Aberdare Cables gave an R135 million vote of confidence in Nelson Mandela Bay’s economic future by establishing a high voltage manufacturing plant in Korsten, the third-largest on the African continent.
The plant was officially opened by Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel on July 25, 2019.
The opening forms part of Aberdare Cables’ investment drive in South Africa. Minister Patel was accompanied by the MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism, Mlungisi Mvoko, Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian and Nelson Mandela Bay’s Executive Mayor, Cllr Mongameli Bobani.
In his keynote address, Minister Patel said that the aim was to close economic balances through job creation and youth development. “This forms part of Aberdare Cables total investment drive in South Africa. This company is responding to the call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa for united efforts to attract investment and grow the economy,” said Minister Patel.
“This is an important investment for the Eastern Cape; the Province’s manufacturing contributes about 11.5% to the country’s economy”, Minister Patel added.
He said that although a number of factories had closed down in the past, this investment would boost the province’s economy, which has succeeded in creating approximately 1.3 million jobs.
This industrial investment sees the expansion of Aberdare Cables’ manufacturing capability of cables from a current level of 33kV to a new product offering of up to 132 kV. The facility is anticipated to be fully functional by the end of July 2019. This investment will create 58 jobs, in addition to the 429 jobs that Aberdare Cables has to date created at both plant and commercial levels in its Port Elizabeth office.
MEC for Finance, Economic Development, Environment Affairs and Tourism, Mlungisi Mvoko, echoed these sentiments, adding that “the programme would not only focus on job creation but would also attract investors to the Province. For the manufacturing industry to grow, the country needs an improved education systems and relevant skills development”.
Mvoko emphasised that the private sector has an important role in guiding the government in this area.
Executive Mayor Mongameli Bobani said that the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality viewed healthy and vibrant growth and development as critical to the success of the wider economy in the city and province. He said infrastructure development would take top priority to raise the reputation of the Bay as an Investment City of choice.
“This is, of course, an important engagement, as a number of far-reaching announcements have been made by the South African Government with a direct bearing and impact on investment and economic development – a crucial lever to address the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“We all know that these remain massive challenges in the region and therefore we have to put our energy to good use by promoting economic growth and development through the full participation of our communities, by strengthening intergovernmental relations and partnerships with business and organized labour,” Executive Mayor Bobani stated.
Mayor Bobani added that the City was planning an Economic Investment Summit towards the end of this year, to which business communities from across the globe would be invited.
“This summit will among other things assist the Municipality in understanding the critical needs of investors, both local and international. The expectation is that the Summit resolutions will serve as a guiding document for the Municipality’s approach to local economic development.”