President Cyril Ramaphosa’s programme of reviving
the South African economy is beginning to bear fruit.
This was evident at the muchanticipated launch of the Mara Phone manufacturing plant at the Dube Trade Port in Durban in October.
The plant is a fi rst of its kind in South Africa.
The launch comes 12 months after company Chief Executive Ashish
Thakkar announced at the inaugural Africa Investment Forum in November last year that the company would invest R1.5
billion in a South African business venture over the next fi ve years.
At the launch, the Rwandabased Mara group took the President on a tour of the modern state-of-the-art plant.
The plant is anticipated to have an annual production capacity of over 1.2 million handsets of the Mara X and Mara Z cellphones.
Two hundred people have been employed at the plant 94 percent of which are youth and 67 percent are women. Speaking at the event,
President Ramaphosa said the Mara Phone’s venture was giving practical effects to the government’s investment drive.
“It was described as a pipe dream. Today we are reaping the fruits of what was promised.
We are delighted about this great launch because it is going to instill a lot of confi dence in other manufacturers that South Africa indeed is a place where they should all come and invest.
We are delighted because Mara is a proudly African venture that is producing a South African product.”Africa’s new tech giant
He said the company’s effort represents a great advance in the technological and electronical sector.
“We are delighted that you are increasing our technological capabilities by bringing your company here and emboldening the skills talent that we have,” he added.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa said Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Africa’s new tech giant
such as the Dube Trade Port, are important instruments and mediums of attracting foreign and domestic investment.
The SEZs, he said, are also important in building targeted industrial capabilities and establishing new industrial hubs.
“Studies reveal that sea port cities grow faster than inland port cities due to their strategic locations.
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