China to Build Cement Plant in South Africa

South Africa's largest trade partner makes landmark investment.

South African and Chinese companies announced plans to build a $217 million cement plant in South Africa. The 1.65 billion rand (US$217 million) deal is one of China's biggest investments in the country.

The new plant will be developed with Women Investment Portfolio Holdings Ltd. (WIPHOLD), a black women-owned company, and South African limestone mining company Continental Cement.

The Chinese partners are Jidong Development Group and the China-Africa Development Fund, which together will hold a 51% stake.

"This represents a significant foreign direct investment into the South African cement industry, with an inflow of more than 800 million rands foreign direct investment from China," Wiphold said. The company said 45% of the investment would be in equity and 55% in commercial debt.

The plant will initially produce 2,500 tons of cement a day.

South Africa has been in a construction boom as it readies for the World Cup, which kicks off June 11.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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