Mercedes-Benz Cars invests an additional R3 Billion into Mercedes-Benz South Africa as the East London Plant starts production of the New Generation C-Class

Mercedes-Benz Cars invests an additional R3 Billion into Mercedes-Benz South Africa as the East London Plant starts production of the New Generation C-Class

Mercedes-Benz Cars invests an additional R3 Billion into Mercedes-Benz South Africa as the East London Plant starts production of the New Generation C-Class

Mercedes-Benz East London Plant starts production of the New Generation C-Class. Following the R10 billion investment announcement event in 2018 Mercedes-Benz Cars announced an additional R3 billion investment into the East London Plant. The Plant upgrades feature environmentally-friendly buildings including technologically advanced paint shop, body shop, assembly and logistics warehouse.

Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Production and Supply Chain Management stated: “South Africa is an important location in our global Mercedes-Benz production network. The team in East London made a remarkable contribution to the international ramp-up of the new C-Class that we produce through efficient, flexible, digital and sustainable operations. Thanks to the exceptional work of our colleagues in South Africa and all over the world and their first-class cooperation, our modern plants are able to produce outstanding vehicles like the new C-Class. With our additional invest of 3 billion rand in East London Plant, we underline our commitment to contributing to the South African economy and the Eastern Cape region.”

East London, South Africa. Following on Mercedes-Benz’s rich heritage of over 6 decades in South Africa, the East London Plant has officially started production of the New Generation C-Class. Since the investment announcement of R10 billion in 2018, the East London Plant has undergone numerous Plant upgrades in preparation for the production of the new model. At an event commemorating the start of production of the New Generation C-Class on 24 June 2021, Mercedes-Benz Cars announced an additional R3 billion investment into the East London plant. A sure sign of commitment and a concerted effort to revive the economic growth of South Africa as well as the socio-economic development of the East London region.

Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Mercedes-Benz Cars, responsible for Production and Supply Chain Management, stated: “South Africa is an important location in our global Mercedes-Benz production network. The team in East London made a remarkable contribution to the international ramp-up of the new C-Class that we produce through efficient, flexible, digital and sustainable operations. Thanks to the exceptional work of our colleagues in South Africa and all over the world and their first-class cooperation, our modern plants are able to produce outstanding vehicles like the new C-Class. With our additional invest of 3 billion rand in East London plant, we underline our commitment to contributing to the South African economy and the Eastern Cape region.”

Commenting on the additional investment and start of production of the new C-Class, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, said: “the launch of this new Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the latest generation to grace the roads of South Africa and the world, positions Buffalo City and the rest of Eastern Cape to continue its legacy of advanced manufacturing. Through the South African Automotive Masterplan, and the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP), we have created a platform for investment in the industry, deepening our technological expertise, creating local value chains, and securing jobs.”

Andreas Engling, Mercedes-Benz South Africa CEO and Executive Director Manufacturing, welcomed distinguished guests from South African spheres of politics and business, to the celebratory event of the start of production of the new generation C-Class.

R10 Billion investment – East London Plant Upgrades

Since the investment announcement in 2018, the R10 Billion investment was utilised for a wide modernisation of the East London Plant. The Plant upgrades include a new Body Shop, which has been designed for higher capacities and features more than 500 “Internet of Things” Industry 4.0-enabled robots. To allow the East London Plant to increase volume outputs, optimise the assembly line and achieve commercial synergies, a new Body Shop has been built at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ), where vehicle parts for the New Generation C-Class are manufactured.

More than 700 tons of steel have been installed for the additional three lines in the assembly shop and a new logistics warehouse. Utilising new methods such as art application technology, the new paint shop is now even more energy efficient and more environmentally-friendly. Overall, the new buildings comprise an area of approximately 100 000 sqm. This reflects an addition of two thirds of the already existing buildings for the passenger vehicle production. At the Mercedes-Benz Learning Academy, additional robotics were installed for training. The Mercedes-Benz Learning Academy (MBLA) is a flagship and sustainable Public Private Partnership in cooperation with the National Treasury and the Jobs Fund which demonstrates the commitment of Mercedes-Benz South Africa to the empowerment and youth development in the automotive manufacturing sector. Since 2004, the MBLA has offered world-class quality training and transferrable skills, qualifying hundreds of skilled artisans in the Eastern Cape, which is even more important in times of a pandemic when travelling is restricted.

Commenting on the successful ramp up of the New Generation C-Class, CEO of Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director of Manufacturing, Andreas Engling stated: “Despite a tough year in 2020, we were able to accomplish what we had planned. To date, all of our buildings are complete and we are ready for the production of the new generation C-Class in full force. At Mercedes-Benz South Africa, our passion drives us to be the best and it is this passion, which drives our high-performance culture.”

East London Plant Sustainability

Mercedes-Benz is aware of the impact that its activities and products have on the environment, and the Company is addressing this in a holistic way along the entire value chain. With Ambition 2039, Mercedes-Benz strives for a fully networked and completely CO₂ neutral vehicle fleet in less than 20 years, aiming to have plug-in hybrids or all-electric vehicles to make up more than 50% of its sales by 2030.

In support of Ambition 2039, locally, the Mercedes-Benz Plant in East London has embarked on numerous initiatives to help preserve the environment for future generations. The new paint shop is more energy-efficient, reducing energy consumption per vehicle by 25 percent. The new buildings have been equipped with energy efficient LED lighting, which uses up to 90 % less energy per lumen output. Through the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the adoption of more efficient technologies and processes, the Plant produces an annual saving of over 16 MWh. This is the equivalent of the annual energy usage for the East London Plant body shop and the logistics buildings put together. Additional plant sustainability initiatives include battery storage containers; rainwater recycling with a water storage of 1 Million Litres; green areas which have been installed on the corridors and the roofs as well as soluble labelling which is being utilised on production parts packaging to minimize waste reduction.

“At Mercedes-Benz South Africa we are committed to an environmentally-friendly production. As such, we focus our efforts on the efficient use of resources. Through the certification and carbon offset strategy, the East London Plant will become CO₂ neutral as of January 2022. As an organisation, we remain committed to a sustainable present and a bright and hopeful future,” added Engling.

From 2022, the Mercedes-Benz East London Plant along with all own Mercedes-Benz Plants will produce CO2-neutral. This includes more than 30 passenger car and van plants worldwide and is a further step in the implementation of the Ambition2039. MBSA will ensure the replacement of liquefied petroleum gas with liquefied natural gas through compensations.

Artist Market Access Opportunitties: Open Call

Eastern Cape Provincial Arts and Culture Council (ECPACC) has developed a website with an  online shop/orders component to service Visual Art, Crafts, and Design products for the  Eastern Cape Province artists. We present an online platform to Artist in the Visual arts and  Craft spectrum to have their products marketed online taking orders from the customers to  liaise with the artists themselves and make direct payments to them.  

A maximum of 30 artists will be selected from the open call submission and the artworks will  be showcased in the EC Craft online website during the 2021/2022 financial year. 

APPLICATION PROCESS:  

  • Provide us short biography /profile /portfolio of your work. 
  • Must be submitted in the following format: 

– JPEG Format 12.450 x9.450 pixels RGB, describing the works and contact  information. 

OR 

– Provide Links for us to access your artworks submitted through emails or  WhatsApp (large files are to be sent through a link format, e.g. We Transfer. OR 

Please note: No limit on the Art medium size, year of production, Artist’s age. 

The product area of focus will be high end quality products that will represent the rich talent of  the province in the following categories:  

  • Home décor  
  • Traditional wear  
  • Bead/ Accessories  
  • Visual Art/Paintings 

OPEN TO:  

  • Only Eastern Cape born Visual art and Craft artists will be given preference. • It is a provincial call to all Visual art and Crafts creatives in the province, to all ages over  18, all genders and all districts. 
  • Mid-career artists and professional artists, however emerging artists can apply too. • Artist must be the owner originates of the artworks, their own origination. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  

  • Transportation of the artwork is the responsibility of the artists hence the artists are  advised take out an insurance to cover the artwork for transportation.  
  • ECPACC reserve the right to reject applications of work that are deemed unsuitable for  this platform, be it explicit or hostile.  
  • ECPACC will enter into an agreement with the artists giving ECPACC a consent to have  their artworks marketed on the EC Craft online website and its social media platforms. 

SHORTLIST:  

Shortlisted applicants will be notified of the outcome in two weeks from the closing date and  the project will resume in the 2nd quarter of the 2021/2022 Financial year. 

NB: Submissions and queries can be addressed via email either to: info@eccraftonline.co.za or: vndwandwa@ecpacc.co.za or telephonically to 043 743 6187 or 066 324 9215. The closing date is the 02nd July 2021. 

Please note: This is not a funding opportunity. 

Previously applied applicants are encouraged to re-apply if they want to, or we will use  the information we have received from the first call that was out and closed on the 29 March 2021. 

BKCOB VACANCY | Communications Specialist

The Position: Communications Specialist

The Border-Kei Chamber of Business (BKCOB) has a full-time position available and seeks to replace a vacancy within the Communications portfolio of the Chamber.

The successful candidate will be an experienced and respected communicator, capable of achieving targets and working in a pressured environment.  

Qualifications:

A postgraduate qualification in communications, journalism or marketing is required. The prospective candidate should have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in the communications field, engaging internal and external stakeholders through various platforms including social media.

Duties include but are not limited to website and social media content development. Advertising sales, photography and experience developing a publication would be an added advantage.

Position Profile

  • Strong independent and innovative thinker
  • Self-assured and able to work without supervision
  • Good communicator with above average skills
  • Have recognised networks with respected media houses.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills with the ability to engage a diverse range of members at various levels.
  • Innovative and improves relationships through communication.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES:  

The incumbent would be responsible for the BKCOB magazine – The Business Hi-Lite including close collaboration with the Publisher. This includes the writing of articles, material research and advertising sales.

  • Web based acumen that includes developing and updating web sites. Word Press experience would be an added advantage.
  • Extensive knowledge of the intricacies of social media.
  • Writing, editing and drafting press releases as well as other news letters
  • Mass mailing and mass electronic communication (eg. Mail Chimp)
  • Distribution of invitations and newsletters
  • Able and prepared to mentor interns
  • ITC experience especially digital communications platforms.

Candidates can email their CVs to: executive@bkcob.co.za.

Fundraising for Little Girl Who Lost Her Foot

Marissa Nel & Associates was recently introduced to Fihliwe Ngguthwana; a 13-year-old girl who suffered from ostegenic sarcoma bone cancer and as a result had her leg amputated. 

In 2016, Fihliwe cut her foot on a broken bottle in her gravel road community. The cut just wouldn’t heal, and her leg started to swell. She was taken to a hospital who ran tests, and the results were devastating. The Doctor informed the family the only way to save Fihliwe’s life was to amputate the leg.

Fihliwe is a lucky cancer survivor and with the help of crutches moves around and is able to attend school.

Fihliwe’s passionate Principal; Tobeka Vapi from at Maganise Junior Secondary School, in Ngqeleni O.R.Tambo District, approached Marissa Nel & Associates who recently opened a branch in Mthatha to see what assistance she could source for the quiet little girl who she had noticed had become so withdrawn since the amputation.

Fihliwe’s mom Susan, who is unemployed is dedicated to Fihliwe’s health, happiness, and education.

Her story has touched Marissa Nel “We would love to be able to assist Fihliwe with her mobility so she can live life to the fullest”.

Marissa Nel & Associates has a large amount of Compression Stockings which are designed to help prevent venous disorders such as oedema, phlebitis and thrombosis which they donate to anyone who needs, and in return they ask for a donation towards their Rocking the Stocking fundraising campaign set up to exclusively raise funds towards selected
recipients. Currently all funds are being raised towards the costs of a prosthetic leg for Fihliwe.

Fihliwe says she enjoyed playing outside with the other children, but now struggles with balance and needs to rely on crutches to move around. She is excited at the prospect of getting a prosthetic leg and dreams about jumping on a jumping castle like she saw all the other children at her school do at their last fun day.


Anyone who would like to participate in this fundraising initiative to encourage to make contact with Marissa Nel & Associates: www.marissanel.co.za

BKCOB Vehemently Rejects BCMM’s Proposed Above-Inflation Tariff Hikes

The Border-Kei Chamber of Business has strongly objected the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s proposed tariff hikes which include water, sanitation, and remove refusal rate increases.

In their input to BCMM’s draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP), BKCOB states that it is against any increases which are above the inflation rate, including the 100% proposed increase to Sanitation and Refuse removal rates.

The IDP is essentially BCMM’s comprehensive road map for all future planned city-wide growth and details development in waste management; electrical upgrades; sports amenities; housing; township regeneration and bulk infrastructure development – to name a few. Hence it is important that the city know the development needs and priorities of business. It also creates an opportunity not only to engage but to assist and collaborate with BCMM.

View the full BKCOB IDP 2021 Input Here