Eastern Cape Development Corporation regional manager Zola Tshefu says German companies are considering investing R115 million in the Eastern Cape - the region where Volkswagen, Delta, DaimlerChrysler and several component makers' plants are based.

Eastern Cape Development Corporation regional manager Zola Tshefu says German companies are considering investing R115 million in the Eastern Cape - the region where Volkswagen, Delta, DaimlerChrysler and several component makers' plants are based.


Tshefu, Chris Mashego, the Coega Industrial Development Zone business development manager, Sudhir Mannie from Trade & Investment SA, and Kris Schnack, a German adviser who was seconded from the Centrum för Internationale Migration und Entwicklung, travelled to Germany last month as part of a trade delegation.


Commenting on the outcome of the delegation's visit, Tshefu said commitments had already been made, by as yet unnamed automotive companies or car component producers, but the financing had not been confirmed. This estimated figure of R115 million could grow if the other discussions and commitments were realised and, if everything went according to plan, about 150 jobs could be created in the Eastern Cape motor industry, she said.


Tshefu said the Eastern Cape Development Corporation was optimistic that projects involving the R115 million investment would be finalised by the corporation's financial year-end in March next year.


"Other firms that are expected to invest in the Eastern Cape this year included a manufacturer of car assembly equipment and a leading manufacturer of advanced plastics tooling, a skill that was in short supply locally," quoted Tshefu as saying on Friday.


Schnack was excited about the encouraging results from the trip. "Firstly, three investors are serious about an investment in the region while another two are closely looking at the opportunities.


"Secondly, a major European manufacturer will send a buying mission to this country later this year to see if it can leverage off the existing motor component infrastructure in the region for its European operations," he said.


"European motor manufacturers, located here and abroad, see supply from our region as a win-win situation," the German added.