STATEMENT BY THE CITY’S EXECUTIVE MAYOR, PATRICIA DE LILLE
It is my pleasure to share the wonderful news of a major investment coming to Cape Town following an announcement at the C40 Mayors Summit in Mexico last week by the world renowned and leading electric bus manufacturer, BYD, that they will be opening an electric bus manufacturing plant in Cape Town in 2018.
Earlier this year, following a competitive bidding process, the City of Cape Town awarded the contract for our first fleet of electric buses to BYD.
One of the exciting conditions of this contract is that the buses will be partly assembled in Cape Town and BYD will also source some components from local suppliers. This will create a number of jobs and will be the first time that electric buses are assembled in Cape Town.
With this, Cape Town becomes the first city in Africa to use electric buses for our MyCiTi public transport system.As a progressive city committed to enhancing our climate change action projects, this is a major step on our journey to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the green economy.
At a ceremonial signing event held in Mexico last week to celebrate the electric bus tender award, I thanked BYD for helping us to reduce emissions and save our planet.
The acquisition of electric buses will also help us save money as it comes with reduced maintenance and operating costs.
As we are determined to support the rapidly evolving green economy, I asked the chairperson of BYD, Mr Chuanfu Wang, how we can take this partnership to greater heights.
Mr Wang responded saying: ‘BYD is really glad to collaborate with a leading city like Cape Town in your climate action efforts. In the near future we are planning to establish a local production plant for our electric buses in Cape Town. This is not only to help protect the environment, but will also provide jobs to people in Cape Town’.
Various BYD products, including electric buses, sky-rail, and renewable energy products such as solar panels will be manufactured at this plant.
In 2018, Cape Town will become home to BYD’s first electric bus manufacturing plant in Africa while this investment will create hundreds of jobs for Cape Town residents.
This is precisely the kind of investment we want to attract and has been part of our strategy since 2012 to engage with the international community to promote Cape Town as an ideal place to invest in and to let the world know that Cape Town is open for business so that we can create much-needed jobs for our people.
I welcome this announcement by Mr Wang as it will contribute greatly to our efforts to build an inclusive economy.