Isuzu to back Bay innovators
Motor firm to invest R6m in Propella incubator
Just more than six months after opening its doors in Nelson Mandela Bay, Isuzu Motors South Africa has pledged R6m to develop innovators in the metro.
The Japanese automotive manufacturer announced on Tuesday that it would be offering financial and vehicle support to the Propella business incubator over the next three years.
Isuzu corporate affairs executive Denise van Huyssteen said this would entail an investment of R6m and the use of an Isuzu bakkie for the next three years.
“This support will be directed towards the development of innovative projects within the industrial hub, which will be called the Isuzu industrial hub,” Van Huyssteen said.
“In addition, some of our automotive component suppliers will benefit from Propella’s virtual incubation support, ranging from mentoring to business development assistance.”
At least five of Isuzu’s blackowned suppliers will receive incubation support.
Van Huyssteen said the manufacturer had been intent on innovation since launching in January, after taking over the assets of General Motors SA (GMSA) when the firm divested from the Bay in December.“We don’t see ourselves just as a bakkie and truck producer, but rather as a provider of innovative solutions.
“We want to be part of the transformation and growth of the economy and in particular of the city.
“We think making a difference involves empowering people and we know Propella thinks like this too, so this makes them an ideal partner for us,” Van Huyssteen said.
Propella business incubation manager Anita Palmer welcomed the investment.
“We are always on the lookout for catalytic projects that can contribute to the competitiveness of the local economy and support job creation,” Palmer said.
“Through the development of appropriate technologies and providing the right type of infrastructure to entrepreneurs, we support innovative solutions and access to market that is crucial to the success of a business.”
Propella board chairman Professor Andrew Leitch, of Nelson Mandela University, urged other organisations to support Propella.
“[The city’s youth unemployment rate of nearly 50%] is absolutely shocking,” Leitch said.
“We need to do something, and as the university we believe Propella is one vehicle through which we can make a big difference.
“Propella belongs to the metro and we all need to play a role to ensure its success. Those who are able to do so have a responsibility to invest.”..