Smart phone production to boost SA's manufacturing capabilities

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The establishment of a smart phone production plant in South Africa, signifies confidence in the country’s manufacturing capabilities, Proudly South African said on Thursday.

“The establishment of Mara’s smart phone production plant here in South Africa sends a very strong message of confidence for local manufacturing in our country,” said Proudly South African Chief Executive Officer Eustace Mashimbye.

Mashimbye’s comments come as President Cyril Ramaphosa is scheduled to visit the cellphone manufacturing plant today.

The plant is located in KwaZulu-Natal’s Dube Trade Port Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

“The President will visit the Mara phone manufacturing plant which is housed at the Dube Trade Port. The Mara Group announced plans to manufacture affordable smartphones in South Africa at the inaugural South African Investment Conference held in November 2018,” said the Presidency ahead of the President’s visit.

The SEZ is a catalyst for the Durban Aerotropolis which covers over 3 000ha around the King Shaka International Airport. 

The company will manufacture two smartphones developed in partnership with Google, as part of the Android One Program. 

The Mara plant said Mashimbye, has an extensive and diverse supply chain.

“Mara has committed to sourcing from other local enterprises, [thus] creating much needed jobs in the process. We need many more Mara’s to see the advantages of setting up bases in South Africa, and of being part of the Buy Local movement,” he said.

Proudly South African said the Mara Group joins a list of other large multinationals that are becoming part of the ‘Buy Local movement’.

The group—which was developed by Rwandan businessman and billionaire Ashish Thakkar—has also become a member of Proudly South African, by virtue of the local content and job creation that the innovative company represents.

“From the use of local contractors to fit out the high tech facility within Dube Trade Port, including specific dust free space with electro static flooring, sophisticated AC and security systems, 100% of packaging material being sourced in the country, to vehicles, clothing and other items through the company’s supply chain. This project is of significant value to South Africa,” said Mashimbye.

The SEZ in which the plant is located in, comprises airfreight facilities, the Dube Cargo Terminal, light industrial manufacturing and logistics and the Dube Trade Zone.

It is also home to an integrated agricultural precinct with a plant propagation laboratory, glass greenhouses, pack houses and distribution facilities. –