The Procter and Gamble Company (P&G) has announced a significant new investment of more than R1.6 billion in South Africa. The substantial expansion of P&G’s local manufacturing operations was announced by Dimitri Panayotopoulos, the company’s vice chair in charge of global business units, at a press conference held jointly in Johannesburg with the Department of Trade and Industry.
This new investment comes on top of P&G’s existing investment of R500 million in a manufacturing plant for Pampers nappies in Johannesburg. Built in 2009, the Pampers plant attracted a further R6.6 million of investment from suppliers and created hundreds of jobs in South Africa.
Panayotopoulos said that P&G’s new investment would create a new multi-category production unit that will operate according to the highest sustainability standards. The multi-category unit will manufacture a range of products, among them detergents and feminine hygiene products, for local and export markets.
“We aim to make South Africa P&G’s manufacturing hub for the markets of Southern and East Africa,” said Panayotopoulos. “Our global strategy is to maintain our strong momentum in developing markets. Africa in general and South Africa in particular—as the largest African economy—are thus of key importance to us. As in all developing markets, our business here in Africa will remain focused on leading brands that improve health, hygiene and household care, as well as substantial social investment programmes that uplift underprivileged families and communities.”
The investment expansion announced today is expected to create over 500 additional jobs at P&G. Construction of the new plant is expected to commence in 2014 with production expected to commence in 2016 or early 2017. The location of the site will be announced once all the preparations have been concluded.
In line with P&G’s global commitment, the new facilities will pursue the globally recognised LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. It will also follow P&G’s global 77-point plan that takes a holistic view of the sustainability footprint of its operations. The new plant will be built on a green field site which the company will acquire in the near future and will become one of the largest P&G facilities in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, welcomed the announcement as “a further example of confidence by leading manufactures in the future of South Africa”. He said, “Since it entered the South African market, P&G has contributed to creating environmentally and socially responsible economic growth, and in particular, more South African jobs”
The event was also attended by David Constable, Chief Executive Officer of Sasol Limited. “Sasol, primarily through our operations in Europe and North America, has been one of P&G’s principal suppliers for over five decades. For the past 10 years, we have strengthened our strategic partnership and are increasing our commercial and technical collaboration efforts. Sasol is delighted that P&G is looking to expand its presence in South Africa. We believe that, together, we can contribute positively to the downstream manufacturing sector of the South African economy”, said Mr Constable.
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