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South Africa’s largest pharmaceutical group and JSE-listed company, Aspen Pharmacare, has launched a ZAR 1 billion high containment manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth which will create an additional 500 jobs.
The pharmaceutical giant has added a sixth production facility at its manufacturing site in the Eastern Cape. The group, which has a global presence in 50 countries, aims to target the export market with its new high potency facility. The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) has awarded ZAR 209 million in tax credits through the South Africa S12I Tax Allowance Program of the Income Tax Act.
The 23,000m² facility will produce 3.2 billion tablets a year on level 1 of the facility with three million bottles being packaged per month. Meanwhile, an additional 400 million tablets a year with bottle packing capability will be produced on the second level of the facility.
Chief Executive of Aspen Pharmacare, Stephen Saad said that the facility is a significant investment in the South African pharmaceutical industry. The company, which grew from a two-bedroom house in Durban, is now a globalised multinational company.
“As part of our evolution and our global positioning in niche, difficult to manufacture, speciality therapeutic segments, we are continuously looking at industrial opportunities, that give us sustainable global advantages. This not only creates export revenue but gives domestic security in supply. High potency products and high containment manufacture, which we are show casing here for the first time today in our country, presents one such exciting opportunity”, said Saad.
Aspen’s Group Senior Executive, Stavros Nicolaou said that Aspen’s group operations in the Eastern Cape currently employs more than 2500 individuals, of which 2000 are based at the Port Elizabeth site.
In addition to recruiting 90% of local PE employees, Aspen said it will also embark on a Training Academy which will train employees in pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Aspen said that the ZAR 1 billion investment is fully aligned to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Industrial Policy Action Plan, the National Development Plan and President Ramaphosa’s call to investment. It will benefit industry by creating sustainable jobs, domestic investment, up and downstream linkages and export opportunities.
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