P&G to invest R1.6bn in South Africa

Multinational manufacturer Procter and Gamble (P&G) has announced "a significant new investment" of more than R1.6 billion in South Africa.

The investment will see P&G's local manufacturing operations "expand considerably", the company said, and comes on top of P&G's existing investment of R500 million in a manufacturing plant for Pampers nappies in Johannesburg.

Dimitri Panayotopoulos, the company's vice chair in charge of global business units, 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," Panayotopoulos told a press conference held jointly in Johannesburg with the Department of Trade and Industry. "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."

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".

"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," he said.

P&G expects the new investment to create over 500 jobs.

Construction is expected to commence in 2014 with production commencing in 2016 or early 2017.

The location of the site will be announced once all the preparations have been concluded, P&G said.

P&G's South African headquarters is located in Sandton, Johannesburg and its current manufacturing plant is in Kempton Park. It serves more than half of South African households with its brands.

Image: © Procter and Gamble Company

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