The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) through its Industrial Parks Revitalisation Programme has invested over R760 million since its inception in 2015. These industial parks have a direct impact on the township industrial economy. This was said by the Deputy Director-General of Spatial Industrial Development and Economic Transformation at the dtic, Mr Sipho Zikode during the Industrial Parks Revitalisation Webinar held yesterday.
The webinar focused on various topics including global and South African best practices on Industrial Spaces. It covered lessons learned in developing a strategic vision, conceptualisation, design, and management of industrial spaces. It also explored key components of an eco-system in designing and developing industrial spaces, whilst exploring how green competitiveness can be integrated into the design of greenfield industrial spaces and retrofitted into existing brownfield industrial spaces.
According to Zikode, the dtic’s revitalisation programme has assisted industrial parks to retain and grow their tenants. The companies in turn have been able to develop long-term employment and retained already existing jobs within the parks. Zikode said at the moment all industrial parks within the programme employ over 65 000 people.
“The work currently underway by the dtic and National Treasury in the industrial parks spaces has highlighted the importance of a very strong, visionary governance and management within these industrial parks. There are still many management gaps that need to be addressed, however many parks are doing well in terms of planning, developing and managing,” said Zikode.
He acknowledged however, that there are other parks and some Special Economic Zones that the department is supporting that are really struggling hence the need for such forums where stakeholders can all come together and discuss issues going forward.
“If we work as a joint-team in government, which will include all levels of government, across sectors, industry and the community then we could be able to use infrastructure development for the growth and the resuscitation of our country even after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic has dismantled a lot of industrial activity and impacted on supply chains in the past few months, it is therefore imperative that we enhance investment in our industrial spaces, and look at how we define these spaces to reimagine them in a manner that will re-develop our economies,” he said.
Zikode added that the department together with stakeholders are establishing digital hubs in a number of industrial parks and SEZ’s, and will are finalizing the establishment of the industrial park association which serve as a platform for all parks to share their experience and challenges.
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition