The agreement forms part of the department’s Adopt-A-City initiative and creates a platform for Mercedes Benz to share their skills, knowledge, expertise and facilities with the metro.
MBSA product planning divisional manager, Barry Canning, who was instrumental in drawing up the MoU and determining areas where MBSA could assist the metro, said the company was keen to assist their hometown in ensuring that the metro became a benchmark for the country.
“As a world class manufacturing plant that has consistently won international and local accolades, we believe assisting the metro is the right thing to do,” added Canning.
He illustrated the company’s commitment to the metro by announcing that the company would be investing R2.5 billion in the plant to manufacture its new-generation C-Class Mercedes-Benz, a move that will see over 2 000 jobs created in the metro.
Local Government and Traditional Affairs MEC, Mlibo Qoboshiyane, said the agreement came at a time when the metro desperately needed stability.
“A well-functioning local government sector is of the utmost importance to create an enabling environment for the business sector to flourish and be sustainable in. This agreement will go far in ensuring stability in the Metro to create a favourable environment for investors,” said Qoboshiyane.
Hansby hoped the agreement would lead to solutions to some of the problems the private sector currently experienced in the metro.
“There are serious concerns that the deficient service delivery impacts severely on the efficiency and output of business and industry. The cost of doing business in the Metro has in some instances increased dramatically due to stoppages in production as a result of infrastructure deficiencies,” said Hansby.
Ncitha said the metro would commit itself to creating an environment that the company could operate in profitably.
“It’s always been in the new metro’s interest to work with the private sector, as these entities both work together in job creation and creating a sound economic environment,” said Ncitha.
The agreement will see the metro sending staff to the company’s premises in West Bank, where they will receive training in financial management, mechanics, and performance- and action management.