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Creating jobs for KZN youth

Written by Hlengiwe Ngobese
More than 20 young people from KwaZulu-Natal are set to benefit from a new R95 million Mahindra plant which will manufacture a new range of double cab bakkies called Pik Up on the outskirts of Durban.

Twenty-five young people in KwaZulu-Natal have received training and gained employment with the opening of the new Mahindra Plant in Durban. The staff received training in partnership with global Mahindra and Mahindra group and AIH logistics and they will be sent to India for further training where required.

The trial production of the facility is underway with an estimated 2 000 vehicles planned to be produced annually, eventually leading to 4 000 vehicles rolling off the assembly lines a year.

MEC for Economic Development,Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala said the plant has created jobs for 25 employment young people from in and around Durban.

"The investment is good for business confidence. lt continues to show that here in KwaZulu Natal were are conducive place for investors. lt also send a message to those who remain reluctant that Durban is a place to consider when it comes to investment," said MEC Zikalala during the launch.

He said the initial employment opportunities generated in this enterprise would contribute to the expansion of skills base in the province.

One of the employees is engineering graduate Sthembiso Mthembu who said he is very happy to have a job.

"I have been sitting a home for a year without getting any employment. This opportunity has helped me to provide for me and family. Although l have an mechanical engineering degree l didn't know much about assembling a car. The training they gave us helped us to gain confidence in the expertise," he said.

Mahindra Chief of International Operations Arvind Matthew said the company aims to source 40 percent of the components for the Pik Up bakkie from local suppliers.

"The assembly of the Pik Up is the first step in our long-term plan that will see us increase employment and local sourcing in KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.