Cabinet welcomes launch of MAP-SEZ

Friday, April 28, 2017

Pretoria – Cabinet has welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s launch of the Maluti-A-Phofung Special Economic Zone (MAP-SEZ) in Tshiame, Harrismith, in the eastern Free State, on Tuesday.

“(This) … demonstrates government’s promotion of industrial development, which is key to the nation’s long-term economic success and prosperity,” said Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo during a post Cabinet briefing on Friday.

Speaking at the launch, President Zuma said South Africa wants to change the way its economy is structured.

“Our current reliance on exporting minerals and other raw materials to other countries is a sure recipe for an economy that enriches the few at the expense of the majority. This, of course, will just deepen the already high levels of inequality in our society,” said the President.

The launch of the SEZ brought the tally of Special Economic Zones in the country to eight. SEZs are geographically designated areas of a country that are set aside for specifically targeted economic activities.

President Zuma said the industrial parks were introduced not so much because of economic potential but merely to sustain the apartheid system of separate development.

The current development is part of government’s efforts to create economic development and growth opportunities closer to where people live.

“This we do through promoting industrialisation and also the development of township and rural economies,” he told a packed marquee on the premises of the SEZ.

In addition, government is fully committed to pursuing and implementing radical economic transformation, said the President.

The priority sectors for the MAP-SEZ are automotive, agro-processing, logistics, ICT, pharmaceuticals and general processing.

“This creates opportunities for manufacturing as well as a regional and international trade environment with an added value chain within the Maluti-A-Phofung Municipality,” Minister Dlodlo said.

To date, the SEZ programme has collectively attracted over R9.5 billion worth of investments.

They have also created over 10 000 direct jobs and 65 000 indirect jobs. The Special Economic Zones also continue to play a role in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

This 1038-hectare MAP-SEZ launch forms a key part of the implementation of the Industrial Policy Action Plan which designates Special Economic Zones to accelerate local economic growth and development in specific regions of the country. – SAnews.gov.za

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