Posted: May 30, 2022
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola says the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone can be used as an anchor of unlocking necessary economic growth in the Saldanha Bay Municipality and the broader West Coast district economy. Majola was speaking during an oversight visit to the zone.
The purpose of Majola’s visit was to engage and reassure local businesses of their role in the near future as well as to forge a new steering committee with key stakeholders to implement the Special Economic Zones Programme differently in the context of the District Development Model. During the interaction, officials from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competiiton (the dtic), Western Cape Economic Development and Tourism Department, Transnet, National Port Authority and other stakeholders agreed to align plans in the short term to particularly harness an aggressive investor pipeline that will work with small business in the community and adopt a clear policy direction.
“If we can prioritise the key needs within the industrial zone, that will make much needed impact in growing the local economy and highlight challenges as the these priorities are implemented, we can address issues of unemployment, poverty and transform our economy. These priorities must then be internalised in all spheres of government so that the zone can funtion optimally,” said Majola.
According to Majola, if all stakeholders prioritise key needs and understand what the role and place of Special Economic Zones in our economy is, many of the imagined solutions such as financing will be easy to work around.
“To make a big difference and impact, building Special Economic Zones into real economic centres of the economic activity in all districts level will address South Africa’s growth path and success. The steel industry and its value chain in Saldanha Bay must be brought on board to be alligned the Steel Master Plan. This will provide needed synergy in working together with the private sector in order to share responsibility, investment and success of the zone,” added Majola.
Updating stakeholders at the same event, the Chief Executive Officer for Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ), Ms Kaashifah Beukes said businesses interested in investing in the zone always stressed the importance of an enabling environment that will allow them to leverage on offering of the zone and promote the ease of doing business.
“We are committed to creating sustainable, long-term value for the broader economy and society, starting in Saldanha Bay. This zone has the opportunity to become a hub to establish zero and low carbon industries exporting fuels and goods to the global market. Dedicated zero carbon shipping routes for bulkers carrying iron ore can also be developed Synergies with local industry could lead to economic growth and the creation of jobs requiring a wide range of qualifications and skills,” said Beukes.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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