Posted: September 2, 2021
The Acting Deputy Director-General of Spatial Industrial Development and Economic Transformation at the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), Mr Maoto Molefane says Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are key instruments to industrialise the country and create jobs. Molefane was addressing the Limpopo Investment Conference.
The objectives of the conference included attracting local and international investments; creating a network of investors, industry experts and key stakeholders in pursuit of industrialisation; and receiving investment pledges.
According to Molefane, the SEZs have attracted more than R56 billion worth of private investors in the ten operational zones. 222 companies have been attracted into the zones.
“We recently undertook a SEZ programme review to look at what works and what is not working. We introduced a new approach aimed at solidifying a number of instruments, including a strong involvement of national government in terms of assisting provinces to ensure that all the SEZs are accelerated, attract investment and that they are operational,” said Molefane.
He added that the other area of work that was the results of the review was a strong involvement of provinces, municipalities, communities and the private sector in planning, development and management of the zones.
“Our focus in the Musina region is to ensure that we develop a city. We use SEZs either to expand or create a new city through a tripartite partnership agreement with provinces and municipalities. The agreement is to ensure that we clarify roles and responsibilities of social partners as they have a critical role to play,” he said.
Molefane also said that the ultimate goal for government was to see SEZs creating decent jobs, developing the regions and transferring skills to small, micro and medium enterprises. In attracting investors, SEZs need to develop the communities in which they are operating.
“We also want to see regions competing competitively with other regions. We would in future want to see Musina and Tubatse SEZs competing with the cities of New York and London. We can only achieve this through the creation of the state-of-the-art infrastructure in our provinces, and a specific tax incentive that will enable and create a conducive environment for these businesses to thrive. We are also looking at other incentives such as 15% corporate tax, accelerating the building allowance for those companies that invest in buildings and employment tax incentives, and also providing state-of-the-art security apparatus to ensure that our investments are well protected,” added Molefane.
He also stressed that all the developments would not be implemented at the expense of the environment as all partners and spheres of government are obliged to ensure that all of SEZs are environmentally and industrially sustainable while creating decent jobs and attracting investments.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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