North West, Mpumalanga economies set for major boost

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has announced that it is developing Special Economic Zones in the North West and Mpumalanga provinces.

The department revealed this when briefing the National Council of Provinces Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on its annual report for 2016/17 in Parliament on Wednesday.

The dti said while it is focused on the development of these SEZs, it has not lost sight of the fact that other provinces are in need of such zones. SEZs are geographically designated areas of a country that are set aside for specifically targeted economic activities.

Director General at the department, Lionel October, further briefed the committee on progress made in the implementation of industrial parks and the Black Industrialists Programme.

“In pursuit of driving economic transformation and increasing participation in industrialisation, the dti has approved six industrial parks for revitalisation under the Critical Infrastructure Programme. These are in Phuthaditlhaba, GaRankuwa, Seshego, Nkowankowa, Ekandustria and Bodirelo,” said October.

Of the 13 projects approved in the last financial year under the Critical Infrastructure Programme, grants to the tune of R310.9 million were approved, with 4 515 jobs created.

October said with the newly-launched agro-processing scheme, which will cover the length and breadth of the country and focus on rural areas and emerging black farmers, there is an urgent need to speed up transformation and create more Black Industrialists.

October said in the first full year of operation of the Black Industrialists Programme, 36 companies were assisted, with support of approximately R1 billion and investments of over R3 billion. These created  7 000 new direct jobs in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape. –


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