The Acting Head of Investment South Africa (InvestSA), Yunus Hoosen, has said the R200 million investment by Lucchini South Africa is a vote of confidence in the South African economy.
Speaking at the launch of South Africa’s first internationally-owned forged wheel manufacturing facility by the Italian company in Germiston, Johannesburg, Hoosen said it is heartening to see a foreign company investing in South Africa and contributing to job creation and economic growth.
He added that government fully supports Lucchini SA’s commitment to the localisation programme and recognises the transfer of knowledge and technology to this plant in South Africa.
Hoosen emphasised that this indicated a clear vote of confidence in South Africa’s involvement in industrialisation and skills capabilities.
“More importantly, we need to applaud the skills and supplier development programmes of Lucchini SA. We are aware that this investment has and will continue to create opportunities for skills and supplier development. Continuous programmes to upskill Lucchini’s employees will be creating relevant skills that must be sustained and optimised to lever spill over effects to other manufacturing sectors,” said Hoosen.
The objectives of the incentive programme include the support of investment in manufacturing assets, to improve the productivity of the South African manufacturing sector and the training of personnel.
The acting head of Invest SA said government has placed industrialisation at the heart of its economic growth and development policy.
The National Industrialisation Policy Framework, he added, was the principal government policy that has formulated an approach for advancing industrialisation in the country.
“The annual Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) iterations give effect to the vision of the framework, through prioritisation and implementation of specific programmes and projects in achieving industrial policy imperatives. The rail transport equipment sector is one of the key sectors prioritised in IPAP, with great growth potential for the creation of new and decent employment, innovation and business opportunities,” said Hoosen
He added that the collaboration between the dti, Department of Public Enterprises and National Treasury, state-owned entities such as the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Transnet, and the industry at large, has resulted in the designation of rail rolling stock in 2012.
The designation provides a framework to achieving a minimum local content threshold of 55 to 80percent on different rolling stock classes as procured by government.
“Public procurement can be a powerful industrial policy lever for pursuing industrial development, innovation, and creating decent jobs. Using public procurement to develop, acquire and embed new technologies in key sector supply chains also has a direct multiplier effect on industry development and the creation of strong backward and forward linkages,” said Hoosen.