Posted: September 14, 2019
New Special Economic Zone for the Vaal Region in the Pipeline
|The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Fikile Majola has told community members in Evaton in the Vaal region, Gauteng that government is taking major steps towards the designation of the Vaal Special Economic Zone (SEZ). He was speaking at a dialogue aimed at promoting entrepreneurship among women, young people and people with disabilities in the Emfuleni Local Municipality. Majola said the SEZ would create economic and employment opportunities.
Majola further urged the local government officials who attended the meeting, to identify one industrial park for revitalisation. He said the revitalisation of industrial parks was part of government strategy to revive the economy. He added that the Industrial Park Revitalisation Programme is also encouraging all investors including black industrialists to locate their further investment in the parks so that they can create jobs closer to where people. Government has set aside R40 billion to support the Black Industrialists Programme in the next five years.
“We are glad that to date through this programme we have been able to assist over 140 projects with billions of investments. In particular, we would like to encourage participation from qualifying companies that are owned by black women and youth, to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the mainstream economy,” he said.
At the meeting, the Emfuleni Executive Mayor, Councillor Gift Moerane, urged the locals to ensure they set up their businesses, cooperatives and consortiums and skill themselves appropriately, to prepare for opportunities that will come with the establishment of the new mega city, Vaal 21 River City.
This project was unveiled by the Gauteng Premier, Mr David Makhura, and described as South Africa’s “first post-apartheid” city. The development will house 400 000 square metres of commercial office space; 60 000 square metres of retail and leisure component; and 20 hectares of park areas with 5000 residential units.
Moerane said young people in particular needed to equip themselves with relevant business skills to fight the high rate of unemployment.
“Our plan is to work very closely with TVET colleges in our municipality, to mobilise them to offer the kind of curriculum that empowers our young people with the necessary skills to help them advance and excel in business. The construction of the new city will bring R29 billion worth of investments. Therefore, local entrepreneurs need to be ready to take up opportunities in building the new town,” concluded Moerane.