Locals are set to benefit from a new containment facility in the Eastern Cape.
Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies launched Aspen’s R1 billion high containment facility which will create over 500 jobs in Port Elizabeth.
The facility was established as a result of partnership between the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) and Aspen.
Minister Davies said this is a significant investment which is taking South Africa into a new level of manufacturing.
“If we look at the pharmaceutical industry South Africa’s population is the largest consumer of pharmaceutical products. When we look at some of these statistics, I think we can see that there are huge challenges in that we have a huge trade deficit of around R20 billion. This means we import R20 billion of pharmaceutical products than we export,” said Minister Davies.
He said the manufacturing of pharmaceutical goods contributes about 0.48 percent of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which plays a small part in the economy and employs about 9 600 people.
“When we look at the manufacturing value chains in the world South Africa will be better off if we are involved in the production of value added products even if it is just basic manufacturing than simply importing.”
Group Chief Executive of Aspen Stephen Saad said the company is a serial investor in the South African pharmaceutical industry.
“We are pleased that over 90 percent of the jobs that will be created in the new facility will be local jobs mostly drawn from surrounding communities such as New Brighton township.
“These employees will go on to become world-class highly skilled people that can hold their own anywhere and in most facilities globally.”