Item 655 - Speech by President Mandela at the Mercedes Benz Investment Announcement

Identity area

Reference code



Speech by President Mandela at the Mercedes Benz Investment Announcement


  • 1998-11-25 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

Context area

Name of creator

(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

Biographical history

Archival history

Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

ANC Website

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Mercedes Benz Investment Announcement

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area



Master of ceremonies
Premier of the Eastern Cape

Co-Chairman of Daimler Chrysler, Mr. Jurgen Schrempp

Staff and management of Mercedes Benz South Africa

I last visited this plant in 1990, while the country was still celebrating the release of political prisoners and the unbanning of political organisations fighting for freedom.

On that special day, the workers of this company made a tremendous gesture towards us when they presented me with a new Mercedes Benz they had built in their own time. That was convincing evidence that in South Africa, there are many who are willing to work together and make sacrifices to build our nation.

But it was also a sign that at Mercedes Benz, workers and management had a common commitment to the democratic South Africa that was yet to come. It was a day that I often remember with fondness.

This is another special day. It has importance not only for this company but for the future of the Eastern Cape. It is a celebration of some of the growth and development that democracy has made possible.

The foreign investment commitment announced a few minutes ago of R1 billion to expand this manufacturing plant is most exciting. It is confirmation from the international investors that this plant in the Eastern Cape produces the quality work needed for success as a competitive, international enterprise. The workers and management of this company have done us all proud.

This investment also confirms the commitment of our German friends to the reconstruction and development of our country. The decision, and similar ones by some other leading German manufacturing companies, demonstrates the underlying confidence of international companies that have the capacity to make an my which is rich in opportunity and guided by sound policies.

Insofar as there will be ebbs and flows in economic conditions, domestic and international, it is to be expected that there will be ebbs and flows in the outlook of companies. That much is reflected perhaps in recent reports of some anxieties amongst German-owned companies in South Africa, concerns we all share to varying degrees.

But it is the decisions that are based on long-term prospects and on underlying trends that count. And so we are greatly encouraged by the remarkable commitment of companies like Mercedes Benz, to further investment and job-creation.

In this expansion at Mercedes Benz South Africa, each job that is created will secure another three in related industries, bringing growth to the region and jobs for an estimated 10 000 people, ultimately affecting about 50 000 men, women and children.

Such investment decisions reflect the success of government's efforts to create a climate that promotes growth and investment. In the last four years an estimated R40 billion of Foreign Direct Investment has entered our country, including now some R4 billion invested by German companies, mainly in automobile and component manufacturing.

Our fight against crime is also a contribution to creating this climate for growth. Government has steadily made more resources available for this purpose; improved co-ordination amongst the various agencies involved; set up a detective academy to build police capacity to track down criminals; and acted toe expose and root out corruption in the police and the criminal justice system. Although crime is still at an unacceptably high level, we have turned the tide. With the support of all sectors of the community we are succeeding.

Indeed, we regard the private sector as an indispensable partner in the reconstruction and development of South Africa whether it is in fighting crime, working with government and labour to develop a strategy for job-creation; or helping to reduce the backlog of services. So much so that I am kept constantly busy opening schools and clinics that our corporations have helped to build or upgrade.

Mercedes Benz, has played its part in this development. Your contribution to capacity-building Presidential projects in Bisho, you Siyakha housing project, and your investment in education and other projects have set a shining example.

Mercedes Benz South Africa is also living testimony to the strategic relationship that South Africa maintains with Germany. It is a relationship we are eager to strengthen.

We must therefore extend a special welcome to Mr Jurgen Schrempp, the Chairman of the Southern Africa Initiative of German Business. By linking partners and promoting skills and technology transfer, this initiative is doing much to promote trade and investment between Southern Africa and Europe. In doing so, it is making a critical contribution to growth and development and thereby to the building of a better life for all.

The motor industry has a vital role to play in generating growth that creates jobs; in boosting South Africa's industrial capacity and the skill of her workers. This means that each one of you is probably aware of the great responsibilities on your shoulders. We are confident that you will all meet them with pride and act in the best interests of South Africa's people; that you will continue working together to build a better life for all South Africans.

I congratulate you all once more on the expansion of Mercedes Benz South Africa.

I thank You!

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Acquisition method: From website ; Source: ANC Website. Accessioned on 11/12/06 by Helen Joannides




Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places