Gauteng IDZ blazes trail in job creation and economic development

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

The Gauteng Industrial Development Zone SOC Limited (Gauteng IDZ) has set its sights on being the leading economic zone in the country and in Africa.

Gauteng Economic Development MEC, Tasneem Motara, on Tuesday said that the IDZ aims to promote job and enterprise development opportunities.

Established in 2009, the Gauteng IDZ is mandated to develop and operate the designated OR Tambo Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at OR Tambo International Airport.

In support of its mandate, the Gauteng IDZ works to create an enabling platform for manufacturing investment opportunities that support the positioning of OR Tambo International Airport SEZ and the Gauteng city region as globally competitive investment locations.

During a media tour at In2Food’s production facility at the OR Tambo SEZ on Tuesday, Motara said commended the efforts made by the Gauteng IDZ.

“We are still growing and tenants are expressing interest in coming to this area. It is strategically located not far from the airport.

“The Gauteng IDZ aims to promote job and enterprise development opportunities, facilitated through partnerships that enable the sustainable growth of emerging enterprises or new industrialists contributing to economic growth,” Motara said.

In2Food is one of Africa’s largest premium food packing and processing companies and is one of the companies that pledged during the 2018 Investment Conference.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 committed to raising over R1.2 trillion worth of investments over a five-year period.

At the third Investment Conference in 2020, pledges of about R774 billion had been made.

In 2018, In2Food announced an investment of R241 million. The company has built a state-of-the-art 22 700m2 fresh food facility, which is described as the largest in the southern hemisphere and the second largest CO2 refrigeration facility in the world. The company has created 600 jobs.

Their facility produces about 2 000 litres of soup and 10 000 pancakes per hour.

In2Food has contributed to increased exports of fresh products from the OR Tambo district, and is the largest supplier of fresh and prepared foods for Woolworths.

To date, In2Food Bonaero (as the SEZ operations are known) has created some 2 240 jobs.  The company is also committed to supporting emerging farmers, providing them with off-take and helping them align to the quality standards of Woolworths.


Another promising company, SolarAfrica, which is based in Gauteng, is making inroads in the area of energy solutions for commercial  and industrial businesses, including residential properties and houses.

SolarAfrica can help clients save up to 50% on monthly electricity costs. It also reduces carbon emissions, helping to reach green energy targets.

SolarAfrica has been named the continent’s leading solar energy firm, scooping the prestigeous African Solar Company of the Year Award at the 2021 Africa Solar Industry Association Awards held in London.

A major project undertaken by the company is the 13.5 MW solar PV carport grid-tied system installed at the car manufacturer Ford South Africa’s plant in Silverton, Pretoria.

During a media tour at the Ford plant, SolarAfrica's Brandon Horn said solar energy is critical as the country battles challenges such as load shedding and the high cost of grid electricity.

“As a result of industry struggling, there are opportunities in the renewable energy sector to help industry alleviate the pressure of additional costs to their businesses,” Horn said.

Ford SA is offsetting 35% of its electricity demand through solar energy, a move that has helped the factory to reduce its electricity bill by 15%.

Horn said SolarAfrica is currently building a 1 000 MW solar farm near De Aar in the Northern Cape, which is being built in 100 MW phases, the first of which is set to be brought onto the grid in 2024. –