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South Africa May Build 15 Billion-Rand Metals Plant

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Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- South Africa is considering building an integrated metal-processing factory that would require an investment of 15 billion rand ($2.05 billion) and have the potential to create 7,000 jobs, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel said.

The plant would be capable of processing titanium, zirconium, vanadium, magnesium and silicone, he said in a speech to Parliament in Cape Town today. A study into the feasibility of the project is under way, he said.

Patel, a former labor-union leader, is the driving force behind a new government growth plan that aims to create 5 million jobs by 2020 and cut the unemployment rate to about 15 percent from 24 percent.

“We have compiled a database of potential projects in green energy, manufacturing, waste-management, eco-tourism, agriculture and mining,” Patel said. “To address funding challenges in a new sector, the Industrial Development Corp. has committed to allocate 25 billion rand to new investments in the green economy over the next five years.”

On Sept. 2, Patel said the IDC, a state-owned lender, would invest 11.7 billion rand in clean-energy projects over the next “few” years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mike Cohen in Cape Town at mcohen21@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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