MEDIA ENQUIRY RESPONSE
PUBLICATION: SUNDAY TIMES
DATE 17 JANUARY 2020
JOURNALIST: MPUMZI ZUZILE
Yekani Manufacturing is a key investor in the ELIDZ’s ICT sector and has a long history of manufacturing from East London. Established in 1974, in East London, Eastern Cape, as SATV, the company went through several ownership changes over the years. In 2003 the company was bought by Vektronix and in June 2016 it was bought by the Yekani Group renamed Yekani Manufacturing.
Yekani is an investment project with excellent potential and as the ELIDZ we are of the view that with the right support, they can still avoid closure, loss of critical ICT capability and much needed employment.
As an entity of government mandated to attract investment and improve the competitiveness of regional industries, the ELIDZ was key in consolidating government support for the construction of the state-of-the-art facility for Yekani. A total of R253 million, sourced from the DTI’s SEZ fund, was spent on the facility that they are currently occupying in the zone. Additionally, the company benefitted form the Black Industrialist programme by national government.
The Eastern Cape Provincial Government (ECPG) is aware of the problems faced by Yekani Manufacturing and has, since learning of these challenges, been engaging with the company to try and find solutions. This is because, as a catalyst for economic development, part of the ELIDZ’s responsibility is to, in partnership with other development partners, assist in the rescue of distressed industries, whose closure would have a disastrous impact on the region’s industrialisation and job creation. This is still work in progress.
The ECPG is still working hard to supports all efforts aimed at preserving the capabilities that were secured through the settlement of Yekani, including the option of the company undergoing a business rescue process. We believe this will provide a proper assessment and diagnosis of the challenges faced by the company, the root cause and identify the support that the company needs to turn things around.
On the matter of what would happen to the building if the company closes – the ELIDZ buildings are designed in such a way that they are able to accommodate current and future investment opportunities. This helps to ensure that buildings in the Zone do not go unoccupied for a long period of time. We are therefore optimistic that in the event of the closure, we would be able to find another tenant for the property. Having said that, the ECPG priority is to avert the closure of Yekani as they are a key partner in our efforts to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution.
This statement has been jointly issued by the Eastern Cape Provincial Government and the East London Industrial Development Zone.
Sibusiso Ralarala – Spokesperson: ELIDZ
Tel: 066 283 9203 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Mzukisi Solani – Media Liaison Officer: DEDEAT
Tel : 082 375 7219 / email@example.com