Nissan R3bn investment a bonus for Cyril

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Cyril:  “Now how do I reverse over Malema?”  

By John Fraser

If I had Cyril Ramaphosa’s dosh, I would be taking it easy.  Instead, our President is rushing around the country almost as fast as his ANC comrades appear to messing-up his election prospects.   

Burning rubber, and not books, our President yesterday took a ride in some new (hopefully fireproof) Prasa trains, followed by an engagement with the farmers of Stellenbosch.

Today he was at Nissan’s Rosslyn factory near Pretoria to welcome a new R3bn investment, before zooming off to a gathering of religious leaders. All of this before lunchtime.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is demonstrably on the election trail, with numerous public appearances, speeches, rallies, and his government promising that it will fix what – arguably – it has messed up due to incompetence and corruption, most notably the supply of water and electricity.

In this environment, it is easy to see his relish at the R3bn Nissan investment in the local production of new Navara pickups.

With this investment, there will be new jobs, training, exports, all sort of good stuff.  Let us just hope that as the vehicles roll off the production line, pampered politicians and officials will be forced to procure and use these proudly-local vehicles.

Nissan bosses say their plant is now much more efficient than before, on a global scale, which helped it to secure this production deal – and the auto giant is ready to welcome to its plant the production of vehicles by sister brands Renault and Mitsubishi.

Local content, a key requirement for maximising state investment incentives, is to be boosted, with a target of 60%.  To reach this, there will be mentoring, incubation, all sort of support for small black component producers, with the aim of making them larger and larger entities.

All good stuff, although the actual new direct jobs from these billions in investment will be in the hundreds, which won’t even send a ripple across the ocean of unemployed.

Speaking to officials behind the scenes, it was clear that this was not an easy investment to secure.  This country has so many challenges.

However, as we move ever-closer to the election, it is reassuring that one of the pledges made at the President’s glitzy Investment Summit last year has translated into bricks and mortar, wheels and tires, engines and windscreens.

Nice one Cyril.  Keep ’em coming.

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