the range with the production of the Ranger Raptor model starting this year.

In order to meet the growing export demand, Ford SA will be adding a third shift, meaning they will be in operation 24 hours a day.

In a statement, the automaker said the Silverton plant now has installed capacity to produce up to 168 000 Rangers and Everests per year - an increase of 44 000 vehicles prior to the expansion, and a substantial 58 000 more than the original Ranger production capacity when this programme commenced in 2011.

Patel commended government's Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP).

"The APDP and the recently announced Automotive Masterplan has a clear programme of doubling employment in the sector. This announcement by Ford SA is indication that these ambitions are in progress."

Patel noted that where industrial policy is correctly implemented in close collaboration with key stakeholders, it bears tangible results.

He said jobs are going to have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people.

The dti in November 2018 unveiled details of the approved extension of the APDP from 2021 to 2035, with amendments in support of the South African Automotive Masterplan (SAAM).

The APDP was fully implemented by January 2013, with a view to steer the automotive industry towards producing about 1.2 million vehicles by 2020 with attendant expansion of the domestic supplier base. The programme is due to expire in 2020.

Currently, over 400 vehicles are assembled at the Silverton plant on a daily basis.

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