South Africa’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Attract Billions
15. April 2019
Speaking at the first SEZs Investment Conference on Wednesday, 3 April 2019, Minister Davies said the total number of operational investors in designated SEZs had now reached 115 with a private investment value of over R16,8 billion.
“Since the introduction of the new SEZ legislation in 2014, the number of designated zones has increased, the investor confidence has improved, and the number of operational investments has increased and continue to increase.
“Support from various sectors of society, in particular, all spheres of government, state-owned entities (SOEs), the business community and labour has also improved considerably,” he said at the start of the two-day conference.
The Minister said the companies had created 15 716 direct jobs.
The Dube TradePort Special Economic Zone has managed to attract 35 operational investors with an investment value of R1,5 billion, creating a total of 3 246 direct jobs.
In the 2017/18 financial year, 429 new direct jobs and 974 construction jobs were created. As at 18 March 2019, 184 new direct jobs and a total of 2 020 construction jobs had been created.
According to Minister Davies, the Coega SEZ has become a best practice model for all SEZs in South Africa and across the continent, and it remains the biggest SEZ in terms of number and value of investments on the African continent.
“In 2012, the Coega SEZ had 19 investors with a total private-sector investment value of R1,13 billion, creating 3 778 jobs. As at April 2019, the Coega SEZ had grown to 43 operational investors worth over R9,93 billion worth of private investments. As a result, it has doubled its direct employment creation to 8210 jobs and 19402 including construction jobs since inception,” said Minister Davies.
To cement its position as a leading SEZ on the continent, Coega is now the subject of a global case study led by the World Bank which looks at best practice examples of SEZ development across the globe.
Minister Davies said this was an indication that the SEZ Programme in South Africa was on the correct path.
To improve and upscale the impact of the SEZ programme, Minister Davies said it was critical to look at new and innovative ways of supporting SEZs to achieve more and double investments in line with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mission to attract more investments to the zones.
Minister Davies said it was time to find tailor-made solutions that would support the SEZs and find solutions that would support investors in the zones.
To date, a total of ten SEZs have been designated. In 2018, the Atlantis SEZ in the Western Cape, a Green-Tech Hub as well as Nkomazi SEZ in Mpumalanga, agro-processing and logistic hub, were the latest designations under the programme.
“In addition, the designation of Bojanala SEZ in North West is at the advanced stage. Very soon I will be publishing the application for the designation of the proposed zone in the government gazette to afford the public an opportunity to submit written comments on the proposed development,” said Minister Davies.
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