Posted: June 23, 2023
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola has reiterated his department’s commitment to enhance support to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which he said were important instruments to the economy. He emphasised that the commitment of provincial governments was crucial in ensuring that the SEZs succeed in achieving the economic objectives that national government has set for them. Majola was addressing the Special Economic Zones Chief Executive Officers’ Forum in Kempton Park today.
According to Majola, where the SEZs are facing challenges but have full support of the provincial governments, they are making great progress. He made an example of the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) which has the total investment that has surpassed the initial pledged amount of R4.33 billion by over R200 million. He said that was purely because of the support the zone was getting from the Gauteng government.
Importantly, Majola added that the total number of permanent jobs created by the suppliers in the zone is currently sitting at 3 098 jobs, a increase of 20% from the previous quarter. To date the projected target of 2 080 that was initially pledged.
“There are currently around 15 projects that are at different stages of development across the different SEZs. Significantly, these are mostly expected to be operationalised before the close of the 2023/24 financial year, thus adding to the 190 that are already operational in the 10 designated SEZs,” added Majola.
“The SEZs are important instruments to the economy one cannot imagine the economy without these SEZs. Imagine Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality without the East London Industrial Development Zone or the Nelson Mandela Metro without the Coega SEZ. These SEZs are pillars of our economy and those that are not optimally operating are a disservice to our people,” said Majola.
He described the newly designated Namakwa SEZ in the Northern Cape as a game changer.
The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina also addressed the session and called on the Chief Executive Officers of SEZs to treat investments coming into their zones with care.
According to her, they must never frustrate investors with regulatory delays and slow pace in doing things.
“SEZs must represent the best environment to do business. She added that the SEZ Programme continues to attract significant numbers and value of investments in various regions. Since the introduction of the SEZs Programme, there has been an increase in the number of operational investors in these zones. There is a growing investment pipeline. The increase is largely attributed to the incentive package that has been introduced to attract investors,” said Gina.
She stressed that the full impact of the failure or successes of the SEZs will reflect on the economy as a whole because this is where the country should be seeing well-run concentrated manufacturing activities and job creation.
Gina congratulated the Atlantis SEZ for the readiness for the construction of a 22-hectare Zone 1 which the dtic has funded. She expressed her contentment that the SEZ was really destined to become a strategic focus for green technology industries as it has always positioned itself.
The estimated cumulative rand value of SEZs-based operational investments is reported to have grown from R26 billion to R28 billion between quarter three and four of 2022/23. Similarly, the number of direct jobs that have been created during the same period have reportedly increased with 896 jobs from 23 281 to 24 177.
The Deputy Minister of Trade Industry and Competition Mr Fikile Majola addressing the Special Economic Zones Programme Chief Executive Officers’ Forum in Kempton Park.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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