The role of the Special Economic Zones (SEZS) as drivers of economic growth and industrialisation, will come under the spotlight at a webinar that will be hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), in partnership with the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), on 29 September 2020.

According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola, the objective of the webinar is to stimulate discussions on the contribution of SEZs in the industrialisation of the South African economy in order to ensure a sustainable economic growth.

“The webinar will provide government, potential investors and SEZ operators with an opportunity to discuss how SEZs, as drivers of economic growth and industrialisation, can be used as a bedrock for sustained job creation; enterprise development; innovation and technology; and skills development, and to consequently enable a guaranteed safe environment for investments. It will also look at regional industrialisation benefits including ways to increase exports to neighbouring countries and the rest of the African region,” says Majola

Majola adds that SEZs have had a considerable impact on the emergence of new economic activities.

“SEZs play a critical role in accelerating industrialisation, increasing development and growth, attracting targeted foreign direct investments (FDIs) and domestic investments, growing and diversifying value-added exports and ultimately building a regionally diversified industrial economy. The South African SEZ Programme, which has to date designated eleven SEZs, continues to make a meaningful contribution to the country’s economy. The aggregate rand investment value of operational investments has increased to more than R17.7 billion (as of the end of Quarter 4 of the 2019/20 financial year) when compared to the previous year’s figure of R12 billion reported at the end of Q4,” adds Majola.

Majola also notes that the Coronavirus pandemic brings along an opportunity for government and the sector to realise the potential of SEZs adding that  investors who wish to set up new manufacturing entities will find SEZs as an attractive investment hub with good infrastructure.

“The recent amendments and rescue measures proposed by government will play a vital role in boosting investments in the SEZ sectors, particularly manufacturing and agro-processing, generate greater employment, and activate growth in local consumption and export volumes post COVID-19. The potential of South African SEZs has been nurtured by easing and streamlining its provisions and setting up of multi sector SEZs,” says Majola.

The Executive Director of the Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE), Ms Ann Bernstein says the CDE has partnered  with the dtic to host the event in order to build on their previous work on this important topic, and to assess the impact of Covid-19 on the role that SEZs could play in contributing to the economic recovery the country so badly needs.


Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
Issued by: The Department of Trade,  Industry and Industry (the dtic)
Follow us on Twitter: @the_dti

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