Mercedes throws S Africa $740 million investment lifeline

Johannesburg: German luxury car giant Mercedes-Benz has thrown South Africa an important foreign investment lifeline with a pledge to plough 600 million euros into the country, President Cyril Ramaphosa (pictured) said.
The Stuttgart-based marque will make its next generation C-Class sedan in the south east city of East London which will safguard the existing jobs at the factory and contribute to growth in the region.
The plant, opened in 1958, currently employs 3,300 people and will be extended by two-thirds to accommodate new manufacturing capacity. The plant produced 110,000 vehicles in 2017.
“The announcement by Mercedes-Benz Cars to inject 10 billion rand ($740 million) into the South African economy signals the positive momentum we are making to realise the ambitious target of raising 1.2 trillion rand in new investment,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said. The investment will come as a relief for Ramaphosa who came into office pledging an economic turnaround but has been buffeted by soaring living costs, a weak currency and dire growth and business confidence data. — AFP