The South African economy has received a major boost with the Isuzu Motors purchase of the Struandale plant in Port Elizabeth.

In a statement on Sunday, the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) said the launch of the plant will boost investor confidence in the country.

Last year, Isuzu announced it would purchase the light commercial vehicle operations in Port Elizabeth as well as the balance of shareholding in its Isuzu Trucks South Africa operations.

The Japanese manufacturer purchased the Struandale plant, which belonged to General Motors. General Motors in May 2017 announced that it was dis-investing in South Africa. The move, it said at the time, was part of a broader, international strategic restructuring position by the company to exit certain markets.

Isuzu Motors, consolidated into one business now known as Isuzu Motors South Africa (IMSA), became effective from January and will build Isuzu pickups and trucks.

Speaking at the launch of the plant on Friday, dti Minister Rob Davies said the investment by IMSA will save jobs.

“We know that this investment will mean that 1,000 jobs in the facility will be saved and there are 3,000 jobs in the direct supply chain and many thousands more in the supply companies. Jobs will continue to be guaranteed in the future,” said Davies.

– African News Agency (ANA)