Premier of Gauteng.
Deputy Minister of Department of Women in the Presidency.
The Economic Advisor to the President.
The Presidential Envoys.
Captains of Industry.
P&G regional and local executives.
P&G Partners and Suppliers.
Staff of P&G.
Members of the media.
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am delighted to address you at this event which I consider as historic today. The launch and commissioning of the new Always manufacturing facility, which is an additional line to the existing facility here in Kempton Park is a giant step forward.
Today we are giving practical implementation to our investment mobilization drive. In early 2018 we announced an investment mobilisation of $100 billion over a five-year period.
In our inaugural investment conference in October 2018, we made 31 investment announcements totaling R 300 billion. I am pleased that we are now seeing the fruits of our investment mobilization drive and that, throughout the year, there have been a number of projects completed and launched.
Recently in eThekwini, KZN, the President launched a smart phone manufacturing facility at Dube Trade Port; a week earlier, Toyota launched its R454 million investment as an additional capacity for its Hiace plant in Prospecton. A number of projects are in construction phase and will be launched soon. All of this highlight the enormity with which the investment conference has had impact, giving real meaning to the President's imagination on our economy.
Today we celebrate a special project, the commissioning of the new R300 million Always manufacturing facility. This investment is a testament to P&G continuing and increasing investments into South Africa and the region. It demonstrates the commitment of P&G to continue to grow and contribute to the growth of our country and region in addition to over R1 billion that has already been invested by P&G since 2009.
We are seeing a new additional manufacturing facility being introduced for the Always sanitary pads, and we are also witnessing an additional line being added to the Pampers production line bringing the latest in the innovation and technology to South Africa.
The 300 jobs being created will be seen throughout P&G and the product value chain.
A number of additional investments was made to the plant as well which included facilities modernisation to ensure that the capacity to produce and export, maintaining and becoming a world class facility aligned to the P&G global standards and significant investments were also made in training and logistics.
As part of P&G's global manufacturing blueprint, the company is committed to use alternate sources of energy, reducing emissions and reducing the waste and water in the facility. It is pleasing and encouraging to see the company making strides to maintain energy efficiencies as well as plans to reduce energy, waste and water. It is also encouraging to see that the company maintains its zero waste to landfill sites since 2017. Key to P&G's strategy as a company is sustainability, a key pillar that we as government are encouraging from all of the companies investing in SA in line with global practices.
In demonstrating government's commitment, National Treasury this year announced zero VAT rate on sanitary pads which P&G advocated strongly for and through the robust and dynamic partnership between government and industry, government was able to implement that regulation this year. What has that meant for the citizens and consumers? It has allowed the women and girls in the most rural of areas to be able to afford the sanitary pads, it has allowed for women and girls to be able to access these pads.
We are pleased to see the commitment of P&G to the empowerment of women and girls. As the dti we are pleased to see that there is a strong focus on women entrepreneurship, investing in SMMEs and a partnership with WEConnect to empower women entrepreneurs, the backbone of the SA economy. We congratulate the Vice President for the foresight in committing even further in tripling government?s spend with women owned businesses over the next three years.
A number of products that we, as consumers, use in our homes are manufactured by P&G (Pampers, Always, Ariel Washing Powder, Vicks, Olay, Gillette, Pantene, etc). The company impacts daily on hundreds of thousand lives globally. Government is committed to its partnership with an impact investor like P&G and values the relationship it has with P&G. The mutual areas of collaboration has also resulted in P&G being a very strong advocate in promoting SA as an investment destination amongst US firms.
We want to take this opportunity to welcome the release of the 2019 edition of the WEF Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), which indicates South Africa's overall ranking improved from 67 out of 140 nations in 2018 to position 60 out 141 nations in 2019.
In this sixth administration, Government is committed to working in partnership with the private sector, labour and civil society to unlock growth, create jobs and build an inclusive economy.
I would like to congratulate the Vice President of South Africa, Mr. Vilo Trska, for having the foresight in taking up the investment challenge and increasing its footprint in SA and the region. I urge the company to continue increasing its product portfolio in the country and the region.
Thank you very much.