Lesothoâ€™s nascent automobile industry is set to receive a significant boost with the planned establishment of an Isuzu dealership in the country.
The Minister of Trade, Industry, Business Development, and Tourism, Mokhethi Shelile, highlighted the potential impact of this development during the recent sod-turning event for the construction of the Isuzu dealership.
The dealership will sell Isuzu brand vehicles.
Zakhura Motor Group (ZMG) was announced by the LNDC to have won the rights to implement Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC)â€™s dealership partnership with Isuzu Motors South Africa.
The development is part of LNDCâ€™s new strategic plan running until 2027/28.
Under the strategic plan, the corporation will focus on growing a select number of high-value-adding industries based on the comparative advantage of the country.
Other opportunities will include the incorporation of green programmes, opportunities for property development, and the promotion of sectors that support the achievement of sustainable development goals.
The sod-turning event for the construction of the dealership was held at the Thetsane Industrial Area.
â€œWe can take note of ongoing manufacturing activity in the automotive sector, and the establishment of a dealership in Lesotho is perhaps a precursor to the manufacturing of other elements in the automotive industry,â€ Shelile said.
He said the Ministry is guided by the Extended National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP II) in growing the economy.
â€œThe goal here is to achieve inclusive, sustainable, and equitable growth, and create private sector-led employment for Basotho. The aim is to transform the country from a consumer-based economy to a producer and export-driven economy.â€
On his part, LNDCâ€™s Chief Executive Officer advocate Molise Ramaili said the dealership is part of their new strategic plan, aimed at making a positive and sustainable impact in Lesotho’s economy for the creation of inter-generational value.
â€œThe launch seeks to present the new strategic plan to LNDCâ€™s key stakeholders, who also contributed immensely to its development through stakeholder consultations, and to ensure that it is fully appreciated for its execution,â€ Ramaili said.
Cassim Zakhura from ZMG said as a local company, they have decided to partner with international automotive giants to generate employment and boost Lesothoâ€™s economy.
â€œThe construction is expected to begin in the few weeks after the selection of the contractors. We are going to start with over 60 employees who will go through training and then more employees will join.â€
Isuzu Motors South Africaâ€™s Senior Vice President, Graig Uren, said the sod-turning of the dealership in Lesotho is a testament to ISUZU’s commitment to growing their business throughout Africa while building strong sustainable relationships.
“As a local manufacturer we pride ourselves in assembling vehicles for Africa by Africans to benefit the development of our economy and that of our neighboring countries,â€ Uren said.