South Africa plans to start developing a 11.5 billion rand ($735 million) automotive-supply park south of Durban, its third-largest city, in 2018 as part of its effort to increase investment in local-parts production.
The eastern Kwa-Zulu Natal province last week bought 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of farmland for the project and it will target suppliers including ones already working with vehicle manufacturers in the country, Mike Mabuyakhulu, the provincial head of economic development, said Tuesday at an event at Toyota Motor Corp.’s plant, also south of Durban.
The South African government’s auto-incentive program has attracted companies including Toyota, Ford Motor Co. and BMW AG to set up factories and invest in creating jobs in an economy with an unemployment rate of more than 26 percent.
Toyota spent 6.1 billion rand to facilitate production of its new Hilux and Fortuner vehicle models at the South African plant, Andrew Kirby, the chief executive officer of its local unit, said at the site on Tuesday. The facility is the second-largest producer of the models, after Toyota’s plant in Thailand, he said.
The government has started working toward extending support for the automotive industry beyond its current 2020 outlook and it aims to complete the new plan by March 2017, President Jacob Zuma said in a speech at the Toyota plant.
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