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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Marriott expands in South Africa with five new hotels

(Corrects headline, lead and third paragraph to show investment will be made by Amdec)

JOHANNESBURG Oct 6 Marriott International said on Thursday that Amdec Group plans to spend 3 billion rand ($218 million) on five new hotels in South Africa for the world's leading hotel company as it looks to tap into Africa's growing middle class.

Marriott, which last month won final clearance to buy rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc, said three of the hotels would be built in Cape Town while two are already under construction in Johannesburg.

Amdec Group will inject the funds into the development of the hotels as part of its growing partnership with Marriott.

"Africa is particularly important to Marriott International's expansion strategy because of the continent's rapid economic growth, expanding middle class and youth population," Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said in statement.

The owner of upmarket chains such as Ritz Carlton and Sheraton says the developments will lift its number of hotels on the continent to more than 200, with 27,000-plus rooms.

The five hotels are expected to create 8,000 building-related jobs while under construction and more than 700 long-term hospitality jobs, Marriott said.

Marriott is already Africa's biggest hotel operator, having bought leading chain Protea in 2014. The new hotels will operate under the Marriott brand, the company said. ($1 = 13.7575 rand) (Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; Editing by Ed Cropley and David Goodman)

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