JOHANNESBURG – Close to 4,000 jobs are being created in the welding and mining equipment manufacturing sectors, thanks to a brand new investment programme.
Mining and construction equipment manufacturer, Caterpillar, will launch the project in conjunction with the Department of Trade and Industry.
Caterpillar said through the Equity Equivalent Investment Programme it aims to empower local and black-owned companies by developing companies and suppliers.
The company was granted exemption from selling equity, instead opting to participate in the investment programme.
The investment totals R1.3-billion.
“It’s basically the guys who are good at welding. Buckets is welding fabrication. (It) might also be a case of us saying currently, we are importing glasses for most of the trucks. We might source that locally,” said Barloworld Equipment CEO Emmy Leeka.
Another focus of the programme is to increase the country’s industrial base.
Caterpillar is the ninth multi-national company to join the investment programme, and the first in the manufacturing industry.
“They will be opening up opportunities for black-owned companies who will be suppliers of different components that is supplied by Caterpillar in SA. Instead of the equipment coming in as fully manufactured, some will come in as semi-manufactured,” said Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies.
“There will be value added activities in SA including body building and the specialised buckets that they use in the mining industry.”
It is hoped the investment programme will also result in enterprise creation, foreign direct investment, accelerated growth and develop the country’s research and development capacity.