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Agence Ecofin
12 May 2022 Last update on Thursday, May 12, 2022 At 10:41 AM

The manufacturing industry sector is, according to the South African president, a major challenge for the economy of his country. It has been slowing down for a few years. The authorities hope, thanks to the contribution of the private sector, to return to pre-covid levels.

A brick manufacturing unit was inaugurated on Wednesday May 4 by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The announcement was made via a press release posted on the Presidency’s website.

The factory located in the province of Gauteng, in the north of the country, will be able to produce 100 million bricks per year. It will supply the markets of Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to the Head of State, this investment is part of a five-year investment program of 1.2 billion dollars led by the government.

“This investment is an example of the productive partnerships that have been forged between business and government to grow our economy and create jobs,” he said.

Called “Corobrik Kwastina”, the infrastructure is a subsidiary of Corobrik, a company specializing in the production of clay bricks, clay pavers and a range of building materials. The president said that the new establishment adds to 13 other clay brick factories and 14 kilns already present in the territory, before congratulating the company which employs around 2,500 people in its various structures across the country.

According to Trading Economics, the South African manufacturing sector has been experiencing a slowdown since 2020, with a negative manufacturing output rate. Although it showed rising growth from March 2021 (reaching 101.8%), this growth quickly lost momentum and fell below zero several times between July and December 2021. Last February, this rate rose to 0.2% year-on-year, decelerating sharply from a downward-revised growth of 2%.

For President Ramaphosa, “the manufacturing sector is one of the priority industries” which “will play a central role in creating job opportunities”.

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