Ramsay, an engineering firm based in Pietermaritzburg, has won a deal to produce 150,000 crossbeams a year for Ford and BMW that were previously manufactured in Germany and Thailand. 

The company has secured ZAR30m (US$4.1m) in investment capital from the Industrial Development Corporation to acquire technologies, some of which are being used for the first time in the southern hemisphere, such as a map-vision optimal gauge. 

“These technologies do not come cheap and five years ago we would not have imagined that such a project would be possible,” Ramsay finance director Angus Anderson told local media. 

The project, expected to run for up to 12 years, would create 65 permanent jobs over the next two years. 

Toolmaking is seen as a core driver for South Africa’s job creation ambitions since it is estimated that for every new toolmaker trained, 20 downstream jobs are created. The country currently imports about ZAR4.3bn of tooling every year.