Automotive Park to create jobs, entrepreneurs in Alex

Automotive Park to create jobs, entrepreneurs in AlexSixteen 'backyard mechanics' are currently being mentored to take their place in the Automotive Park

The Greater Alexandra-Marlboro Automotive Industrial Park is set to boost economic development in Johannesburg's oldest township by creating quality jobs and helping to grow a new generation of local entrepreneurs.

catalyzing the industrial regeneration of the townshipThe Automotive Park will act as a catalyst for the industrial regeneration of the townshipJohannesburg's oldest settlement, Alexandra Township, is set to receive a major boost with the creation of the Greater Alexandra-Marlboro Automotive Industrial Park.

The project was conceptualised by the City of Johannesburg's Department of Economic Development, and is being spearheaded by the Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA).

The park will comprise motor dealers, fitment centres, spares shops, panel beaters, mechanical and auto electrical workshops, upholsterers, licence plate manufacturers, a petrol station and a fuel depot.

Construction is due to commence in January 2015 and be complete by December 2015, with the JDA expecting to create 200 jobs during construction and post-construction.

"Alex Township carries a lot of history, there are many freedom fighters including Nelson Mandela who lived in Alex, yet it is one of the poorest townships in the country," said the JDA's Nthangeni Mulovhedzi.

"The Automotive Park will increase the local economic development of the area by creating job opportunities and generating economic activity through local mechanical entrepreneurs.

"We identified 16 automotive backyard mechanics [that] are currently under a mentorship programme," Mulovhedzi said. "Some of these mechanics are operating from their homes and some from a temporary place in the Marlboro industrial area.

"The identified mechanics are going to be the beneficiaries of the Automotive Park."

In 2008, the City's Department of Economic Development, in conjunction with the National Treasury, developed a citywide Township Economic Development Programme.

The Automotive Park project is fully in line with this programme, seeking as it does to create quality, sustainable jobs, develop viable small businesses, encourage private sector investment in a strategic sector of the economy, and act as a catalyst for the industrial regeneration of the township.