Ramaphosa applauds Tetra Pak at factory reopening for their dedication to local employment

President Cyril Ramaphosa along with the Klaus Plenge, Managing Director of Tetra Pak and the Nomusa Dube Ncube Premier of KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied

President Cyril Ramaphosa along with the Klaus Plenge, Managing Director of Tetra Pak and the Nomusa Dube Ncube Premier of KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 4, 2024


President Cyril Ramaphosa, along with Klaus Plenge, Managing Director of Tetra Pak, and Nomusa Dube Ncube, Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, officially reopened Tetra Pak’s plant in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

It is believed that the factory is a R500 million investment into the South African economy and is the aseptic packaging facility in Africa.

The investment by Tetra Pak follows a commitment that the company made in 2022 at the South African Investment Conference.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Klaus Plenge, Managing Director of Tetra Pak cut the ribbon at the reopening of the Tera Pak factory in KZN. Picture: Dhivana Rajgopaul/IOL

The upgrade, which took close to two years to complete, was done to enhance and expand the production capabilities of the Pinetown facility, enabling Tetra Pak to extend its services to more customers across the Southern African region.

The new and improved facility which was built in 1979 will also allow Tetra Pak to diversify its packaging formats and introduce plant-based packages.

Ramaphosa said: “Government welcomes Tetra Pak’s investment into the manufacturing industry which aligns with on-going efforts to rebuild and strengthen the sector.”

Ramaphosa also commended the company for their commitment to keeping people employed despite the move towards automation.

According to Ramaphosa, the new expanded facility has the ability to produce 1.8 billion “packs” and has 99 employees.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, Klaus Plenge, Managing Director of Tetra Pak and Nomusa Dube Ncube Premier of KwaZulu-Natal along with Tetra Pak workers. Picture: Supplied

The president said that local manufacturing facility means greater exports and a boost for South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.

“As Government, we remain steadfast in rebuilding our manufacturing sector and welcome and support efforts to revive South Africa’s local manufacturing sector,” Ramaphosa said.

Plenge emphasised that this investment marks a significant milestone in Tetra Pak's dedication to bolstering the South African economy and supporting its customers.

Plenge said that the upgrade is set to deliver tangible benefits to customers through localised production, quicker time-to-market, sustainable packaging solutions, and various innovative offerings.

“The ambition is that we will use this factory to export to Southern African countries and outside Africa” Plenge said.

Ramaphosa also congratulated the food processing and packaging solutions company for their Proudly SA certification in March 2024 and their investment in localisation.

Before the upgrade of the facility, only 60% of Tetra Pak packaging would be made in South Africa now that number is closer 90%.

According to Ramaphosa, investing localisation and having things made locally grows the economy and creates jobs.

The president also touched on Tetra Pak’s commitment to a low carbon circular economy and recycling as the company’s future plans to achieve carbon neutrality.

“The reopening of Tetra Pak's upgraded plant in Pinetown signifies a pivotal milestone for the company and stands as a testament to its steadfast dedication to fostering prosperity and sustainability in South Africa,” Plenge said.

IOL Business