Swiss food and dairy giant Nestle has opened two production plants in South Africa.

The facilities, based in the town of Babelegi in Gauteng province, will manufacture Milo and Cheerios breakfast cereals and Maggi noodles. This will be the first time Nestle has produced these brands in South Africa.

The company announced the ZAR400m (US$48.9m) project in February last year in a bid to meet the growing demand for its products.

The inauguration is one of a number of moves made by Nestle to increase its presence in South Africa.

In March this year, it announced the formation of a research partnership with the government of South Africa. The partnership aims to offer scientists exposure to Nestle’s expertise in nutrition, food science and food safety, while also allowing the company to “better understand the nutrition needs of consumers across the African continent”.

Last year, the company bought soya foods business Specialised Protein Products for ZAR106m to develop “good-quality and affordable soya-based products” in the country.