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Monday, 07 January 2019 16:19

Ethekwini Deputy Mayor applauds new manufacturing institute

ETHEKWINI Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer has applauded the opening of the Toyota Wessels Institute for Manufacturing Studies which is set to boost the growth of the local automotive industry.

Councillor Peer congratulated Toyota and the Wessels Family Trust for establishing the institute in Kloof.

She said eThekwini recognises the importance of the automotive component and manufacturing sector and views the Durban Automotive Cluster (DAC) as the key support mechanism for the sector locally. The City has a longstanding partnership with the DAC that is responsible for facilitating the advancements of the automotive industry in KwaZulu-Natal.

“As outlined by the national sphere of government through the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the DAC is a key contributor to the local and national economy, has high employment multipliers, drives technology and innovation and supports the growth of skills capacity and capabilities,” said Councillor Peer.

The Institute for Manufacturing Studies was established with R50 million in grant funding from the Toyota South Africa Educational Trust, which received its seed funding from the Wessels family and Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan.

The institution will be operated on a non-profit basis with any surplus generated used to fund campus improvements and a scholarship programme for black South Africans.

It will also facilitate and host numerous non-academic programmes including executive development programmes, short certification courses, specialist conferences and thought leadership seminars. Furthermore, the institute aims to become the hub of manufacturing research in Africa. Among the delegates attending the opening was Department of Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies who commended the institute for its contribution towards the growth of the manufacturing and automotive industry.

Head of the City’s Economic Development and Investment Promotion Unit Shunnon Tulsiram said:

“The opening of this institution is a powerful response from the private sector in growing and developing our manufacturing sector.”

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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