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PressClub South Africa · Article.

BMW Group hosts Gauteng Premier David Makhura at Munich Headquarters.

South Africa’s Gauteng Premier David Makhura welcomed to BMW Group headquarters in Munich +++ Makhura was accompanied by South African Consul General to Germany, Roleta Lebelo, Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Parks Tau, and the heads of the energy and automotive units in the Gauteng government.

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Munich, Germany. The BMW Group welcomed South Africa’s Gauteng Premier David Makhura to its Group headquarters in Munich early September 2022. The Premier was accompanied by South African Consul General to Germany, Roleta Lebelo, Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Parks Tau, and the heads of the energy and automotive units in the Gauteng government.

The delegation was received by Head of Communications, Governmental Affairs and External Relations for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia, Andreas Klugescheid, South Africa’s relationship with BMW spans five decades with a world class vehicle manufacturing plant, and the heartbeat of the BMW South Africa operations, situated in Rosslyn, Gauteng. BMW South Africa continues to collaborate with the Gauteng government on various projects in education and healthcare including the Soshanguve Technical High School, a school with an automotive focus, as well as in healthcare with a R76m investment in eight healthcare facilities in Gauteng together with the German Federal Government, the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), and the Gauteng Department of Health.

The BMW Group and the Gauteng government discussed opportunities to accelerate partnerships in building on shared ambitions in the automotive sector and in the Green Hydrogen Economy.

BMW was the first locally based vehicle manufacturing OEM in South Africa to start a vehicle export program which has produced close to 1.2 million BMW 3-Series and over 260 000 BMW X3 vehicles since the start of the export program in the mid 1990’s, during which time over R12,5 billion of direct investments have been made in the country.

The BMW Group Plant Rosslyn plant currently employs 2 500 people directly and each direct job is responsible for a further 5 jobs in the component parts supply chain. The plant operations are also a significant anchor and justification for the further operations of the BMW Group in South Africa, including a National Sales Company, BMW Financial Services and the BMW IT Software Development Hub which employs a further 2 500 people combined.

Key to the conversations between BMW and the Gauteng government are BMW’s investments in the Gauteng province in future sustainability and managing the automotive industry transition towards electrification and a carbon neutral future as climate change reshapes societies and economies.

The Gauteng provincial delegation also visited the BMW Group’s Hydrogen Research and Development Centre in Garching, where the new BMW iX5 Hydrogen vehicle was showcased. The BMW Group will introduce the BMW iX5 Hydrogen as a small series production vehicle by the end of 2022 with a hydrogen fuel cell drive train. The BMW iX5 Hydrogen is a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle that converts hydrogen fuel into electricity via fuel cells, which then drives an electric traction motor which powers the vehicle. The technical maturity of this new small series is born out of the BMW Group’s extensive experience with hydrogen drive technology. BMW and the Gauteng government understand the growing importance of hydrogen as an energy carrier and storage fuel.

Commenting on the long-standing relationship of the BMW Group with South Africa, Andreas Klugescheid said, “The BMW Group appreciates the open and willing engagement with the provincial government of Gauteng to support our businesses in South Africa. While we look back on five decades of partnership, it is important that we look to the future amidst a turbulent time for our industry and the global economy. Our discussions with Premier Makhura and his team leave me confident that we have the support of the Gauteng Provincial Government with key actionable projects to prepare ourselves for the electrification and energy transition in our industry and with relevance to our operations in South Africa.”

“As we build a new Gauteng system, we are looking at finding breakthrough interventions particularly around tackling climate change boldly, as well as the technological evolution. Smart manufacturing operations without losing jobs is critical to the Gauteng government. The automotive sector is a priority to us as we shift toward new and cleaner energy and production systems. Our plan is to ensure that all Gauteng nodes are smart and green. Our partnership with the BMW Group is encouraging as we bring all plans to life,” Premier Makhura concluded.

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