Posted: March 9, 2022
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Programme has now entered a full implementation phase with designated SEZs continuing to show a positive progress in terms of the growing number of investors operating in the zones. Gina was addressing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the country’s SEZs.
According to Gina, the number of designated SEZs in South Africa has now grown to ten, and covering seven provinces.
“Government is repositioning itself for a long-term industrial and economic development. Among other strategic interventions is the SEZs Programme, which includes specifically targeted economic activities, supported through special arrangements which include laws, regulations, incentives and systems that are different from those that apply in the rest of the country,” said Gina.
Gina expressed her excitement that the department was implementing a new, more comprehensive and integrated approach in developing SEZs, which is anchored on the District Development Model. This characterized by a strong involvement of national government to ensure greater success, in strong partnerships with the provinces, districts and metros.
“All that I am pleading for today to our CEOs and all other key stakeholders is for us to double our efforts in attending and resolving teething issues in our SEZs landscape. As part of our efforts to roll out the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan in order to stimulate growth in the South African economy, we need more investments, more jobs and growth to Gross Domestic Product. It is SEZs that can play role as a flywheel to catalyze these efforts for the country,” stressed Gina.
She congratulated the East London SEZ for the two new investors, Ebor Automotive Systems and Auria Automotive Systems, and also the expansion of TI Automotive Systems. She said these investments translated into more than R3 billion worth of private sector investment with a job creation potential of 2 078 new direct jobs in the zone.
“To the CEOs, we plead with you that in all the mega projects taking place and those on the pipeline within the zones, please ensure that women and the youth are benefitting as sub-contractors and through employment at a construction phase. This empowerment is in line with what we are emphasising as government. We need to be very deliberate about gender impact, and we need to be serious about youth and women employment through enterprise development,” concluded Gina.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition