The launch of the Yekani Manufacturing factory at the East London Special
Economic Zone (ELIDZ) is expected to create at least 1 000 new jobs for the
The R1-billion smart factory was launched by the Minister
of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, recently.
The 100% black-owned Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
electronics and manufacturing company is a beneficiary of the Department of
Trade and Industry¡¦s (dti) Black Industrialists Programme and the Special
Economic Zone Fund.
¡§What we are witnessing today is a company that is getting into this space,
which is very important as we prepare ourselves for the Fourth Industrialist
Revolution. This is an example of what we can do if we put our minds to it.
I think this an investment to celebrate at a number of levels in an industry
that is of strategic importance and key to job creation,¡¨ said Minister
Davies at the launch.
The dti provided R350 million for the construction of the factory that is
located in the ELIDZ through the Special Economic Zones Fund. The company
also received a R50-million grant under the Black Industrialists Programme
for the machinery at the plant. Through the grant, the company will be able
to employ a further 1 000 people.
Formed in 1998, the company currently manufactures DSTV¡¦s Explora HD
decoders, TEAC television sets, set-top boxes and tablets.
The launch, said the Minister, came as South Africa had not been able to
manufacture enough electronics products with a heavy reliance on imported
tablets, cell phones and all kinds of electronic equipment.
Group Chief Executive Office of Yekani, Dr Siphiwe Cele, said the new
facilities would allow Yekani to lead the way in technology innovation and
to help Africa secure its rightful place among global technology leaders.
Cele said the company wanted the world to know that Africans were capable of
pioneering new technology and also nurturing young people.
The Black Industrialists Scheme was announced in 2016 and at that time,
government¡¦s target was to support 100 black industrialists by the end of
the 2018/19 financial year. This target was exceeded in March when 102 black
industrialists were approved for financial support.
¡V Source: SAnews.gov.za