SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES CONTINUE TO THRIVE DESPITE COVID -19 CHALLENGES – DEPUTY MINISTER GINA

The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Programme continues to successfully drive industrialisation of the country despite the devastating impact of the pandemic on the economy.

“The SEZ Programme has managed to attract a significant number of investors. This has seen the value of operational investments increasing from R17.7 billion by the end of the third quarter of the 2019-2020 financial year to R19.5 billion by the end of the third quarter of 2020-2021 financial year. This is a positive increase of R1.8 billion. During the same period, the number of investments have increased from 129 to 143,” says Gina.

Gina says as part of the economic recovery and reconstruction plan, South Africa is using the SEZs to reignite manufacturing-led industrialisation in an accelerated manner

“As government we are happy that although the SEZ programme is relatively new in SA (started in 2014) it has and continues to attract significant number and value of investments in various regions. The rapid growth of SEZs such as Coega, East London, Dube TradePort and Tshwane Automotive sector continue to demonstrate the significant role played by SEZ Programme in the country,” says Gina.

The SEZ Programme is one of the important tools that the South African government has introduced to drive economic growth and regional development. More importantly, the SEZ Programme is used as a critical tool for accelerating the country’s industrial development agenda.

“The purpose of the SEZ Programme is to attract foreign and domestic investments, increase the number and value of exported products, accelerate the development of industrial infrastructure, help accelerate the beneficiation of the country’s resource endowments, and create decent jobs,” says Gina.

She highlighted the following achievements of the SEZ Programme during the 2020-2021 financial year:
• Tshwane Automotive SEZ is completing the construction of 12 factories with the private investment value of R4.33 billion. The investments are expected to create more than 2 000 jobs;
• Dube Tradeport secured new investments worth approximately R 600 million, the investments are expected to create 841 jobs;
• Coega has signed four new investors that are estimated to be valued approximately R49 million and are expected to create an estimated 101 new jobs;
• Saldanha Bay is completing the construction of two manufacturing facilities with an investment value of R380 million, they are expected to create approximately 90 direct jobs;
• Richards Bay is completing the construction of edible oil factory and Titanium Dioxide factory with a combined private investment value of R5.8 billion. About 600 direct jobs are expected to create;
• East London Industrial Development Zone completed the construction of nine investor facilities and the expansion of three existing facilities. These facilities will create an additional 1 534 manufacturing and services jobs and these will be operationalized within the next two years.

She adds that the number and value of operational investments are expected to increase by almost R10 billion during the current financial year due to investments that are currently under construction.

Enquiries:
Sidwell Medupe-Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: (012) 394 1650
Mobile: 079 492 1774
E-mail: MSMedupe@thedti.gov.za
Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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