“It’s a matter of great pride for us that many more motorists around the world will be driving vehicles that bear the industry and craftsmanship of South African workers,” the president said at the official ceremony.
The president, who toured the automotive manufacturer’s facility and took the time to pose for selfies with workers, was pleased with how machines have not taken over the production line of vehicles.
Nissan has invested US$10.7 million in the training of workers, which will prepare them for the future of work in an era of technological advancement.
The investment was a clear vote of confidence in South Africa’s automotive industry, which contributes 7.1% to the gross domestic product, Ramaphosa said.
The investment will see Nissan produce its new Navarra pick-up van for the local as well as international markets. Production of the vehicle at the plant is due to start in 2019.
The Japanese firm started making cars in the country 56 years ago.
“In this era of technological advancements and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we must be deliberate in making the necessary investment to preserving jobs as well as creating more jobs,” he said.
South Africa’s automotive sector is an essential part of its industrialisation. The investment comes following South Africa’s inaugural investment conference in late 2018.
At that conference, Ramaphosa told the world that he wanted South Africa to raise US$100 billion in investment over the course of the next five years. So far the country has raised US$20 billion of the intended target.