South Africa Trade and Industry Minister Ebrahim Patel has launched a US $9.5m high-voltage power cables plant in Port Elizabeth which is set to contribute significantly to the South African economy and create jobs for youths.
Mr. Patel noted that the Chinese power and fiber optic cable manufacturer Hengtong has more ambitions to strengthen its operations in South Africa with an investment of about US $70.6m, including the construction of a new fiber-optic plant.
“This investment was made possible by the government’s commitment to encouraging local agencies to buy designated power cables locally. To date, we have only had one company producing high voltage cables locally and by the opening of this new plant we are encouraging healthy competition in the market, this provides the industrial capacity for the African continental free trade area,” said the Minister.
“As a Ministry, we aim to open up new markets for local products and increase levels of investment in our country in order to address economic inclusion,” he added.
Third high voltage power plant in Africa
In addition, Patel’s Spokesperson Sidwell Medupe said that there had been only two high-voltage power plants in Africa to date, one in Egypt and other in Gauteng, the new Aberdare Cables’ Port Elizabeth plant now becomes third.
The launch of the multi-million plant forms part of Aberdare Cable’s investment drive in South Africa as it seeks to expand its business in the country and also as a direct response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign to attract investors in the ailing economy.
Moreover, the new investment saw 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 start operations at the end of this month, creating about 58 new jobs in addition to 429 jobs that the company had created in it’s Port Elizabeth offices.