By Ntombi Mhlongo
South African company, SKT STARMARK, a design, developer and manufacturer of ICT devices has committed to invest around E5 million in the country.
This is the same company that has forwarded a proposal to the government to have a factory shell in the country where it will manufacture the devices. The company’s management, which was led by Chairman Tinashwe Shangwe was in the country on Monday for official discussions of the site where the factory shell will be constructed.
Delivering his remarks, Shangwe said they were excited to be allowed to do what they love best-empowering communities and the youth. He mentioned that the gadgets they manufactured will be affordable to school-going pupils.
“Ours is a complicated system but it makes the lives of the youth better. Not only will it make it easier for school-going pupils to have easy access to technology but the youth of this community will get the much-needed jobs and that is what we are all about,” he said.
The factory will be constructed at Bulandzeni under Ndzingeni Inkhundla together with another that will accommodate a local cooperative that trades under the name Hippo Tools Eswatini. Hippo Tools Eswatini currently operates in small premises which compelled them to seek assistance from the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Manqoba Khumalo.
It has been gathered that in the proposal that was sent to the minister, Hippo Tools Eswatini said it had invested in equipment for commercially producing garden implements like forks and rakes. The youth is said to have pleaded that it needed 20m times 20m with offices for their dream, which is to produce more for a wider market, a reality.
The proposal is that they will employ 100 youths at the initial stage. The minister is said to have encouraged them to submit a proposal so that it can be considered in the national budget through the Regional Development Fund (RDF).
Meanwhile, the proposal submitted by the SA company (STK STARMARK) reflects that it wants to focus on consumer electronics manufacturing. The building area required by the company, according to the proposal, is 900 sqm while the required number of employees has been set at 150 people.
In terms of the number of employees, the company said in the proposal that about 200 people stand to get jobs.
“With the growth of capacity, SKT can have the ability to employ up to 1000 young people directly/indirectly and can be a platform for skills transfer for interns and school leavers. This can be further increased by our 30% per annum growth target, which is in line with current market potential and operational growth,” explained Shangwe.
Attending the event were government officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade and Micro Projects. At the same event, the ministry officially handed over a tractor which will be used by the community, under Khula Sithawulane Association, for water supply purposes.
By Ntombi Mhlongo