Cell phone manufacturing plant launched in S. Africa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially launched SA's first smart phone manufacturing plant in Durban. [Photo: twitter@GovernmentZA]
The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday launched Africa's second smartphone manufacturing plant in Durban's Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone by Mara Group.
This follows the opening of a cell phone manufacturing plant in Rwanda this month.
"This is an outstanding world class facility," Ramaphosa said.
The Dubai-based Mara Group said they would be producing 1.2 million smartphone handsets annually.
Both factories in Kigali and Durban will manufacture "made-in-Africa" smartphones for the first time. There are other mobile phone facilities in Africa, but these operate as assembly plants.
Mara Group pledged to invest 100 million U.S. dollars in South Africa in last year's investment conference in the country. Ramaphosa said the company delivered on their promise by opening the cellphone manufacturing plant and increased the country's capability.
"This will instill confidence in other manufacturers that South Africa is indeed a place where they should all come to invest. "
"The company's efforts represent strengthening of our advances in technology and electronically manufacturing sector," said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa revealed that the company employed 200 youths with 67 percent of them women.
The Mara Phone plant will ultimately "generate over 1, 500 direct jobs and thousands of indirect jobs" when it gets to full capacity over time.
Ramaphosa said they would like to use the economic zones to attract investment, improve industrial capabilities and economic growth. He said they are doing what China did at Shenzhen by turning the area to an economic hub.